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I have an STi steering wheel which I'd like to keep. I took off the leather that was covering it, and I'm left with the moulded rubber undearneath which forms the steering wheel. I've sanded it down using 150 and 240 in order to remove the old glue and other contaminants. I would like to spray it with a gloss sparkling paint and cover it so that it withstands daily use. AFAIK using acrylic paint is a no-go, it will chip and flake off, so I've done a bit of research and came up with the following 3 scenarios:

  1. Use epoxy primer, then urethane gloss black paint, then finish off with urethane clear coat. AFAIK this is the most flexible paint, it will create a plastic barrier, and should be strong enough to withstand daily use.

  2. Use plasti-dip to prime and paint the rubber, then clear coat it with polyurethane clear coat, because it offers better adhesion to plastidip than urethane clear coat

  3. Use an epoxy resin to prime the rubber (and solidify it), then paint and spray as usual.

I'm leaning towards option one, which although the most expensive one, seems like the best with regards to longevity and robustness. Option #2 troubles me because I'm not sure how well plastidip will withstand daily use, I don't know how well polyurethane clear coat will adhere to plastidip and as far as I understand it takes multiple coats to form a decent barrier? Option #3 is going to be a nightmare to get right and I'd rather avoid doing that.

Has anyone done anything similar? I know that priming the rubber with epoxy primer will be hard due to the imperfections of the steering wheel, and that it will likely take multiple prime/sanding down layers to get it right. Any advise or help is much appreciated.

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