Leather car seats feature in lots of cars, and often they are especially prominent in more expensive cars. They can look great, and they can bring a car interior together, however sometimes they are a color that we just do not like, and sometimes they lose color over time. When this happens, they can look cheap and can really ruin the aesthetic of your vehicle. So, can you recolor leather car seats?
Can You Recolor Leather Car Seats
Recoloring your leather car seats is a great way to add worth to your car, change the style of your leather car interior, and to cover scratches and blemishes on the leather. You can change your plain red leather car seat to a fancy red leather car seat and hide your cracked leather with a simple recoloring. And the process is incredibly simple.
Different ways to recolor a leather car seat.
Different Ways to Recolor a Leather Car Seat
There are a few different ways to recolor your leather cloth car interiors. First of all, you need to choose whether to either dye or paint the leather. Paint and dye have just as successful results as one another, it simply depends on which product you’d like to use.
If you would like to paint your leather car seat, you will then need to choose between sponge or spray applications. Alternatively, if you’d like to dye your leather car seat, you will need to choose between synthetic dyes manufactured by dye companies, or more natural dyes. Should you opt for synthetic dyes, you then have the choice between oil-based and acrylic dyes.
All of the methods will produce high-quality results, however, they all have slightly different dyeing processes, and will take different amounts of time to complete.
How to recolor leather upholstery
How to Recolor Leather Upholstery
Dyeing your car interior with synthetic dye is a very similar process to painting your car interior, and the two are the easiest methods of recoloring your leather seats. After step 6, if you are painting your leather, simply follow the instructions on the paint.
For natural dyes, the process will be different.
The usual process is as follows:
1. Move your leather seats
The first step is to remove your leather seats from your car. This will help to protect the rest of your car from the dye and will ensure that you can reach all the cracks and corners of the leather seats.
It is recommended that you place your car seats on a large piece of tarp somewhere spacious, well ventilated and that you don’t mind getting dye on, just in case. A garage or back yard works well.
2. Prepare your seats
Many car seats have a transparent manufactured finish applied to them to protect the leather and the colour from damage. This is great but will mean that the pigments in the dye are unable to properly adhere to the material. To get rid of the manufactured finish, you will need an abrasive pad. Using the pad and gentle pressure, rub away the finish. It should fall like debris into the chair.
3. Wipe the seats
You will need to remove the debris and excess prep that will inevitably cover the seat after removing the finish. You can do so with a soft cloth.
4. Clean the seats
Often, people don’t consider how dirty seats get. But it is important that you clean your leather seats well prior to painting or dyeing them, as otherwise, you might find it hard to get a very smooth finish.
You can clean your leather with a microfiber cloth, warm water and mild soap. When washed, wipe the excess water off of the material and leave it to dry for a while. For stained leather, you can use rubbing alcohol or an alcohol cleaner.
5. Fill cracks
Cracked leather is very common. Usually, it is a few small cracks, but sometimes there are larger tears and cracks. These need filling in order to give you a solid base to dye. Correctly prepared leather is much easier to use.
To fill the cracks, you will need liquid leather or a crack filler and a palette knife. Cover the cracks in your leather with the paste, and if need be, let to dry and return with another thin coat.
After filling the cracks in your leather, you will likely notice that the material is now slightly uneven. To handle this and subsequently ensure that you can achieve the best results possible, you will need to sand the fabric down. Once sanded smooth, you can move on to the coloring process.
7. Prepare the dye
To make it easier if you’re using a sponge to apply your dye, pour your dye into a large bowl or Tupperware container. This will allow you to properly access the dye with the sponge, allowing more coverage in less time.
8. Base coat
You should check to see if the dye you are using requires a primer, and if so, you should use that instead of a base coat. For all-in-one dyes, paint your base coat onto the leather using the sponge in long strokes. Then leave to dry for several hours.
9. Dye the leather
You can now begin to dye your leather interiors. You should be sure to use thin coats and do long, smooth strokes with the sponge, dabbing occasionally to prevent any sponge marks from forming. Leave each coat to dry fully before continuing onto the next.
10. Seal and condition
Again, not all dyes require sealing. Check to see if yours does, and then apply the seal accordingly. Once the seal is dry, use a leather conditioner to moisturize the material and protect it, and then return the seats to the vehicle.
If you’re unsure, there are plenty of dyeing leather car seats tutorials available online to help.