How To Restore A Leather Steering Wheel?

 

Mercedes Leather Steering Wheel With Wear

Mercedes Leather Steering Wheel With Wear

 

Leather Steering Wheels are mainly made from very thin split leather, most people believe them to be a top grain when they aren’t!

Carry out a restoration of leather steering wheels is very easy when you follow the instructions and the video on leather steering wheel restoration.

It’s surprising the amount of people that see a leather steering wheel like the above Mercedes leather steering wheel and think this is dirt, due to it being darker it does actually look like dirt, this is due to sweat and grease from hands causing the worn areas to go dark, you have colour loss and the leather isn’t protected due to the colour loss so it’s almost like a crust leather it will absorb everything that touches it.

Mercedes Steering Wheel Restored

Mercedes Steering Wheel Restored

 

When carrying out a restoration on a leather steering wheel if you can remove the wheel from the car it’s always best, saves having to bend yourself in two to get to the back of the steering wheel.

The first stage in a restoration process is to remove the colour and any grease, this is done by using the leather prep from the steering wheel restoration kit. Using a red scotch pad combined with the leather prep, rub this over the surface of the steering wheel to remove any grease and grime along with removing all old colour.

 

Colour Being Removed On A Leather Steering Wheel

Colour Being Removed On A Leather Steering Wheel

 

After removing all old colours wipe the full steering wheel down with alcohol cleaner to provide the ultimate sanitised surface to apply new pigment paints.

If any areas are damaged these should be repaired prior to applying leather colourants. Depending on the type of damage you have, this will determine on the type of filler required to carry out the repairs.

Once all filler has been applied it’s dried and you’ve sanded this smooth, you can then go to the next step which is the leather colourant application.

 

Leather Steering Wheel With Cracking Restored

Leather Steering Wheel With Cracking Restored

 

This video is a great guide to restoration leather steering wheels.

 

Now you’re ready for the leather colourant to be applied, make sure you shake all bottles thoroughly, apply using the sponge provided in the kit. First, wipe a coat on to the steering wheel and dry, this can act a primer guide coat, next stipple a coat on to the steering wheel and dry with a hairdryer, if required sand very lightly with a sandpaper within your kit. Then apply a second coat of leather colourant.

 

Jaguar Leather Steering Wheel Worn

Jaguar Leather Steering Wheel Worn

Jaguar Steering Wheel Restored

Jaguar Steering Wheel Restored

 

Once you are happy with the leather colourant process carried out and the leather pigment paints are all dry it’s time to apply the sealers to lock everything in, the clear coat lacquers are PU sealers providing a fantastic protection to the leather. They come in a gloss and matt and these can be mixed together to gain different sheen levels, a mix ratio of around 70% matt and 30% gloss is a common sheen level on leather steering wheels, a 50 / 50 mix ratio will provide a satin finish.

To apply the clear coat lacquers these are stippled on to the surface allowing all bubbles to disperse before drying with a hairdryer, it’s best to apply three coats of PU lacquer to the leather steering wheel.

 

Renault Leather Steering Wheel Worn

Renault Leather Steering Wheel Worn

Renault Leather Steering Wheel Restored

Renault Leather Steering Wheel Restored