Ordering

How do I know you have my leather color?

I’m not sure there’s anyone else out there with the color selection we do. We carry over 3500 formulas and counting. Here’s two realities, though:

  1. Formulas get more scarce the older the car is. It’s difficult to guarantee a match on vehicles made before 1990, but there’s still a better than average chance. Before 1980? Don’t get your hopes up. Maybe email or text me before you order dye for your 1975 Thunderbird.
  2. Sometimes we get orders for super rare colors for limited run vehicles. Mazda is notorious for doing 1-year limited edition interiors on their Miatas, and the opportunity to develop a formula for some of those rare interiors is even more limited. I’ll either try to find an alternate supplier who carries that formula, or it’s possible for us to make a custom color blend for your vehicle. 

I entered my VIN and interior information and nothing came up! It just went to the order page!??

Our website is not automated. The information you supply will be used to research and select the appropriate dye for your vehicle. If we have any questions, we’ll make sure to call or email you.

How do you guarantee a match?

It’s essentially impossible to guarantee an absolute match. Dye lots are significantly less consistent than exterior paints. That being said, we have a match the vast majority of the time. If it needs some adjustment, usually we can ship you some toner pigment to adjust the color.

What’s your turnaround time?

We are mixing bottles all day Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Priority Mail and Overnight orders get prioritized by us, so we will try to get an express order out on Mondays and Wednesday’s. We try not to over-promise that though. Short answer, 1-3 days, depending on current workload. Not to toot our own horn, but we still have the fastest turnarounds in the business.

I need this tomorrow! Can you help me?

Possibly. Text or email us and we’ll see what we can do.

Can I use the dye on trim and/or my steering wheel?

We have far less data on contrast trim and steering wheels than we do on the leather seats. Many times we have a match. If the steering wheel if the same color as the seats, we can definitely make dye for it. Please note it in the order, as we formulate steering wheel dye slightly differently to improve adhesion and feel.

If the steering wheel or trim color is different than the seats, please contact us to see if we have a possible match.

Do you do custom color matches for rare interiors or for furniture?

Yes. We will need to be mailed a piece of matching material, at least 1.5 inches square. The custom matching fee is $25, plus the cost of the dye. We don’t invoice unless a match can be made, and use PayPal for invoicing. Please contact us for more information.

How do I order 2 bottles of dye for different cars?

Our site is still a little funky. After you hit purchase and fill out the form, just hit the Back button to go back to the direct purchase page to order a separate bottle.

 

Shipment

What’s your turnaround time?

We are mixing bottles all day Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Priority Mail and Overnight orders get prioritized by us, so we will try to get an express order out on Mondays and Wednesday’s. We try not to over-promise that though. Short answer, 1-3 days, depending on current workload. Not to toot our own horn, but we still have the fastest turnarounds in the business.

How are the dyes shipped?

We ship in bubble mailers. We’ve found them to be the most effective packaging to keep the bottles safe while USPS drop-kicks them across the country. We ship using United States Postal Service, First Class with tracking for normal orders, and we also offer Priority Mail shipping (1-3 day shipping time) and Priority Mail Express (usually overnight, but occasionally 2-days for very rural areas).

My bottle exploded in shipment! What the heck?!

We try to package the bottles as safely and well-sealed as possible, but the Postal Service doesn’t seem to have a “DONT drop-kick my packages” option to select. Let us know if this happens, and we’ll take care of you.

Before Application

It doesn’t look like the bottle leaked, but it’s not full. What the heck?!

We use oversized bottles to help prevent leakage.

Also, leather dye is measured by weight, not by volume. 113 grams of leather dye can be about 3.7-4.2 fluid ounces of dye, depending on the color. Reds are more dense than blacks, yellow is watery, blue is almost a paste. Regardless, you will still get about 1 square foot of coverage per ounce. You’ll get what you paid for, we promise!

Do I need leather filler for all cracks?

Unless it’s super deep or has already progressed into a tear, I recommend simply rubbing in dye to the crack. You’ll not only effectively conceal the crack by restoring color to the crack, but you’ll protect it from further damage from UV rays or moisture. If you really want to fill in light cracks, use Colourlock Leather Filler. It’s great.

What leather fillers do you recommend?

