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How To Repair Leather Steering Wheel


Alright, we’re going to repair this
damage on this leather wrapped steering wheel. We’re gonna start with cleaning
with some alcohol. 70% isopropyl is okay, but you’re fine–it’s actually even
better–to work with something like 90%. Alright, so leather repairs beautifully
with sandpaper and super glue. The worst one of these is this guy,
because it’s kind of… it almost needs to be picked out, that little edge curled up,
kind of flattened out, and I like to measure out my super glue onto a piece
of cardboard. Come and get a little dab on a needle or a toothpick, but needles
are stronger and hold up better, and work a very thin bead in there, and wipe off
any excess, and then come in and flatten it out, crush it down, and I’ve kind of
made a mess of this and that’s okay. I’m gonna use like a flattening tool, and
just press the heck out of it, but don’t linger. That’s okay we’re gonna sand off
all of this in a minute. I’m gonna go back in and kind of just tack down any
other flappy bits. You either want to tack them down or cut them away and then fill the gap. Alright, now I’m gonna come in and lay
just another little bead, get a paper towel, kind of wipe away any excess, and
then very quickly jump in–I’ve got 320 grit wet or dry sandpaper–and I’m gonna
sand in the direction of the original tear, and then I’m gonna cut across, then just back and forth and then close your eyes, and feel it, and I’ll come back to this
one, and then proceed with the rest, and it might take a few passes, and this one
right here is actually quite deep. When you get a gouge that’s deep in the
leather, as long as there’s not much flexibility and then there’s not a lot
of movement of the leather over the substrate–I’m gonna smooth it out, kind
of get it level; yeah I made a mess of that, but it’s okay I’ll sand off most of
it–this is baking soda, and a tiny bit of baking soda catalyzes the super glue,
makes it like an epoxy, which for, again for something that moves a lot, where the
leather is moving freely over the substrate, you wouldn’t want to use this,
but for something like a steering wheel a rigid epoxy is okay… …as a void filler. And it’s gonna need some more in there. And always let your fingers be the judge.
If you’ve still got dips, which I kind of do right here, as you get to the kind of the final
layer of super glue, you can pat it out as I did to almost create texture, and
then gently sand. Alright, and then I like to come in and
polish with some 500 grit. And then another… just wipe off your dust. This still has alcohol on it. Alright, so here is a custom color that we have mixed. We’ve yet to bottle it, but we will, all the excess, and we are trying to
color change to a brown. So it’s really clear now where where the
damage remains and where we–like this actually looks like it could be filled a
little more, these maybe just need better texturizing, and you can actually–with at
least with the super glue, this super glue sandpaper method–you can go right
over the paint. And I think I’ll stick with the 500 this
round. Alright, now I’m gonna be a little bold,
just do a couple of big dabs for texturizing and just blend it all. And still a slight variation. I could continue to rework that. I might actually just cheat and do a coat, because I have
it, of this great product called Chip Guard It’s actually kind of a bumper
coater but I’ve been using it for years on leather and vinyl. I’ve been getting
great results with it. The exception, of course, is polyurethane (bonded leather,
ultraleather). Nothing sticks to that, but for this instance, it’s a perfect
solution. So I’m just going to clean off any excess paint on the surface for now. And you have to be a little cautious
with this stuff. You don’t want to lay it on too thickly in most instances. I’ll
put that in there to mask. You want kind of a nice, fine mist and even that’s… so
if you stand farther away you’ll get that, and I might just leave it at that,
let it dry. Alright, so I’ve actually loaded this Custom Color into a spray gun, because it’s gonna make my life easier, and I’m just going to gently [spray]. I always get so distracted with filming
that I actually screw up my steps. I normally would have done a very gentle
buffing of that of the “krinkle sprayed” [Chip Guarded] surface with sandpaper before spraying,
but it actually looks… actually looks really good.
You could gently sand it down, if you want, a little more and spray again, but I
think this looks quite lovely.

Bernard Jenkins

36 Comments

  1. Very cool!! Looks BRAND NEW!! I’m actually gonna restore the leather head rest of my favorite rocker recliner today. Of course I’m gonna use the Rub ‘n Restore! It works great however because of my “ALMOST BALD” buzz cut, every 6 months I need to touch it up. I don’t mind because your product is a lot of fun to use and basically “dummy proof.” If you don’t like the final product, you can always do it again until you’re happy!! I wish you did more videos! I really get excited when I get the notification!!! 👍❤️🌺😊

  2. What is the part number for the Chip Guard? Not finding that bottle only Heavy Texture or Clear.

  3. Truly refreshing how-to hack repair video (and it's without usually insufferable, all-too-personal and so GD annoying background music – thanks for that BTW). Cheers!

  4. Thanks for the education! Ive been wrapping wheels with leather for 8 years now, thinking I might offer some repair services after I practice what you just shared! Thank you.

  5. excellent work, I just bought a used wheel for my car which needs some attention, could you tell me what kind of paint I have to use? is regular automotive paint gonna work?

  6. very impressive, the sanding of the leather had me troubled, but final outcome is perfect….😀

  7. I like how you make it look DIY friendly then bust out the 200 paint gun.

  8. What color can be used. Its not helpful for us users if you use some magic custom color…

  9. You didnt match the grain texture from the rest of the leather as shown in the first pic. It now looks smooth

  10. WOW! That looks really good. Well done. Thanks for the video.

  11. thank you very much! very helpful and appreciated. I made a stupid mistake to remove the grease from the black leather of the steering.. I wiped with (nail polish remover acetone) stripping the color and making it dull :(( I dont know how to restore it 🙁 any recommendation as to a touch of black color that wouldnt stain my hands while driving in the future … thanks a lot

  12. Hi! that looks good but have you any tips on perforated leather steering wheel that is a bit worn?

  13. This is so wrong. You made it look 10 times harder than it should've been. You should apply the filler with the right tools (and not with a napkin…) only ONE time, and then sand everything down to perfection, paint and seal.

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