Making a Leather Repair can be easy to do. The first thing you need to do is identify your leather type. Please refer to our Leather Identification Manual if you need assistance. Below we have outlined some Do-It-Yourself Leather Re-Coloring and Repair Techniques. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
Color Loss / Wear / Fading
No matter the leather finish, the color will fade over time and lose the leather’s luster appearance. If the leather has not been properly maintained or has had heavy usage, the color coating will have to be restored. Below are general tips on re-coloring Aniline, Protected/Top-Coated Leather, and Nubuck Leather.
Re-Coloring Protected / Top Coated Leather is also a very easy process. The first step is to properly clean and prep the area that is to be re-colored. You can also receive color loss from body oils that very commonly accumulate in the Leather’s pores at the headrest, arms, and areas where our body touches the leather. This is normally defined by the area turning dark and feeling oily. You will need to remove as much of the oil stains as possible as the Pigmented Leather Dye will not adhere to these areas. It may look good for a short time period, but will eventually peel away in sheets. Removing the oils can be accomplished using Leather Master Leather Degreaser(must be purchased separately from the kit).
You may then need to fill any surface scratches, scuffs or cracking in the leather’s finish. For fine scratches and cracking we recommend using Leather World Finish Filler. For deeper scratches and cracking we recommend using Leather World Base Coat.
Once you have an even surface you may then start the process of applying the Leather World Dye Colorant. Leather World Dye Colorant is a protective pigmented (color) top coating. You want to apply the Leather Dye in very light coats. This will allow for you to maintain the natural look of the leather. If you try to apply heavy coats of the Leather Dye, your finished product can have a vinyl, painted look. It will take between 2-4 light coats of the Leather Dye allowing ample dry time between each coat to achieve the full color and even finish of the Leather Dye.
Once you have finished the re-coloring of the leather if you would like to improve the feel of the leather and make the Re-color more durable, we recommend applying Leather World Top Coat (must be purchased separately from the kit). This is a clear protective coating that improves feel while adding extra protection to the leather’s finish.
You will then need to apply Leather Protection Cream to protect from general soiling. Leather Protection Cream should always be applied as the last step in re-coloring Protected Leather. You will also want to use Leather Protection Cream in conjunction with Leather Cleaner during your regular maintenance on the leather.
Re-Coloring Aniline Leather is actually quite simple. Aniline dye will absorb into the leather completely dying the leather hide. This will allow for the natural markings to show through once the re-coloring process is complete. Sun Fading is the most common reason for color fade/loss in Aniline Leather. You can also receive color loss from body oils that very commonly accumulate in the leather’s pores at the headrest, arms and other areas where our body touches the leather. This is normally defined by the area turning dark and feeling oily. You will need to remove as much of the oil stains possible as they will normally darken when Aniline Leather Dye is applied leaving the stain prevalent. This can be accomplished using Leather Master Leather Degreaser(must be purchased separately from the kit).
Once you have properly cleaned the Aniline Leather you can then start to re-color your leather. You just simply apply Leather Hydrating Cream allowing natural moisture to get back into the leather. This will also allow for the color to hold and not dry back to the dry looking finish. Then wipe light coats of the Aniline Leather Dye allowing each coat to fully dry before starting the next coat. You cannot make drastic color changes to your existing color as Aniline Leather Dye will absorb and mix with the current color. You may go a few shades darker in the same color family if you desire.
You will then want to re-hydrate your leather by applying more Leather World Hydrating Cream. We also recommend applying Leather Protection Cream (must be purchased separately from the Aniline Re-coloring Kit). Our Aniline Re-Coloring Kits come with all the necessary products, instructions and application tools to rehydrate and recolor your Aniline Leather.
Re-Coloring and Repairing Nubuck Leather should be treated the same as Aniline Leather. After you have re-colored Nubuck Leather you may need Nubuck cloths or a Nubuck sponge/brush to work the nap back up on the leather’s finish. You will then need to protect the re-color by ONLY using Nubuck Leather Protector (must be purchased separately from the Aniline Re-Coloring Kit).
When repairing small cuts in your Leather, you will only need Leather Adhesive or Leather Filler. With Aniline and Protected/Pigmented Leather once the glue has dried, if there are slightly visible lines, Leather Protection Cream will soften the topcoat and help hide the leather repair. If the line is still noticeable, you may need to apply a light coat of Leather Dye along the cut line. For rough areas, use a 50-50 mix of Leather Filler and Leather Dye over the area.
If repairing Nubuck / Suede Leather, once the glue has dried, use a Nubuck cloth or Nubuck sponge to brush up the surface.
Leather Scrapes & Scuffs
For Aniline leather, use a hair dryer to heat the area while massaging it. This may bring the leather scuff out and blend the leather’s color. Then apply Leather Protection Cream over the area. If it is still noticeable then you may use Leather Master Scratch Away. Leather Master Scratch Away product is designed for Aniline Leather ONLY. This will help move the dye around the scrape or scuff allowing the color to migrate into the scuffed area, thus hiding the leather repair.
For Pigmented Leather, minor scrapes may be removed with Leather Protection Cream. Medium and large scrapes will require some form of a Leather Filler and Leather Dye to blend in. If you are dealing with very fine scratches or scuffs you may use Leather World Finish Filler to smooth out rough areas. For deeper scratches, scuffs, and cracking in the leather’s finish you will need to use Leather World Base Coat to even out the leather’s surface before applying Leather Dye. This use of these techniques will ensure that when you apply your Leather Dye that you are applying it to a smooth even surface, which will allow for you leather repair to remain durable.
For Nubuck Leather, use a Nubuck cloth to blend in as best as possible. If the scrape is still visible then treat it like an Aniline Leather Repair.
Burns, Rips & Tears
Prep the area by scraping off any burned edges and cutting off any rough / frayed particles. Install a sub-patch if necessary and use the filler to level in the hole. We recommend several light coats of Leather Filler dried between each coat. You can use a hair dryer to assist in drying. Remember to hold hair dryer at a 30 degree angle. After the leather repair is level, you can apply the Leather Dye to the area.