Restore Your Scratched BMW Console to Factory New for only $6! Pictorial DIY
So after my last retrofit project of installing the DCT Sport Shifter, I found that the new knob made the rest of my console look extra old and worn. My console cubby doors had the usual BMW rubber coating peeling and scuff marks from years of use.
So I went online and found that these things are about $50 (used on ebay) to $150 (brand new at BMW dealership) to replace.
I also came across many DIYs that showed folks using black spray paint on the doors and a few showing the scrubbing off of the worn out rubber coating completely to reveal the bare plastic underneath. I also saw other suggestions for plasti-dip and a DIY for using plasti-dip on the cupholders/armrest.
So long story short I became interested and got a can of Plasti-Dip at my local Home Depot for $5.98 (the paint/home/hardware sections at your local Kmart, Walmart, Target, Sears, etc... will have this or else go find it at Autozone, Pepboys, or any good Hardware store ) and I proceeded to do this DIY.
So far the Black color is the only color that Plasti-Dip seems to come in and I do wish they had BMW hellbeige/tan, or even gray for our non-black cupholders center armrest console sections.
This DIY is easy and the results are astonishing and makes you wonder why people buy these trim pieces out of Salvage Cars for tons of money to replace their worn ones when just a $6 can of Plasti-dip will make the trim new again.
The only tools I used were a razor blade and scotch tape that I found around my apartment. Screw driver and a T10 will aslo be needed to remove the trim pieces. I also used fine 150 grit sand paper on my steptronic plate trim, but found it was not necessary if your trim isn't super pitted and you are using more than 2 coats.
The most important tool will be your patience. Plasti-Dip takes a long time to dry-even when it feels dry to the touch-it will be moist and soft for up to 4-5 hours after the last coat goes on and your final coat will easily scratch and scuff if you rush to put it back in your car.
Also waiting 30 full minutes or more between coats is highly recommended. Don't ask me how I learned all this but I learned it the hard way.
Said and done, if you do mess up and the coating comes out wrong you can easily peel the coat right off and start over again. Plasti-Dip isn't super permanent like paint but more like liquid rubber.
Start by removing your console trim and gear plate. This is basic 101 DIY but the pictures below should prevent you from running into any surprises.
NOTE: If the pictures don't all load here is the link to the album:
IMPORTANT PLEASE READ:
Okay. I am a straight up guy and like to stand behind the work I recommend and be honest about my write ups so I followed up on some of the comments in my thread warning me about what was said and heard concerning the longevity of using plasti-dip and I did some anoraking online and found all the negative reviews of plasti-dip I could find.
1. Most of people using the dip that complained about longevity issues were using the aerosol spray on tool handles and notepads or using the dip as a sort of adhesive or waterproof sealant whereas the liquid dip in the big can would've been thicker and better.
2. Most of fanatics using the dip were using it on grills and bumper trim and found that the sun, and extreme weather literally disintegrated the dip coatings. Now I don't want to be captain obvious here but what were they thinking...would happen. Other fanatics were using it on cup holders or armrest console trim where the trim gets constant daily wear-tear abuse, like being rubbed on, coffee spilled on, feet kicking on, etc... again what were they thinking.
3. The other 2% of people that didn't recommend the dip admitted that they went into applying the dip expecting lifetime quality results and/or something of mythical Godly standards. and the dip didn't live up to "their" expectations for whatever they were trying to do.
Like I said for $6 a can and console trim that I hardly touch on a daily basis (so the dip coating in not under constant duress) and can be easily pulled out, cleaned off, re-sprayed and/or replaced if this project fails, my expectations for right now has been met and I will still be happy if it all goes to sh!t after 3 months.
That said, Neil is correct and I should have spent (and also should have addressed in my write up) that proper time needs to be spent to prep the surface. Removing the old and worn rubber trim completely would be best in preserving the lifetime of the plasti-dip coating or whatever spray coating you use to refinish your trim.
This addition to the DIY will add lots of time but also ensure that the end results are indeed end results and not a 1st draft in a endless string of drafts.
That said I have no regrets with how I did this in my car and I'm ready to accept failure or whatever follows in the months to come.
After all I wasn't expecting a new BMW in a $6 can of Plasti-Dip!
APRIL 7th, 2010 EDIT:
What had happened was I put too many coats on the thing. I peeled off all the original plasti-dip, sanded the plate better and re-coated it with only one coat and it looks fab now!
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