I Gave My Car A Complete DIY Makeover For Under $200

I hope this inspires you to do something fun and creative in your own life!

As Told To

As Told To is a recurring segment on xoNecole where real women are given a platform to tell their stories in first-person narrative as told to a writer.

This is Kayla Glass' story, as told to Charmin Michelle.

I'm a 25-year-old 2nd grade teacher (during a pandemic) that's also currently purchasing a home. So...it's pretty safe to say that a new car has been out of the question for quite some time.

It all started in 2018, while in school obtaining my Master's in Education, I purchased my very first car from a lady in Florida. I needed something to get me from point A to point B, and as luck would have it, I came across this particular car that had only 30,000 miles on it, and was within my budget. But most of all, I knew it was going to last me a while, which was exactly what I was looking for. I handed the seller $1100 in cash and claimed my very first baby with full intention of personalizing in the future.

Courtesy of Kayla Glass

I always loved the car, but I also always knew that I ultimately wanted to transform it, to paint it, and make it more of my own. Once the pandemic hit, and with the ongoing months of quarantining, I had the perfect opportunity to make it happen.

So I went for it full throttle.

The process was tedious and took a bit of time, but I am so happy with how it turned out!

*Some of the links provided are affiliate links. If you purchase a product through the links provided, xoNecole may earn a small commission.

Cleaning, Steaming & All The In-Between

Courtesy of Kayla Glass

My car was so unbelievably filthy, so first things first, I cleaned it out: removed the mats, threw away all of the debris (which was a LOT), and vacuumed the floors. Cleaning the inside of my car was so satisfying. Maybe because it needed to be done so badly, I don't know.

The cleaning process also included me taking my Bissel Little Green Spot Cleaner and Oxy Clean Stain Removing Foam to scrub out its stains. This combo was essential as I was able to take my highly-stained and questionable interior, and bring it all back to life.

I finished this off with steaming the surfaces and wiping them down with cleaner, which was a super useful detailer tip.

Prepping For Paint

Next, I grabbed painter's tape and newspaper, and began taping off my windows, head/brake lights, handles, and a few other places that I wanted to keep in its original color. I grabbed my sander and sanded down the entire surface lightly, allowing the spray paint to have something to adhere to. As you could imagine, this took a bit of patience and time but definitely a necessary step.

And Now, Time To Paint!

Courtesy of Kayla Glass

To paint, I used Rust-oleum Gloss Protective Enamel in Light Turquoise. Spraying all over, evenly, I used the six cans I ordered online. This took quite a bit of time as well. I took several breaks and my fingers we basically numb from pressing the nozzle on so many bottles for an extensive period of time. My body even had moments where it was giving out but I had to push through.

Eventually, I finished and couldn't be happier! I am just so in love with this color, it fits my personality perfectly! It is just so me.

Tips + Tricks:

OK, ladies, if you're interested in taking on this project for your car, here's what I've learned from trial and error:

Keep costs low. The point of DIY is to not seek service for something you can do yourself. This is a budget-friendly project and can totally be done within whatever budget you wish. But if you plan to spend lots of money, it takes the point out of the DIY aspect.

Invest in a spray paint gun, or similar device. My parents had one for me to use and it was like discovering water. It was the best thing ever. I totally underestimated how tedious and strenuous it is to spray paint an entire car with just the can. Purchase something to assist you, spare yourself the hand and finger cramps.

Personalize, personalize, personalize! I decided on a few final personal touches by adding succulents, a steering wheel cover, and some beautiful backseat pillows. My car morphed into a true reflection of my personality and outlook on life. This was intentional. I even named her Cotton Candy! Also, the anticipation of completing the project to see the final results, and seeing an item you own be brought back to life, is entirely worth the work.

Final Results

The finished product is amazing! I'm super obsessed with everything about this car, it literally couldn't have turned out any better.

But do I have any regrets?

Courtesy of Kayla Glass

Absolutelynot! In the end, I am so pleased with my results that I would do this a hundred times over. I love DIY projects and I am obsessed with this one. So, there are zero regrets.

Cotton Candy and I actually look forward to seeing you guys on the road!

To watch the full transformation of Kayla's car, you can subscribe to her YouTube channel. Also, for more pics, tips, and tricks, you can follow her on Instagram at @youngladybusiness.

