Leather dashboards grant a premium aspect to your car. For years people have been inclined towards wrapping the dash in leather.
Leather is most commonly found on seats, dashboards, and door interiors – the key feature of a luxury car that helps it stand out among the rest.
However, plenty of factors are associated with the process of wrapping the dash in leather.
The wrapping procedure, the follow-up process, finding the leather, and figuring out a suitable attachment method require planning.
Hence you must have a clear mind-frame that helps you lay out the steps for wrapping the dash in leather.
Wrapping Car Dashboard In Leather – Steps
Below are the steps usually taken when wrapping the dash in leather.
Removing The Dashboard
For wrapping the dash in leather, the dashboard must be disassembled. You need to be very careful and remain attentive throughout the entire process.
The foremost step indicates that you should disconnect battery terminals to avoid accidents. It would help if you first detached the glove box.
It is the most accessible region to remove. Afterward, you should move to the music system and take it out.
Consequently, you will gain access to the interior region of the dashboard. Next, you should work on the top region to remove it.
Notice that you will only have to remove the screws and bolts holding the dashboard. Do not disintegrate the internal components of the dashboard part.
Furthermore, ensure that you keep labeling the parts and screws as you separate them. By doing so, you can reattach them without any inconvenience.
Attaching The Leather
Most kinds of leather available in the market are synthetic. They may not be long-lasting, but people still opt for ethical obligations.
Nevertheless, not all types of synthetic hides are suitable for your dashboard. For wrapping the dash in leather, you must opt for an adhesive.
There is a range of glues found in the stores that provide different levels of bond strength.
Therefore, while selecting them, you must assess your requirements whether you intend to keep the wrapping permanently or temporarily.
The most commonly used adhesive is Eco-Flo leather weld adhesive.
Moreover, if you want to solidify the attachment further, you can opt for contact cement.
It is a potent adhesive that causes the material to tear up before you can pull it apart. Thoroughly cover the dashboard surface in the adhesive.
Use the residue on the underside of the leather as well.
Ensure that you cover the regions of leather and dashboard in adhesive successively so that it does not dry up. Afterward, meticulously place the leather on the dashboard.
Keep tapping the leather on the dash as you adjust it to prevent it from moving across the surface.
You can also use rollers to streamline the leather attachment further and remove any bubbles or bulges.
Securing The Dashboard
After wrapping the dash in leather, follow the marks you created on the dash and screws to use them as a guide.
Reinstall the top region and afterward place the glove box and music system.
Factors To Consider If You Plan To Wrap Dash In Leather
You should analyze several details before wrapping the dashboard in leather.
Only about 50-40% of the leather available in the market is appropriate for wrapping the dash.
These synthetic materials are readily available, and you can instantly purchase them from the store.
However, you must employ some scrutinizing skills to assess the potential of a particular hide for your car.
Reflective material is not suitable for wrapping the dash in leather. It can hinder vision and become a nuisance for the driver.
The dash directly faces the light and plays a crucial role in providing the road view. Only leathers with a matte finish should be selected for the dashboard.
Furthermore, if you opt for a brighter shade for the hide, you will notice high reflecting rays.
It would be best if you always preferred darker hides so that they can absorb the light and provide you with a clear outlook of the road.
Moreover, a thin leather sheet is more appropriate for the dash. The thicker the leather, the more it requires a solid adhesive to remain on the dash.
The thick hides also have a considerable height. Therefore, they can slightly conceal the view from the windshield.
The costs of wrapping the dash in leather depend upon the material you select, the adhesive, and the availability of tools.
If you have the essential tools present, you will have to invest in the leather and glues.
Synthetic and original leather are the two forms widely found across the market. The synthetic versions consist of polyester and lubricants to retain the leather’s finish.
The original hides last longer than synthetic ones, and the quality is also significantly better.
However, these can enhance the overall expenses, and finding them can be difficult.
If you call an expert to wrap the dash in leather, the costs will be around $400-$800.
If you carry out the entire protocol through your abilities, you will have to invest $200-$400.
Potential Damages To Leather
Completely wrapping the dash in leather enhances the outlook of your vehicle. However, there are plenty of damages that can occur to the material.
It is the most common phenomenon that occurs with synthetic leather.
The material shrinks due to synthetic compounds such as polyester and PVC. Furthermore, consistent light exposure also accelerates the procedure.
You may notice the leather tearing from specific points. The threaded regions are the first ones to bear the consequences.
The adhesives such as contact cement are pretty powerful, and it effectively holds the leather.
Therefore, the shrinkage causes the material to break down without being readjusted on the dash.
With time, the adhesive also loses its integrity. The substance dries up, and the bond between the leather and the glue weakens.
Almost all adhesives exhibit this behavior. When their hold on the leather decreases, it starts moving across the dash.
Even if the entire adhesive coating does not get affected, there will be particular regions where this phenomenon will be more prevalent.
You will see bubbles at these sites.
These are also quite prominent in the structure of the leather. Over time the leather quality becomes compromised, followed by changes in structure.
In the case of warmer climates, the leather rapidly becomes worn out. As a result, creases and cracks appear on the dashboard surface.
Is Leather Covering Worth It?
Wrapping the dash in leather is an exceptionally detailed and passive process.
The leather also undergoes significant changes and loses attractiveness in its appearance.
There is no practical way to repair the damages rather than replace the leather.
The dashboard might also lose its natural appeal once you cover your dashboard in the hides. In such cases, you may consistently feel the urge to wrap it again.
A wrapped dashboard requires maintenance. You must clean it frequently and ensure that you apply measures to retain its quality.
While wrapping the dash in leather, keep the room for readjustment.
Do not use powerful adhesives for wrapping the dash in leather; they may damage it.
By doing so, you can rewrap it or choose to permanently remove the leather without compensating for the integrity of the original dash.
With comprehensive experience in writing exceptional quality articles and blogs about cars and related stuff, Daniel is one of the finest bloggers and a hardcore car lover we have. He is an ASE certified technician with an across-the-board experience of 10 years in the industry. He could not help tinkering with anything he got his hands on from a young age, which led to his remarkable career in the automotive repair industry.
When he is not under any hood, you can find him on the water or in the woods to pursue his passion for hunting and fishing. He has been writing for multiple sectors and is a regular contributor to several publications.
He currently owns a Nissan 300ZX TT and a Pearl Yellow but plans to upgrade it to 550 HP. His favorites include the Koenigsegg CCX and Lamborghini Diablo 6.0 VT, but for him, the Ferrari 360 Spider is one of the sexiest cars that exists to date.
Being an avid world traveler, he has spent most of his time analyzing the automotive markets, latest technology, and local favorites to enhance his knowledge base. He is currently living in North Caroline, where it’s all about food and coffee and, of course, cars.