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Old 02-22-2006, 04:05 PM   #1
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1994 30' Excella
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Milwaukee , Wisconsin
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To Paint or Not to Paint My Dashboard

Here's the situation. Today I tore out my entire dash to get at my heater blower motor assembly. The dash in Chummy is old, faded and ugly. It shows its age more than I do. I have some time before the new motor comes in and I want to update the dash. Obviously it can not be replaced. Here's my idea. Paint the hard vinyl part with Kylon Fusion Spray Paint. Recover the cheap vinyl overlay part with a nice leather. Put in a oak inlay where AS had originally had a darker shade of cheap vinyl.
The leather and oak part is no problem the painting part is what gives me the willies. This will be under the window directly in the sun it is a large area and I wonder if it will hold up. Anyone have experience with spray painting hard vinyl. Since the control panel which I will not be touching wraps into this vinyl part I can not cover it with anything other than paint. See picture 2.
I took some pictures of the removal. First picrure shows area with Chummy sign which will become oak, the area below with AC controls will also be oak and the vinyl painted. The padded area above will be covered with leather. Second picture shows the hard vinyl part which I will paint.
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Chaplain Kent
1994 30' Excella 1000, Chummy III- Ford Excursion- 7.3 Turbo-diesel
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Old 02-22-2006, 04:52 PM   #2
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
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Done a lot of painting the last few years. I think you can paint it okay, but the trick is to get paint that is compatabile with the vinyl. What I do is go to the parts store that supplies paint to automotive shops and talk to them. I often use a two part paint that is like epoxy. You mix and spray right away. It is very durable. I also use paint made just for fibre glass. There are all kinds and you should be able to find one that will work for you.

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Old 02-22-2006, 05:54 PM   #3
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I think the Krylon would do the trick on the plastic areas, if you prime it as well, and maybe scuff it up some to make it hold the paint more. You might do a google search on painting automotive plastics.
The idea of upgrading to the leather look is a good one. i use leather like automotive material on my dash face, but the reat is in good shape and I have not redone that only trying to keep it up with vinyl treatments, etc.
As long as you have the dash apart it is a great time to get it done. Keep us posted.
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Old 02-22-2006, 07:36 PM   #4
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Kingwood , Texas
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Spray paint

I just painted the arm rests in our Suburban. They discolored right away and instead of being light gray, it looked like yellow bleeding through. We went to an automotive paint store and matched the trim to their paint and sprayed it. I also sprayed the center console top and floor mats. The paint is made just for this and it looks great. It's about $10 a can, made by SEM and is called Colorcoat for flexible vinyl. Our son has used it when he restored his Mustangs and they look new on the inside now.
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Old 02-22-2006, 10:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Janssvt
The paint is SEM and is called Colorcoat for flexible vinyl.
SEM Colorcoat is definitely the way to go. I've used it on a number of cars with uniformly great results. Most recently, I repainted the nasty, discolored chocolate brown panels in my '74 Argosy, and they look like brand new. They're also a much more pleasing light beige.

Colorcoat isn't cheap, but it comes in dozens of colors and will last a very long time. Be sure to use their Plastic/Leather Prep beforehand, too.

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Old 02-23-2006, 05:37 AM   #6
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Kent, all I can offer is counsel on color choices. Lighter colors can be more reflective and tend to cause trouble in direct exposure to the sun from a visablity standpoint. I'm noticing quite a bit of reflected glare on my new Allante windshield when pointed into the sun.
I'd tend to select a flat finish, darker color.
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Old 02-23-2006, 05:53 AM   #7
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I see Captain Destructo has been at work in your AS too
I vote for the SEM Colorcoat too. It is great stuff. I used some to paint some different colored pieces on a car we were putting back together (reject from the salvage yard) and after 2-3 years it still is holding up.

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Old 02-23-2006, 06:18 AM   #8
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1994 30' Excella
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Looks like I find some SEM today. Now about that color Glen. My thought was a lighter color to avoid glare but you say a darker color. My truck dash is a light grey and my wife's car is a light tan. Presently the dash on Chummy is a faded harvest gold. I did have one vehicle with a dark red dash but think most are lighter colors. Once in awhile the sun shines here and I will be going South this year so what the consensus?
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1994 30' Excella 1000, Chummy III- Ford Excursion- 7.3 Turbo-diesel
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Old 02-23-2006, 07:41 AM   #9
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
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What a cool project! Since you asked for opinions - I think I would go with a neutral darker color for the background "plastic" then add in your updated coach color scheme with the leather and wood inlay.

Maybe a medium grey to charcoal color. Something along the lines of a more updated automotive feel.

BTW - I've been using these guys for many of the upholstry and fabric for our 345 with great prices, results and fast service:

Steven Webster
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