: Armrest restoration

09-04-11, 02:36 PM
This forum seems like the most likely place to start as a lot more of the older RWD models are apt to have armrests in a lot worse condition than most of the FWD DeVilles. So I was wondering if anybody could give me some suggestions to repair on my armrests that I could do myself. To start off I want to lengthen my armrests about 6 inches because they seem too short to suit me. I have a coupe so naturaly my armrests have room to grow. I am going to graft them together along with strengthing them on the inside so they don't sag which is a big problem with "C" body armrests. Can the vinyl be coated with something on the surface where the splice is to cover or hide that, or will I have to get them recovered at the upholstery shop. I really want to avoid the upholstery shops due to the fact when they see somethig altered it gives them reason to charge more than usual. I thought about locating a SEM dealer to get some dye mixed to my factory color because the armrests are not matching in color to what my interior is. I don't know that much about SEM products other than what I have read about their other materials or any other products for that matter. I know enough about exterior finishes, nothing about interior recoloring. What do the dealers do when they have to order a part and they need to have it painted to the correct color?

09-04-11, 04:27 PM
Use SEM to redye, or build what you want out of wood or fiberglass, and then wrap it with foam and vinyl.

You might want to check out the armrests from the 77-85 RWD coupes. They might be longer than what you have, and save you lots of work. I have spares, so I will measure and photograph for you later...

09-05-11, 04:34 AM
Yeah I've got lots of spares so having the basic pieces to do it is no problem. I guess I just need to find a SEM dealer in nearby area for the redye. Anybody use this product and get good results? I just want it to last without having to do over in a few months. Pieces like my glove box lid are discolored so getting the product will be used for more than just armrests. I have an album on my profile page, check it out to see the interior pics.

09-05-11, 10:40 AM
This place will have everything you need:

SEM is a permanent fix if you prep the surface correctly.

09-05-11, 11:20 AM
I haven't used it myself, but I can say that from what I have seen SEM definitely is a permanent fix if done properly.

Also be prepared to PAY for good custom mix interior color cans. It's expensive, but again, it's permanent.

09-05-11, 03:35 PM
Looks like good stuff and it looks like SEM has all the stuff to actually blend the surface of cuts and holes like what I would have on the surface of the molded vinyl surface of my armrests. Thanks for the link.

09-05-11, 04:12 PM
BTW, the 77-85 RWD coupe armrest is 35.5" long.

09-05-11, 04:18 PM
SEM makes EXCELLENT products. Proper surface prep and proper application are important. Make sure to use their clear coat (in the appropriate gloss) as the armrest is a high traffic area. This video is actually a pretty good guide/overview of the process: