Rejuvenating (very dry) leather seats

Ban306

Active Member
#22
I agree they look amazing I think your bang on the money there well done.
It would be funny if you was stopped by the police,
Hello Sir have you been drinking, "No officer I have just covered my seats in thinners :D nothing to worry about"
 

Phil Robson

Well-Known Member
#23
The colour kit arrived this week, including cleaner, colour & sealing paste together with a couple of cloths:

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I don't need the cleaner as I've done that part of the job already.

I tried to dab the first coat of colour on as per the instructions but found it very difficult to get an even covering & I tended to be wiping off wht I'd just out on! Thoughts immediately turned to spraying (as advised for subsequent coats) but I didn't think the bottle of colour would last long - it's 500ml supplied in a consistency suitable for spraying & intended for interiors of the P6 size. (Woolies No. 2).

It then struck me that I should use my trusty modeller's airbrush again:

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The trick is to do it steadily with as low a pressure as will still 'atomise' the 'paint'. It is a case of doing several light coats & waiting for at least an hour between coats; the colour soaks in to a degree, so it looks like you've done very little even after a couple of coats! However, I persevered & have so far put 4 coats on, with a good rub down in between each with a soft cloth. This is the result after those 4 coats:

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and a close up:

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To say I'm pleased is an understatement :)

After 4 coats on the back seats' leather facings I've used this much of the colour:

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I'm sure I'll need another bottle as I reckon on probably another 3 coats before the sealing paste & I haven't started on the fronts yet.

The colour match to the vinyl (outside in the sun) is quite spectacular!

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Phil Robson

Well-Known Member
#24
Since OCC's restoration started 14 years ago I have had various seat bits stacked on top of each other without a problem. Now that the leather is much more supple I've had this happen from one night's inappropriate storage!

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Presumably the leather has been able to stretch & hopefully it will return to its flat state in due course.....
 

PeterZRH

Well-Known Member
#26
The leather paint won't stick to the piping (at least for very long) which is vinyl. You need to pull it back to allow colour into the seems to avoid shadows.

The airbrush is absolutely the best way to do this, although I believe you can only thin it 20% or so.
 
#28
The back seats have now been finished & they look superb :cool:

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It's probably not all good news though. When I put the 'sealing paste' on it did tend to rub a bit of the colour off :(. This is noted in the instructions & I had left only a few days between the spraying & the sealing. I'm hoping they are OK to sit on, but we'll have to see how they fare. I'll report as they bed in.

I'm doing the front passenger seat now, which will get some use relatively quickly. The driver's seat will be the real test & I've not started on its colour yet.

I have attempted a (crude) repair on the passenger seat where it was 'punctured':

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Piece of leather glued behind:

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A little leather filler & sanded:

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Cleaning the vinyl is a real test of patience & again, only thinners seems to have the power to get it really clean, although several passes with a toothbrush does take a while ;)

Before:

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Toothbrush:

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After (left hand side still to do a 2nd time):

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#29
Compared to their previous condition those rear seats look splendid. It'll be interesting to see how they fare under use.

A small scrubbing brush will be quicker than a toothbrush. I cleaned the very grubby drivers seat in my daily 75 at the weekend. A cheap car carpet/upholstery cleaner from 'Astonish' did the job very well, once l started using the brush & wiping it off immediately while the dirt was still suspended in the fluid.
 
#30
A cheap car carpet/upholstery cleaner from 'Astonish' did the job very well, once l started using the brush & wiping it off immediately while the dirt was still suspended in the fluid.
I might have another go with that on the driver's seat, but I've already tried similar things without success :(. I suppose I'm looking at 55 year old ingrained dirt, so it's probably affected the vinyl surface by now, making it harder to shift?
 
#31
Yes & as with the different leathers, the 75 seats don't have nearly so much of that grainy texture that the P6's do. It holds the dirt extremely efficiently but also makes them look a little grubby even when they've been cleaned. You lose that when you re-colour the leather which is how you can generally tell when it's been done, l think.
My 75 seat is extremely slippery now after a proper clean & burnishing cream application.
 
#34
I'm not sure it is (all) dirt, more that the material oxidizes or otherwise decomposes. You be unlikely to get an even layer of discolouration on the rear parcel shelf otherwise.

In fact I cleaned the discolouration from the top corner of the outer edges of the backs of the front seats and it came back in the same pattern within 6 months.
 
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