Painted dash

I own a 2001 mercury cougar and I would like to paint some dash pieces. I’ve never done this before and I was wondering how hard it is to take the dash apart and what kind of paint should be used? As I mentioned before this is my first time painting dash parts so any other help is greatly appreciated. Thanks

Unless there is a really good reason to paint your dash, I wouldn’t mess with it. It will never look as good as what Ford did to it at the factory, and will lower the trade in value of your car when that time comes.

Dash boards can be some of the most difficult things to work on - they’re not built for easy disassembly, and can be hard to reassemble without creating rattles. Better to avoid this, or paint in place with masking tape, etc.

If you want to paint it black, I would probably use black paint that is designed to paint exterior black plastic parts, such as 80s vintage bumpers that are sun damaged. That paint is least likely to attack the plastic and accelerate splitting of the plastic.

I agree with MG that it will likely not look good when you are finished. I own a couple of cars that have tan vinyl dashs that reflect off the inside of windshield and interfere with vision. I would love to paint them flat black, but I am afraid of what the result would look like.

Purchase a service manual for your car. Haynes is a pretty good manual, or you can get a factory manual (Haynes will be less expensive). The manual will have detailed instructions for removing the dashboard. You should read through the procedure before you decide to go ahead with this. Dashboard removal and installation can be complicated in a modern car.

I’m not an expert on paint, but I’ve seen plenty of cars with painted dashboards, so there must be some sort of paint that will stick to the flexible plastic parts of the dashboard.

It won’t be easy to disassemble a dash and you will need the factory service manual. I don’t know what you are talking about painting but if you are talking about painting the vinyl part of the dash, you need to use vinyl paint. SEM makes a multitude of colors to match factory and available at NAPA or If you are talking painting metal portions that are already painted, you can get matching interior paint at a good automotive paint store but it won’t be cheap.

There was a flex agent that you could use with regular paint for the soft dashboards. The dashboards would be slightly flexible and without the additive, the paint might crack. It came in a pint can with a screw on lid. You could spray the paint from an airbrush. Auto supply or body shop would be where to get it. I am not a good painter but the dash looked like new when I changed the color from blue to maroon.