View Full Version : How to get that cracked vinyl look??

12-21-2006, 11:31 AM
A friend and I are planning on doing our first fiberglass work today and we're gonna try to match the finish to the interior of his car. He drives a volvo with a black interior that has this cracked plastic/vinyl look to it... can't really think of any other way to describe it.

Anyways, does anyone know of a way to recreate this kind of finish?

12-21-2006, 11:32 AM
reupholster his car to match the box :D

12-21-2006, 11:38 AM
Buy some vinyl?

12-21-2006, 11:48 AM
I guess cracked vinyl isn't the best description... it's plastic... and cracked looking... when I get over there I'll get a picture of it.

12-21-2006, 12:04 PM
Sound like your gonna either need vinyl , or sem texture spray :)

12-21-2006, 12:15 PM
I guess cracked vinyl isn't the best description... it's plastic... and cracked looking... when I get over there I'll get a picture of it.

I'm not exactly sure what you are describing, I may be interested in the same topic though. Could it maybe be something like leather grained ABS plastic maybe, thats pretty common for factory interior panels, if so I think you can buy vinyl that has the grain in it. Or could it just be older and have "cracks" or wrinkles in it from wear/tear? I have never been a big fan of the smooth as glass look, at least when trying to match an interior, I like the grain that most factory pieces have. I'm thinking you may need to buy some vinyl to cover your fiberglass, should be able to find it in black if not I'm sure you can find some dye to change it to black.

Could it be something like this... (sorry for taking wild guesses)
http://www.caraudio.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=7445&c=508 Its just a pic of a seat in a Volvo 850 looks to have some "wrinkles" or "cracks" in it

12-21-2006, 03:21 PM
Here's a couple pics of the piece we're glassing onto... we're making a gauge pod and a glossy finish would just look wrong as the rest of the interior has the same texture as this piece.

Any advice is much appreciated... vinyl definitely isn't an option, so I was wondering more if anyone knew of any painting techniques... maybe sponging it with clumps of saran wrap while paint is wet?

12-21-2006, 03:34 PM
I would be very interested in finding out a proper proceedure to reproduce similar things like that. I have been contemplating the same problem for a while and the only thing I can really think of would be to somehow make a negative of that piece and then use it later as a stamp of some sort to your final product. Maybe some sort of gel or rubber could be used to make a fairly flexible "stamp" of a decent sized area of the original and then used to replicate the texture to your new product.

I hope you can come up with a way to recreate that finish onto the fiberglass, I would be very interested to know how it can be done as well. Good Luck, hopefully someone with some more custom fabbing experience can post.

12-21-2006, 05:59 PM
Ha ha your friend must have a mid 80's 740 huh? Those look like door pockets, he's lucky they aren't busted all to hell lol. Check PE and see if they have any vinyl that comes close.

12-21-2006, 08:21 PM
you can get that look with a rag wet with paint

12-21-2006, 08:25 PM
:fyi: you can buy different patterns of vinyl that will match best to your car interior.

i did the same in my car.

12-21-2006, 08:27 PM
i used to work for leather magic, they have the grani pattern you will need, youll have to contact them then send in a sample... Tell them there fellow worker michael reccomended them to u :D


12-21-2006, 09:15 PM
Thanks, pitbull, but this isn't for my car and the guy who I'm doing this for isn't interested enough in factory matching to warrant leather... plus, a leather piece in an otherwise plastic dash would look a bit too odd to warrant the cost. Thanks for the help though.

My friend suggested the saran wrap idea I mentioned above... but then again, he has as much experience with this as I do... anyone know if that'll work?

12-21-2006, 09:17 PM
ok i just thought u were tryin to get the stock grain pattern back in it or somethin like that

12-22-2006, 01:33 AM
It was mentioned already. SEM texture spray.
Depending on how far you hold it from the part, the texture will vary.

12-22-2006, 01:48 AM
What MIGHT work is to paint it and while it's wet dab a paper towel... never tried it but the texture of the paper towel might give you that look.

12-22-2006, 07:18 AM
It was mentioned already. SEM texture spray.
Depending on how far you hold it from the part, the texture will vary.

I tried man :)

Moe Lester
12-22-2006, 11:58 AM
Why isnt vinyl an option? I seriously doubt you are going to find a texture coating that will actually come close to the dash. If you want it to match, youll have to get some matching vinyl and wrap that piece you are building.

12-22-2006, 12:11 PM
Vinyl isn't an option because it's not my car and not my budget.

ramos, I'd assumed "sem texture spray" was a typo for "some texture spray" like fleckstone or something... when I google "sem texture spray" I just find a bunch of people talking about this stuff... mostly about how expensive it is. So I doubt it's an option fore this project.

Anyone have any experience with dabbing at the wet paint with saran wrap? This has now been suggested by several other people as a way to add texture to it... just wondering if anyone's ever tried it...

::edit:: don't get me wrong, the help is much appreciated...

12-23-2006, 11:53 PM
try it out.

12-24-2006, 01:17 AM
SEM texture paint is like 14 bucks a can. Definently practice with it to get the desired effect. Both distance and varying the spray direction (or not) effect final appearance. Great stuff.

The other cheaper option is try truck bed liner in a spray can. It may end up being close enough to make your friend happy.