04-11-2011, 11:03 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Montreal, Qc
My Ride: E46 M3 silbergrau
Here are the steps ive used to re-dye my seats. Keep in mind that this is simply based on my own personal experience. Ive consulted several leather gurus and did my share of homework before attempting this re-dye.
Originally Posted by mach.schnell
What are you using for color? Spray paint or something? Or is there a special dye? Does BMW have dye codes for various leather seats? I'm assuming you have leather seats.
So you deglaze the current leather to "rough" up the finish. Apply the dye by cloth? Then what, buff it somehow? Don't need a detailed DIY, but just a general overview. I have a friend with an E36 who has a black scuff on his tan leather seats and the dealer wants $$$$ to fix it. (I'd only charge half the $$$$ ;^)
Here are the steps.
1- Apply deglazer with white cotton rags ( Feebing's #12) to remove top coat, silicones/wax and partial dye. You don't need to remove all of the original dye on the seats, you simply want to remove the existing top coat and open up the pores of the leather for the new dye to penetrate.
2- Once the seats have been fully deglazed use damp rag and lightly wet the seats. This will further help the dye sink in to the leather.
3- Now your seats are prepped ready to be dyed. Apply a very thin coat of your choice of leather dye using an airbrush ( Badger) . I used leatherique's dye but would strongly recommend Refinishing Coatings http://www.refinishcoatings.com/. Ive heard good things about them and they should be able to match imola red to perfection.
4- Wait approx 15-20 between each coat. I applied 4 light coats and then wiped any excess pigments with a clean white cotton cloth. One final light coat is applied to give it a nice clean finish. Let dye cure for approx 12 hours before moving on to the next step.
5- Apply a water based leather conditioner with a lint free cloth let dry for at least 30 min and then lightly buff it out to a shine. I used Zelikovitz leather conditioner and was very pleased with the results. http://www.zelikovitz.com/
6- You are now ready to apply the top coat finish again using an airbrush ( 2-3 coats should suffice waiting approx 30-40 between coats). I used Zelikovitz top coat matt finish just make sure you properly shake the bottle before using. The top coat is probably the most important part of the re-dye process as it protects the leather and gives it that factory look leather finish!!!
BTW, i highly recommend Zelikovitz products. Jaime and Frank were extremely helpful and provided me with all of the necessary products with the exception of the dye.
One final note. I initially purchased leatherique's re-dye kit. I followed the procedures step by step from conditioning to prepping to redyeing the leather.... The biggest issue i found was that i lost pretty much all of the grain in the leather by using their prepping agent along with wet-sanding. I will be taking a few pictures of the front headrests vs the back headrests and you be the judge.
Well that's pretty much it folks. Hope this little bit of info will be helpful to other board members. Ill be posting more pics as my project moves along.