How To Fix A Car’s Torn Leather Seat
Car’s interiors are just as important as the car’s exterior and it takes just as much care as one cares for the exteriors.
While there are is a lot of conversation directed at cleaning the exteriors of the cars, or how to DIY various things, there is hardly any coverage for the car’s interiors. And even then, usually people forget that taking care of the car also includes one important part.
Caring for the car’s leather! Since the car’s appeal has a lot to do with the seats as well and so does comfort, it is important to make sure that the leather in the car is as per your choice.
Getting the car’s leather repaired by someone else in a shop is a prospect that’ll always be there, but when it comes to easier tasks, a person can certainly try to do the best they can in the DIY mode and if there is something left, a visit to a mechanic can be made. The visit may end up being less costly as compared to when the person would have gone just like it.
Let’s focus on how we can repair a torn leather seat!
One of the initial steps is to clean up the old upholstery rather well.
On the car’s leather seats, in most cases, the flat panels on the back and bottom are made up of genuine animal hides, while the sides are of color matched vinyl, due to their flexibility.
Some of the apparent dirt in the grain can be damaged and cracked leather, which requires a color coat or a re-dye.
Before proceeding with any repairs, a thorough clean up is required to remove any type of chemical that might have been previously applied to the leather surface. This is because oil and water don’t mix, on the other hand, petroleum or silicone based treatments are enemies.
After the material has been thoroughly cleaned up, the first part of the repair will be the application of thin layers of a repair compound using a palette knife along the torn edges of the vinyl, and directly on the white material underneath.
Since stitching the edges isn’t possible, the edges aren’t joined together, and hence, the repair compound is used.
The compound acts as a patch/filler. Briefly, warm the patch using a heat gun and then apply a piece of flexible material that has a grain imprint, which will impart a matching texture to the patch’s smooth surface.
After it has dried, the surface is to be cleaned once again and then apply a vinyl-prepping compound for ensuring that the color can adhere properly.
For verification, tape test ( use of a piece of masking tape) can be done to make sure the surface is consistently tacky and accepts the dye.
Spray the Color
Spraying over the color top coat is a tricky part, depending upon the color of upholstery (Beige color is usually the hardest for matching).
A person can experiment using few different combinations of lint from the dye bottle to try and find the exact hue. This will help to blend of the colors together.
This type of repair can be done on hard and soft plastics, as well as in leather upholstery is not only durable but also affordable. Using a little of color sense along with artistry, a repair can seem as good as new.
The Due Process
Follow the following steps in proper order for repairing the torn upholstery.
Step 1: Inspection of the damage
The vinyl that is on the sides of the leather upholstery isn’t just worn, rather split in places too. This may look too damaged to be repaired since the stitched seam is usually cracked too.
The dark lines on the leather surface won’t be removed since, at those spots, the leather is damaged and hence, the only option is spraying on color.
Step 2: Prior to Repair
A thorough cleaning is required using a foaming solution and scrubbing pad, for removal of any previously applied treatments, especially those that are silicone-based.
Step 3: Begin the Patching Process
Mask the area that is to be repaired using a tape, then patching material is to be applied in several thin coats using a palette knife, over the exposed white backing material.
Step 4: Cure Using Heat Gun Then Add Material
Use a heat gun for curing the repair and then press a flexible material that has a grainy surface over the repair area to match the texture of the surrounding area. Depending upon the choice, there are options ranging from pebbly grain to satin-smooth.
Step 5: Drying
The patch will be able to dry quickly and will create a seamless, strong bond. Now the patch is ready for any color coat.
Step 6: Fill and Sand
Adhesive/filler is to be used on the damaged area of the seam. The part then sanded down smooth up to the same smoothness levels as the stitched area.
Step 7: More Preparation
To ensure further adherence of the color coats, additional cleaner, as well as vinyl prep, are applied.
Step 8: Match the Color
Different combinations of color tints have to be mixed in the spray gun’s cup. Then, match the color accurately so the patch doesn’t look odd.
Step 9: Coloring and Conditioning
After matching the color, apply few light coats of the color and at last, apply a conditioner over the upholstery.
Apart from re-dyeing the vinyl, the leather repair is done for completing the process.