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 Preserving or refinishing painted vinyl steering wheel

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al_roethlisberger
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Name : Al Roethlisberger
Age : 48
Location : Sanford, NC
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PostSubject: Preserving or refinishing painted vinyl steering wheel   Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:24 pm


As you probably know, the steering wheels on our 95-99 Rivieras are the same as many other Buicks of the same period, and similar to several other GM products.

The wheel has a leather covered upper and lower section, with painted vinyl sections on the side that also wrap around to the body of the wheel.

These painted sections on all this generation of GM wheels is a wear area and problem. Over time, the paint wears off revealing the black vinyl underneath.

So I have a couple questions:

1) Does anyone have any tips on preserving this painted area so that it doesn't wear off? Or course we could drive without holding this part of the wheel rolleyes .... but I was more thinking along the lines of wax, or? ?

2) Has anyone found a supplier that can make matching paint for our interiors that would be suitable for repainting the wheel?


My 95 Riviera's wheel is nearly pristine, which is nice, but it will eventually wear if I don't find something to protect the "finish" with.

My 95 Roadmaster's wheel is showing quite a bit of wear. I've actually thought about just taking something like lacquer thinner to it and making it all black on the vinyl sections. confused


Al
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Richouser
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PostSubject: Re: Preserving or refinishing painted vinyl steering wheel   Fri Nov 22, 2013 6:26 pm

Hi Al,

What you can do to refinish is go to your local commercial auto paint store, and have them do a custom color mix for you of flexible finish similar to bumper paint and have them package it in a rattle can. Clean the area with 90% alcohol, put a clear mid-coat on (like Bulldog spray in cans) and then coat it carefully with your color top coat.

Richard
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BMD
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PostSubject: Re: Preserving or refinishing painted vinyl steering wheel   Sat Nov 23, 2013 1:10 am

If you take your V.I.N to a Carquest, they can look up the code for the interior color and mix it for you into a spray can. In my case however, they didn't have my code so the guy there suggested I contact SEM and send them a sample of my interior which they could scan and create a code which they sent to me and I gave to Carquest where they mixed the color, which came out perfect. Just make sure that the steering wheel is clean as Richard said, but also use Adhesion Promoter before the color coat.
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al_roethlisberger
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Name : Al Roethlisberger
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PostSubject: Re: Preserving or refinishing painted vinyl steering wheel   Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:32 am


Thanks all. Good tips for someone with a worn wheel smile
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Rivlanta
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Name : Craig
Location : Atlanta, GA
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PostSubject: Re: Preserving or refinishing painted vinyl steering wheel   Sat May 31, 2014 4:50 am

BMD wrote:
If you take your V.I.N to a Carquest, they can look up the code for the interior color and mix it for you into a spray can. In my case however, they didn't have my code so the guy there suggested I contact SEM and send them a sample of my interior which they could scan and create a code which they sent to me and I gave to Carquest where they mixed the color, which came out perfect. Just make sure that the steering wheel is clean as Richard said, but also use Adhesion Promoter before the color coat.


BMD...just curious. What did you send to SEM to get an exact match for your steering wheel? In other words, what was the "sample of my interior" that you sent them? Was it perhaps an "extra" small piece of leather from underneath your seats, or something similar?
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BMD
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PostSubject: Re: Preserving or refinishing painted vinyl steering wheel   Sat May 31, 2014 8:21 am

Exactly, on the back of the seat, the factory has a good amount of material rolled up which I cut a sample of and sent to SEM. They scanned it and provided me with a code which I gave to a paint shop that can take that code and produce the colour in a rattle can for me. It was an exact match.
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Preserving or refinishing painted vinyl steering wheel   Sun Jun 01, 2014 10:31 pm

what do I have to watch out for in removing the steering wheel?
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stan
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PostSubject: Re: Preserving or refinishing painted vinyl steering wheel   Sun Jun 01, 2014 10:34 pm

Make sure you have the battery disconnected.....then follow all these YouTube tutorials.
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BMD
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PostSubject: Re: Preserving or refinishing painted vinyl steering wheel   Mon Jun 02, 2014 11:34 pm

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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Preserving or refinishing painted vinyl steering wheel   Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:48 pm

BMD wrote:
Check out the write up here Albert.

http://rivperformance.editboard.com/t7101-write-up-disabling-and-removing-the-airbag-module-steering-wheel

nice writeup thanks... I got a replacement wheel, next to paint it, then install leather on it (see wheelskins.com or craftcustoms.com).

