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Hey guys. A while ago i posted pictures of some of my rx300 interior wood conversions/additions. I re-finished the wood on a steering wheel that was pretty dinged up. I thought it could be fixed with a simple wetsand and re-clear, but little “ring marks” in the wood were too deep. The clear needed to be stripped and the wood sanded, re-stained and stripped. I also needed to touch-up and re-dye the leather as it was pretty scratched up as well.
Here are some details to the re-finishing in case any of you guys wanted to do the same
So here we are:
At this point I had already wetsanded with 600grit and applied 3 coats of clearcoat before we both decided it was best to strip and re-stain. The first step at this point was to strip the coats of clear I added, and the factory clear as well. These pictures show the stripper lifting the clear I added. The factory clear takes a lot more work to remove.
After my clear was removed, I applied a few more layers of stripper to let it soak into the factory clear. After soaking for an hour or two, I scraped the clear off using small pieces of oak (which is a very dense wood, hard enough to hold up and scrape, but not hard enough to dig into the steering wheel wood)
After a few hours of scraping and sanding.
I then stained the wood (which is walnut btw) with a mixture of stains to get the best match to he customer. I let the stain dry over-night in the oven at 200 degrees. The following day I let it air dry. If all of the stain and moisture in the wood is not evaporated, the clear will not bond and bubbles will form. Here’s after the stain and first coat of clear was applied.
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Last edited by DaveGS4; 04-14-09 at 05:48 PM..
Reason: check pm please
As you can see, the first coat of clear does not fill in the Ďgrainí. This is why several layers of clear are required to get a smooth shiny finish. Iím using Dupontís two part clear (same stuff used on car finishes). Itís extremely hard and durable. It resists cracking and fading, the best stuff Iíve used.
I let each coat of clear bake in the oven for 30mins-3 hours at 140 degrees to ensure each layer is cured before the next is applied. And after each coat, I wet sand with 600grit sandpaper to remove any imperfections. After a few more coats:
It took quite a few coats of clear to get a thick smooth finish. After the last coat:
Although I wear a lint-less overall and keep good dust control, you canít make the finish perfect. Some little pieces of dust (Iíve had flies get on the finish before GRRR) get on the last coat before itís fully cured, which need to be wet sanded with 1500 grit sandpaper and buffed/polished out with 3M scratch remover followed by Meguiarís ScratchX to get a nice shine.
The next step is to un-ravel the tape over the leather and give that a nice re-finish. The tape leaves behind some excess glue (especially after being in the heating booth (aka an old oven). I used a 6:1 ratio of water to woolite and a cotton towel to remove and glue and dirt from the leather.
But even after being cleaned by the woolite solution, the leather still has that ugly shine resulting in years of use. Over time, leather gets shiny and scratched from peoples filthy hands and rings.
These little scratches and nicks can easily be fixed by touching up with some leather dye. Iím using Magic Menderís crack filler and taupe#13 dye to fill in the nicks. The first step is wipe down the entire leather surface with rubbing alcohol to evaporate any water that might be seeped in the leather.
I used a toothpick to dab the dye over the little nicks etc.
Although the surface does look better with the little nicks filled in and dyed, the entire leather surface still needs re-finishing.
The next step is to mask off the wood so I can work on the entire leather surfaces.
I am using an airbrush (same airbrush I used to apply the car clear for the wood) with Magic Menderís ďmatteĒ clear for leather over the entire leather surfaces, front and back.
The whole process took about a week. I was able to bake each coat of clear between coats, which really sped up the process. It took 8-10 coats of clear to get this finish so smooth. The leather looks totally brand new, the matte finish really makes it look nice. The leather dyes also give the leather that ďnew car smellĒ too J. This is a good alternitive to spending $2k at the dealer for a new one, thatís for sure J
So tell me what you guys think! Hope you enjoyed the pics!!