Re-Veneered Dashboard

I just finished re-veneering my dashboard.

I didn’t use burr walnut because I searched for ages trying to find a couple of pieces that were of the correct size and of a pattern/colour that I liked. The cost also had a bearing on this. In the end I found a piece of European Walnut that was the correct size, paper backed too, which is a big help for the princely sum of £10.

I am quite pleased with the way it turned out.

Woodworking/furniture is my job so this turned out to be the easiest job on the car so far.

The pictures are not great but should give you the idea of how it looks.

If anyone is interested in how I went about it then I will post on that subject.



Nice work !



You ply your craft exceedingly well. An astounding pallete of color sand textures, as well.


Please do. I’ve written a few posts about complete Reveneering, or just patching small saloons, but they’re a bit more curve intensive so it’s hard to do a good job without a vacuum press.

What glue did you use? What finish? Did you clamp against a flat board, or use a vacuum press? Did you use a sealer, then sand, or just lay up finish until the grain disappeared.

It’s quite enjoyable work, if a bit fiddly at times. I’ve done a few interiors, so I’ve got my ways, but I’m sure there are things I could do in a less complicated way.

Thanks for the compliments.

The original veneer in the car was pretty non-descript which is partly the reason I went for a more straight grained veneer.

Stripping the old finish was difficult, I’ve tried before and paint stripper won’t touch it so the only way I found is with a heat gun but then it’s nigh on impossible to remove the finish without scorching the original veneer. On closer inspection the original bonding of the veneer was failing so I was able to use a sharp chisel to lift the veneer.

The dash itself was in decent condition. Sanded it to remove the remains of adhesive.

Then I made a pattern of the glovebox lid, slightly oversize out of some 3 mm MDF.

Next I fitted the lid into the dash opening by glueing a piece of copy paper to the back of the dash and lid, clamped it down till the glue had set to stop it moving when I applied the veneer.

I do have a vacuum press so then I laid the veneer over the whole dash and glovebox lid and pressed it using Cascamite adhesive. Powdered resin glue that is completely waterproof and gap filling.

I located the pattern I made carefully over the lid and I was able to cut the lid free using a scalpel This ensured the grain would align from the main dash to the lid. Sanded the piece of paper away that was holding the lid in place.

The finish I used is called “Rustin’s Plastic Coating” Sounds terrible but is an excellent product for this sort of work. It’s a 2 pack polyester resin. that sets rock hard after a couple of hours and is crystal clear. You can flood the surface with this as thick as you can manage the it’s just a matter of keep applying coats till the grain is full. Wet flatting between coats will remove any specks of dirt or runs.

When you feel you have enough coats on then the really hard part is waiting a week or so far the polish to fully cure because, from past experience, it will keep sinking into the grain for some time.

Finally wet flat it down through the grades, I finished at P2000 then buff with any car rubbing compound.

While it is a lot of work you really can get a mirror finish with this stuff.

As an aside, many years ago, 1980’s I was in the market for a CNC drilling machine and the salesman had recently sold one into Jaguar and if you were interested he could arrange for a visit to the woodwork department at Browns Lane to see it in operation.

I made the visit and what an eye opener. It was like a scene from the 1930’s with blokes cutting veneer with razor blades taped to bits of 2 x 1. and pressing the parts in an old rubber bag vacuum press not much bigger than my kitchen table…