How to repair a car dash

Written by si kingston
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How to repair a car dash
Remove unsightly cracks from your dashboard using a dashboard repair kit. (alvis vintage car image by Brian Stewart-Coxon from

Sun and heat create unsightly cracks in a car's dashboard. Products on the market claim to fix these dashboard cracks and many dashboard repair kits provide the required materials including vinyl filler. If you prefer to use silicone caulking instead of vinyl filler, purchase it separately. To correct a crack in the dash, short of replacing it or covering it with a dash cover, use a dash filler and a few tools.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Utility knife
  • Sand paper
  • Vinyl repair kit
  • Silicone filler
  • Scissors
  • Hair dryer
  • Dashboard vinyl paint

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  1. 1

    Wipe off the entire dash with a moist rag. Ensure all debris and dust are gone. Dry the dash completely with a dry towel. Let it sit for a fifteen minutes to ensure all moisture is gone.

  2. 2

    Reshape the crack into a V-shape with the utility knife. The point is not to cut the crack so that it is wider, it is to make enough room to add the silicone caulking or vinyl filler. Make the "V" as narrow as possible.

  3. 3

    Remove any debris from the dash and crack created by inserting the V-shaped cut. Dust the debris away with a dry towel, or wipe again with a moist towel. Dry off any excess moisture from the dash.

  4. 4

    Add masking tape to the sides of the crack. This is to prevent the filler from getting elsewhere on the dash.

  5. 5

    Push the vinyl or silicone filler out of the tube and spread it into the crack with your fingers or a spatula. Wipe away any excess filler that has accidentally spread to other parts of the dash. Wait for the filler to completely dry; this may take about 15 minutes.

  6. 6

    Sand the dried filler down with a piece of sand paper so it is even with the surface of the dash.

  7. 7

    Pour the dash repair compound over the dried and sanded filler. The compound acts as the adhesive for the texture paper.

  8. 8

    Press the texture paper over the repair compound. You may want to cut the texture paper so that it matches the size of the crack, if there is a big difference between the texture paper and the dashboard's texture. You may need to dry the texture paper to the compound. Check the directions that came with the kit to see if this is required.

  9. 9

    Spray a larger, more visible crack with dash vinyl paint. Ensure the paint colour matches the dash.

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