Should your car's leather seats develop cracks and holes, you can follow our step-by-step guide below to restore it yourself and save a lot of money doing so.
What you will need
How to dye leather seats without cracks or holes
- Find the matching seat color for the car by looking for a VIN Sticker on the side of the door or in front of the driver's side dash. Once found, give out the VIN to your dealer and ask for the color code for your seats. Buy the dye from your reputable dye store or online and use the acquired color code as a color reference.
- Clean the target area of the seat with a strong leather cleaner, then remove the cleaner using a microfiber towel.
- Use a degreaser to remove the remaining leather cleaner.
- Apply solvent cleaner using a towel to remove the old clear coat on the target area; this would help the dye adhere better to the surface of the seat.
- Spray cleaning solution to the affected areas of the seat. Typically, the dye comes with a cleaning solution and a sponge.
- Wipe the solution off using a clean and dry microfiber towel.
- Use 600 grit sandpaper to roughen the target area. This would allow the dye to adhere to the leather.
- Brush off the dirt from the affected area.
- Place a masking tape or any tape on areas that should be exempted from dyeing.
- Place some dye on the sponge and dye the target area, avoiding dye from dripping on any part of the seat.
- Wait for a few minutes to dry, and apply the dye again. To speed up the process, you can use a hairdryer or a heat gun for drying the dye.
- Do steps 10-11 at least three times.
- Let the dye dry, and you are done.
Note: If the dyed part of the seat did not match the color of the entire seat, dye the entire seat using steps 2 to 13.
How to dye a leather seat with deep cracks or holes.
- Acquire a leather patching cloth.
- Cut the patch in a circular shape a bit bigger than the hole.
- Apply glue on the other side of the patch and insert the patch into the hole; insert the side without glue first. Secure the patch using a needle, then insert the sides using a small spatula.
- Use a heat gun to dry the glue.
- Using a sponge, apply a leather binder around the area around the hole.
- Dry the binder using a towel.
- Lightly sand the surface using 600 grit sandpaper.
- Use the filler to cover the hole and cracks on the leather. Apply the filler using a small spatula.
- Wait for thirty minutes for the filler to dry.
- Use a GDL solvent to wash off the excess filler.
- Sand the area using 600 grit sandpaper.
- Wipe off the seat using cleaning spirit to remove dust particles from the seat.
- Brush off the leather dust.
- Place a masking tape or any tape on areas that should be exempted from dyeing. Place some dye on the sponge and dye the target area, avoiding dye from dripping on any part of the seat.
- Wait for a few minutes for the dye to dry, and apply the dye again. To speed up the process, you can use a hairdryer or a heat gun for drying the dye.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to repair a leather car seat?
- Average car seat replacements can cost $350 to as much as $2,000. Simple, smaller repairs that can be done at an upholstery shop can cost anywhere from $75 to $300 per seat, depending on how long the rip/tear/crack is and how deep the particular tear is.
Can you repair torn leather car seats?
- If you've got a tear, hole, or crack in your leather car seat, you may be wondering whether you need all new upholstery. Fortunately, you can repair small amounts of damage by yourself. Fix tears with a repair kit, use a patch to fix holes, or refinish the seats with liquid leather to hide cracks.