Painting the bulkhead behind the dash

Just a very short midweek bonus post to keep continuity and completeness with pictures, and to take a break from work which is driving me nuts this week for some reason…

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, to catch the last of the light I left off work at 5pm sharp (then started again at 8pm after tea with The Archers). It’s been a nice week weather-wise so far and I need to make the most of it.  I should have a clear weekend so I want to be ready to get the dashboard area finished before moving on to tasks for the upcoming MOT.

There were just a few light rust patches on this section of bulkhead and it’s very fiddly trying to treat them and paint between the obstructions. With my last project (Series 3 lightweight) I had the luxury of removing the bulkhead so it was easy to get it looking like new. My near-field eyesight is getting bad and I can’t seem to get the right magnification level from my vast collection of Lidl’s reading glasses so this whole episode may force me to visit an optician for the first time!

For this job I really wanted to remove more, (wiper mechanism and fly-screens etc) but I must not get carried away. Even with the instrument panel hanging loose there was no way I could get the drill near to one of the pop rivets holding the right-hand fly-screen so I’ve had to leave it in place. The other one came out easily and meant that I could treat right up to the rubber seal.

I sanded the surface rust down to bare metal and treated the areas with Granville Rust Treatment. I then rollered on two coats of Finnegan’s No 1. This was a tin I’d found in the shed, I understand it’s now reformulated and re-branded as ‘Hammerite No 1 Rust Beater’. The old stuff is as good as anything I’ve used. It goes on really well with a roller and dries quickly leaving a good base layer.

Early evening the sun is so low so I found it difficult to see what I was doing, all I could hope for was to get a coat over any previously rusted areas and slow down the deterioration. As can be seen from the photos, the marine blue coat is a very poor finish and I’m disappointed with my efforts here. Hopefully on my one other free evening (Friday) I’ll manage to tidy up with another rubdown and final coat although most of it will be hidden behind the dash assemblies.

I accidentally thinned the satin-finish paint with white spirit and this seems to have affected the matting agent, it’s more glossy than I like. I normally use genuine turpentine to thin the paint – that doesn’t seem to affect the sheen at all, and of course keeps the paint workable for longer.

Primed with Finnegan's No 1. Many gaps I'm afraid, better than just leaving it I guess
Primed with Finnegan’s No 1. Many gaps I’m afraid, better than just leaving it I guess
Even with the instrument panel hanging loose I couldn't remove the right-hand fly-screen
Even with the instrument panel hanging loose I couldn’t remove the right-hand fly-screen
What a shame, but the best I could do with the poor light last night
What a shame, but the best I could do with the poor light last night
Whatever happens this week I WILL get the dash back together!
Whatever happens this week I WILL get the dash back together!

The Raptor Engineering binnacle mount has a powder coat finish I believe. I want the exterior of the left-hand side to match the blue so I keyed it with Scotchbrite and gave it a couple of coats of marine blue. I think that’s the only side that will be visible once it’s all assembled.

Thanks for reading, hopefully a wonderfully absorbing and more successful post to follow after the weekend!


  1. Great work as usual despite the eyesight issues! I actually made the mistake of going to an optician a year or so back simply to order some new glasses as my old ones had finally become so scratched and hazy due to years of Land Rover work that I could barely see out of them. Sadly the opticians have twice managed to get the wrong prescription lenses so I now have to take my glasses off to see anything closer than 12″ and put them on again to see anything over 12″ away. Flipping nightmare when trying to work on the trucks with oily or paint covered hands as I’m constantly getting the glasses covered in dirt.


    • Thanks for the much-needed encouragement! The trouble for me is that I just know I’ll either break or lose the glasses within a week, and be back to Lidl’s for replacements 🙂


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