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Exterior, Bodywork, Paint and Glass Beauty is only 4 coats deep...

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  #1  
Old December 22nd, 2014, 12:58 AM
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1960HDGMC 1960HDGMC is offline
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Default Correct Paint Type for Steering Wheels

Hello, I have just sanded a steering wheel till I am ready to paint it. Since it is a hands on item, it needs a really tuff finish. Does anyone know what type of paint products the factory used? Also, are there better products that will yield an even better finish, while leaving a factory sheen? I want the wheel to look like a factory original wheel that has no wear, like an NOS piece.
I have read where some folks dYE the wheel. I have used qUIK sTEEL (LIKE jb wELD) AND sUPER gLUE ON THE HAIRLINE CRACKS OF THIS WHEEL. I DO NOT KNOW IF A DYE PRODuct would take well to this surface.
Has anyone had a wheel powdercoated? Is it a viable finish over these old rubberized plastic wheels? I would think they would melt in the oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.
Any ideas,suggestions and general help will be very much appreciated. Thanks, Greg Mead
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Old December 22nd, 2014, 05:36 AM
bigblockv6 bigblockv6 is online now
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Default Re: Correct Paint Type for Steering Wheels

I've seen where two part epoxies have been used on steering wheels, I want to give it a try myself. As far as a tough durable finish a catalyzed Polyurethane clear coat would be far superior than what was used 50 years ago which was just Alkyd enamel.
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Old December 22nd, 2014, 05:27 PM
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Default Re: Correct Paint Type for Steering Wheels

Here are a few pics of a Chevy Custom Wheel I am restoring. The product I used in the big cracks is called Quik Steel. It comes in a tube and it dries out fast. You have to plan ahead your every move or you will run out of time. The hairline cracks were treated to a super glue bath. This wheel was in relatively good shape. My next core has a lot of 1/4 inch chunks missing. I will have to do a lot of Dremel work on that one. I have got to get some primer on this wheel. Do you know of one that will take the paint you mentioned? I have sanded the wheel with 400 grit, so it is very smooth right now. I would guess that I should go back with some rougher grit to get the primer to stick. But I do not know what grit to use. I am a mechanic, not a painter. I have a new found respect for anyone that sands and paints for a living. This is work.
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Last edited by 1960HDGMC; December 22nd, 2014 at 05:38 PM. Reason: forgot picture
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Old December 22nd, 2014, 07:18 PM
bigblockv6 bigblockv6 is online now
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Default Re: Correct Paint Type for Steering Wheels

You want to use 220-240 grit sandpaper this way the sand scratches won't be too big but yet provide good adhesion for the primer. Use a sandable primer surfacer that will fill scratches and imperfections. Most likely your steering wheel is painted in medium fawn which is PPG number 22151, you can get it mixed at an automotive paint store and possibly converted to basecoat then to be clear coated with an acrylic urethane or polyurethane. The PPG number can be cross linked to Dupont brand of automotive paint or other brands depending on what the store carries.
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Old December 25th, 2014, 12:00 AM
jrmunn jrmunn is offline
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Default Re: Correct Paint Type for Steering Wheels

I like the idea of keeping things original, and have considered re-painting my steering wheel, but I have an easier suggestion for others who just need the keep a truck working. I knew it was time to do something when the steering wheel started turning my hands black because the paint had worn off the black rubber. But at that point, I barely had time to keep the truck running without taking on the task of removing the wheel and going through the process of preparing and painting it with something that would last. So I bought a cheap, leatherette cover and laced it on. This has worked great. It makes the wheel more comfortable, provides a better grip, and doesn't get so hot in the sun or cold in the winter. Now that I am older and have a little more time, I am still thinking of painting the wheel but would then put the cover back on it.

JRMunn
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Old December 26th, 2014, 12:18 AM
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Default Re: Correct Paint Type for Steering Wheels

I too am planning to add a White Leather Cover over this White Wheel. I have big hands and I like the thicker grip of the cover. If these wheels were 1/4 inch thicker, the cover would be redundant for me. I like the stock look, but I have to use a cover. I wish I could figure a way to add material to the front side to make the stock wheel thicker.
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Old December 28th, 2014, 09:32 PM
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GMCDAC GMCDAC is offline
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Default Re: Correct Paint Type for Steering Wheels

This isn't the "correct" paint or method and was done on the cheap 2 years ago. I used JB weld for cracks, Rustoleum spray bomb primer and Krylon satin black. Couple thousand miles later the paint still looks like new but I did get a couple hairline cracks back. Had to rush the job as a different project had to come in the shop unexpectedly. Probably spending more time on crack repair would have helped that.

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1970 GMC K5 Jimmy Mom drove 30 years
1972 GMC C2500 owned since 1979
1955 GMC 100 driver-project
2006 GMC Yukon Denali---wife's truck

Hope to have a '60 GMC Suburban again someday
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