5 leather repair tips for restoring your auto's interior

October 15, 2014

Worn out or cracked leather can prematurely age your car's appearance. Thankfully, repairing the leather in your auto can be easier than you think.
1. Keep it moist

When your skin becomes dry and cracked, you apply moisturizer, right? Your car leather needs the same treatment at regular intervals.

Set up a monthly or quarterly maintenance schedule. There are a variety of one-step cleaners and conditioners to choose from, available in lotions, spray, or wipes. Each has a mild oil that removes dirt and keeps leather supple. You can, as well, buy dedicated products for each step, using leather conditioner more often than the cleaner.
2. Match the colours
For more drastic wear, you have a variety of leather restoration products to choose from. First you need to match your car leather’s colour, which you can do by sending the supplier a swatch of your leather (from under the seat) or using the car manufacturer’s colour code.
3. Prepare the seats
Clean your car seats thoroughly, vacuuming and using a leather cleaner. You can sand any imperfections with a fine sandpaper and then clean again.
4. Apply the dye
After testing the liquid on a small area for colour matching, you can use a spray gun, a soft bristled brush, or a sponge. For creases and cracks in the seat, dilute the product with water, about 30 per cent, rub it into the leather, let it dry, and then wipe it off, so the crevice is filled.

After applying the undiluted liquid leather to seats with as many coats as needed, use conditioner to give the leather a rich sheen.
4. No more tears over tears
Don’t worry, small tears can be patched. Clean the tear area and use scissors to trim rough areas around the edges. You should have a leather patch that is either colour-matched to your car seat or, as above, you’ll dye later.

When you cut out the patch, make sure you add an excess of about one inch to ensure the tear is completely covered. Apply adhesive around the tear, press on the patch, and after it has dried, sand around the edges to remove excess glue and rough edges.

Then colour, if needed, and condition.
5. Or, if you can’t be bothered
If your repair is more serious, or you just aren’t in the mood, you can turn your keys over to an auto repair shop that specializes in leather interiors..

5 leather repair tips for restoring your auto's interior
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