How to refurbish a leather steering wheel.

Discussion in 'Projects, modifications & how to guides' started by red clubbie, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. red clubbie

    red clubbie Type RA Member

    Sydney, Australia.

    I've set out below a guide to "how to refurbish a leather steering wheel".

    This is the way I do it and the products I have used.
    There are other ways to achieve a similar result, but this method has worked for me in the past.

    I have refurbished about 6 steering wheels and the method has been the same.

    I must say that if your wheel has torn or broken stitching, then this method does not cover that.

    The products that I use are Leatherique and I have found them to be very good if you follow the correct procedure. If the leather has scuffs or is slightly torn or damaged then this method will fix it.

    Step 1:

    Once the wheel has been removed from the car, apply Rejuvenator Oil (RO) all over the wheel.


    Massage the oil in with your fingers, do two coats and leave overnight to soak in.

    Step 2:

    Apply Pristine Clean (PC) with a damp cloth.


    The idea of the RO is the soften the leather and the PC will then act as a cleaner to take off all past dirt and sweat.


    Rinse the cloth in warm water, wring dry and give the wheel and good wipe over.
    If you are using a white cloth you will be surprised with the amount of dirt that comes off the wheel.

    Step 4:

    Buff the wheel with a dry microfiber cloth.....leave 24 hours.

    Step 5:

    Usually the steering wheel has copped a fair amount of sun damage and general wear and tear over the years and the top of the wheel is usually the worst.....

    Depending on the damage, use Wet and Dry (WnD) paper to clean up this finish and to smooth out any defects that might be present. I use 600 or 1200 WnD for this step, depending on the defect.
    The idea of this step is the make the wheel as smooth as possible, taking off old leather crazing or slight tears.

    Using the Prepping Agent, you spray it on the wheel and then use WnD to "sand" gently.


    This step may take some time depending on the severity of the damage.

    Once you are happy with the finish, clean again with PC using a clean cloth.....wait 6 hours.

    Step 6:

    Once the wheel has been prepped and you are happy with the finish of the surface, next is the dyeing stage.


    Pour the dye into a small container and stir is important to continually stir the dye as you are applying it to the wheel. Pigments in the dye settle easily so it needs to be stirred constantly.

    I apply the dye using a "wet wipe coat", meaning that a bunched cloth is dipped in the dye so that dye is on the end of the "bunching". I then "dap on" the dye, being careful not the touch the stitching if it is a different colour to the wheel.

    Don't apply to much or it will run and cause problems. You want to "dap" it on so as not to create streaks.

    Apply 2 light coats, 30 minutes between.

    When dry, sand with 2000 WnD to take off and imperfections that might be present.

    Apply 1 final light coat.....wait 48 hours.

    Step 7:

    Buff the wheel with a microfiber cloth.

    Step 8:

    Coat the wheel with shoe polish, let it dry and then buff off with a shoe brush.

    Stand back and admire you work......

    NOTE: If the wheel is badly damaged with gouges and torn leather Leatherique make a crack filler which can be used to smooth the surface.
    It is "sandable" and once applied and dry it makes a very good base for redyeing the wheel.

    If you have any questions on the above, please ask....


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  2. rossi4646

    rossi4646 V-Limited Member

    Any pics of said steering before and after ?
  3. Amadiro

    Amadiro V-Limited Member

    I can't get my steering wheel off the column, it's stuck solid actually bent the metal cage round the nut trying :cry:
  4. tekkerchrede

    tekkerchrede V-Limited Member

    What about the stitching? You avoid it, but with the red colour pen, you also apply it carefully?

    But a very thorough walkthrough! :thumb
  5. type-ra

    type-ra Administrator

    West Yorkshire
    Great write up @red clubbie

    I'd never heard of Leatherique but a bit of digging has turned it up in the UK. I have a couple of wheels needing a refresh so will be having a dabble:thumb

  6. red clubbie

    red clubbie Type RA Member

    Sydney, Australia.
    On the steering wheels I have done so far, the stitching has been in good condition.
    All it takes is a good clean with a tooth brush and the colour returns.
    On wheels that have black stitching, you don't have to worry about the colour, but I did a wheel on
    my Ferrari which had white stitching, so I had to be careful not to get any dye on the stitching.

    Depending on how close you want to go to the stitching, if you want to get close, then you can use a small artist
    brush to go along both sides of the stitching and blend it in with the dye.

    I haven't used a colour pen to recolour the stitching.


  7. red clubbie

    red clubbie Type RA Member

    Sydney, Australia.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. type-ra

    type-ra Administrator

    West Yorkshire
  9. red clubbie

    red clubbie Type RA Member

    Sydney, Australia.

    Sounds normal to


  10. red clubbie

    red clubbie Type RA Member

    Sydney, Australia.
    I didn't take a "before" pic, but I've got a couple of "after"....




    The wheel had some sun fading and crazing on the top of the wheel.

    The refurb fixed those problems.


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