Best non-reflective dash covering/paint

I'm looking for suggestions for the best dashboard covering. I've been told the dash reflects off the windshield in bright sunlight. Has anyone come up with a good color, coating, or material that they think is the best to eliminate most or all of this glare? I know the factory cars were simply painted flat black. Any other ideas?



David Morton

Lifetime Supporter
Most of the 917 cars I saw had a black, possibly synthetic(alcantara?) upper dash
with black (real suede) wheel.
My wifes Volvo has a beige coloured dash which drives me mad but she seems not to notice it. In fact most of what goes on around her when she's driving escapes her notice. She is blonde as well.
Dave M


Mark, I have wrestled with this for quite a while now. I attempted to put a wrinkle coat on my (fibreglass) dash with the readily available wrinkle coat paints from people like plasticote, etc. Some would wrinkle well and I would get around 80% success; some would wrinle poorly and I would get 20% success. Just the other day I went to an automotive paint supply to pick up some vinyl paint for the rear window and there was a texture coating specifically for fibreglass! I had been in the store asking for something like that several times??? I'll get specific information on the texture coating if you'd like.

I had pretty much resigned myself to having a vinyl or leather cover made for it. That seems to be the most common way to cover the top of the dash. The fibreglass dash doesn't lend itself to attaching trim pieces well so it seems most use a stiched edge and the glue the vinyl/leather down. I hope Mike Coats doesn't mind, but here is a picture of his dash that he sent me as an example of how it can be done:
Hey Lynn,

Yes I would be interested in getting the name of that texture coating. I thought about leather but most of it is too shiny. Hmm, my seats are leather and pretty dull. I wonder if ERA has some of similar stock with a similar surface finish.

And David,

What is alcantara? Been to the site but it's hard to distinguish whether it's fabric like or leather like.

Thanks for the suggestions.

Alcantara is an expensive suede-like leather. It does look the part, sort of 'luxury-race' IYKWIM!

FWIW My GTD dash came trimmed in black leather, similar to the picture above. As I have to cut the 'ears' off the dash to accomodate my roll-cage, I've discovered the leather is glued 'all over' the surface of the dash.

I don't get any reflection problems.

I originally painted my dash in satin black (spray) but did have annoying reflections. I have since changed it to matt balck and its fine BUT it does stay dusty.


The product that I saw is SEM #39853. When I did a search on this, I found a site which has about 8-10 different texturing products. Several of these do not require heat making them very good candidates for fibreglass dash use. Check out Superior Restoration Products - Texture Guide


I just talked with one of Superior's technical guys in California and he said that the SEM product I mentioned above leaves a pimply finish rather than a grainy finish. He suggested their MIRACLE DASH TEXTURE PARTS A & B. This two part texture has the properties such that if you use A heavier it will widen the ridges and if B is heavier it will widen the rivers. A 4 oz. can of each is $8 and change, so a dash will cost $16-32.

Now the down side: they use this on metal and vinyl covered dashes all the time, but he said he had never used it on fibreglass. So there is a bit of an unknown here. You also have to put a color coat (dye) on it as well.
I think this MDTA & MDTB might have a better chance than your everyday wrinkle coat which is just plain old enamel paint that you purposely do a bad job with. I found that curves that were smooth, like the front edge of the dash, would hardly wrinkle at all (that is why you need heat: so it will setup before it can run off and get thin) and lower spots would wrinkle excessively.

[ December 09, 2002: Message edited by: Lynn Larsen ]
One of the tricks we used back when I was a teenager, for painting firewalls, was to spaypaint them, but don't stir the paint. It comes out sort of like the kids "string thing" toys. It gives a textured finish and it can be any color you want, or finish you want, or layered with a second or third color. All you need is some imagination.

For those in the U.K.
We prepare rally cars, and have our dash panels flock coated to eliminate reflections in the windscreen.
As I understand it, the panels are coated with an adhesive, and electrostatically coated with flock fibres. The fibres can be any length (within reason!) and can be any colour (within reason!).
The finish is very durable.
We use:
Thomas and Vines Ltd, Watford.
Contact: Mr thomas.
Tel: 01923 775111.
Qualplast Ltd, Birmingham.
Contact: David Carrow.
Tel: 0121 3575858.
Both are extremely helpful.
Good luck.

Brian Magee

I have dark blue Alcantara on my dashboard
and have no problems with reflections.
I have also had my seats covered in it.
It is 'a micro-fibre suede' and comes in different qualities for each application.
The seat quality is thicker. It is very easy to keep clean and is not cold like leather.
It is not cheap but I am completely happy with it.

The English agent is Boyriven Ltd. and their e-mail address is [email protected]

I know this sounds like an advert but I am nothing to do with the company, just a satisfied customer.

Presently Alcantara with UV protection is not available in the US. At least that is what I am told. Are you guys using non-UV protected stuff presently?



I sent an email to the Australian distributor for Alcantara and here is the reply:

Cost of Alcantara ex Sydney store is Aus.$100 per metre. The fabric is 1,3m wide. We stock a wide range of colours and most is the upholstery grade. Let me know what you think. Considering that a small quantity of fabric, it can generally be shipped by Fedex, DHL, UPS or similar.

Andrea Gambacorti, Director
GINEICO Pty. Ltd. level 1, 276 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills - 2010 Tel. 02 - 96901522 Fax. 02 - 96901822
[email protected]

This works out to about $36.36 a square yard. A piece 1 X 1.3 M = 1.555 yd^2 and $100AUD = $56.54USD.
From: "Marc" <[email protected]>
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: Automotive grade Alcantara

thank you for your enquiry for Alcantara

auto motive Alcantara in pannel quality is £45.20 per linear metre + vat and carriage width is 128cm

Marc Duncan
General Manager
Boyriven Ltd

Marc at Boyriven is sending me a pattern card for their automotive panel grade alcantara. It's 12/19/2002. Anyone who wants to see this sample send me your address and I will make a list and ship it and the sample to the first person on the list. Everyone has to agree to pass it on to the next person on the list or you can't play. I'll only keep it a week so if you read this in January it and the list are already gone.

I'd recommend Alcantara for the dash, but bear in mind that although it's a great washable material is tends to bobble after a while if used on seats (check out any ageing Thema/Integrale) This problem seems to be exaggerated by demin/canvas clothing (I know because I've got two very pricey sofas covered in the stuff, and after 7 years they need recovering)!

John S.

Brian Magee


It might be worth cutting a small sample of the Alcantara from somewhere on your sofa where it won't show and send it to Boyriven to find out which quality they have used. I have done 14,000 miles in my 40 wearing denims and I have seen no sign of bobbling.