To Restore or Reupholster Leather Steering Wheel?

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Dave1968
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To Restore or Reupholster Leather Steering Wheel?

Postby Dave1968 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:44 pm

I took a chance on a second hand steering wheel which needed some help. It was sold as “in need of reupholstering”. So I thought I’d take a chance and have a go at restoring it.

Here’s the wheel once I received it:

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Here’s the end product:

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I’ll post the process and hope someone will find it useful.

I cut away the frayed bits and stuck the torn leather down with UHU glue.

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Trying to find hide Leather was the next task. There is a swatch under my sofa but I thought I may need it one day so I got a free swatch from a random sofa company online. Saving already.

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Dave1968
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Re: To Restore or Reupholster Leather Steering Wheel?

Postby Dave1968 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:51 pm

Next, I made a template for the leather swatch:

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Transferred to the leather swatch:

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Cut out and stuck down with UHU glue:

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I wrapped masking tape to let it set overnight:

Image

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Dave1968
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Re: To Restore or Reupholster Leather Steering Wheel?

Postby Dave1968 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:10 pm

Once the masking was removed I cleaned the wheel with nail varnish remover. I then sanded the wheel with 600 grade wet and dry paper dry.

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After another clean with nail varnish remover I applied Leather Repair Filler for £3.95 off eBay.

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Looks a bit of a mess. I speeded up the process with a hair dryer and once cool sanded with 600 grit:

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I applied several more layers of filler with a old plastic card with aid of the hair dryer and sanded again and again with 600 grit until I was happy with the feel of the wheel and no crevices needed any more filling. Wiped down with nail varnish remover.

Image

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Dave1968
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Re: To Restore or Reupholster Leather Steering Wheel?

Postby Dave1968 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:32 pm

The wheel needed a lighter sand with 800 wet and dry followed by 1200 wet and dry. Leather seems quite forgiving and is a material not to be afraid of :?

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By this point there was no going back but overall I was happy with my efforts so far:

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Paul G posted his restored steering wheel on here and I followed his recommendations for the All in one leather paint dye of eBay for £6.95.

After a final clean with nail varnish remover I cut up a washing up sponge ready to apply the first coat:

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Then a second coat:

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I added a third and final coat:

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There were a few nicks and small impressions already on the wheel. I didn’t fill those small impressions. It gives the impression of a very good condition Wheel.

The wheel feels great and for little cost and probably 2 - 3 hrs work I’m pleased with the results.

I wouldn’t hesitate to repair leather seats at all. The materials I’ve used are very hard wearing and the results are nearly unnoticeable.

Cheers

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Peter-S
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Re: To Restore or Reupholster Leather Steering Wheel?

Postby Peter-S » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:39 pm

Quite a transformation. Nice work.
ImageImageImage

Paul G
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Re: To Restore or Reupholster Leather Steering Wheel?

Postby Paul G » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:08 am

Did you use the same dye that I used on doing up my wheel?

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=51748

That's a nifty repair to the damaged bit that you did, nice job.

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Dave1968
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Re: To Restore or Reupholster Leather Steering Wheel?

Postby Dave1968 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:30 pm

Peter-S wrote:Quite a transformation. Nice work.


Thanks Peter

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Dave1968
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Re: To Restore or Reupholster Leather Steering Wheel?

Postby Dave1968 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:31 pm

Paul G wrote:Did you use the same dye that I used on doing up my wheel?

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=51748

That's a nifty repair to the damaged bit that you did, nice job.


I did Paul. Thanks again for the link in your post.

It’s very hard wearing I’ve found. I’m very happy!! :D

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Andrew 2.8i
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Re: To Restore or Reupholster Leather Steering Wheel?

Postby Andrew 2.8i » Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:49 pm

Great repair job! 8-)
Judging by the condition of the wheel in the first photo, most people would have condemned that one to the scrap pile and bought a replacement. That's money saved that can be spent elsewhere on the car....

Andrew.
Image

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Dave1968
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Re: To Restore or Reupholster Leather Steering Wheel?

Postby Dave1968 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:57 pm

Andrew 2.8i wrote:Great repair job! 8-)
Judging by the condition of the wheel in the first photo, most people would have condemned that one to the scrap pile and bought a replacement. That's money saved that can be spent elsewhere on the car....

Andrew.


Thanks Andrew. I’m more of a restorer than a mechanic tbh. I enjoy restoration etc..
I agree, the wheel looked pretty bad hence the cheap price. I’ll eventually sell my plastic wheel all going well!

Cheers

Nigel 1953
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Re: To Restore or Reupholster Leather Steering Wheel?

Postby Nigel 1953 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:42 pm

Fantastic job in restoring this wheel. Do you think I could achieve similar results on a Laser gear nob. I have the original one from my Laser. The leather is just a little split and frayed around the top. I may start a new thread and add some pictures showing current condition.

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Dave1968
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Re: To Restore or Reupholster Leather Steering Wheel?

Postby Dave1968 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:10 pm

Nigel 1953 wrote:Fantastic job in restoring this wheel. Do you think I could achieve similar results on a Laser gear nob. I have the original one from my Laser. The leather is just a little split and frayed around the top. I may start a new thread and add some pictures showing current condition.


Thanks Nigel! Yeah, I reckon you’d have no problem. The leather filler if applied liberally, building up is easy to work with. Just sand it and when you’re ready to apply the leather dye it will transform within a coat or more! Go for it I’d say!

Nigel 1953
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Re: To Restore or Reupholster Leather Steering Wheel?

Postby Nigel 1953 » Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:27 pm

Thanks for your response. I was just wondering, is the filler from the same supplier as the leather paint dye?

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Dave1968
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Car(s): Ford Capri 2.0 Laser 1987
Ford Escort XR3i Cabbie 1989
Peugeot 207 XS Sport
Location: Lancashire

Re: To Restore or Reupholster Leather Steering Wheel?

Postby Dave1968 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:59 pm

Nigel 1953 wrote:Thanks for your response. I was just wondering, is the filler from the same supplier as the leather paint dye?


Here is the link from where I bought mine:

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F251228787067

I got the £3.95 one.

Cheers


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