Hey guys I painted my pillars to match this weekend and thought I'd offer a write up for everyone. For anyone thinking of doing this I'd say definitely go for it. It was actually not that hard to do. I searched and searched and never found any type of information on this topic so I thought I'd go at it alone with a little advice from Burntorange's engine cover post at the LX forums.
**disclaimer** I am no painter. In fact this was my first time ever painting. I am only offering my technique as a suggestion. If you've done it or have a better technique then by all means please go for it.
With that being said here are the materials I used. I ordered primer, basecoat paint and clearcoat from Automotivetouchup.com Touch Up Paint, Aerosol Spray Paint and Paint Touch Up Accessories
Prior to painting you need to sand the posts. If you're mechanically inclined you can remove them first. I, however am not mechanically inclined so I left mine on the car. Sanding gives the primer something to adhere to. I used 000 steel wool to scuff the posts up. It leaves very small scratches on the posts that are barely visible.
Sorry, I don't have pics of the sanded pillars. I didn't get my camera out until I actually started the painting process. After sanding I moved my car into the garage to shield it from the wind and dust. I taped off as much of the car as I could. I then cleaned the posts VERY well. You can use rubbing alcohol or mineral spirits. After cleaning the posts I let them dry for about 10 or 15 minutes. Once dry I then began applying primer. I put on 4 coats of primer being careful of overspray. I allowed 15 minutes in between coats (according to the instructions on the can).
After the final coat I waited at least 1 hour before begining the next step. I returned and wet sanded the primer. This was the difficult part. There's a balance here. You have to be careful not to sand too much or too hard or you'll wipe the primer off of the post. I did this on the b pillar above and had to re-apply primer to it. Be extra careful around the edges of the posts also as the paint comes off a lot easier here. Once you've sanded, clean the posts really well again. For this process I used soap and water as I didn't know what would happen if I used chemicals. If you've got a tack cloth it would be a good idea to use that also (I didn't have one). Once sanded and cleaned I waited 10 more minutes for them to dry.
After they dried I began applying the basecoat. I put on 6 light coats of brilliant black waiting 15 minutes in between coats. Again be careful of overspray. You can put on as many coats as you like. I went with 6 because it was getting dark outside and I was losing daylight. The following picture is after 6 coats with no clearcoat.
I then waited one hour again and returned to apply basecoat. Prior to putting on the base coat I VERY lightly wet sanded the posts again. I cleaned them really well and allowed drying time. I then began applying clear coat waiting 15 minutes in between coats. I put on 5 coats of clear coat. After that wait for it to dry and clean it one final time. Here's the end result. Not a professional job by any means but for $26 worth of paint I think I did okay.
By the way, that's not a scratch in the paint. It's just some sort of reflection from the camera.
Let me know what you guys think.