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Old 04-01-2010, 03:06 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Westchester, NY
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Cool Restore Your Scratched BMW E46 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:

Last edited by delmarco; 04-01-2010 at 03:27 PM.
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