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Dyed my leather - looks new!

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by jamisobe, Feb 27, 2007.

  1. jamisobe

    jamisobe

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    I have heard this discussed so I thought some may be interested in seeing my results. My seats were trashed. I've seen leather seats in very bad condition before and mine were worse. They were really cracked up and through in one spot. I also had a seam ripping out on the driver side. I spent $190 in materials including the $10 to have a leather shop sew a seam and about 8 hours of my labor. The gray is slightly lighter than original but it is difficult to discern. I am very happy with the results:
    inverter 011 (Medium).jpg inverter 013 (Medium).jpg inverter 012 (Medium).jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2007
  2. TX_TLC

    TX_TLC

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    Any before shots? Do you mind elaborating including the name and where you purchased your materials.

    This would greatly help the content if searched for in the future.

    Looks great!
     
  3. jamisobe

    jamisobe

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    Here is another shot including the steering wheel and the shifters which were all dyed. You can also see my new Kenwood double din head unit.
    inverter 015 (Medium).jpg
     
  4. vt92

    vt92

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    Looks great! Do you have any 'before' shots?

    How did you match up the dye color?
     
  5. jamisobe

    jamisobe

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    You know, I meant to take some before shots, but I was lazy. They were bad. I first sanded with 80 grit before I switched to 220. I used an orbital sander for most.

    I used 2 different colors to get where I ended up. The first a Toyota gray ("Nickel") was way too light though it looked right online. The second was a dark BMW gray from an 88-96 7 series. The second is a tad on the light side, but close enough that those who have seen it have asked if I got new skins.
     
  6. landtank

    landtank SILVER Star

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    how about a close up of the common wear spot on the driver seat near the controls.
     
  7. jamisobe

    jamisobe

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    The name of the product was Colorbond. You can check it out at colorbondtuner.com
     
  8. Doc

    Doc

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    That looks fantastic!
     
  9. jamisobe

    jamisobe

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    Here are 2 shots of the driver seat around the controls where it was worn to the fabric (I gave it a few extra coats here) and another shot of where the seam was ripped out. You see where it was sewn if you study it. Compared to they way it was it is now invisible.
    seat1 (Medium).jpg seat2 (Medium).jpg seat (Medium).jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2007
  10. jamisobe

    jamisobe

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    Thanks Doc. My wife is very picky. She had thought that I replaced the skins.

    My dad was visiting and thought I had replaced the seats. He said my cab looked new.
     
  11. hfd crusher

    hfd crusher

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    Very nice! I've got seat envy....
     
  12. jamisobe

    jamisobe

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    Thanks
     
  13. sc40

    sc40

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    i know what i'm doing this weekend
     
  14. jamisobe

    jamisobe

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    Try to not hit the seams when sanding. If you do you can singe them with a lighter torch and then rub them down while hot in the thread direction to make them smooth again.
     
  15. barrypt5

    barrypt5

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    so you used about 13 cans ($190/$13/can=~13 cans?) of that stuff to do the font and rear? are the seats stiffer than they were before they were sprayed or did they retain their flexibility? looks really good !!!

    PS did you use any of the clear coat that colorbond sells on their site?

    barrypt5
     
  16. archie

    archie

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    Nice! Did the instructions for prep and dyeing come with the dye? Any other informational resources you can reccommend other than MUD? Thanks.
     
  17. syrinxstar

    syrinxstar

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    Nice work - thanks for sharing the results. Pretty unbelievable how well these things can be turned around.
     
  18. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    sure looks good!

    wish we could see the before pics...

    is it as supple as before? feels thick or plasticky?

    you just spray the stuff like paint? basically some sort of plastic, I guess?

    think it will crack?


    neat post, good to know!
     
  19. BrettinSanAntonio

    BrettinSanAntonio

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    That's a world of difference from the last time I saw your rig. The time you put in to it was worth it.
     
  20. jamisobe

    jamisobe

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    When I was 20 or so (about 20 years ago) I had a body shop dye some black leather recaros to match my BMWs tan interior. It worked great and I had that experience as I entered into this project.

    My seats were very bad. If you look very closely you can see faint cracks that look as if my seats are just slightly breaking in. Well, they are broke in. Very broke in. I sanded with care. 80 grit at first and then 150 or 220. For the worst cracks or most heavily worn areas like over the driver side controls I applied extra dye and sanded extra several times. Before I sprayed the driver seat I removed the lower skin and took it to a leather shop to have a 7 inch ripped seam sewn. I used a leather repair kit bought at autozone (along with black dye) to fix the one tear I had on the driver seat (the driver seat was in the worst shape by far). All repairs and dyeing occured with the skins on the seat.

    They felt a little stiff at first and smelled very strong of new car, but after a few days in the warm truck the suppleness returned and the smell has lessened.

    The shifters turned out fabulous as did the steering wheel. Other than the hi/lo shifter they were all very bad. Now they all look new. I also painted the base for the front dome light. It had a yellowish tint to it. The Nickel color I bought first was a close match to the stock color found on the dome base.

    I bought and used 11 cans of gray dye to do the front 2 seats, the arm rest, the steering wheel, and the dome light base. I didn't bother with using acetone (fingernail polish remover - don't buy "cleaner"). Rather, I simply used 220 grit where deep sanding was not required. This will clean the surface and give superior adhesion.

    I also removed and powerwashed the carpet (i used new padding for the front piece) and steam cleaned the headliner.