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Old 04-21-2017, 10:17 AM   #1
Geo31
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Wood Trim Restoration

Who here has actually restored their wood trim?

I did a search, but most that I could find was a simple mention of it among threads debating wood vs other trims.

I have a spare set (not sure it's complete at the moment) from my old 328i that I want to toy with. The wood trim on my car is in perfect shape, but I may want to do something different.

So, who has restored their trim? What have you used to clear it with and how did it hold up? Anybody end up with a thick coating like the factory coating?

My concern is that a standard evaporative finish will not hold up to heat very well and could end up all sticky and such. I'm just starting to noodle this, but I'm thinking at least a catalyzed finish would be required.
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Old 04-21-2017, 10:37 AM   #2
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Not being a fan of the wood look, I would paint them instead.
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Old 04-21-2017, 11:31 AM   #3
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Not being a fan of the wood look, I would paint them instead.
See, I love the wood look. Going to keep it.
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Old 04-21-2017, 11:44 AM   #4
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I polished mine with Plastix and the Porter Cable buffer, shined up nice. Are you thinking about removing the veneer? Not sure how well that'd work.
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Old 04-21-2017, 11:47 AM   #5
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I polished mine with Plastix and the Porter Cable buffer, shined up nice. Are you thinking about removing the veneer? Not sure how well that'd work.
I am. I am a woodworker and I'm thinking seriously of putting a different veneer on it. So, shining it up is not the problem (I have the PC buffer as well BTW). The issue is getting the right kind of finish on it.
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Old 04-21-2017, 12:35 PM   #6
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See, I love the wood look. Going to keep it.
Agreed. Non-wood look is less warm and more boi racery. A gentleman's car has wood trim in it.
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Old 04-21-2017, 12:41 PM   #7
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Agreed. Non-wood look is less warm and more boi racery.
Some of us prefer the term "sporty."

Quote:
A gentleman's car has wood trim in it.


Really?

I kid; I kid.




George, I would think you might get some more tips on a woodworking/finishing site...
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Old 04-21-2017, 01:36 PM   #8
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The problem with a woodworking site is the finish needs to not only survive, but not care that it's inside a hot (and sometimes cold) car, sometimes hot and cold on the same day here in Houston. Most normal woodworking finishes would not survive.

So, that is why I'm turning to the folks here. I know some have done it. Looking for info about success or failure.

Oh and FWIW, I think this is going to happen. Worst case scenario, I get the bodyshop two doors down from work to shoot a HEAVY coat of catalyzed clear so I can wet sand it and buff it. I'd rather apply the finish myself though.
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Old 04-21-2017, 01:52 PM   #9
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Agreed. Non-wood look is less warm and more boi racery. A gentleman's car has wood trim in it.
so what you're saying is you're a gentle man who loves warm wood

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Old 04-21-2017, 01:56 PM   #10
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I'd rather apply the finish myself though.
Find an automotive refinishing supplies distributor, and you can get your own clear coat. You'll need a decent paint gun, as well as a good compressor (capable of at least 4-5 SCFM at the bare minimum).

The two systems probably easiest to find is PPG and Axalta Cromax (which used to Dupont products before that division got spun off). You're in Texas, so you probably won't have too many pesky environmental issues to deal with.

The supplier will have tech sheets on paint gun set up, or you can download them. The distributors I've worked with have been very helpful. All the paint fumes probably makes them very mellow

Not sure about wood veneer, but over a basecoat, start with two light tack coats, then several heavy wet coats. That should be enough for color (wet) sanding. I usually start with 800 grit, work up to 2000, then several machine compounds and polishes with my PC.

edit: if you have your neighbors clear the veneer, tell them you plan on wet sanding it. That way they will know what you plan on doing and will spray accordingly.
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Old 04-21-2017, 02:04 PM   #11
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Who here has actually restored their wood trim?
I have a spare set (not sure it's complete at the moment) from my old 328i that I want to toy with. The wood trim on my car is in perfect shape, but I may want to do something different.
So, who has restored their trim? What have you used to clear it with and how did it hold up? Anybody end up with a thick coating like the factory coating
I see you're looking to restore the wood trim. I have always wondered since its real wood if one could sand and stain it again darker? Going to something more like the Birch Antracite.


