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Old 03-28-2013, 06:59 AM
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steering wheel

Whats the best way to go about painting a steering wheel? What will wear best?

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Old 03-28-2013, 11:03 AM
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Steve: Is this a padded steering wheel or a hard plastic steering wheel? If it's either one, get SEM products including the cleaners and adhesion promoter, they will do the best job.
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:48 PM
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Dan. It's the hard plastic on a 62 chev. I've never had any luck painting these and tried to talk the guy in to a new wheel but he wants to try painting it frist. I've got it sanded good with 320 and have adhesion promotor. Then thought a thin coat of SPI epoxy to get a uniform base and then single stage urathane as thin as possible with coverage.
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:21 PM
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Then it's too late to use SEM. SEM would be drawn right into the plastic with the right adhesion promoter. It's also 10 times faster to use with a better result. You could do a plastic steering wheel in an hour.
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Old 03-29-2013, 01:14 AM
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All I've done so far is sand it good. The rest of the stuff is what I have on hand. I'am using the single stage for the jams and the dash so I will see if the local paint supplier has the Sem in the right color or something close.
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Old 03-29-2013, 04:12 AM
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A few notes:
On the hard plastics from 70's and 60's, do not use an adheison promotor, it will work BUT ist will actually make the adheison weaker.

Hard plastic:
Ckean 2-3 times with wax and grease remover.
Do repairs as needed, I use Duramix since the late 80's but your choice.
Hand sand the wheel with 320 dry.
MOST important!!!!-- Spray two good coats of epoxy, activated only, no reducer added.
The you can sand the epoxy to make how you want and paint.

Now for the paint.
Enamel or SS would be best but not always possible to match old interiors.

I have one car now that I did in 99 and I sprayed the sem interior paint over the epoxy and let set over night and cleared. This would be the weakest system but, It has held up perfect but this weekend, I noticed, I now have a 1/4 inch chip. So it will get fixed in next month but to be honest, I did not think it would last more then 3-5 years.

On the other car, I used the PPG interior paint and cleared, did that in about 2001, still perfect but car only has 800 miles on it since then, where the first car has about 30,000 and all with top down or it is not driven.
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Old 03-29-2013, 05:21 AM
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Sorry, I should have said 50's and 60's, not 70's.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:56 AM
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Berry. I just talked to a freind of mine and he paints them just like you said and they seem to be holding up. It's the same thing I planned to do so I'll skip the bull dog and go straight to the SPI black epoxy. The single stage is what is going on the dash and what I did the door jams with so should be fine. Thanks Steve.
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryK View Post
I have one car now that I did in 99 and I sprayed the sem interior paint over the epoxy and let set over night and cleared. This would be the weakest system but, It has held up perfect but this weekend, I noticed, I now have a 1/4 inch chip. So it will get fixed in next month but to be honest, I did not think it would last more then 3-5 years.
SEM will not stick to the primer. You can't put the SEM over anything but the cleaned plastic, and you'd have to use the correct SEM adhesion promoter for the type of plastic the wheel has on it. You have to test the plastic by putting a small drop of lacquer thinner on the plastic with your finger. If it smears, you use SEM 3836 Sand Free as your adhesion promoter. If it doesn't smear you use SEM 3986 plastic adhesion promoter. The only problem with using SEM is the wheel must be in good condition, 'cuz you can't do any repairs.
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by DanTwoLakes View Post
SEM will not stick to the primer. You can't put the SEM over anything but the cleaned plastic, and you'd have to use the correct SEM adhesion promoter for the type of plastic the wheel has on it. You have to test the plastic by putting a small drop of lacquer thinner on the plastic with your finger. If it smears, you use SEM 3836 Sand Free as your adhesion promoter. If it doesn't smear you use SEM 3986 plastic adhesion promoter. The only problem with using SEM is the wheel must be in good condition, 'cuz you can't do any repairs.
Never had a reason to use 2K primer on an interior but have used Gallons over epoxy on panels, dashes steering wheels and sticks like glue to the epoxy, epoxy is not the same as a primer.

Maybe straight over plastic, I could see where you would need an adpro for adhesion for the dye but that is not the type of work I do.
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Old 03-29-2013, 02:51 PM
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This wheel is in perfect shape but we are changing the whole car to victory red. Dash panel, all trim and wheel to match the exterrior color.I'll see if I can get some pictures of it. There is no 2-k primer or filler on it just sanded factory finish.
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:03 PM
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SEM has a Color Coat aerosol called Flame Red, #15373. I have an extra can of it and all the prep cleaners and adhesion promoter. If you want, send it to me and I'll re-do it. If it isn't what you want, you can still put the epoxy on it and spray it with your paint. This will take me about an hour to do completely.
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:35 PM
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Have color changed interior in a 57 GM including repainting a crack free steering wheel. The way I did it was to scuff up with 400 grit then seal with epoxy then base clear as usual. This wheel was originally tan and chocolate brown, I refinished it in red and white then even cut and buffed the clear when finished. Came out looking like an untouched original wheel and looks like the day I finished it some 5 years later.
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:57 PM
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I did one in my 49 Merc with SS urethane. It seems like I used a little flex agent in the color. I won't swear to that but believe I did. It held up really well. That was in 1989 and was still in the car 2 years ago when I saw it last. Is the flex agent not a good idea?

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Old 03-31-2013, 11:09 PM
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Yep, I have used SS urethane without the flex and it lasted for years. The only time it fails is when the plastic it's self fails by cracking or something. But when the wheel is in good shape, SS urethane has worked well for me and I don't see why it wouldn't. It is very hard plastic, not like "vinyl" at all. It's more like painting a plastic moulding.

Brian
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