What Is Top Coat? Do I Need It?

Top Coat is a clear sealant that goes over newly dyed leather and vinyl to add durability and longevity to your dye project. You can choose your desired sheen (shine) as we offer Low Gloss (Satin), Semi-Gloss and High Gloss finishes. 

This creates a barrier between you and the coating that holds the pigment from the dye. Top Coat is a water-based product that allows your leather to breathe and remain flexible. You just want to be sure to apply it in thin coats - just as you would your dye!

How to order the correct Top Coat:

Size: When purchasing Top Coat, we recommend ordering half the size of the Dye you are ordering. You will apply half the amount of layers of top coat as you are dye. 

Sheen (Shine): This is your project, you pick the sheen you desire! If you are matching to something you already have, you may find the chart below helpful when choosing! The chart shows which sheen you typically see on the following items.

Satin Low-Gloss = Standard OEM finish found on vehicles

Semi-Gloss = Most furniture

High-Gloss = Some furniture with a reflective sheen

One thing to note is that High-Gloss is almost impossible to apply with a sponge so we recommend using a spray gun.

Do I really need a Top Coat?

Once the dye is fully cured, it will not rub off on you! If it did, that would mean there is a bigger problem underneath the dye that needs to be resolved, such as oils or a wax coating (we can help with that!).

That being said, Top Coat is not a required product, however, if you want to get the most out of your dye job then we highly recommend it!

Can I only apply Top Coat to newly dyed leather or vinyl?

If your finish is just worn off and needs a little pick me up, you can just clean the surface and restore the finish. You can even change the finish if you desire a different level of shine. 

You can go back awhile after dyeing and add the Top Coat. If you dye your leather and then desire a different sheen, you can adjust that by getting the Top Coat in the sheen you wish to achieve. 

Specialty Top Coats

Wax Top Coat: This is used on Aniline leathers that have a wax coating on them prior to dyeing. One way to know if your aniline leather has a wax coating is to see if it scuffs when you scratch it. You can also use this even if your aniline leather didn't already have a wax coating. This adds some protection as well as making your leather feel softer and adding a glossy look to it. 

Marine Top Coat: If you have a boat, you want this top coat! This provides a chemical resistance as well as protecting against mold and sun damage. Fun fact: this can also be used on leather furniture that gets a lot of sun exposure, even if it's just through a window!

Anti-Staining Top Coat: Perfect for any light colored leather! This will combat against dye transfer such as blue jeans, leather belts and leather jackets by making it easy to clean up if you see it appearing. 

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