Either way good luck with your project
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Old 04-21-2017, 03:13 PM   #12
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Find an automotive refinishing supplies distributor, and you can get your own clear coat. You'll need a decent paint gun, as well as a good compressor (capable of at least 4-5 SCFM at the bare minimum).

The two systems probably easiest to find is PPG and Axalta Cromax (which used to Dupont products before that division got spun off). You're in Texas, so you probably won't have too many pesky environmental issues to deal with.

The supplier will have tech sheets on paint gun set up, or you can download them. The distributors I've worked with have been very helpful. All the paint fumes probably makes them very mellow

Not sure about wood veneer, but over a basecoat, start with two light tack coats, then several heavy wet coats. That should be enough for color (wet) sanding. I usually start with 800 grit, work up to 2000, then several machine compounds and polishes with my PC.

edit: if you have your neighbors clear the veneer, tell them you plan on wet sanding it. That way they will know what you plan on doing and will spray accordingly.
Wow! Thanks for that info! I'll check my compressor's flow rate tonight. I used to have a nice Binks gravity flow gun, but not anymore. I'll have to look around for something.

I think this is going to take shape soon.

Got something else coming for the interior, but I'll keep that under my hat until it gets here.
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Old 04-21-2017, 03:15 PM   #13
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I see you're looking to restore the wood trim. I have always wondered since its real wood if one could sand and stain it again darker? Going to something more like the Birch Antracite.


Either way good luck with your project
Thanks!

I don't think you'd have a lot of success restaining. The problem is, the finish seeps into the pores of the wood so the stain would only cover the surface, and not seep into the wood. You'd have to do what I plan on doing... Sand off the old veneer, apply a new veneer, stain (probably dye really) and then finish.

If I pull this off I'll have a DIY with pics. Getting excited about doing this.
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Old 04-21-2017, 03:18 PM   #14
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This is the thread that got me interested in doing this:

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...rim+collection
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Old 04-21-2017, 07:38 PM   #15
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It's real wood but there's a clear coat on top. Polish normally as you would car paint.

I left my arm test pieces in place and used a drill with a 3inch pad with m105 and m205, same with the dash board pieces

The center console i removed and did the same aswell.

I like my wood because it looks like $$$
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Old 04-21-2017, 08:18 PM   #16
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It's real wood but there's a clear coat on top. Polish normally as you would car paint.

I left my arm test pieces in place and used a drill with a 3inch pad with m105 and m205, same with the dash board pieces

The center console i removed and did the same aswell.

I like my wood because it looks like $$$
Yes sir. I know it's real wood. I'm not interested in restoring what came from the factory. I was trying to be a little cryptic when I started this thread, but the cat is out of the bag. I want to sand everything down to the base, apply a new veneer, and finish it.

I was looking for info from people who actually refinished because figuring out the right finish to apply isn't straight-forward. I'll probably do the catalyzed clear coat though if I cannot come up with another solution.

I don't have my old trim at the house. I think it may be at my wife's old house (that we're getting ready to sell) and we'll be there tomorrow, so I'll find out. I may end up having to buy a sub-par set to refinish. That's OK though.
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Old 04-21-2017, 10:21 PM   #17
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I want to sand everything down to the base, apply a new veneer, and finish it.
In your shoes, I would buy a set of the plastic silver trim for cheap just to avoid having to sand through all that clear coat and the veneer. Probably save you a lot of time.
I would also spray paint them brown, like the factory wood trim, before applying the wood veneer, just in case there are any gaps.
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Old 04-21-2017, 11:11 PM   #18
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In your shoes, I would buy a set of the plastic silver trim for cheap
Got a link for these?
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Old 04-22-2017, 06:10 AM   #19
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In your shoes, I would buy a set of the plastic silver trim for cheap just to avoid having to sand through all that clear coat and the veneer. Probably save you a lot of time.
I would also spray paint them brown, like the factory wood trim, before applying the wood veneer, just in case there are any gaps.
Since the wood trim finish in my car started clouding up on some of the door pieces I have always wondered if refinishing the wood trim was possible and how much effort it would entail. I will be eagerly following the OPs journey and hopefully it will be documented here.

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Old 04-22-2017, 11:39 AM   #20
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ive always looooved that birch
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