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Red Interior (Seats) Bolster Touch Up/Repair

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Red Interior (Seats) Bolster Touch Up/Repair

 
Old 02-01-2019, 04:47 AM
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Question Red Interior (Seats) Bolster Touch Up/Repair

Has anyone tried this? https://www.seatdoctors.com/shop/automotive-leather-dye

It said 2004 S2000 on the site but as far as I know Honda changed the hue of the red seats since the AP1 generation. Should I be worried about that or should this touch up paint match my '00's red seats colour? It's just my driver's side bolster that needs a touch up, not the entire seat. The seats are in pretty good condition actually.
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Old 02-01-2019, 05:34 AM
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See this page for details on my experience (1 failure and 1 success, sort of)

In a nutshell, I knew I needed a custom match because of all of the different reds used by Honda. I sent my door card leather in to be matched and bought a kit. The filler and sanding process went great for me and I was really pleased with that part. My problem is that the rest of the seat is a tad darker than the repair from years of lotion. I just finished applying more coats and sealer so I just think it is going to take some time to darken a bit to match the rest of the seat after lotion treatments. I am not that concerned about it right now and am not going to dry to hasten the process. If it doesn't come into line with the rest of the seat I still have the option of dying both seats, which I wanted to avoid.

Post a picture of your damage. You might be able to get by with just sponge brushing dye into the cracks but it is hard to say without seeing them. it is crazy how much leather filler costs versus what you really need for a minor repair but it does make all the difference.

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Old 02-03-2019, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by IA-SteveB View Post
See this page for details on my experience (1 failure and 1 success, sort of)

In a nutshell, I knew I needed a custom match because of all of the different reds used by Honda. I sent my door card leather in to be matched and bought a kit. The filler and sanding process went great for me and I was really pleased with that part. My problem is that the rest of the seat is a tad darker than the repair from years of lotion. I just finished applying more coats and sealer so I just think it is going to take some time to darken a bit to match the rest of the seat after lotion treatments. I am not that concerned about it right now and am not going to dry to hasten the process. If it doesn't come into line with the rest of the seat I still have the option of dying both seats, which I wanted to avoid.

Post a picture of your damage. You might be able to get by with just sponge brushing dye into the cracks but it is hard to say without seeing them. it is crazy how much leather filler costs versus what you really need for a minor repair but it does make all the difference.
Thanks a lot Steve! Very helpful. I will post a pic of my seat asap and then we can discuss the best way forward. Thing I thought of doing was using a sponge with that red dye from the site and dabbing the scratched up portion of the seat to blend it in with the rest of the seat. Unfortunately...there's a tear on the bolster itself where it's been scratched up
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Old 02-04-2019, 08:08 AM
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I'm no expert. I was learning on my own car.

I was going to just touch up the scratches and minor gouges but quickly realized that while being cheap, it wouldn't give me a result. Filling really does make all the difference and the amount I used required the whole panel to be dyed. It is very smooth now but you can still see the grain like I wanted. I am still not going to dye the whole seat and am hoping to darken the repair with lotion over time. I still have to update my article with the latest pics after putting a few more coats on and sealing it. It is better.

One of my conclusions is that red is TOUGH to work with. The only way to get everything instantly color-correct would have been to completely dye both seats. If you do that you have to be meticulous in your prep work to make sure every square inch of the seat accepts dye evenly. It's akin to painting a car panel where you missed a spot with wax remover before painting. I just wasn't ready to do that because the only part that really needed it was the single bolster. I'm just hoping that time/treatments will bring the color into line.

Honestly, their dye isn't that much on the site you mentioned. I'd try that first since it just might give you what you want. If you don't like it you can then resort to plan B. It isn't a big deal to start over with leather since you aren't changing color.

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Old 02-05-2019, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by IA-SteveB View Post
I'm no expert. I was learning on my own car.

I was going to just touch up the scratches and minor gouges but quickly realized that while being cheap, it wouldn't give me a result. Filling really does make all the difference and the amount I used required the whole panel to be dyed. It is very smooth now but you can still see the grain like I wanted. I am still not going to dye the whole seat and am hoping to darken the repair with lotion over time. I still have to update my article with the latest pics after putting a few more coats on and sealing it. It is better.

One of my conclusions is that red is TOUGH to work with. The only way to get everything instantly color-correct would have been to completely dye both seats. If you do that you have to be meticulous in your prep work to make sure every square inch of the seat accepts dye evenly. It's akin to painting a car panel where you missed a spot with wax remover before painting. I just wasn't ready to do that because the only part that really needed it was the single bolster. I'm just hoping that time/treatments will bring the color into line.

Honestly, their dye isn't that much on the site you mentioned. I'd try that first since it just might give you what you want. If you don't like it you can then resort to plan B. It isn't a big deal to start over with leather since you aren't changing color.
Good points. Your article is thorough. It made me think more carefully about how the dye needs to adhere to the surface before just going to dab it on and hoping for the best although this sounds like the most pain free approach lol... I'll get that pic on this thread asap and we can take it from there
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Old 03-05-2019, 01:11 AM
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Hi Steve! Sorry about the late reply (uploading of my seat pics). Here's what I want to touch up. Mainly the paint bothers me and I feel that will be an easier fix than repairing the tear itself. I don't why the previous owner let this beautiful seat's bolster end up like this



What can I do about this discoloration?



