How to Make Your Own Custom Dash

by Sheharyar KhanUpdated July 12, 2023
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For many, their car is their most prized possession. While you can customize everything to suit your needs, you can make your own custom car dash to include all the features and gadgets that you wish to install in your car. You can give your car a highly customized unique look by making your own dash and drive around with style sporting your favorite features like DVD players and stereo systems.

Here’s a step by step tutorial for how to DIY a custom dashboard from scratch, so your car dashboard can feel like a new dashboard and give you the classic car, racecar, or roadster of your dreams with the pricing that makes this truck project possible.

Things You'll Need:

  • Tape measure
  • Styrofoam sheets
  • Fiberglass
  • Resin
  • Sanding blocks
  • Dashboard parts

1. Use a Tape Measure to Plan

Use a tape measure to calculate the height and width of the inside of your vehicle. Extract the existing dash from the car and use it as a benchmark for measurements of the new one to ensure that you accurately measure the size for the new one. Incise a sheet of Styrofoam to the dimensions of the dash to make the upper part. You can use a template online to start this out and there are full video instructions online if you’re having trouble with this part.

2. Shape and mold Styrofoam

Shape and mold your Styrofoam to the shape that you have set for your dashboard. Make cut outs in the dash pad for the various features and interior parts you want to install such as DVD players, stereos and anything else. Make openings according to the size of each of the systems and leave about an area of 1/8th of an inch surrounding each gadget as this is where the fiberglass will go. Arc the top and bottom of the Styrofoam according to your preference. Place the final sheet into the area for the dashboard to check whether the dimensions are correct to ensure functionality.

3. Be sure to add Mold Release compound onto final sheet

Add mold release compound onto the final sheet and set the sheets of fiberglass above this compound. Level and even out the layers of the carbon fiber sheets and ensure that they are perfectly aligned with everything – the door panels, the upholstery, even the center console. Outline the openings you made in your Styrofoam to install your gadgets with fiberglass to finish out this custom fiberglass dash.

3. Apply epoxy

Apply a thick coating of resin or epoxy to the pieces of fiberglass with an applicator brush. Let the pieces of fiberglass dry. Take off the mold from the Styrofoam sheet and repeat the procedure for the inside gadget holding openings by applying resin and allowing it to dry before removing the mold.

4. Sand and Polish

Use fine sandpaper to sand and polish your board. Preferably, start with a lower quality and then move onto higher qualities as you continue with the process.

5. Paint Color to your Taste

Paint the dashboard a color of your choice or use sheets of velvet or other material to cover and decorate it. Add the gadgets to their openings and other necessary components like glove compartments.

Helpful Video

Helpful Comments from the video:

  • I honestly think some people hit the dislike button just for the hell of it because this is a great video and there is literally no reason to dislike it.
  • Just want you to know that, by referencing this video along with the videos from another channel, I was able to successfully apply your process to my entire Chevy truck dash pad which was completely annihilated by the sun. Thanks for taking the time to make this video, your efforts are greatly appreciated!!!
  • Excellent, and very informative. I have been considering this type of solution to my gauge placement issue. But by fabricating a new console insert, using the method you've outlined, I think I'll be OK. Thanks a lot! :)

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