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Author Topic:   Paint for Instrument Panels
BBS posted 02-27-2010 07:09 PM ET (US)   Profile for BBS   Send Email to BBS  
Any suggestion for what type of paint to use on the black instrument panels? Mine are pretty scratched up and I just removed them to refinish. They look to be aluminum.
deepwater posted 02-27-2010 07:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for deepwater  Send Email to deepwater     
If they are metal try powder coating
glen e posted 02-27-2010 07:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for glen e  Send Email to glen e     
Take them to any body shop and have them sandblasted and re-shot with DuPont Imron. You won't believe the gloss and they are virtually scratch proof..
Tom W Clark posted 02-27-2010 09:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
Actually, gloss (even black) is the last thing you want on those instrument panels. The idea is to reduce glare which is why Whaler's supplier used flat black paint on them in the first place.

Powder coat in satin or flat is an excellent idea.

A can of Rustoleum Satin or Flat Black spray paint works very well and is easy and inexpensive.

glen e posted 02-27-2010 09:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for glen e  Send Email to glen e     
Aw cmon Tom - the face of every dash by every mfr is gloss gelcoat...I could see your point on an aircraft but a recreational boat is different. Now, the top of the dash should be matte but the dash face can be gloss - we use acrylic plex and have been for years.
jmorgan40 posted 02-28-2010 07:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for jmorgan40  Send Email to jmorgan40     
I used Rustolium Hammered Finish spray paint and they turned out pretty good. I am pleased with the result and th cost to refinish was a can of spray paint and some white pinstriping
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jimh posted 02-28-2010 11:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I have used Krylon brand aerosol spray paint with good results when painting aluminum panels.

When I remade the dashboard instrument panel on my Boston Whaler boat I used flat or satin lustre black paint. See:

Chuck Tribolet posted 02-28-2010 12:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
"the face of every dash by every mfr is gloss gelcoat"

Not true. The face of the Boston Whaler dash is typically
flat black.

Gloss black is a bad idea. It's hard to do well, and shows
every scratch, finger print, and salt crystal.


elaelap posted 02-28-2010 01:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
Gloss is the worst choice. Just what you need, bright reflections off the panel when you're bouncing along in choppy stuff on a sunny day and need to take a quick glance at your instruments. Flat black Rustoleum. Cost: $5.00.


glen e posted 02-28-2010 07:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for glen e  Send Email to glen e     
Yeah a terrible idea - just like on this new Whaler outrage - like all the other gelcoat gloss dashes they make in the outrage and conquest series.I know you guys like to prove me wrong but believe me, every baot we do starts and ends up with gloss. We do use darker colors and when we create true dashes from Tecnographics - a dash plate maker -they are coated with clear coat and a high gloss.

TransAm posted 02-28-2010 09:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for TransAm  Send Email to TransAm     
My experience has been that the application of matte or gloss finish on an instrument panel is more of a personal preference than anything else. I have re-made the instrument panel 3 times in the last 2 years because of the addition of new gauges and a larger chart-plotter. I experimented with matte black, gloss black and a hammered finish. Their was no measurable difference in glare among all 3. Once gauges and other instruments are installed, there is not that much panel area left. In fact, any glare that was generated was done so from the screen of my chart-plotter and glass bezels of the gauges. I ultimately settled on the hammered finish because it blended best with the leatherette vinyl found elsewhere in the helm area.
grander posted 02-28-2010 09:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for grander  Send Email to grander     
I use starboard in the matte black. you never will have to refinish again. the only problem is it will not be the original piece. It will cut and finish like wood. I have just finished a similar project and it turned out great!
it comes in many thickneses. from 1/8"up.
jmorgan40 posted 03-01-2010 05:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for jmorgan40  Send Email to jmorgan40     
I have been very pleased with the hammered finish from Rustolium. Not glare problems and so far it has held up well to the elements.
fredbrillo posted 03-01-2010 10:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for fredbrillo  Send Email to fredbrillo     
Years ago, when I worked on small airplanes while in college...we used a flat black wrinkle paint..

If you put the effort in the preparation, will result in a really nice matte finish...sand it or better yet, strip it and prime first...then spray the flat wrinkle finish...

westcoastwhaler posted 03-01-2010 11:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for westcoastwhaler  Send Email to westcoastwhaler     
Gloss black will show fingerprints.

Powdercoat with a matte finish. It is not flat and it is not gloss, but has a slight texture which has a good look and feel.

I re-finished my instrument panel last year and I am very happy with the results. The cost for powdercoating was $25 locally which was the minimum order charge.

Tohsgib posted 03-01-2010 11:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
I used the satin wrinkle...looked OEM but without a pinstripe. I did not want the pinstripe as I was using colored bezels behind the gauges.
dino54904 posted 03-01-2010 04:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for dino54904  Send Email to dino54904     
I have also used satin wrinkle paint and had very good results. No glare, no finger prints and durable.
westcoastwhaler posted 03-01-2010 05:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for westcoastwhaler  Send Email to westcoastwhaler     
I couldn't remember the finish that I used when I powdercoated, but stain wrinkle sounds about right. I am very happy with the results.

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