How to Dye Leather Car Seats a Different Color

January 27, 2012

Leather car seats are one of the most attractive interior designs on modern vehicles. The only problem is that standard colors they often come in might not appeal to your tastes, especially in a used car you may have just purchased. By following a few simple steps, you can learn how to change the color of the leather to give it a more personalised touch.

Tools and Materials

  • A vacuum cleaner (Different sized head parts)
  • Cleaning agent (Detergent)
  • Some hot water
  • A large cloth or towel
  • Steel wool
  • Lacquer thinners
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Leather oil
  • Adhesive filler for leather
  • Newspaper or plastic bags
  • A small container
  • Dye (Your choice of color)
  • Leather preparation spray

Step One - Clean the Seats

Your first step should be to thoroughly clean the car seats. Do this by cleaning them with a vacuum cleaner, using a smaller attachment to get right down into the cracks on each seat. Mix a little cleaning agent with some hot water and scrub all around the seats. Finally, dry them with a large cloth or towel. Cleaning car leather provides the perfect platform for a great dye job.

Step Two - Remove the Color

Use some steel wool and a bottle of lacquer thinners to remove the current color from the leather. Scrub all of the seats until they are clean of their original color. Open all of the car doors to get rid of the leathery smell and wipe the seats down with a damp, warm cloth.

Step Three - Sand the Seats

Mix some water and detergent and rub the seats. Wet sand them first with fine sandpaper. Make sure you wet the seats as you go. This will decrease friction between the leather and sand paper and ensure that they don't become damaged. Leave the car for roughly 24 hours so that it can dry off.

Step Four - Apply Oil

Use special seat or rejuvenating oil that can be bought from any good motoring shop. Cover the seats in the oil and rub it in thoroughly. Use the whole bottle if you have to. Any dry areas that form need to be sanded again so that the oil seeps into the seats. Do this thoroughly and leave the car for a period of 12 hours.

Step Five - Apply Car Cleaning Agent

Apply a highly efficient car cleaning agent onto all of the seats. Try to get the agent into all of the areas that may have been missed in previous cleaning steps. Wipe the seats with a clean and warm cloth as you work. Leave the car for a period of 48 hours. You can now apply some leather preparation spray.

Step Six - Repair the Seats

Repair the seats using some leather repair filler. Apply the filler along small cracks in the leather. This will seal it tightly shut. Leave for a few hours so the filler can set and solidify. You may need to apply multiple coat to fill in larger repaired areas.

Step Seven - Dye the Seats

Wipe the entire interior of the car with a warm and damp cloth. Protect all areas except for the seats using sheets of newspaper or plastic bags. Put all of the car leather dye, in the color of your choice, into a container that you can easily get to. Apply neat and even layers to each seat. You can use a large, fine paint brush to do this although applying with a lint-free cloth will help to reduce splashes or spillages. Let the dye dry between each layer that you apply. Leave roughly three months for the color to settle down. If you want to work towards a deeper shade, you rcan epeat this process again.


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