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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I was looking at the Dash of my Ford Escape after sitting in my sister-in-law's Toyota Highlander. Her dash has the center stereo/climate control trim, Gauge cluster trim, and door button trims on all four doors painted Silver to match. I was thinking why would Ford make the dash trim in my 2004 Escape XLT black and silver. They added the silver trim and illuminated all the buttons on the doors but forgot to paint all the parts.

Anyways I decided I would fix the problem. So here are the pictures of what I did. Ohh and the perfect plastic paint to match ford factory Silver is Krylon Fusion "Nickel Shimmer". This color is a perfect color match and the metallics of the paint are also a perfect match (very fine flakes). I did a test spray on some plastic i had laying around. I let it dry and tested the adhesion of the paint by trying to scratch it with my finger nails and I bent the plastic in half and the paint didn't separate from the plastic. First I removed the parts that I wanted to paint. Then I washed them in a soap and water solution. After they dried out I wiped them down with alcohol to make sure any dirt and oils were removed. I chose to paint the rear window button trim and the gauge cluster trim. I am also going to paint the lower storage compartment in the area where the plastic dips in and possibly paint the the black top to the center console unit.

This is what I want to paint. the area inside where the compartments are and the accessory outlet. Leaving the perimeter/sides the original med.dark.flint color.

This is the dash with new painted gauge trim.

Here is another shot.

Here is the drivers rear door with painted button trim.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks. I dont know if it is the same. I have been wanting to do this for a while. Im gonna paint the other peice tonight.
My friends 09 has a silver center trim and it looks to be the same color. My problem was finding the combination of a plastic paint, silver color that matched, and making sure the metallic flakes were very fine to match everything. I found the color online and called 15 places till I found some at a Ace hardware near my work. Nickel Shimmer matched perfect.

Ohh I love the Pionner/Premier f90bt it's the best.
 

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Perhaps adding a clearcoat would increase the durability of the paint, helping to make it harder to scratch. Occasionally a clearcoat can alter the color of the paint slightly, though. Also consider a gloss clearcoat vs. a satin clearcoat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Im not sure the clearcoat would help him out too much, if the clear doesnt match chemically it could make a mess. Also the paint is already scratched. He would be better off sanding down the part and use the fusion paint. which doesnt require clear.
 

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Curious,

I was thinking about same thing, and I also picked up silver center radio temp control trim, but it was scratched, so I found Rust-Oleum brand satin nickel paint which matched almost exactly, so I painted door handle trim and pocket handles the same, so my question is this, how hard is it to remove both dash guage trim and center console trim. I see typical spring steel clips, but before attempting to remove, I wondered if there was a best approach, as in, start at top bottom or sides, there are six clips, but I don't want to mess up dash. What about power windows trim, do these pop off easily, I might as well paint them too. Thanks.

Success to all,
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Removing center trim: Just grab at the vent areas and pull firmly away. Then disconnect the HVAC controls and the button wires. You'll need to protect the area of the dash board that is exposed to the clips from the center trim, just below where it meets the lower console. I used a thick piece of cloth, but you could use a heavy tape if it will stick. You will need a screw driver to remove the HVAC controls.

Removing the gauge trim: First adjust the steering wheel to its lowest position. You will need a 6mm hex bit to remove the two screws that hold the trim tight. Once they are removed just grip it and pull the trim away. Again there are only a few clips holding it at this point so it shouldn't be too hard. Be careful not to scratch the dash and steering wheel (if its leather).

Remove the door button trim: You will need to remove the door panels. First look around where the panel meets the metal door and locate and remove any screws. Also remove the screw in the door handle, its covered with a small cap that can be removed with a pick or tiny flat screw driver. Then remove the screw in the pull handle. Now just grab the panel and pull it on the bottom until it has unclipped. You will need to push up to completely detach it, and disconnect the wires attached to the buttons. Next remove the button and trim by gently unclipping it from the side clips. Then you'll need to be VERY gentle and remove the trim from the buttons without damaging the tiny plastic clips holding that in place. It is a pain in the @$$.

I would wash it with soap and water. Then dry it and rub it down with a clean cloth and alcohol and your ready to paint it. I would recommend the Krylon Fusion Nickel Shimmer. It's amazingly durable and hasn't scratched, peeled or yellowed in the year since I sprayed it. Good luck. :)P

Thanks for the props!
 

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OK, took it slow and easy, so trick on center panel is to grab and pull quickly straight out, and it popped off nicely. As to guage panel, two hex screws on top under surface, then carefully pull straight out with shifter all the way down to L to remove. As to door handles, one center screw under plastic cap, pull front out first and then open handle to move cup from door. Power window plates need to come off from front first as there is a plastic lug at bottom which will not release until front is popped first, mine were difficult to pop as you cannot pry off without damaging, so jerking action worked best once I got knife blade under to insert little flat prybar. Rear ones have steel spring clips front and rear, so you can pop them from either end. Painted them all and WOW, what a difference, it was worth all the prep work. I had seen someone use gloss paint, so use matt or flat or you will get reflection on windshield.

Success to all,
 

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I really wanted to do this but I was hesitant. I have all grey panels. Do you think the silver would look good or should I piant them another color?
 
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