It’s April here in Tempe and the weather has rarely been better! Give a few more weeks and summer will be here fully. If you are anything like us you already have the top down and are cruising, loving this weather while we got it. Also, if you’re anything like us you are focused on keeping your ride the best it can be. That means keeping the soft top spotless and the leather pristine.
But what happens if you get a small tear? A hole, a crack? Even if they’re small damages they can be incredibly eyesores and if you don’t have the time or money to get your ride into the shop you may be searching out ways to get it done yourself on the quick, on the cheap. This month we are going to take a brief look at a few ways you can make minor repairs yourself to tide you over until you can make it to the shop.
Use a Leather Seat Repair Kit
The first and most obvious way to go about fixing smaller tears and holes in your leather seat is to use a repair kit. If you can manage to get your hands on a kit made by your car’s manufacturer you are likely to see the best results. Otherwise, look at several kits to compare and find the best color match. After all, this makes the car look better, not worse!
Now, follow the specific instructions of the kit if they differ, but in general, they should follow the following steps.
Use a slightly damp rag with a mild (that is to say, nothing too strong) soap on the leather. Clean off and remove any of the debris, dust, dirt, grime etc and scrub the seat gently. Then let it dry completely before moving on.
Clean Up the Edges
Go to your tear and trim up the ragged edges surrounding it. If they have any threads hanging lose use some scissors to clip them free.
Place the Backing Cloth
The kit should include a bit of backing cloth, if not fashion your own. Place the cloth through the tear and glue the edges. You want the tear to stick to the backing cloth. Once again, let the project dry completely before the next move.
Fill ‘er Up
The kit no doubt includes this key component: leather filler! Use a tool to spread the leather filler onto the backing cloth in the tear. Let the layer dry and then apply another. Keep that up and eventually, your leather filler will be even with the leather seat itself. Give it another layer or two to make sure it overlaps past the seat.
Sand it Smooth
Now that the filer is all completely dried, take a piece of sandpaper or a block, fine-grit is best, and smooth down the filler until it is smooth and even with the rest of the seat. Be very careful not to sand the leather itself, that is sure fire way to make the repair a whole lot worse.
Color and Seal
With the leather-filled and smooth, use a clean cloth and rub the color onto the area to create a matching spot. It make take a several go’s to get the color to blend and match as good as they can.
Once the color has been applied, dried and looks like as good of a match as can be, hit the spot with sealant using another clean cloth. This should keep the color from rubbing. Once again, let dry and you’re golden.
That’s all one way to repair a leather seat (in an amateur way if we’re being completely honest.) Next time we will give another way to complete a basic leather seat repair job. Again, these are basic, basic, basic DIY versions of this and while they are good enough they certainly are not the VIP standard. Leather seat repairs are something that we do and do well. We’ll catch you here next time on the VIP blog!