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How To Restore A Leather Car Interior

How To Restore A Leather Car Interior

This guide will show you how to restore the colour of a leather car interior. Because we can match the colour of leather exactly, you can use our leather colourant kit to restore the full interior, or one car seat, or even just a worn panel.

How to restore a leather car interior guide - Seat Before Leather Restoration

This photo shows a worn leather car seat. We will restore the colour to the two front seats.

Products Required:

How to restore a leather car interior - Car seat getting prepped

Step 1. Prep the Leather

Apply some prep onto the leather by lining the cotton buds included in the kit, along the centre of the abrasive pad and pouring on some Leather Prep. Fold the abrasive pad over to cover the wet buds and use this to apply to the leather. This allows a controlled release of prep and helps to make the product last longer.

This process will remove the manufactured finish and also some of the colour, which you can see in the photo. After rubbing a small area, wipe it down with a cotton cloth to remove any excess colour from the leather. The leather is correctly prepped when you start to see colour transfer from the leather onto the abrasive pad or cloth.

How to restore a leather car interior - Car seat getting cleaned with alcohol cleaner

Step 2. Clean thoroughly with Alchohol Cleaner

The above process will have removed the manufacturers finish and any silicones that are soluble in solvents. There are however some silicones like spray on polish and waxes that aren't soluble in solvents, and so to remove these we need to use the alcohol cleaner (included in the Leather Colourant Kit).

Simply wipe the leather down with a cloth dampened in the alcohol cleaner, taking care to treat the entire surface. Now wait approximately 30 minutes for the cleaners to evaporate.

How to restore a leather car interior - repairing damage to leather

Step 3. Apply Binder & Fill remaining cracks with Flexifil

Once the leather is dry, it is important, particularly for old or worn leather, to strengthen it with Leather Binder. To do this, simply take a sponge and pour on a small amount of Leather Binder, then use this to work it into the surface of the leather. After applying a full coat, leave to dry. Any build up of binder in crevaces or stitching areas should be wiped away before it can dry. Once dry, apply another coat of Binder in the same manner and repeat this process for approximately 8-10 coats.

To smooth over any areas of cracking, the Flexifil is applied using a palette knife and wiped on in a thin layer so that it only goes into the cracks. The filler is then left to dry for about 5-10 minutes, The filler can then be sanded down with very fine sandpaper (1200) to make it smooth. This process can be repeated until all cracking is level with the surface of the leather.

How to restore a leather car interior - Sponge the colour onto the leather

Step 4. Sponge on the first coat of Leather Colourant

When you are satisfied all cracking is filled and the Flexifill has had ample time to completely dry, shake the bottle of Leather Colourant for about 3 minutes to make sure it is well mixed. Pour a small amount onto a sponge and rub into the leather. The idea is to sponge on a thin coat of colour working it into any gaps, creases and hard to reach areas.

Also notice the on the photo above, after applying the colourant by sponge, we have applied another coat of filler. Sometimes your repair looks perfect until you put the colour on, and then it shows the cracks very lightly. So, if this happens, just re-fill and apply the colour again. There is no need to take the colour off; both products work perfectly with each other.

How to restore a leather car interior - Fully restored leather car interior

Step 5. Spray on the Leather Colourant & Finish

Once one full coat of colour has been sponged onto the car seat, set up the airbrush and spray a fine coat of colour onto the leather and leave to dry. When dry apply another coat, then repeat this process, building up the colourant in a series of thin coats. There are no hard and fast rules for how many coats should be used, simply apply as many as it takes to sufficiently cover any base colour or repairs made.

When you are satisifed that you have applied sufficient colourant, the Super-Seal and Leather Finish should be applied. Spray on 2 coats of Super-Seal to form a robust, durable base. Then apply the Leather Finish in the same manner, using 2 coats. Always remember to leave sufficient time for each coat to dry before applying the next.

leather car seat before restoration


Leather car seat after restoration



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0 month ago

Tony Babington

I know your video is a car seat but is this the same for a three piece suite,if so what size kit is needed for two settees and a chair.How is it ordered for a specific colour we do have a squatch

26 days ago

Furniture Clinic

Hi Toby The products and procedures used for restoring leather are pretty much the same for car interiors and most furniture types. We do also offer a colour matching service. If you send me some photos, and I will be happy to advise you accordingly on the correct products and procedures to restore that. My email address is duncan.ashurst@furnitureclinic.co.uk Kind Regards Duncan Ashurst Senior Sales Advisor

2 months ago


I have a 52 plate Merc CLK 240 with cream interior. The leather seats and door leather and plastic all need a good hard clean. What would be my best option to get rid of the ingrained dirt? Thanks, Lee

