Steering wheel paint, any suggestions?

Interior

  1. bluefury361

    bluefury361 Old Man with a Hat

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    I had my 61 aero wheel recast at D & D in Mt. Airy NC. They sent samples chips of the center bar color and gave me the option of color flakes in the clear rim. I got to choose what I wanted. Because the center was a hunter green color I opted for green and gold flakes in the rim.
    aero wheel 2.JPG aero wheel 3.JPG



    Steering wheels shouldn't be painted, IMO. They can chip or have the finish rubbed off as you are experiencing.


    I don't agree exactly. If done correctly there is little chance of damage in normal use.
    Painting with automotive grade base/clear coat is a good option for a driver that one doesn't want to invest a grand into a steering wheel. I've had very positive results with this method.

     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2020
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  2. bluefury361

    bluefury361 Old Man with a Hat

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    This is the steering wheel in my 65 Coronet 500 convertible, (since sold). My first experience with painting the wheel was with crylon rattle can. It looked great. Then one day, on the way to the beach Ellie gave some sun tan lotion which I rubbed on and drove off. Before we got to the beach the steering wheel was sticking to my hands.
    I than stripped it and had a professional finish it with automotive grade base/clear. I drove that car another 20K miles and never had an issue.


    coronet dash.jpg
     
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  3. rexus31

    rexus31 Senior Member

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    Agree to disagree. Can it be done? Sure. Will it hold up in the long term? Not likely. The OP's car is not a driver. He's invested quite a bit of time and money in the restoration. For his application, IMO, the only way to go is to do it right: recast it. You spend ALL your time behind the wheel. When I look at it, I want to have the satisfaction knowing it was done properly and looks great.
     
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  4. HWYCRZR

    HWYCRZR Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    Depends how you define driver. I put 2000 miles on it last summer and will probably be over 3,000 when I drive to Carlisle this summer. In my mind I built a new car that is correct for 1968 that I intend to drive. I cannot get my money back out by selling it. My satisfaction comes from the rebuilding, intimate knowledge about all systems and driving it.
    A new cast wheel would be the ultimate, but that can always be a plan B later. First goal is to in-expensively touch up my current wheel.
    Beside my next expenditure over a grand will be a lift (after new furniture for the wife).
     
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  5. CBODY67

    CBODY67 Old Man with a Hat

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    For a steering wheel that's a solid color, then painting would probably work if done "right". For a TRANSLUCENT color steering wheel, as on my '66 Newport, then a re-cast would be the only way to go . . . other than an upholstery-grade leather cover, professionally installed. Tried one of the better-grade accessory-type covers in the '70s, but never could get it laced up tightly enough.

    Dupont Dulux (non-acrylic) enamel was from the earlier '60s and such, possibly even earlier. Centauri was around in the later '60s. Acrylic enamel was OEM with Chrysler production in '66, according to my 1966 Chrysler FSM. FWIW

    That "aero" steering wheel looks fantastic! Probably better in the bright sunlight!

    Enjoy!
    CBODY67
     
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  6. The Goose

    The Goose Senior Member

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    I painted mine w the help of these guys at least a year and a half ago. My wheel was bent cracked & broken. I wanted a wood grain but I’m still waiting to find a nice complete one on the cheep (around $200) side of things.

    Anyways I used non Kalifornia enamel to change a nice green wheel to black. Clear will definitely pucker or lift the base color if you’re not careful. I did a good 4 or 5 mists of enamel then just a bit of clear for shine. When done it felt weird and I figured it probably wouldn’t last long. Turned out the final trick was to wax it. Once I did that it felt natural, smooth and not sticky. The wax really calmed down the painted surface and until I read this I forgot all about painting the wheel because it feels so NORMAL. I drive the heck out of this thing. Hot or cold weather etc etc, sweaty hands or oily hands it don’t seem to matter. Once you paint it and then wax it I’m thinking you’re good for many years to come. Mine hasn’t changed a bit since the day I waxed it. Just 2 cents worth from a guy who did it and so far has lived to tell the tale.

    Look up “steering wheel helping hand” from back in 2018 for all the boring details. Good luck with the project.
     
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  7. HWYCRZR

    HWYCRZR Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    I looked up “The steering wheel guy” that repairs steering wheels up in Edmonton. And asked the question about painting.

    Here’s his answer

    Hi Marty, is the clear coat lifting off the colour coat? I can’t believe you could wear through clear coat that fast. There are wheels I painted 25 years ago that still look like they just came out of the spray booth...
    Did they use a base coat/clear coat system or a single stage and then clear coated over that? What kind of clear did they use? Automotive acrylic urethane or just a rattle can clear? The oil from your skin shouldn’t cause problems like that with automotive paint….

    more to discuss with the painter.
     
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  8. michiganhotrod1

    michiganhotrod1 Member

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    20 years ago, right after two semesters of VoTec body and paint school,I repaired and repainted the plastic wheel on my 1964 D100. Used acrylic enamel (PPG if I recall) with a hardener. I also added a little bit of flattening agent. It still looks good, and this is a manual steering truck so the wheel gets use. I would try to get the look without a clear coat myself.
     
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  9. TerryM

    TerryM Active Member

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    I’ve always 2pac sprayed steering wheels without any issues. COB and single stage. Mates wheel I sprayed white single stage 20 years ago has 50,000 miles on it and still looks Ike new. All about correct preparation and also condition of the wheel to start with. I’ve seen issues with wheels being painted over material that is starting to break down due to UV.

    9A626488-8F6E-4C0A-82FB-A91011B72B88.jpeg
     
  10. Newport 66

    Newport 66 Old Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    Charlie Quarters in Michigan did the restoration of my '62 30 steering wheel. I'm very impressed with the results.

    20200508_165644.jpg
     
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