Featured image courtesy of Kayla Glass

Before she was Amira Unplugged, rapper, singer, and a Becoming a Popstar contestant on MTV, she was Amira Daughtery, a twenty-five year-old Georgian, with aspirations of becoming a lawyer. “I thought my career path was going to lead me to law because that’s the way I thought I would help people,” Amira tells xoNecole. “[But] I always came back to music.”

A music lover since childhood, Amira grew up in an artistic household where passion for music was emphasized. “My dad has always been my huge inspiration for music because he’s a musician himself and is so passionate about the history of music.” Amira’s also dealt with deafness in one ear since she was a toddler, a condition which she says only makes her more “intentional” about the music she makes, to ensure that what she hears inside her head can translate the way she wants it to for audiences.

“The loss of hearing means a person can’t experience music in the conventional way,” she says. “I’ve always responded to bigger, bolder anthemic songs because I can feel them [the vibrations] in my body, and I want to be sure my music does this for deaf/HOH people and everyone.”

A Black woman wearing a black hijab and black and gold dress stands in between two men who are both wearing black pants and colorful jackets and necklaces

Amira Unplugged and other contestants on Becoming a Popstar

Amira Unplugged / MTV

In order to lift people’s spirits at the beginning of the pandemic, Amira began posting videos on TikTok of herself singing and using sign language so her music could reach her deaf fans as well. She was surprised by how quickly she was able to amass a large audience. It was through her videos that she caught the attention of a talent scout for MTV’s new music competition show for rising TikTok singers, Becoming a Popstar. After a three-month process, Amira was one of those picked to be a contestant on the show.

Becoming a Popstar, as Amira describes, is different from other music competition shows we’ve all come to know over the years. “Well, first of all, it’s all original music. There’s not a single cover,” she says. “We have to write these songs in like a day or two and then meet with our producers, meet with our directors. Every week, we are producing a full project for people to vote on and decide if they’d listen to it on the radio.”

To make sure her deaf/HOH audiences can feel her songs, she makes sure to “add more bass, guitar, and violin in unique patterns.” She also incorporates “higher pitch sounds with like chimes, bells, and piccolo,” because, she says, they’re easier to feel. “But it’s less about the kind of instrument and more about how I arrange the pattern of the song. Everything I do is to create an atmosphere, a sensation, to make my music a multi-sensory experience.”

She says that working alongside the judges–pop stars Joe Jonas and Becky G, and choreographer Sean Bankhead – has helped expand her artistry. “Joe was really more about the vocal quality and the timber and Becky was really about the passion of [the song] and being convinced this was something you believed in,” she says. “And what was really great about [our choreographer] Sean is that obviously he’s a choreographer to the stars – Lil Nas X, Normani – but he didn’t only focus on choreo, he focused on stage presence, he focused on the overall message of the song. And I think all those critiques week to week helped us hone in on what we wanted to be saying with our next song.”

As her star rises, it’s been both her Muslim faith and her friends, whom she calls “The Glasses Gang” (“because none of us can see!”), that continue to ground her. “The Muslim and the Muslima community have really gone hard [supporting me] and all these people have come together and I truly appreciate them,” Amira says. “I have just been flooded with DMs and emails and texts from [young muslim kids] people who have just been so inspired,” she says. “People who have said they have never seen anything like this, that I embody a lot of the style that they wanted to see and that the message hit them, which is really the most important thing to me.”

A Black woman wears a long, salmon pink hijab, black outfit and pink boots, smiling down at the camera with her arm outstretched to it.

Amira Unplugged

Amira Unplugged / MTV

Throughout the show’s production, she was able to continue to uphold her faith practices with the help of the crew, such as making sure her food was halal, having time to pray, dressing modestly, and working with female choreographers. “If people can accept this, can learn, and can grow, and bring more people into the fold of this industry, then I’m making a real difference,” she says.

Though she didn’t win the competition, this is only the beginning for Amira. Whether it’s on Becoming a Popstar or her videos online, Amira has made it clear she has no plans on going anywhere but up. “I’m so excited that I’ve gotten this opportunity because this is really, truly what I think I’m meant to do.”

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