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Thread: DIY: How to dye a leather car seat

  1. #1
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! itzzspencer's Avatar
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    DIY: How to dye a leather car seat

    How to go from this:

    To this:



    Sick of your tan leather seats and you're a cheapass who does not want to spend more money to get it rewrapped or replaced? Or do you just want to refinish your dull black leather seat?
    Well, here is a DIY just for you! Before you start, you can NOT dye from darker to lighter shades.

    Here is what you need.


    1x Lexol Leather Cleaner
    1x Fiebings Leather Deglazer
    1x Fiebing's Black Leather Dye
    1x Fiebings Acrylic Resolene
    1x Lexon Leather Conditioner
    2x Towels/Microfibers (prepare to sacrifice these)
    1x Plush Microfiber

    And a few hours.

    Optional: Gloves and mask. (There will be fumes)

    Assuming you already have the towels/microfibers, this should run you about 30 dollars all of which could be picked up on amazon.

    I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE IF YOUR SEAT GOES TO SHIT. THIS WAS DONE ON A LOTUS ELISE 06 PROBAX SEAT.

    Pre-Step: Test
    Before you start you want to make sure you aren't dying something that isn't meant to be dyed. So find a hidden spot to test on the leather.
    I will be dying under the seat first with the following steps to come. And please read through this once before starting.

    Step 1: Clean

    Remove the seat from the car if it isn't already.
    Go ahead and use the Lexol leather cleaner and clean the seat thoroughly.

    Step 2: Find one section of the seat you plan to dye first and have the deglazer and black leather dye ready.

    Go ahead and pour a small about of deglazer on a microfiber and clean the area that you plan to dye and a little bit more around it in case you accidentally get dye past your dedicated perimeter.

    Step 3: The Dye
    Now quickly use the dauber that came with the leather dye and dip it in your dye. Now apply it lightly and evenly throughout the leather section. You want to do this quickly after the deglazer because you dont want any lint, dust, or dirt landing on the seat under your dye. DONT WORRY ABOUT CREASES FOR NOW, LEAVE THEM. BUT BUT ITS COMING OUT BROWN NOT BLACK! DONT WORRY ABOUT THAT EITHER. OH MY GOD THERE ARE STREAKS EVERYWHERE! DONT WORRY ABOUT THAT EITHER.

    Repeat Step 2-3 For the rest of the seat

    Step 4: Dealing with creases, concave corners, and tiny breather holes.

    Now for the creases. Make sure the crease is facing facing up. Wherever there is a crease that you cant reach, just use more dye and wedge the dauber into the crease. The crease will ooze the dye out of the dauber and gravity will do its work. If youre dying a car seat, you probably have these tiny holes. in the wrong light, the holes will show the original car seat color. To fill these holes correctly, the holes must be facing face up. From here you must be use plenty of dye. dip the dauber and apply the dye with alittle more pressure than before on top of the holes. IT IS OKAY TO DROWN THE HOLES WITH DYE, THAT IS THE POINT. Dont worry, it will sink in. Now you must leave the seat alone for about 1-2 hours.



    Step 5: Repeat Step 3-4, 2-4 more times. It should be abit darker but in light it will have a tint of brown.

    Step 6: Final Coat of Dye
    After the dye has dried prepare to use your sacrificial towel/microfiber. Pour about 1/4th of the leather dye in a dish. (or whatever allows you to dip your towel). Dip the sacrificial towel in into the dye and apply it evenly over the seat. This will get rid of most of the major streaks, don't worry about the smaller ones left behind. Wait about 30 minutes for the dye to dry completely again.

    Step 7: Deglazer
    Get your plush microfiber and lightly damp one side of it. Now pour some of the deglazer onto the lightly damped microfiber and now apply this evenly throughout the leather seat. Let it sit for a good 1-2 hours depending on ventilation, this takes awhile to fully settle in. Repeat this process 1-2 more times. The black should now have rich deep black look and there should be no more streaks/blemishes.

    Step 8: Conditioner
    Make sure this is completely dry before conditioning it. Use the other side of the plush micro fiber and lightly damp it. Pour some conditioner on it and apply it on the seat. wait about 20-30 minutes for it to dry and your seat should look newer then the day you bought it!


    It looks way more gorgeous in real life as well
    Last edited by itzzspencer; 01-29-2012 at 06:51 PM.

  2. #2
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power Grumpy's Avatar
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    Nice job!

  3. #3
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! Titus's Avatar
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    That is a great write-up... well done!
    '92 Sunburst- www.v6miata.com
    '93 LE- officially the wife's car, but usually my daily driver

  4. #4
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! itzzspencer's Avatar
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    Thanks!

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    Individual-1 ☚ ☻ ☛ Agent☣Orange's Avatar
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    Yes, great write up and thank you. Couple of questions though. Are those Lotus seats part leather and part vinyl? Many seats, even though they're called leather, are really leather in the seat and back and vinyl on the sides or vice versa. Just wondering how this would work on vinyl. Opens new possibilities for door panels.

    I also wonder if this would work on ratty looking leather steering wheels. I don't see why not. I'd like to see how your project holds up after time and use.

  6. #6
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! itzzspencer's Avatar
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    The dye says to only use it on leather and nothing else. not even synthetic leather, but ive accidentally gotten it on the cloth sides of the seat and it looked nice and didnt seem to damage it, but i didnt wanna take any chances so i used the deglazer and rubbed it off. the possibility of this working on other surfaces seem, without a doubt, very possible. as for what the lotus seat is made of... im not even sure. but ill be sure to keep this thread updated if anything happens! i should probably get some kind of uv protectant to prevent fading as well.

  7. #7
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! XCLR8TN's Avatar
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    Looks great!
    *Jess*
    1991 White Mazda Miata
    1991 BRG Mazda Miata LS6 swap coming soon (getting close!)

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    Great job BTW.

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    1,000 rpm - releasing the clutch GI Jo's Avatar
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    looks great man. thanks for the write up.
    sooo....... how much for the seat? lol.

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    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! AARP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Risingsun124 View Post


    Great job BTW.
    Sack O' dead babies.

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    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! Coupeloop's Avatar
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    good job spencer!... honestly tan makes me...
    MONEY doesn't buy STYLE

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    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power Dilly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coupeloop View Post
    honestly tan makes me...
    Do you still love me?

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    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! paulsk's Avatar
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    Back to topic.

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    Super Moderator atank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coupeloop View Post
    good job spencer!... honestly tan makes me...
    Me TOO!

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