Just back from two weeks vacations back on my home country, Portugal. On this trip I arranged with my friend Rui (a professional detailer - without a shadow of a doubt, the best in Portugal
) to help me and guide me on repainting my leather seats. This was a technique that I wanted to learn properly and what better occasion to learn with a friend and on my own seats!*
My leather was not very scratched or full of gashes. The black was fading away and there were some scuffs here and there, specially on the drivers seat. We arranged an whole day for the two of us to get through this. The whole process was fun and instructive and although not very complicated, it is certainly a challenge to do it correctly
The procedure was more or less this:
1. Remove seats
Back Seats - These are super simple. Bottom part you just push up. Top part you unscrew the two nuts on the bottom sides, raise the headrests and push the seat up.
Front Seats - If you are a skinny fellow like me, you will encounter some difficulties unscrewing the T50 screws from the rails... they were tightened by Hercules himself!!
2. Vacuum clean the seats very well.
3. Sand the leather.
4. Prepare the leather with a special product.
5. Clean all plastics on the seats that are not easily reachable when they are mounted.
6. Mask the plastics.
7. Paint very thin layers. Dry them. Paint again. Rinse and repeat until happy with result.
8. Vacuum clean the car and mount the seats again.
Below are the pictures of the process.
It was nasty to take photos in a dark garage only TL light from above, which gave a weird reflection on the leather, so really cant show how god damn spectacular the seats stayed. However, I can attest that they now look like new
Some of the scuffs that the rear seats had, although not deep, it was showing already the years that the car has.
Rear seats being sanded down.
Leather being prepared.
The fun then starts. Slowly but steadily, a thin layer of paint is applied and dried.
Part by part, the leather gets painted, always working in small areas and drying them right after you finish painting.
We had a lot of fun (NOT) removing the front seats. Here is a picture of all the screws that need to come out.
Power cable being unplugged.
The little metal cable on the bottom right is a pain to install again... be warned about that one, it will chew your patience
With the seats out, there is a great opportunity to properly vacuum clean beneath the seats.
The M, now seatless, waiting for us to get on with it.
The front seats required some more care than the back ones, but all the love was put into bringing them up to shape properly.
A little 50/50 with two strips of tape, to clearly see the difference of how the leather was against the new freshly painted area.
I'm very happy with the end results! I was a bit wary of doing my first leather painting alone (even considered traveling to the UK to have some lessons on it first), but I'm very thankful for having the opportunity to have Rui teaching and showing how its done, him having learned the mistakes already that are easy to do with too much paint.
Another step completed on the process of having my car clean and as perfect as possible (despite being my daily driver). Next step is to remove the interior trim, sand it down and repaint it myself in Piano Black.
Need to get on with some pictures of the interior on natural light, but I can tell you all, the leather of my car now looks like new