Use KIWI BRAND shoe polish, this is the old trick dealers use to touch up used car seats for resale. Use it in shaded cool area, sun and heat will make it tacky.
My neighbor actually went to his shoe repair shop and asked the shoe smith to mix up a color die to match his interior of his Nissan, perfect mtach and the dying went well . He used his girlfriend's make foundation spounge to apply it.
Leatherique has an excellent system/products. What I see in the pic is dried, worn off surface dye. Their system cleans the leather, re-moisturizes it, fills cracks, and re-dyes. You need to find the exact color dye of your leather and send them either the code or a sample, so they can match the color. Estimate about $125.00 to re-do the entire car.
My steering wheel was worn form black to grey, and after using leatherique, it looks like a new wheel - and still does 1 1/2 years later, with no clear-coat protector either. I was able to redo all the seat surfaces, and still have enough to do them again, although mine were not worn through as bad as yours.
Leatherique requires lots of sun/heat to work properly at the cleaning/moisturizing stages, so living in Texas should work in your favor.
I too used Leatherique to strip and re-dye the entire interior of my '90 LS400. It's not precisely "like new", but it's about as close as you'll get to new leather. But a word of caution: my car had the same wear pattern on the driver seat as yours, and after only a 1/2 year or so, the Leatherique dye wore off also. So it's not as durable as the original dye, but then you can always touch it up again...
If the car is in good shape and you plan on keeping it for a few years ........take it to a professional. I keep my cars a long time and I have had it done to both a SAAB and also a light colored Jaguar -- both looked great when I got rid of them a few years later.
You don't have to do the whole interior -- in fact you don't even have to do the whole seat. The good guys can match the colors. The leather in most cars is basically coated with color -- it is not dyed -- so they repaint the seats.
So I did a little bit of digging on repairing replacing both my leather steering wheel and leather seats. Obviously replacing them would cost more than my 98 ES would be worth (dealer quoted me $1250 for driver's side seat and seatback OEM leather replacement cover). Here's what I've come across so far.
1) Completely replace with OEM parts (harder for dealerships to find now a days and insanely expensive)
2) Steering wheel only: Re-wrap (con's to rewraping are that you have to find an existing hide that is an exact color match which is VERY hard). Cost would be $150-300. Example: http://www.dctms.com/
3) Leather restoration (WORKS ON STEERING WHEELS TOO!) Much more likely to attain an exact match. Here are some before and after photos.
Haven't heard much on the durability of it. But just had a tear replaced on my new RX350 and it looks just like factory (matte finish and all). Only way I can tell is that when you press on the part of the leather that was repaired, its somewhat thicker.
I'm planning on getting my ES done, I'll post before and after pictures when I do!
Last edited by LexuSLP; 11-07-11 at 09:30 PM..
Reason: More info.