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Got Nothing Better To Do

Joined: Feb 05, 2003
Posts: 1147
Location: Gloucestershire UK

PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:47 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Taken from my Cabriolet project attempt at dying my Ecrue kodiak leather interior!

For simplicity I'll show just the driver's seat, the rest of the interior is dyed in the exact same way. After trawling through the internet and reading about people's efforts and also some professional opinions I've compiled a step by step method that's yielded some really good results.

First off is the supplies...

3 packs of Liquid Leather Scuff Master dye, each kit contains a 65 ml bottle of matched dye, 5ml of gloss enhancer, 5ml of light toner and 5ml of dark toner. Packs are around 17 and can be bought from Ebay or directly at

1 small jar of leather filler bought on Ebay from the Buffalo Leather repair & care company.

1 bottle of methylated spirits.

1 can of surface preparation spray (Halfords).

1 pack of 240 grit wet & dry.

1 pack of 400 grit wet & dry.

1 pack of Scotch Brite pads (fine)

Paper towels.

The cracks on the lumber bolster were quite deep and penetrated into the leather, most cracks just go through the leather dye layer but these were bad and in need of filling.

Step 1.

The seat is thoroughly scrubbed with soap suds with a soft bristle brush, I found a nail brush was good at getting the dirt out of the cracks and crevices. I used paper towels to soak up the excess water as I went along.

Step 2

Most of the surface dirt has been removed but the ingrained dirt needs to be removed with the aid of scotch brite pads, I used a fine sanding pad again with soap suds.

The seat is looking a lot cleaner. The action of scrubbing with the scotch brite pads will lift some of existing leather dye, this has an effect of filling some of the minor cracks as you work the pad across the surface.

Step 3

After the seats have been thoroughly scrubbed clean the seat is wiped down with methylated spirits and a clean paper towel is used to wipe the surface to lift any remaining grease and dirt.

Step 4

The surface of the leather is ready to be sanded with 240 grit wet and dry paper used with the same soap suds. The worst areas are rubbed down until the surface of the leather feels smooth. Most of the cracks will be in the layer of dye itself and therefore it is necessary to remove the out laying areas of dye to create a smooth surface. Sanding to much will roughen the leather to a suede finish so care needs to be taken. The procedure is very much like flattening priming paint prior to the final coats.

For deep cracks that sanding cannot fill, especially those cracks that are in the leather itself a filler is used. The filler is a special flexible type suitable for leather. I found it was useful to add a little dye to the white filler to help blend the repair in during the dying stages. The filler is applied like body filler but apply in small amounts as it can be hard work to sand down thick layers.

The seats will look like this once you are happy with the sanding and filling..

There are now areas of bare leather and filled cracks. The seat is left overnight to fully dry.

Once dry the filler is sanded with wet & dry until smooth.

Step 5

Next the seat is wiped over with the surface prep spray to remove any dust and loose particles of the sanding process. This also has the affect of opening up the pours in the leather so that the leather easily accepts the dye.

Step 6

The dye can now be applied. I used the dye mixed with a little water, full instructions are supplied in the dye kit. The kit includes a couple of sponge applicators that I found easy to use and a lot quicker than my air brush I was going to use. I used straight strokes to keep the layer of dye even and to ensure all the areas are covered. After the first layer the seat may look "streaky" using a hair dryer will speed up the drying time considerably and once the dye is absorbed by the leather the streaky effect will disappear.

After the first layer of dye...

It took about 7 layers of dye for the colour to look even and with no visible trace of the filler or bare leather patches.

The final coat includes a drop or two of the gloss enhancer to give the leather a slight satin sheen...

Step 7

After around 24 hours the seats will be dry and can be treated with a leather conditioner and protector.

The finished result....


2.8 Cabriolet Final Edition

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Joined: Oct 18, 2009
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 3:18 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Hi fast28

Found your article very interesting as i am at present waiting delivery of a repair kit from Buffalo, sounds like your repair might be a little cheaper though, my kit is costing 35 which should include all i need, it will be interesting to see how this compares to your procedure.
I will try to take some piccies as i try out my attempt.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:03 pm Reply with quote Back to top

cracking job and good writeup


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Joined: Jan 31, 2003
Posts: 270
Location: Dorset

PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:13 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Ace write up, thanks for taking the time to do it, I have leather seats that aren't too bad and was thinking I would need to replace it all to make it look good, but not any more!

Did you have to replace any foam? My passengers side seat is a bit lumpy so might need to look into that as well!

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