Restore Your Car's Leather Interior

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Your Citation
Hamer, Tony and Michele. "Restore Your Car's Leather Interior." ThoughtCo, Jun. 9, 2014, Hamer, Tony and Michele. (2014, June 9). Restore Your Car's Leather Interior. Retrieved from Hamer, Tony and Michele. "Restore Your Car's Leather Interior." ThoughtCo. (accessed September 24, 2017).
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Choose Your Product and Color Match the Leather

Gliptone Liquid Leather Products.

We believe in giving restoration a chance in all cases except when there is no integrity of the leather to build upon. Luckily, there are some great products on the market today that enables you to restore your old leather fairly easily. When restoring or maintaining our car's leather, we have had good luck with Gliptone Liquid Leather Scuff Master, a specialty product line available through distributors on the web. Other products that we have heard work quite well are Lexol Leather Care and Leather World.

What ever product you decide to use, contact the distributor regarding the color matching of your leather. If you are restoring to the original color, send a small swatch of leather (under the seat there is always a spare piece) to the supplier for color matching. Alternatively, your vehicles manufacturer’s color code or color name can help your supplier give you a pretty good match.

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Thoroughly Clean the Leather Surfaces and Determine the Leather Condition.

Examination of the Leather.

Remove the seats or leather items from the interior of the car if necessary. Then begin with a good vacuuming and cleaning, paying special attention to removing the dirt and grime in the seams. Use a leather cleaner product on a damp sponge or a soft clean cloth and rub in a circular motion to remove the initial dirt. For grimy spots, use the product with a soft bristle brush. Liquid Leather Scuff Master recommends Gliptone Liquid Leather Gentle Cleaner, so that’s what we used on this 1997 Jaguar XJ6. Remove any cleaner residue and gently wipe the area with a mild solvent like isopropyl alcohol and allow the leather to dry thoroughly.

Examine the worn or faded spots on the leather surface to decide if the quality of the leather for restoration will have sufficient integrity. Also, any imperfections you see at this stage will be amplified after dyeing. You can remove these with a light sanding using 600 grit sandpaper and follow with a final cleaning.

The driver’s seat, as you see below, has quite a few creases and is highly worn on the left side panel - but the leather is still in good shape and a prime candidate for dying and conditioning.

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Apply the Liquid Leather.

Filling in all the Creases & Cracks.

Test the product on a small area for a color match - most manufacturers supply a toner to alter the color if needed. If your satisfied with your test area, apply the product per the manufactures recommendations - usually with a spray gun, a soft bristled brush or by a sponge; we prefer the latter.

For creases and cracks, dilute the product with 30% water and rub it onto the leather. Let it dry for about a minute and then wipe with a damp cloth. The product will come off good leather, but will remain in the creases and cracks.

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Repairing Rubbed Off Leather Coloring

Driver's Seat Looks Like New Again.

Once we had filled in the creases and cracks of the entire driver’s seat satisfactorily, we concentrated on the left panel where the leather color had rubbed off. Here we applied a thin coat of non-diluted liquid leather to the area and dried it thoroughly with a hair dryer. We had to repeat this step about 3 times, drying it completely each time to achieve our desired result. A final coat was diluted with twenty percent water and wiped down with a dry rag.

The next day we used Gliptone Liquid Leather Conditioner to the driver’s seat which brought a rich shine to the leather. Liquid Leather Scuff Master claims that once it has been properly applied to leather, it will not come off on wet or dry clothes. We have found that to be true.