See our written guide and video below on the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe car makeover hack!
I had a family member who owned a classic light blue Volkswagen Kombi van, and as a young girl, I used to love cruising around in that old, slow beast, giving peace signs to anyone and everyone who would look our way in the passenger seat!
So when I saw this Little Tikes Cozy Coupe on Facebook Marketplace for $10, I bought it right away with a vision of recreating a little surfer Kombi van for my son, Brooks.
If you can find an older style car without the eyes, snap it up! The above style is called the '30th Anniversary Edition'. A car without eyes are fairly rare and I couldn't find one but if you do, buy it as it will make this project a lot easier! If you have no luck finding a good quality used car, I've linked to purchase a brand new one below.
To renovate our Cozy Coupe car, we purchased the following items*:
♡ 1. Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Car from Target Australia - $139.00 | BUY HERE
♡ 2. Volkswagen Badge from eBay - $7.95 | BUY HERE
♡ 3. Chrome interior door trim from eBay - $7.18 | BUY HERE
♡ 4. Personalised number plate from Etsy- $22.82 | BUY HERE
♡ 4. One spray paint can of Dulux Plastic Primer from Bunnings Warehouse - $12.88 | BUY HERE
♡ 5. Two spray paint cans of Dulux Duramax Gloss in colour Vivid White from Bunnings Warehouse - $25.76 | BUY HERE
♡ 6. Two spray paint cans of Dulux Duramax Gloss in colour Passionate Blue from Bunnings Warehouse - $25.76 | BUY HERE
♡ 7. One spray paint can of Dulux Duramax Bright Finish in colour Bright Silver from Bunnings Warehouse - $20.60 | BUY HERE
♡ Extras needed for this project (check what you have already around the house)
-High pressure water cleaner to clean down the used car (optional) | BUY HERE
-Painting drop sheet | BUY HERE -Face mask for spray painting | BUY HERE -Paintbrush | BUY HERE -Orange oil or similar to remove stickers | BUY HERE -Scourer you won't miss | BUY HERE -4 x plastic bags for the wheels -Painters tape | BUY HERE -Disposable Gloves | BUY HERE -Cling film wrap or go-between freezer wrap | BUY HERE -120 grit sandpaper | BUY HERE -Small piece of cardboard -Selley's Spakfilla | BUY HERE
-Selley's Super Glue | BUY HERE -A whole lot of patience.
* All prices and links were correct at the time of posting.
Cozy Coupe Car Makeover Instructions and Video Process
I removed all of the old Cozy Coupe stickers from the car (the eyes, odometer, mouth etc.) and any Little Tikes plaques. To do this, I used orange oil, an old scourer and elbow grease! Once the stickers were removed, I went over the Cozy Coupe with Selley's sugar soap and water to help clean it, as I bought this second-hand from Marketplace. It was pretty dirty, so I decided to use our high pressure cleaner just to get in to those hard-to-reach places, and this made a big difference. It's hard to paint over old grime and stickers, so if this project is worth doing, do it properly and take the time to get your canvas clean and ready for paint!
Once the Cozy Coupe was clean, dry and free of all stickers, I took a small piece of white cardboard (a bit less than the size of my palm) and stuck it where the Cozy Coupe has an indented area for the mouth, to fill this gap. I then used Selley's Spakfilla to fill the area around the cardboard and set this in to the plastic to fill the gap. I didn't think this would work that well because the Cozy Coupe is plastic, but I did three coats of Spakfilla (and used a hairdryer to dry each layer in-between) and it worked great. The mouth area is smooth (after using 120 grit sandpaper) and no longer indented for a mouth! This step is optional, but I found it made a difference when painting and made my life easier.
STEP THREE I took four plastic bags and put them over the wheels to protect them, use some tape to ensure they're secure. I then used a can of Dulux Plastic Primer spray paint and coated the entire car. The nice Dulux man in Bunnings Warehouse swore by this product, and said it will help the other coats of spray paint adhere better! One spray paint can was plenty for this little car, I have some leftover. You can now leave the car and let it totally dry!
Once the primer was dry, I then spray painted the car in Dulux Spray Paint in colour Vivid White. I chose to paint it all over with two coats, so that it helped to cover up the awful yellow and red colours. Once this is complete, you can leave the car to dry.
This part requires your patience and concentration. And boy, do I really mean that! You now need to get your painters tape and cling film wrap and tape off the sections of the car that will have varying colours. I won't lie, I found this difficult and you really need to take your time to make sure you've taped off every section properly! You need to tape off a 'V' for the front of the car, the seat, and the door trip. You can see my version in my video below.
Once you've taped everything off, you can then start spray painting your second colour that will contrast with your white. I chose Dulux Spray Paint in the colour Passionate Blue. I ended up spraying three coats at least. Once this is complete and you're happy with the colour, you can leave the car to dry. I didn't show this part on camera in my video below, but I also taped up the hub cabs on the wheels and spray painted them silver to make them pop!
Once you're happy with your main colour and white colour, you can remove the cling wrap and tape, and hopefully if you've taped it nicely you'll have fairly neat white lines on your door trip and car seat etc. Mine isn't perfect, but that's OK with me. It is a kids toy, after all!
To finalise the car, I took some silver vehicle trim and placed it on the edges of the car door and at the front of the car to create the famous Kombi 'V'. To make this as toddler proof as possible, I did use Super Glue to help stick the adhesive further. I also stuck on a VW badge and finished off with a personalised Aloha Hawaii number plate!
This project was at times challenging and time consuming, but all-in-all, it was a fun and creative challenge I enjoyed! As I've said, the car isn't perfectly ~neat~ (I'll admit as a Virgo this was VERY annoying lol) but I've come to terms with the fact that it's a kids toy, and Brooks is happy with it! I have more paint in the garage and can always top up any scratches or marks as time goes on if necessary!
BELOW IS THE VIDEO PROCESS IF YOU'RE A VISUAL PERSON!
So that's it! We hope you enjoyed our little guide on how we did the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe car makeover hack! ♡ Any questions or comments? Are you starting this project soon, too? We'd love to hear from you! Tag us at @thejohannessenfamily or contact us!