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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Obligatory exterior shot:


Background:
I've been looking for some leather seats for my Focus wagon for a while as I'm trying to make the interior look better. I contemplated picking up a set of SVT seats but the fact they were not full leather really turned me away from them. I thought about Recaros but they were out of my price range.

So, instead I found some Katzkins for sale that were only $225 shipped. Shipping was $100 since they came with the foam on the front seats from an ST. A little higher then I wanted for just the seat covers as they were tan and I needed them black leather. I ended up buying them and found the condition was a little worse off then told by the seller in the fact that part of the rear seat doesn't install perfectly but that's at the upholstery shop getting fixed now.

I decided to purchase a leather dyeing kit from leatherique.com to dye the tan seats to black. I've only finished dyeing the rear bench but figured I'd post my results and continue to update in the following weeks as I work on the rest of the seats.

Step 1: Apply the Rejuvanator "oil" on the seats, rub it in, and let it sit for 48 hours untouched.


Step 2: Spray the Pristine Clean on the seats and let soaked in for 20 minutes then scrub with toothbrush. Wipe off.



Step 3: Pour prepping agent into bowl and dip sand paper into it. Start wetsanding the seats with your 400-600 grit sand paper (Yes, I sanded my leather seats I just bought...). Let sit for 6 hours.
After sanding:

Step 4: Start applying the dye using a high quality acrylic paint brush. I used a 1 inch brush for the panels and a half inch for the seams.



1st coat:


2nd coat:



Bubbles before sanding them out:


Final Result:




My camera sucks and makes them look worse then in person but you can click all the pictures for a larger view. Also, here's the full album: LINK

I've also used the rustoleum vinyl and fabric spray paint to "dye" the carpet back of the seats. Here are a few pictures of that process (note: I have to apply some more now because I used a fabric brush to make the carpet softer again and removed some of the "dye"):




More Ramblings:
The seats have come out great so far. I made a small error and ended up with a few bubbles on the leather section of the seats but sanded those out between coats as soon as I noticed the mistake. You can still faintly see it but you must know where to look and be about and inch or two from the surface to notice.

I'll get around to posting some tips for anyone else thinking about doing something similar in the future once I have gotten some more experience doing this. I'm going to try out a new application method for the dye next time (a staining pad).

Durability Wise - I've heard many positive things about the durability but it's all in the prep and I'll find out in the coming months/years while keeping this updated with my findings. I hope for the beast as I still have to finish the rest of the seats.
 

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That's amazing :) Nice!
 

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Sticker Whore
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looks really good, congrats!
 

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Excellent! It's nice to see someone take the time to do a project correctly. Have you sat in the car with white pants
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Excellent! It's nice to see someone take the time to do a project correctly. Have you sat in the car with white pants
Not yet. I've been told it shouldn't come off onto clothes but I still need to buff the seats up and then get the rest of the rear dyed before reinstalling it. Don't worry though, I'll be sure to add in my experience of it all.

EDIT: I also don't own any white pants so khakis will have to do for testing purposes.
 

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So mote be it
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Not yet. I've been told it shouldn't come off onto clothes but I still need to buff the seats up and then get the rest of the rear dyed before reinstalling it. Don't worry though, I'll be sure to add in my experience of it all.

EDIT: I also don't own any white pants so khakis will have to do for testing purposes.
lol, i would sit on a white towel for the first few car trips [;)]

Looks really good though
 

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br/o/stang
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devils in the details! hope this holds up for you, looking good
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
This isn't a huge update but just letting everyone know that I'm starting on the seat backs. I only am in possession of the smaller one as the larger one is still at the upholstery shop but decided to go ahead and start without it. In the photo below, I've applied the Leather Rejuvinator and must let it sit for 24-48 hours until I move onto the Pristine Clean stage. A word of advice for this step is to focus primarily on the leather sections of your seats and really rub it in. I pour the stuff in my hands and smear it about.

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just finished the Pristine Clean step. I don't have a picture since it would look pretty much exactly like the previous one I posted. It's a simple step though. Spray the Pristine Clean onto the seat and let sit for 20 minutes then scrub with a soft bristle toothbrush. It says to wait 2 hours until going onto the next step (prepping agent and sanding) but I have work to do tonight so that will be done tomorrow. The redye will occur on Saturday using a new method involving a staining pad instead of brushes to see which is better for the front seats. Pictures will be coming up in the future. Let me know if you guys want a video of any part of the process and I'll try to get one done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Just finished sanding the seats down with prepping agent. Per request from another user I am now recording the process so here's the video:


Youtube Description: The first half of the video only shows me sand the center portions as I did the side bolsters with the camera turned off. There is a transition about 3 minutes into the video where I stop sanding and instead start wiping the seats with a towel soaked in prepping agent. I did this, which was never stated in the instructions, to remove the liquified dye from the seats and remove any other contaminants. Basically, the leather part will have the old dye start liquifying as soon as you put the prepping agent onto it whereas the leatherette (fake leather vinyl stuff on the sides) will not change or see any difference with the liquid. As seen in the video the after sanded seats look like much of the color is lost and a lot duller of a finish. The instructions state to sand with prepping agent to remove as much of the old dye as possible without destroying the leather/leatherette so I hope I've done it enough as I'm never sure. Just do what feels best to you. Once done with this step, let the leather sit there overnight and then begins the actual dyeing process which I'll be uploading.

P.S. I used 600 grit sandpaper and make sure to wear gloves as the prepping agent will eat through your hands if not.


Pictures:



 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just finished dyeing the seats black. I'm uploading the video to youtube of it now so that will be posted shortly. Until then you can look at some finished pictures. These were taken about half an hour after completion and my crappy camera doesn't show them off the greatest. I'll be sure to get some pictures up later of the entire interior done and in the car once it's completed which should be of better quality due to the lighting of the sun.

Photos:







 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Starting on the passenger front seat. This one will take more time as there is quite a bit more material to dye. I'm hoping to finish it by this Sunday and post results. No videos of this one as it's too hard to do. Here's a picture of all the parts covered in the Leather Rejuvenator:

 

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Pimp'n ain't easy
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That is clean looking. Do the different sections match compared to eachother??
 
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