How to Fix a Leather Dashboard in a Car

Written by nikki cash
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Dashboard repair kits differ from regular leather repair kits because they contain materials that mimic the texture on dashboards that leather furniture and clothing do not have. The key component of the dashboard repair is the grain paper used to create the texture needed so that the damaged area blends in with the rest of the dashboard. A heating tool is also provided within such kits.

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Things you need

  • Dashboard repair kit (paints, heating tool, compound, putty knife, backing cloth)

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    How to repair a rip in a leather dashboard

  1. 1

    Clean the area. Use damp cloth with water and soap to clean the damaged area. Then cut off torn edges with a razor knife.

  2. 2

    Apply compound. Use a plastic putty knife to apply the compound onto the exposed surface and fill in the gap. For deeper rips or tears, apply a backing clothing into the upholstery, underneath the leather. The backing cloth should be cut 1/4 inch larger than the damaged area. Smooth out the surface with the putty knife.

  3. 3

    Apply the grain paper. Select the type of grain paper that matches the texture of the dashboard. Cut it into a circle, the size of the damaged area. Place the paper over the damaged area, over the compound.

  4. 4

    Paint. Use a paint colour that matches the colour of the dashboard and paint onto the damaged area. Mix the colours if needed to match colour.

  5. 5

    Heat the grain paper. Plug in the heating tool for two minutes. Then unplug and take the heated tip and, with circular motions, apply heat onto the grain paper so that it transfers onto the compound. Make circular motions for 10 to 15 seconds. Then remove the grain paper.

  6. 6

    Apply finish. Let the compound dry and cool off before applying finish. Apply floor wax onto a rag and wipe onto the damaged area to create shine.

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