The Dash Peel. A problem I started noticing in some of the earlier model vehicles a few years back and have been fixing them ever since. The cause is the water based dyes being used on dashes and some trim pieces being lifted from the plastic by solvent based dressings and cleaners being sprayed on the inside of our cars in the attempt to keep them looking new and clean.
Solvents and water based dyes just don’t mix, obviously.
From about the year 2000 or so the auto manufactures have been using a standard black plastic to mold some of the trim pieces and dashes in your vehicle, then dyeing them to color spec with a water based dye. Or just dyeing the plastic the same color like in the Cadillac Escalades. I’m guessing the reason for this was a couple of things, look and feel for one, and cost. I’m not really sure if these are the reason, but there are a lot of dashes and trim pieces peeling, from the solvents we spray on the inside of our cars. So a word to the wise, find water based dressings, and use only mild detergents mixed with water to clean your auto interior. Make sure to check with your local car wash or detailer too, and make sure that they are using water based products to clean your car.
Now how to fix the problem of a peeling dash. My advise to you is if your not confident with this fix then don’t try it, call a professional. You can make a bad thing a really bad thing really fast, believe me, been there done that. The fix is quick and works, but if not done right then bam you have an area twice the size as before. If you haven’t read it then go there now it’s called Sem Sand Free for Repairs. It gives you a step by step way to fixing your problem with your dash peeling.
Sem Sand Free is a wonder chemical when it comes to this type of fix, but you should use a water based dye to color your project. If you use the rattle can dye from the auto store your asking for problems. They spray a heavier coat then a spray gun will and will cause the dash to peel even more due to the fact they are a solvent based dye. So if you have access to a spray gun then spray the dye into a gun then spray the dash with a dry coat of dye, if you don’t have access to a spray gun then hold the rattle can back away from the repair about 18 inches, this will help to create a dry coat in a way, keeping in mind to dye with light coats and let them dry between. You are spraying a solvent onto a water based dye, so light coats, this will help to eliminate more peeling. But my advise to you is use water based, looks and feels better anyways and no worries of more peeling.
When it comes to the smaller trim pieces the same trick applies, but in some cases it’s easier to just strip the dye completely with the Sem Sand Free, then dye the whole piece.