Customizing Your Interior
For those interested in economically customizing the interior of their cars there are four major options available:
- (1) Dash covers made from textiles or synthetic fibers;
- (2) Dash painting;
- (3) Polyurethane dash kits;
- (4) vinyl appliqué dash kits.
Each of the four options presents the end user with its own unique benefits and disadvantages which we will discuss below.
In terms of aesthetics, textile dash covers such as those sold by Dash Designs are, in the author’s opinion, the least appealing of all of the options. That said, however, they are by far the easiest to install of the group and are available in a wide variety of colors, fabrics and styles. Another feature of these dash covers is that that they can be custom embroidered with your name, text or logo for an additional charge. One final benefit of this option is that many of these kits can be had for under $60.00 but the fact that these kits are literally only for your dashboard and do not cover the console, door controls or other areas of the interior.
Dash painting is yet another way to customize your interior and would appear to give the best results overall in terms of aesthetics. Although the cost of the paint itself is not, in itself, incredibly high the real cost makes itself apparent when one realizes just ho much time and energy must be devoted to achieving good results. In fact, dash painting requires so much work (the dash must be completely disassembled) and preparation not to mention skill that it can become prohibitively expensive (due to the fact that you usually need to hire someone to do it for you). Another downfall of this method of modification is that the results are permanent—once you paint you can’t go back and change your mind without incurring the expense of a new paint job.
Polyurethane kits are a good choice for many people but can be pricey (a full kit for an SUV can cost upwards of $250). Nonetheless, they are available in a wide variety of colors, finishes and styles. Perhaps the greatest disadvantages of polyurethane kits beyond their cost is the fact once they are applied they cannot be removed without permanently damaging your dash. Furthermore, they is a wide range of quality in poly kit manufacturers so be sure to purchase from a reputable source.
Vinyl dash kits offer the same coverage as poly kits but have the added benefits of being removable and can be obtained for under $45.00. With respect to the other options discussed, vinyl dash kits offer the greatest variety of color and finish choices. Perhaps the only real disadvantage of using these kits is the fact that they require more patience and skill than other method except for dash painting. Fortunately, unlike poly kits there is only one major force in the market today, Rvinyl.com, and they can be found both on their own website, Amazon or eBay.
In short, the four options for custom dash kit and interior modifications we have discussed all have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Dash covers made from textiles (both synthetic and natural) do not have wide appeal and seem to be a relic of the past whereas purchasing a polyurethane kit is always a gamble. Those of you who are absolute fanatics will surely want to go with painting your interior but, in my opinion, your average tuner would be impressed with the results and the price of an Rdash Dash Kit.