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 Perfect Neutral Color Match

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Name : Rob
Age : 62
Location : South Coast Metro, CA.
Joined : 2014-02-06
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PostSubject: Perfect Neutral Color Match   Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:14 am

When I got my Riv it had one of those fuzzy steering wheel covers. There are a few things in life that should be fuzzy, but a steering wheel is not one of them. The first thing I did was rip that darn thing off, and then I saw it. The leather was so dog-on warn and dirty I almost put the fuzzy steering wheel cover back on. Almost. Since that time I'd been on a quest to find a steering wheel in great shape and in a color that matched.

I did find a NOS wheel, but the company wanted something like $750 for it. Ouch. I could have the steering wheel I had recovered by hand with new leather for half that much. Months went by, and then one day I was making my regular eBay search and decided to expand the parameters beyond Riviera parts. Bingo! Well, almost bingo. I found a near match. The color seemed a little off, but I convinced myself that some cameras don't do color well. But the most important thing was it was in nearly mint condition and it was only $65. Whoo-hoo!

I was all smiles when it arrived, but after looking at it my face fell. While it was indeed in great shape, it was not leather wrapped. I guess that was because it came off of a 98 Buick Lesabre. But I could live with that. The thing I couldn't live with was that it was brown, not even close to the color I needed. I suppose some people could live with it, but not me. Things like that just bug me to no end. I was at a loss as to my next course of action.

Then I began reading some of the posts in this forum and I discovered that there are paints that are formulated to change colors for auto interiors. I felt hope once again, sweet sweet hope. After doing some research I found SEM Products #SEM 17183, GM Med Neutral Aerosol:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00397AMBS/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 .

It is a perfect match for the interior of my Riv. It can also be applied to hard surfaces as well as soft surfaces like vinyl and leather.

While the color is perfect, the luster is matt. If that is what you are going for, then fine. But as soon as this paint cures fully I'm going to hit it with a few coats of semi gloss which SEM also makes. That product would be #SEM, 13023 Low Luster Clear Color Coat. I've never done anything like this before and I'm hoping the clear coat will seal the neutral color paint as well as protect it from abrasion and dirt.

Well, that's my story. I wanted to let all of you know if you have chips in the dash or the latch for the center console storage lid or whatever there is a perfect color match for your neutral color interior. As for my original steering wheel, I may restore it. I have not decided yet. I've learned to never throw away Riviera parts, no matter what because even if I don't have a use for them, somebody else might.




Last edited by Animator on Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:30 am; edited 2 times in total
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Name : Andrew Zamiska
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PostSubject: Re: Perfect Neutral Color Match   Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:28 pm

Rob, just to be clear, this is the Tan or Beige as we commonly refer to it here? I looked it up and I know it's just a picture on the internet, but the color looks a little dark to me. Can you post a pic or two of your steering wheel you did?? I'm interested.
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PostSubject: Re: Perfect Neutral Color Match   Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:08 am

Z-type wrote:
Rob, just to be clear, this is the Tan or Beige as we commonly refer to it here? I looked it up and I know it's just a picture on the internet, but the color looks a little dark to me. Can you post a pic or two of your steering wheel you did?? I'm interested.










After I ordered the paint I had second thoughts too because I was going on the swatches the maunfacturer had online, and youre right. The swatches did look a little dark, so after I got the paint I painted a small spot on the back of a spare dash end cover. It was perfect! The only way I could tell where the paint was is by the dull matt finish of the paint, and that's easy enough to fix with a clear coat.

I preped and painted the wheel, which dries pretty fast, but takes a few days to cure fully. The next day I took it out to the car and checked it against the color of my interior. Man, was I impressed! The factory originally painted many of these parts anyway, so I don't feel too bad about changing the color to match my interior. If it's good enough for Buick, it's good enough for me.

I'm not going to go crazy by repainting everything, but there are a few nicks and chips here and there that I may take care of now. I'm so glad I found this stuff, and I know there are lots of Riv owners with the Tan/Neutral interior that can find parts, but not in the right color. That's why I was so excited to let everybody here know what I discovered.

While the finish is a dull matt, they offer two clear coats, one semi shiny (described in the Amazon feedback as Armor-All shiny) and the duller semi gloss, which I think will be closer to the original OEM finish IMO.

I'll add a few pics to this post once I dust off my old Cannon camera and recharge its batteries. I'm waiting to install the steering wheel untill after it is clear coated. But I'll hold it up to the dash so you can get an idea. I plan on replacing the lock cylinder at the same time as the steering wheel because I'm getting an intermittent security light, and I don't want to get caught in the boondocks with a car that won't start.

I hope this paint turns out to be a solution for your problem.

03-17-14 Addendum; I added a pic, but I don't think it's very good. I had to use the camera in my flip phone. The Cannon camera refuses to work. I hope this helps. Shadows and reflections seem to distort the color in the picture a bit, but I hope it's good enough for you to get an idea. The picture is of the new wheel against the old one. The color of the air bag also seems to change with shadow and reflection. I wish I had a better camera.
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