Albertj
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Rivlanta
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PostSubject: Re: Preserving or refinishing painted vinyl steering wheel   Sat Jul 05, 2014 9:33 am

Thought I would share my recent experience refinishing the badly-worn steering wheel on my ’97 Riv. My approach was not to remove the steering wheel from the column to avoid dealing with air bag issues, and I found this to be satisfactory and met my expectations.

REQUIRED SUPPLIES & TOOLS:
NOTE: Be forewarned that the SEM supplies are excellent, but not cheap!



SEM SURE-COAT Waterborne Paint ($52.10) – I had this paint custom-mixed for my interior by sending a scrap piece of my taupe (tan) leather seat to SEM for the “formula” and had it custom-mixed at a local auto paint shop. (If anyone needs the taupe formula, I will be glad to send it to you and save you the time and hassle.)
SEM PLASTIC & LEATHER PREP, 38353 ($13.49)
SEM PLASTIC ADHESION PROMOTER – 39863 ($25.54)
ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL 91%
GRAY SCUFF PADS
ASSORTED POLY SPONGE BRUSHES
3M PAINTER’S TAPE
STENCIL BRUSHES (Optional; probably not necessary)
LARGE DROP CLOTH
CLEAN LINT-FREE RAGS

PROCEDURES:

1. With 3M Painter’s Tape, tape-off the area of the steering wheel that you do not wish to refinish. In my case the center portion, including the Radio/Temp control buttons, was in fairly decent shape so I chose not to refinish this area and taped-off accordingly.





2. Place a large Drop Cloth behind and around the steering wheel, covering as much area as possible including the dashboard, center console and seats. Seal-off the steering column with 3M Painter’s Tape as well.



3. Thoroughly clean and wipe-down the steering wheel with Isopropyl Alcohol and a clean soft rag.



4. Lightly sand the wheel using a Gray Scuff-pad. Wipe with a clean rag.



5. Spray a light coat of SEM 38353 Plastic Leather Prep on the wheel, and wipe with a clean, lint-free rag.



6. Lightly sand the wheel again using a Gray Scuff-pad. Wipe with a clean rag.

7. Repeat step 5 by spraying a "medium coat" of SEM 38353 Plastic Leather Prep on the wheel, and wipe with a clean, lint-free rag.

8. Spray a “light coat" of SEM 39863 Plastic Adhesion Promoter on the wheel and wait 5 minutes for the coat to dry.



9. After the first coat is dry, spray again with a “wet coat" and allow 15 to 20 minutes for the coat to dry.



10. When the coat is dry, begin applying a “light coat” of the SURE-COAT paint using a Poly Sponge Brush (or a stencil brush) of choice. Apply to one section of the wheel at a time, using smooth strokes while fully covering the section.



NOTE: Although the SEM paint can instructions say to wait only 5 minutes before applying the next coat, I found it to work much better by letting the coats dry at least 30 minutes (or more) so the paint doesn’t begin “clumping” when you apply the succeeding coats.

11. Apply as many additional coats as necessary to cover properly, using the Gray Scuff-pads in between coats to provide as smooth as surface as possible. I applied around 4 to 5 coats to achieve my desired finish.



Hope this helps anyone interested in refinishing their wheel!  smile
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98riv
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PostSubject: Re: Preserving or refinishing painted vinyl steering wheel   Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:22 am

Great write up!  Does it provide a very similar finish and feel to stock? Do you have to worry about brush marks?

_________________
1998 Supercharged Riviera - Custom CAI, Alpine spx-13ref, Infinity 6x9's, Alpine 4 Channel Amp, Kicker KX3, Silverstars, STB, Hawk Brake Pads, Monroe Air Shocks, KYB GR2
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Rivlanta
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Name : Craig
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PostSubject: Re: Preserving or refinishing painted vinyl steering wheel   Sat Jul 05, 2014 12:31 pm

Yes...the look-and-feel is very good in my opinion.  They key is sanding with the scuff pads in between coats to get maximum smoothness.
Brush strokes are minimal at best. However, the Sure - coat can be sprayed on as well so I am told.
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stan
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PostSubject: Re: Preserving or refinishing painted vinyl steering wheel   Sat Jul 05, 2014 2:00 pm

Looks great.See how much damage wearing rings can do to leather wheels......
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