Restore Leather and Vinyl With Our Versatile Dye
Restoring leather isn't rocket science.
1) Clean. 2) Apply a thin coat of color. 3) Allow to dry. 4) Repeat. 5) Rejoice!
Please click here to learn how to repair your own.
Start with small amounts. Mix in a clean plastic container from the recycling bin (not food-grade containers) or one of our mixing bottles, and re-bottle the color. Make notes, so you can replicate the formula. Test your color in an inconspicuous spot and allow to dry. Adding Clear Prep+Finish™ will brighten color by adding shine (this is especially the case with red and golden colors). Experiment until you get the desired color and finish. Expand your formula to the desired amount.
A glaze is recommended for depositing color while preserving the multi-toned appearance of the material. It's also great for blending and can be used for a satin finish, as Clear Prep+Finish™ dries quite shiny alone when applied with a sponge.
Make a glaze by diluting Rub 'n Restore® Color with Clear Prep+Finish™. We recommend doing this directly on your sponge, i.e. one squirt of Color plus one squirt of Clear. More Clear will be more transparent and glossy; more Color will get better coverage and be more matte. Experiment, and make a note of your ratio and method, so you can replicate the results in the future.
Create a multi-toned appearance by dabbing or stippling the color/glaze. Leave some areas untouched or thinner than others. Follow with a second sponge or rag to erase or blend your work. The trick is not so much how you apply the color but how you disperse or remove it. Periodically step back from the project and assess the appearance from afar.
If you work with a single color, utilize the differences between the old and new colors to help create the multi-toned variation. This way future wear looks natural or even intended.
Alternatively, you use one color as a base and follow with a second color/glaze. If you wish to create a base-and-print with the second color, we recommend using a paintbrush to apply an ultra-thin layer of the color/glaze to your sponge. This results in a cleaner, more defined print. Saturating the sponge will lay the color on too heavily and therefore obscure more of the base color.
Spritz a little water on the surface, then dab on the color and feather it around, and then let it air dry. Don't overwork! The color follows the water and creates a very natural-looking chaos.
Heidi demonstrates beautifully at minute 3:25 here:
Don't want to remove all those brass nails? First clean the nails by buffing them with super fine #0000 steel wool. Work around each nail using an angled artist's brush (or cut your sponge on the diagonal to make a precision wedge). Before the color begins to dry, follow with a dry brush or other damp sponge to wick excess dye. Rub 'n Restore® doesn't stick very well to metal, so when the color is dry on the leather, buff the nails with steel wool again to remove any paint. Or you can wipe each nail with cleaner or rubbing alcohol and a q-tip.
Lay Rub 'n Restore® onto and around each button using a small brush (or cut your sponge on the diagonal to make a precision wedge). Before the color begins to dry, use another dry brush or damp sponge to remove excess paint. Allow to dry naturally or with a hair dryer. Repeat as necessary before graduating to broader surfaces.
For faster application or if you're doing a dramatic color change from dark to light, we recommend using some form of spray application. Many customers report great success with Preval sprayers, which are both inexpensive and easy to use, even for a novice. If you've got a compressor and some confidence, you can use a siphon detail gun or gravity spray gun to apply Rub 'n Restore®.
Thoroughly stir and filter the color to remove any lumps. Spray approximately 6”-8” from the surface, moving in smooth, swift strokes. Avoid puddling in any area, which can create a “fish eye” effect. If you do, spread it around with a sponge, allow to dry, and then re-spray. Allow each coat to dry before applying another. You can immediately follow with the Clear Prep+Finish™. Rub 'n Restore® products are water-based. Clean your gun with soap and water.
If you aren't getting sufficient coverage, apply a coat of Clear Prep+Finish™ between every 3-4 layers of Color. It will seal the Color and add strength. Subsequent layers of Color should get better coverage with fewer coats. You can apply the Clear as soon as the Color is dry.
A light grey like our Stone is recommended as a primer when changing color from dark/red to a white or off-white.