Colourlock Leather Filler is incredible. For my service work, I use very difficult to use heat-cure fillers that require exact temperatures and a lot of patience. I would never give that to someone who’s not doing this every day. Colourlock Leather Filler is easy to use, and they sell it in pigmented versions, so you ca get pretty close to your leather color before using our dye to touch up the repair area. Tap on one of the links above, use this link to their Amazon order page: https://amzn.to/2LQbl2P.

What leather cleaners do you recommend before I touch up the seats?

First, as long as you’re avoiding ammonia or alcohol-based cleaners, you’re probably safe. NEVER take acetone to leather (I not only thumbs-down YouTube videos that recommend acetone, I try to report them. It’s leather abuse!) Acetone dries out the rawhide so fast, and can prevent conditioner from soaking in later on. Denatured and isopropyl alcohol can sometimes be used as a leather prep and cleaner, but in sparing amounts only. I personally use a 50/50 blend of alcohol to distilled water, but it can dry out leather and pull up existing good finish. At least denatured alcohol-treated leather can still take leather conditioner later though.

Second, I recommend a “use what you have” philosophy. If you have a leather cleaner in your garage, great! I personally use Lexol every day, but Mother’s and Meguiars work great too. 

If you have a water based or organic cleaner like Simple Green, Clorox Greenworks, Meyers, Seventh Generation, those work great too.

Should I scrub my seat with a Scotchbrite pad?

Maybe. You’d be surprised how many contaminants are still on seat, even if you have your car detailed regularly. Scrubbing with a green Scotchbrite pad can help, but you want to be absolutely careful you don’t strip the existing good finish while you do that. I’ve used to the “non-abrasive blue pads before, and while there’s less of a chance of stripping the finish, it can happen with that too. 

Do I need to sand the repair area?

On leather, not usually. While it’s true that sanding will improve adhesion, most of the time if the leather is already prepped for new color.

On vinyl, sanding is a good idea, as it is only a topcoat and won’t soak in like it will on leather. A light sand with 400 or 600 grit sandpaper is sufficient.

Application

Do you sell leather crack filler?

I get this question from people at various stages of their leather restoration process, that's why I'm answering this question several times.

We don't sell leather crack filler,  HOWEVER — Colourlock makes an INCREDIBLE leather filler that’s very easy to use. They also sell it in a variety of colors so you can find the closest match to your leather. This will make it way easier to use the touch up dye right over the top of the repair. Colourlock Leather Filler -- https://amzn.to/2LQbl2P

I’m going to rub in some color to some light cracks in the leather. What kind of towel or cloth should I use?

Scott’s lint-free paper towels work well. A lint-free microfiber cloth can work well too, but be advised that leather dye will ruin the rag.

I’m going to sponge on some color, what kind of paint sponge should I use?

For very small scuffs or damage, a foam cosmetic wedge works well.

For larger areas, a foam paint brush works great. 

Remember to dab on, don’t apply in brushstrokes, as streaking can occur.

It’s very hot here, does that affect dry times?

It can. If you’re finding that the dye is drying too fast, you can thin it slightly with distilled water.

It’s very cold here, does that affect dry times?

It can. If you’re finding that the dye is dry too slow, you can apply extra heat with a hair dryer on low heat / low air to hasten dry times.

I applied a second coat, and it pulled up the first coat! What the heck?!

Looks like you may need to extend the dry time. If the second coat is pulling up the first coat, the dye wasn’t fully dry yet.

I’m using a Preval, but it won’t pull up the dye. What do I do?

The dye can be thinned slightly with distilled water. I recommend a thimble-full at a time, as a little water can start thinning the dye pretty quickly.

The initial coat looks way off! What do I do?

First thing, we always recommend testing the dye in an inconspicuous area first.

If you’ve applied dye and it’s the wrong color, you can pull up the dye using any of the solvents mentioned in the Preparation section and a Scotchbrite pad. Then contact us, we can help you figure out the best course of action.

Aftercare

Can I buff the seat after I apply the dye?

Yes. A light buff with a slightly dampened cloth two days after the final coat will help.

Will the dye come off on my clothing?

Once the dye has fully cured, it’s as much part of the leather as the original coat was. It will not come off onto your clothing. That being said, be very careful not to get any moisture on the repair area for the first couple days after application while the dye is curing out.

Will the dye wear off?

That depends on a variety of factors. Leather dye should last at least two years with regular use after application before requiring further touch up. It often lasts much longer. Wear patterns and care determine how long the dye will last.