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How to Repair Dashboard Paint

You can identify painter's tape by its blue color.
blue painters tape image by Jim Mills from Fotolia.com

If you need to repair peeling or faded dashboard paint, you can accomplish your goal by refinishing it with the appropriate type. Before you begin, you should understand a critical point. Dashboards are composed of plastic or flexible vinyl, surfaces that are not conducive for paint adhesion. If you apply ordinary acrylic or latex paints over the top of your dashboard, you will ultimately end up with heavy shedding. If you want the finish to last, you must select special paint, specifically engineered for use over the top of pliable surfaces.

Things You'll Need:

  • Towels
  • Rags
  • Flexible Vinyl Spraypaint
  • Masking Paper
  • Professional Painter'S Tape
  • Dish Soap
  • Coarse Sponge
  • 220-Grit Sandpaper

Clean the dashboard with dish soap, using a coarse sponge. Rinse the dash with wet rags and dry it with towels.

Eliminate peeling paint by sanding it with 220-grit sandpaper. Use the sandpaper to scour the rest of the dashboard, effectively abrading the surface to promote paint adhesion. Stop sanding when the dashboard feels slightly rough.

Protect the windshield and any other areas you do not want painted from paint over spray by covering them with masking paper and painter's tape. Work slowly and carefully, or you may end up with permanent over spray stains.

Apply two light coats of flexible vinyl spraypaint to the dash. Wait two hours between each coat. Maintain an 8-inch distance between the dashboard and the spray nozzle as you apply. Wait four hours before touching the dash.


  • Dirt and grease can greatly inhibit paint adhesion. Be sure to meticulously clean the dash, or you may end up with peeling. Do not use an ordinary acrylic, latex or oil-based paint on a dashboard, or you may end up with cracking and peeling.
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