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Repairing Car Leather Upholstery

Sheetal Mandora
Looking for an easy at-home solution to repair your car leather upholstery? Look no further as here is a step-by-step instructions to get the job done in a jiffy.
Dirty, wet, or even torn leather upholstery is unappealing and can drastically decrease the value of your car. Which is why, the sooner we get to the task the better. The following steps will show you want sort of materials and tools you'll require to repair the upholstery.

Materials Needed

  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Towel
  • Scrub brush
  • Bucket
  • Scouring pad
  • Blow dryer
  • Paper towels
  • Terry cloth
  • Leather prep (SEM Leather Prep)
  • Leather water sealer
  • Leather dye (SEM Classic Coat)
  • Denatured alcohol
  • 240-grit sandpaper
  • Sheet

Step #1

In a bucket, combine warm water and 2 to 4 drops of dishwashing liquid properly. Take the scrub brush and dip it in the soapy water. The soaked scrub brush needs to be used on the seats surface for cleaning. Make sure that you clean the crevices properly as well. Once the upholstery is cleaned, wipe the seats properly with a clean terry cloth.

Step #2

After you wipe the seats, dip the scouring pad in the soapy water, and clean the seats in a circular motion with light pressure. The scouring pad will pick up dust and dirt particles that the scrub brush may have missed. Also, the scouring pad can prep the seats for the new dye. Take another clean terry cloth and wipe the seats properly.

Step #3

Dab fresh paper towels with a small amount of denatured alcohol, and wipe the seats properly. Wipe it in an up-down motion, and be sure to cover all surfaces.
Take clean paper towels and wipe the seats one more time. But don't let the denatured alcohol dry before you get a chance to clean it. The denatured alcohol will remove the silicone and/or other chemicals which can stop the new dye from sticking.

Step #4

Now dip the 240-grit sandpaper in the soapy water and start sanding the seats. As you are in the process, you will see that the original dye is starting to come off. Take the sandpaper and collect the dye underneath your hand, to fill it inside the visible tear.
Keep on sanding the surface till you can feel the seats becoming smoother. Take another clean terry towel and wipe the seats properly. With a blow dryer, dry the seats till there is no trace of water.

Step #5

Take a thin layer of the SEM leather prep and spread it over the seats. As the SEM prep works, it will help settle the new dye comfortably. On a fresh paper towel, dab some leather water sealer and apply it on the damaged area of the seats. Allow the prep to work its magic, as it will protect the leather and let it dry.

Step #6

Cover the other parts of the interior of your car so that when you spray the new dye, it doesn't stain your dashboard, windows, or anything else. Keep the leather dye at least 15 inches away from the area that needs to be sprayed. After the first coat is on, run the blow dryer over it. Fill all visible tears properly and apply another coat, if necessary.
Finally, make sure that the seats are completely dry (that can take a few hours), and the coats you applied are thin and applied only on the visible tears. Also, make sure the new color matches the original shade.