Car Wood Graining Course Dashboard

1940’s Chevrolet Sedan Dashboard1940's Chevrolet Dashboard Rusty

My auto graining course was created specifically for restoration and custom auto enthusiasts. The course guides you from beginning steps through more advanced wood grain paint methods. 

In the past, I’ve mostly used flat panels to teach graining. While there is some use of masonite panels in this course, I decided to demonstrate some of the challenges involved in painting on an antique steel dashboard. 

I got in touch with Ida at Ida’s chevs’, in the hopes that she would loan me a dash to grain, and ship back to her for display.

She loved the idea and promptly boxed and shipped a 1940’s dash (they were essentially the same from 1941-1948).

Barn find vs field find

I have to say that I was a bit startled to see the condition of the dash when I unboxed it. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I wasn’t prepared for something covered in rust.

It quickly dawned on me that it’s probably rare for a clean/not-rusty dashboard to be pulled out of an antique car and sold, as such a car would likely have been garaged, or at least barn stored. 

Any pieces for sale out of an early Chevy would most likely be from a field car. In Western WA, as in much of the US, field cars can get very rusty. 

Stripped and Primed 

I took the dash to my favorite media blasting service to have the rust removed. When I picked it up, I saw that the years of rust had caused some serious pitting in the steel. 

Pitted steel is not uncommon in antique cars, so I see it as an opportunity to talk about how to deal with it in terms of graining. 

The next steps were to remove oil and dust from the newly blasted steel and apply a few layers of primer. I primed both sides to avoid any further rusting on the back side. 

Antique Chevy Dash for Graining Course

Teaching on a 1940’s Chevrolet dashboard allowed me to share valuable skills like brush and tool work on curved surfaces, sanding and filling, importance of focal points and more. 

The Car Graining Course provides a solid foundation in wood grain painting techniques for auto restoration and custom work. You’ll learn some specific wood types, how to duplicate stock or factory antique grain, color variation and matching, and much more. 

Walnut faux wood painted dashboard

Faux Woodgrain Classes faux painted walnut perfectwoodgrain

4 Responses

  1. Eric
    | Reply

    I do custom auto and furniture refinishing. Right now I have been playing around using auto paints on furniture (base/clear coat)

    • Norman
      | Reply

      Hey Eric. You can get some serious gloss on furniture with auto clears. Very cool.

  2. Vimal
    | Reply

    I need wooden kit for innova crysta GX model.

    • Norman
      | Reply

      I don’t supply pre-fabricated woodgrain kits. You’ll need to search for that in your country. Good luck.

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