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Steering Wheel Refinishing -- FYI

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  • Steering Wheel Refinishing -- FYI

    Topic originally created by Bill Mihalic on February 5, 2012 5:59 AM and viewed 2502 times in the old forum.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Bill Mihalic on February 5, 2012 5:59 AM
    Just wanted to share my experiences with refinishing my steering wheel. Generally, it turned out very good, although a bit too shiny.
    "Before" and "after" pictures are posted below. Actually, the "before" condition was much worse because I made the foolish mistake of wrapping half the wheel with electrical tape to hold the leather in place while some glue on the inner seam dried. When I took the tape off, it pulled off the smooth layer of die and leather, leaving a fuzzy, almost suede surface, and a spiral pattern imbedded in the leather. In my anguish, I didn't think to take a photo of the wheel in that condition.
    I bought a steering wheel refinishing kit from Leatherique for about $27. I also bought a small container of "crack filler." It included prep agent, black dye, and clearcoat.
    1. I used the crack filler to repair one nick in the wheel and to fill in small cracks and gaps in the areas where the leather meets the spokes.
    2. I spent a lot of time on the wheel with the prep agent, laquer thinner and 400 and 800 grit sandpaper.
    3. I put on three coats of dye, which seems to be more paint than dye--I'm not sure how much it really penetrates. I brushed it on, but that left some very slight brush marks. Rubbing it on might be better, especially for a wheel that is not as damaged as mine was. Spraying is reportedly a good method if you've got the equipment.
    4. Lastly, I rubbed on a thin coat of clearcoat. I think this was a mistake, because it made a too-shiny wheel event glossier. I'm wondering if talc mixed in with the clearcoat or maybe a light rubbing with steel wool might knock down the gloss. At the moment, my inclination is to leave well enough alone.
    Surprisingly, after all that a good bit of the grain still shows, even though it's not apparent in the photo.
    I considered masking the stitching to retain its near-white color, but decided to let the dye hit it, also. The leather at that inner seam is not heavily glued, and I'm guessing that a good interior trim shop could pull the old stitching and install new without disturbing the leather.



    • #3
      Originally posted by Ian Levy on February 5, 2012 6:10 AM
      Hi Bill
      My view FWI, is that most stuff that you refurbish does look too new,too shiny & or too bright.
      My advice is do nothing just use the car.
      The shine & brightness will soon dull down with putting some miles on the clock.
      & you'll enjoy it too!!!
      Ian L


      • #4
        Originally posted by Mike Meehan on February 6, 2012 4:22 AM
        Hi Bill , nice job! Try a brisk rub down with a terry towel or #0000 steel wool to cut the shine. I changed to a wood wheel to go with my saddle and brown interior. My car is brown also. As Ian said dont forget to drive her. Regards , Mike