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How To Do Leather Detailing And Color Matching Properly For Your Vehicle

Aug 18, 2007
Leather is very durable and lasts a long time but it also shows wear. Cars with leather interiors need detailing on a regular basis to look half-decent.

American leather comes with a durable vinyl coating and refinishes and re-colors well. Seats that look like a detailed road map do well to be restored and this increases the resale value of a car by several hundreds of dollars.

To properly detail your leather seats, first thoroughly clean all leather panels to be restored. Use a water based and alcohol cleaner for best results. Sand out all cracks using 320 or 400 grit sandpaper, as far down as to bare leather if necessary. Once you have achieved your level of surface smoothness, seal all of the cracks and sanded areas using a water-based leather sealer or primer. Be diligent in this process, as if the leather is not sealed adequately it will absorb moistness and then stiffen. You can re-color or re-coat water based leather using vinyl paint. The result is highly flexible. This process is not to be mistaken for dyeing. Your last step is the clincher and seals the deal! Finish with a clear coat. The gloss can be adjusted with a duller or gloss reducer additive.

The next thing will look at is color matching, since the top color in automobiles today is gray let's take a look at that. Begin with the lightest color of the pigment structure which is White, then yellow (90% of time it is yellow,) then black.

It is common to select a small amount of red or orange between the yellow and black. This helps to dirty up the mix a little bit. The eye matches best! For practical reasons it is a good idea to work on both colors and repairs. Do some good damage to your practice piece and then work to repair and re-color it. When you feel you are comfortable with this process they can move next to doing work on your actual vehicle.

If you don't feel comfortable doing leather detailing or color matching yourself you can always find a detail shop to do it for you. The best and most qualified car detailing shops can go to great expense in providing superior franchised equipment, however, unless they can also provide the best and experienced detailers to operate the equipment, using the proper technique, they can very well find themselves without any customers.
About the Author
Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Beach, Florida. Find more about car interior detailing as well as car care products at http://www.waxyourauto.com
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