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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone else find that their dashes have aged to the point that when even clean they have a whitish discoloration of the vinyl?

like this:


My dash was the only part left that looked really old, so I decided to quickly paint it. I cleaned it up with alcohol to remove the years of (likely) armorall exposure. I also repaired some cracks (not exceedingly well, but better than before) with bondo. We'll see if that lasts. I used VHT vinyl dye because I had already used it for the door panels, e-brake cover, and plastic pieces in the car. I hear SEM also makes a good product. We'll see how long this specific pain/dye lasts. So far, so good though...






In person, it looks brand new. brand freaking new. I hope that it lasts :sweatdrop: I painted it in situ, then used goofoff to remove the paint from the chrome gauge surrounds and the gem lights.
 

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How did you apply it?

Thanks for posting this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
How did you apply it?
Prep: isopropyl alcohol & paper towel - took off a good deal of dirt. Make sure that the dash is not slippery, i.e. that no silicone product is present on the plastic anymore. You can really feel it with your fingers when its clean - it feels really dry (then remove the oil your finger left) You can also do one final wipe with goof-off (like an acetone type product) but it should be quick. The goof-off doesn't work well with vinyl. Its a strong product

Application: The vht dye is in a spray can. It can run if you spray too close, but if you do several light coats, or a light coat followed by a heavier coat , you should get good results. I just sprayed it on, using cardboard to keep the paint off the window when I sprayed the back of the dash. I put a sheet of plastic down over the new carpet as I did not want any accidental overspray.


I also sprayed the defroster vents after cleaning them well. They came out real nice. Now all the parts of the dash are the same shade of black.
 

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Thanks, looks great in the pictures. Nice work.
 

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Please say a bit more about using bondo to repair the dashboard cracks. Were they cracks or canyons? Any before photos? After looks pretty good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Please say a bit more about using bondo to repair the dashboard cracks. Were they cracks or canyons? Any before photos? After looks pretty good.
I'll have to look for some before/after photos. I did not take any photos after having applied bondo (its pink in color) - just after painting. I had "canyons," like where it had been cut (by accident) and a single crack at the corner of the glove box. You can see the "canyon" in the first photo above (just to the right of the radio). And the crack as well, fixed with JB weld. I had to bondo the canyon twice (building up the material each time). I just had to wait about an hour between applications. Then I sanded it down and got it ready for painting. I found that the texture was not a good match, so you got a sheen (visible in the second photo) that was different than the painted vinyl. To get around this I would need to lightly sand, then apply a glaze and then repaint. The crack was sanded down and then bondo was applied to make the area more level. Then it was sanded and painted. Here as well, you can see that there was a repair (see above photos 2 and 3).



This VHT is very amenable to touchups, so the glaze and paint can be done at any point. Its $8 per can... its a real cheap way to keep your significant other impressed

I'm an engineer, so it kills me to not finish jobs to 100% but all the snow and ice is finally gone here. A winter of working on the inside of this car (in temps from -10F to 10F), and its mechanically ready to drive around. I couldn't resist not taking it out. The dash was the last think I did (see my thread on replacing the carpet), and it looks so much better than it did before that I think its a good stopping point, unless it starts to crack again.
 

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Is this dye that you used suitable for exterior applications? I.E, for black exterior trim? What exactly is the finish, shiny matte or a flat matte?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Is this dye that you used suitable for exterior applications? I.E, for black exterior trim? What exactly is the finish, shiny matte or a flat matte?
This is what the door panels look like (they were originally tan vinyl):



The dash is more of a semi-gloss matte, I think its the appropriate sheen for this vinyl. I'll try and get some good pictures outside today.

As far as using it outside, I don't know how well it will hold up to the elements. I'll be testing it as I go on the dash so we'll see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
more photos....





(I'm not sure where this emblem comes from...)






 

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Sure looks like new
 
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