2 months ago

Furniture Clinic

Hi Lee, We have a Leather Care Kit which is great for cleaning leather. It comes with 500ml each of Leather Ultra Clean and Leather Protection Cream. The Ultra Clean is a general cleaner which will remove any dirt and grime from the leather’s surface. It’s a mild cleaner so is safe to use even on aniline leather (which is absorbent and notoriously difficult to clean). You may find that on very light coloured leather with a heavy grain, you also benefit from using the Tampico Brush, as this will help to remove the dirt/grime which is trapped within the grain. The Leather Protection Cream is used after cleaning to add an additional protective layer to the leather to help protect against spillages and make the leather easier to clean in future. It even contains UV inhibitors so is ideal for furniture in conservatories or near windows and for car interiors. If you think that you may also need to restore the colour, please feel free to email us a few pictures and we will advise you on the best course of action : enquiries@furnitureclinic.co.uk Kind Regards Anita Ith

3 months ago

Rud Lindley

Hi, I have a 2012 BMW M5 with black Merino Leather interior, it is a non gloss finish. I am sure you would be familiar with BMW leather finishes, anyway not sure if you would specify finish as Satin or Matt for you options when ordering. What do finish should I select. PS I am in Australia. Do you have an Australian distributor?

3 months ago

Furniture Clinic

Hi Rud. I generally advise that for cars older than 10-15 years, use Satin, and for younger vehicles choose Semi-Matt. Although we do not have a stockist in your country, we do ship our products worldwide. However, there are restrictions on what products we can send to Australia due to the flammable nature of them. You can add the items to the online shopping basket and select the correct destination country; the options available and the costs will then be displayed. Kind Regards Duncan Ashurst Senior Sales Advisor

5 months ago

Rajan Patel

Hi, please advise if you can deliver to New Zealand?

4 months ago

Furniture Clinic

We can deliver most items to New Zealand. If you add the items you're after to your basket you will see whether they can be sent and what the cost would be.

5 months ago

Pete Clarke

Greetings! I have recently purchased a 1972 Rover P6 3500. Whilst the car is in very good order, the leather interior requires some renovation work. The seats require cleaning and the driver's seat has some cracks in the surface of the leather. Ideally, the seats require cleaning, cracks filling and re-colouring. If required, I can send you some photo's of the interior to give you an idea of it's condition and the colour of the leather. I would be grateful if you could provide me with an approximate quote for restoring the seats please? Many thanks, Pete

5 months ago

Furniture Clinic

Hi Pete. If you send me some photos of the problem areas, I will advise you accordingly on what products to use and what procedures to follow to restore your leather. duncan.ashurst@furnitureclinic.co.uk Kind Regards Duncan Ashurst Senior Sales Advisor

6 months ago

Nick Spearman

Hi, I have a 1959 Austin Healey and most of the light blue leather has a light mottled finish, I assume either a result of old mould, damp or water discolouration. Leather cleaner has no effect. Can I clean this or will it require a radical recolouring. I have photos. Thanks. Nick

6 months ago

Furniture Clinic

Hi Nick. If you send me some photos of the problem areas, I will advise you accordingly on what products to use and what procedures to follow to restore your leather. duncan.ashurst@furnitureclinic.co.uk Kind Regards Duncan Ashurst Senior Sales Advisor

6 months ago

Alec lynas

Hi The driver seat of my 2001 Jaguar is showing some wear and tear. The leather is cracked but not torn but the cracks are dark. I looked at purchasing the colorant kit but it appears you cannot ship it to Australia. If the issue is the air brush propellant I can work around using my own airbrush. Can you package up the other components for me to restore the seat? Colour is Jaguar oatmeal trim code AGD thanks Alec

6 months ago

Furniture Clinic

Hi Alec. I regret to advise you that due to some recent changes in the CAA conditions of carriage of hazardous goods means that we are presently unable to send the colourant kits to some parts of Australia. If you email me your requirements (what size kit and any additional products like fillers, cleaners and conditioners) and your full delivery address, I will see what options we have for you. duncan.ashurst@furnitureclinic.co.uk Kind Regards Duncan Ashurst Senior Sales Advisor

1 year ago

john franklin

Hi I have a leather car seat which has evidence of an area which the leather has gone hard and lost its shine. Is it possible to restore this area? I do have a photograph

1 year ago

Furniture Clinic

Hi It is possible to restore this. It would be useful if you send the photograph to enquiries@furnitureclinic.co.uk and we will be able to advise you on exactly what to do and what to use.