njansenv New Reader
9/17/08 8:07 a.m.

Quick question: what's a 'grassroots' way to reblacken the leather seats in my e30? If I recall correctly, the GRM 318is was "treated" to black shoe polish. My first concern is 'transfer' onto clothing, or is this not an issue?
By most accounts, it's too cool here these days to leatherique the car, and I'd like to clean it up. The leather is in good shape (no tears) but has various light scratches etc.

Thanks, Nathan

Sonic New Reader
9/17/08 8:30 a.m.

I used black shoe polish on my e30 seats, gave them plenty of time to dry and a vigorous buffing and there have been no transfer problems, and it is holding up very well.

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
9/17/08 8:31 a.m.

I have used shoe polish waited 12 hours then buffed with a small orbital polisher and leather conditioner then sealer.

njansenv New Reader
9/17/08 9:03 a.m.

Sounds good. Do you recall which shoe polish you used? Does it matter? Thanks again! Nathan

Jack SuperDork
9/17/08 9:11 a.m.

I used shoe polish and conditioners on a leather steering wheel with no color toransfer to my hands, even in the heat.


dyintorace HalfDork
9/17/08 12:18 p.m.

These guys have a great reputation in the BMW community, among others.


mad_machine SuperDork
9/17/08 1:27 p.m.

this brings up a related question. I have been thinking of doing the seats in my saab red to contrast to the white paint. Would it be too hard to redye the black, or should I think about buying some gray seats to redye?

spitfirebill HalfDork
9/17/08 2:12 p.m.

I once used the black shoe polish that comes in the bottle with the foam applicator tip to recolor the leather steering wheel of my old Maxima. It may actually be dye.

daytonaer New Reader
9/17/08 11:24 p.m.

I was told if you wipe the seat down with acetone (to open the pores and clean apparently) you can then use the duplicolor vinyl dye spray paint stuff.

I just wonder if you loose the leather feel if doing that.

carguy123 HalfDork
9/18/08 8:49 a.m.

Simply go to a leather supply house or even some big box stores and buy leather dye. Many times it's in the shoe dept.

dye gets down into the pores and won't rub off on your clothes like shoe polish will. It is also permanent

ditchdigger Reader
9/18/08 12:10 p.m.

OK here is something I know about. First thing first. Leather seats are painted, I repeat PAINTED.. That laquer is what cracks and looks crappy. Remove it with.....you guessed it......laquer thinner and a cloth.

The porsche seats for my rabbit werent the nicest. Felt like old cardboard. Looked all cracked and nasty. The light linen color hid alot of grossness.

It really does come right off.

Strip the whole seat and it will feel soft and pliable again. Wetsand it with 600 grit paper and it will feel like new.

Kinda bleached looking without all that crap on it

Only when you have removed all the damaged stuff, then you can dye it. I wanted to use a leather dye but the backs of my seats are vinyl so I used colorbond (freaking awesome stuff!) in a late model Mercedes "Java" color.

Here is a before and during shot

They look and feel like new. The "colorbond" stuff from bryndana kicks any SEM or VHT products butt. Not cheap at $14 a can though.

minimac Dork
9/18/08 6:31 p.m.

I used liquid blue polish on my blue leather seats. Applied liberally, allowed to soak in for a bit, the wiped so they wouldn't get streaky looking. they came out really nice.

mad_machine SuperDork
9/18/08 6:42 p.m.

damn, those do look nice

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