Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Orchard Park, NY
Maserati Life Posts: 79
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In order to understand the remove, one must understand the coatings used.
The coatings we are talking about are called "Soft Touch" coatings. These are designed to give a soft, velvet like feel. They are low gloss in sheen to help reduce glare in the car. These coatings can also be found on computer mice, TV / Stereo remote controls, etc.
While these coatings are typically black in appearance, the coatings themselves are not always black. The OEM's (note, Ferrari does not make these parts, they are made by sub-contractors) use both black soft touch and clear soft touch.
Black Soft Touch: This is typically used over parts such as bezels, steering column surrounds, shifter trim, etc. When this fails, you get the black mess all over your fingers.
Clear Soft Touch: This is typically used over parts with illuminated graphics. The parts are first painted with a white, then a mid-gloss black, the graphics are laser etched and then the clear soft touch is applied to lower the sheen (considerably) and add the velvet feel.
In some cases (such as the headlight controls and mirror controls of a 599) the soft touch is black in color and the graphics are laser etched right though the black soft touch.
Graphics: The OEM's used 2 types of graphics: Silk screen (or pad printing) and laser etching. In most cases (but not all) silk screen was used for non-illuminated graphics while laser etching was used for all illuminated graphics. However, some of the seat controls of a 599 that don't illuminate were still laser etched.
Removing the sticky soft touch: While I'm not going to give away all of our secrets here, if you have sticky parts and it's becoming a burden, you can use rubbing alcohol to remove the coating. Please do this with caution. Silk screen graphics will be gone once you do this and depending on what % of alcohol you use, the base paint may come off also.
Please note, for parts like HVAC panels, window switches with graphics (that have a clear soft touch), it is possible to clean the clear soft touch off without damaging the base black below. Note, while this looks decent, the resulting finish will be a much higher gloss.
In summary, you may get lucky cleaning clear soft touch coatings with alcohol or other products but you will be left with a too glossy part.
The only way to do this correct, if full refinishing. Attached are some photos of my car parts I refinished.
- 2008 MGT Nero / Cuoio
- 1998 355 F1 GTS Nero / Beige
- 1995 F355 Berlinetta Rosso Corsa / Beige
- 1995 F355 Berlinetta Rosso Corsa / Nero