Refinished old cracking and peeling steering wheel leather


Active Member
Jul 23, 2019
Washington DC
My steering wheel leather was heavily worn ( cracks and peeling but no tears ) on my 91 vert - was going to change out steering wheel , but did not have $ or motivation to pull it off - so , I put on my maverick hat and went to work . Started with some 80 grit sandpaper and brought it down to raw suede - it was kinda grey color with a noticeable nap at this stage ( took about 30 min for this and was very dirty , so drape ) went to 100 and 150 grit but still had nap - careful on the underside stitching the threads are tough , but can get sanded off if too rough . Wiped the leather off good with lacquer thinner and touched up some spots missed sanding . Then I used shoe dye touch up to dye the leather . Then I put some oil based satin polyurethane on the leather (the paint on not spray on ) let it to dry for a day and took some 0000 steel wool and rubbed the urethane to smooth it out - finished off with some black shoe polish to buff and polish it . It’s been 2 months and still looks great and feel great to the touch . I do not have before pics , but it looked similar to the old one here , but mine was worse - other pics are my finished wheel
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