Author Topic: Leather Rejuvenation -- anyone ever tried this trick? Any thoughts?  (Read 564 times)

Offline colinlikens

  • Posts: 106
  • Name: Colin Likens
I confess that I'm asking about this approach to leather rejuvenation in order to help a friend with his 15 year old car (not a Cadillac).  Although if it works well it is fair to say that my Eldorado's seats would benefit from that.  My friend's car and my Eldorado are not logical candidates for expensive reupholstery work. 

The basic idea is as follows:
1) Use spray enamel paint that closely matches the leather color.  Spray it onto a rag.
2) Apply a little laquer thinner to the paint on the rag.
3) Rub the rag over cracks in the leather to fill the cracks with color.  Allow it to dry.
4) Condition/preserve with 303 Protectant.

Here's a link to a video showing this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gI04exWUkKI

I'm a bit embarrassed to ask because this seems like such a meatball solution.  But for my friend's 15 year old car a more expensive fix absolutely doesn't make sense.  And the same might arguably be said for some of our beloved daily drivers.

Also I know that some interior restoration involves painting interior parts if you can't find the right color part to begin with.  So how different is this?

Any thoughts, experience with this process, or recommendations are appreciated!

Colin

1973 Eldorado Convertible
2008 DTS
1978 Buick Estate Wagon

Re: Leather Rejuvenation -- anyone ever tried this trick? Any thoughts?
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2020, 02:33:04 PM »
Colin,

Contact this company: https://colorplus.com/. They have excellent leather restoration products that I’ve used for years. Their dye is flexible and does not crack, peel or flake. They also have a crack filler that works like body putty. They can color match the dye to the exact color of the leather you’re working on. Best of all products are water based and can be applied by foam brush.
I dyed the entire interior below that was badly sun faded and had numerous deep cracks beginning. Twenty years later it still look terrific.

HTH
Ralph
« Last Edit: August 19, 2020, 02:38:08 PM by Ralph Messina CLC 4937 »
1966 Fleetwood Brougham-with a new caretaker http://bit.ly/1GCn8I4
1966 Eldorado-with a new caretaker  http://bit.ly/1OrxLoY
2018 GMC Yukon

Offline cadillacmike68

  • Posts: 3438
  • Still crusin'
  • CLC Number: 15823
  • Name: M Santos
Re: Leather Rejuvenation -- anyone ever tried this trick? Any thoughts?
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2020, 11:21:55 PM »
Navy blue leather dye for my 68. Just need to polish (literally) off the "bronzing" with some neutral kiwi shoe polish. Once a year or so until I can get the seats re-upholstered

After 35 years in the Army I know how to keep up old leather. I still have a pair of Corcoran jump boots, the ones I graduated airborne school in from 1981.
Regards,
"Cadillac" Mike

Offline StevenTuck

  • Posts: 1052
  • CLC Member # 16507
  • Name: Steven M. Tuck
Re: Leather Rejuvenation -- anyone ever tried this trick? Any thoughts?
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2020, 05:23:10 AM »
I have used Leatherique products with good results.

http://www.leatherique.com/
1962 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz
http://bit.ly/1NfPNHE
Car Show Signs and Car Photo Books
http://carshowsigns.net/

Offline fishnjim

  • Posts: 2427
  • Name: J. Bozin
Re: Leather Rejuvenation -- anyone ever tried this trick? Any thoughts?
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2020, 09:01:45 AM »
That method is merely using paint to "dye" the leather.   If you use the wrong type paint with lacquer thinner, you'll have a gooey mess.  Acetone similalrly.   The solvent will penetrate the leather surface and flash off.   I suspect it overcomes the color matching issue as more choices in paint colors.
There are spray apply dyes for this, but may limit the color choices.
There are many "old" used car detail tricks for making things look better for the sale, but may not service the long term.   
The thread material need to be considered when choosing, so you don't affect or deteriorate the stitching.   Also what the material is so not to attract bio-degradation.
I think the results will be only as good as the leather you're starting with.   If it's mildewed, moldy, or severely cracked and faded, it'll reflect that at some point.   The dyes sun fade, some more than others.   The leather dries out, loses it's natural and tanning oils, and brittles.   The cost of reconditioning labor vs the cost of recovering comes into decisions.
Best thing is regular attention, but that's not an option if it's a resurrection.
We've kind of lost our leather know how, as most all of the commercial hides are tanned outside the USA.   I remember the "leather works" as a key piece of industry, but they all succumbed to environmental clean ups.   Synthetics have replaced natural leather.   

Offline MaR

  • Posts: 983
  • Name: Mitchell Radford
Re: Leather Rejuvenation -- anyone ever tried this trick? Any thoughts?
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2020, 10:37:55 AM »
I have used Leatherique products with good results.

http://www.leatherique.com/

I have used the Leatherique products with good results as well.

Offline artdan

  • Posts: 49
  • CLC Number: 32420
  • Name: Dan Murray
Re: Leather Rejuvenation -- anyone ever tried this trick? Any thoughts?
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2020, 07:18:33 PM »
I used Leather Magic products several years ago.
They looked great for about 15 minutes.
I would avoid their products
1957 Eldorado Biarritz
1957 Continental Mark II
1960 Corvette
1956 Thunderbird (sold)
1965 Buick Riviera (sold)
1975 Datsun 280 Z (sold)

 

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