I waited a few weeks to post this so I could be sure of giving good information.
My Ecru leather seats in my 2003 were starting to lightly crack and just look worn. After pricing what it costs to have them reupholstered OMG I started looking for a fix that would restore the look and feel of the leather when it was new.
I paid $300 to have someone come out and redye (paint) the leather and I watched what he did to see how tough a job it was as he did both seats and the center console in 60 minutes.
He wiped everything down with Denatured alcohol to get rid of dirt and grease. Wiped it dry and then he did it one more time.
He masked off everything around the seat that he didn't want painted or over spray on. Lifted up the head rests so the top of the seat was painted.
And then he gets out a can of SEM 15003 Phantom White that when he was spraying was a perfect match for Ecru. I checked the body shop supply house and the Can of spray paint cost $15.95 plus tax. One can did both seats and the center console. All the cracks are filled by the paint. My seats look like new again. The attached photo is of my seats after two weeks of having my 300 lb butt sitting on it every day for two weeks, No wear and no cracks. You could easily do this yourself and save $285! The photo doesn't do the job justice as the shadows and flash make the colors yellow.Attachment 143349
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My seats had this done before I bought the car and they also look very nice. I don't know what they used for sure, but I'm sure it was either this or something very similar. I'd be afraid to do the whole thing myself, but I believe I could do some touch ups here and there.
By the way, did he wipe the seats down after he was finished or smooth the paint with anything? How long did it take to dry?
Dry to touch in 5 minutes. Limited driving for the first hour. Fully cured in four hours. This job was so easy. I would do this again before I would do the brakes and the brakes were easy. Those of you that live where it is warm the cure time is less than two hours. He did this job on a 50 degree day.He didn't have to sand any of the cracks as they weren't that bad
It was better than I expected. Any body shop supply house should carry it.
I took the back headrest off that hadn't been painted and laid it on the seat and they looked the same. Nothing is perfect but if I went and had a custom mix
I honestly don't think I could have come closer. The plastic is a slightly different color but the leather is a perfect match
I just watched what the guy did to my seats.they also make a product called sure coat that is water based that he said caused the colors to darken and took twice as long to dry. If I have any problems I will let everyone know but so far it looks like new and it wears like new
OK i called the guy that did my seats and asked him the difference in the products. SEM Color Coat has Acetone in it and if you sprayed white over blue leather you would end up with sky blue as Leather is dyed so it will pull the dye out. Spray it over like colors and the colors mix and you just end up with the same colored leather. SEM Sure Coat for leather is water based so you can paint white over Black if you want. Other wise they both do the same thing. My guy painted Ecru over Ecru my seats look like new, nothing is peeling and I am very happy. If an Oh SH*& pops up I will let everyone know.
The color coat is an exact match. The sure coat has to be mixed and matched and sprayed with a spray gun. The Classic coat doesn't have a color close to Ecru. If I had black or Grey seats I might go with Classic Coat.
So far Color Coat has worked perfectly even though the manufacture doesn't recommend it on leather. If I ever have any issues I will post them.
How did you end up finding the guy who "repainted" your seats? Did you call autobody repair shops, or is there some other way to find people who specialize in this type of thing.
All car dealerships have specialty people who do this, certainly all Lexus dealerships do. Just ask them who they use. They usually give out that information. These people DO work for individuals, too, not just the big car dealers. A lot of them will even come to your house to do the work.
I did a search on Craigslist for "Leather Repair" and three companies showed up. I emailed them photos of my seats and they replied with what they would do to fix it and an estimate. So far I am very happy and what is even more important is my wife is happy!
Thanks for the tip, the seats in our Lincoln were really bad (wife doesnt take care of it at all and being Light Parchment makes it worse). I just did the drivers seat with Classic color this afternoon and it looks perfect. You would have to try to mess it up very easy as long as you do light coats.
It looks like I have a brand new seat for less then $10 in materials and an hour of time.