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What to Expect: Dash Kits and Factory Trim

Most people don't give a second thought, let alone a second look to their dashboard and vehicle interior. For most people, their car's interior isn't an opportunity to customize or upgrade, it just is. If you're reading this though, it's a pretty good guess that you're not like most people and you see all of the possibilities that your car, truck or SUV's dash provides. But, before you run out and buy the sickest dash kit money can buy, we recommend that you take a moment to consider how an aftermarket or custom dash kit will mesh with your current trim.

In the past, most commuter vehicles sported plain, plastic dashes. Upgrades like wood trim (or simulated wood grain as the case may be) weren't generally available and were largely confined to luxury cars. But, since the 1980s, a number of small manufacturers, like Benevento™ founded by Jerry Cioffi in Westchester, NY, began to custom design and cut real wood dash kits for a number of more affordable vehicles. Fast forward almost 40 years later, and dash kits are a ubiquitous part of the automotive interior landscape. Sounds like a win-win, doesn't it? Well, in some ways it is but with the prevalence of factory trim, you now have to be extra careful about the type and finish of aftermarket dash kit you choose.

Dash Kits and Vehicles with Factory Trim

Now, it's not exactly the case that you can't install a dash kit over your factory trim. I mean, it's not like anyone will stop you. However, if you want to hide your stock trim then a custom dash kit is NOT the way to go. In short, when you try to apply a dash kit over your trim, the original trim, being molded dash trim, will show through. So, if you're looking to cover your OEM interior trim, choose a dash wrap kit because a precut dash kit just isn't going to work.

Disadvantages of Stock Trim

  • Stock trim can be hard, if not impossible, to match
  • Aftermarket dash kits can' completely cover OEM trim
  • Factory interior trim is often molded while most dash kits are flat

The Ideal Canvas for Your Dash Kit

A vehicle that has no stock trim is the perfect canvas for you to express your unique style and personality. Choose from a variety of high-gloss and matte woodgrains, carbon fibers, chromes, brushed metals or even camouflage or sticker bomb patterns. The sky really is the limit since you don't have to worry about trying match or complement your choice with an existing trim. In addition, since most factory trim is made using polyurethane resin, it can discolor, crack and fade over time — in other words, when you install a brand new dash kit next to old trim the difference is glaringly obvious.

Dash Wraps to the Rescue

Whether or not you have pre-existing trim on your dashboard, dash kits aren't the only game in town. If you want to hide factory trim or simply restyle parts of your dash or interior panels that a normal flat or molded dash kit can't cover, a dash wrap is just what you need. Choose from 3M™ feature Series 1080 films or Rwraps™ vinyl film and quickly and easily restyle, restore and upgrade your interior. Get a completely custom look without having to break the bank.