The whole interior is in great condition except for that bolster on my driver's seat that needs a touch up.
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Old 03-05-2019, 05:12 AM
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This is just my novice opinion but I think that a proper kit that includes leather filler, dye and sealer will fix you right up. I can't really tell on that tear but it looks to me like there is still material there rather than a complete tear revealing foam? You'd be able to sand the lip of the tear down with 600-800 grit paper to blend it and then fill it with the leather filler. The rest of the bolster can get a skim coat of filler (after light sanding) just to fill the cracks and still keep the grain showing a bit. Sand that, apply more filler as needed and then it would need several coats of dye with possible light sand between coats. The nice thing about this stuff is that you can apply more filler over the dye because it can be a little hard to see imperfections while raw. My bolster probably has 8 or 10 coats of dye but I still have 3/4 of a bottle.

The problem you will run into with red, just like I did, is that it will not really match the rest of the seat 100% because of the years of leather treatments, body oils (gross) and stuff. Your leather is probably darker and shinier than your door cards just like my car. I really didn't want to dye both seats so I just left it knowing that it will come into line with some age and absorption of leather treatments. That's how the rest of the leather got that darker look. You can accelerate the process with something like neatsfoot oil or coconut oil but I didn't try either of those for fear of going too dark. I am just going to let age do its thing. It is really only noticeable in direct sunlight. In the picture below, you can see the difference although it is a lot better now. The picture is before the sealer and lotion was applied. The rest of the seat is also just clean and needing a treatment:


Should I have dyed the entire seat AND the passenger seat? Probably. Will I? I doubt it. The repair will come into line over time and actually looks a lot better than the picture portrays. I actually did use more filler and more dye even after this picture. If spring ever comes I will get a finished picture in the car in sunlight.

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Old 03-06-2019, 04:03 AM
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Originally Posted by IA-SteveB View Post
This is just my novice opinion but I think that a proper kit that includes leather filler, dye and sealer will fix you right up. I can't really tell on that tear but it looks to me like there is still material there rather than a complete tear revealing foam? You'd be able to sand the lip of the tear down with 600-800 grit paper to blend it and then fill it with the leather filler. The rest of the bolster can get a skim coat of filler (after light sanding) just to fill the cracks and still keep the grain showing a bit. Sand that, apply more filler as needed and then it would need several coats of dye with possible light sand between coats. The nice thing about this stuff is that you can apply more filler over the dye because it can be a little hard to see imperfections while raw. My bolster probably has 8 or 10 coats of dye but I still have 3/4 of a bottle.

The problem you will run into with red, just like I did, is that it will not really match the rest of the seat 100% because of the years of leather treatments, body oils (gross) and stuff. Your leather is probably darker and shinier than your door cards just like my car. I really didn't want to dye both seats so I just left it knowing that it will come into line with some age and absorption of leather treatments. That's how the rest of the leather got that darker look. You can accelerate the process with something like neatsfoot oil or coconut oil but I didn't try either of those for fear of going too dark. I am just going to let age do its thing. It is really only noticeable in direct sunlight. In the picture below, you can see the difference although it is a lot better now. The picture is before the sealer and lotion was applied. The rest of the seat is also just clean and needing a treatment:


Should I have dyed the entire seat AND the passenger seat? Probably. Will I? I doubt it. The repair will come into line over time and actually looks a lot better than the picture portrays. I actually did use more filler and more dye even after this picture. If spring ever comes I will get a finished picture in the car in sunlight.
Thanks Steve. Appreciate that. Your seat looks great by the way. Apart from the colour difference I have to look really hard to see any indication of a touch up. I'd like that as my final result (with as close a colour match as possible) but it seems like a more involved process than I initially hoped for...
The tear on mine is just the leather itself and not the foam underneath fortunately. Its a "clean" tear if you will... I wonder how that happened! Why didn't the previous owner ensure such a thing would not happen to such a beautiful OEM seat...

Speaking of the leather getting shiny over time, I understand the reasons why but I can't be sure my seats were ever treated with good products... the probably were from time to time but in the absence of knowing I'll have to assume they weren't. Is it safe to use a steamer to clean and remove shine?? I've heard of this before but I'm scared it may negatively affect the leather...how would I go about steam cleaning both seats? The shine isn't bad, it looks pretty good and you can see they're original and 19 years old but, if I can remove some of the shine to give more of a matte/flatter look I wouldn't mind exploring that route. For now I use Meguiars Gold Class rich leather cleaner/conditioner.

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Old 03-06-2019, 07:00 AM
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I did steam clean both of my seats with a Dupray Neat steam cleaner. It is safe to use on leather. It gets 285 degrees but the microfiber bonnet disperses the steam nicely so you aren't just blasting the leather with a stream of hot steam. I am going to do this again to see if I can dull the finish a bit to match my bolster. The theory is that it will release embedded oils/waxes. I am going to try that again and treat the seats in their entirety with Pinnacle stuff. The steam cleaner isn't going to have a negative impact on the leather but it does clean out the pores letting you treat it again. I will do this again on mine and report the results to give you peace of mind.

The Dupray was $150 but I justified it because it does so much around the house. I have used the heck out of it on household cleaning tasks with amazing success. That darn thing got out carpet stains that an extractor and chemicals couldn't.

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Old 03-06-2019, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by IA-SteveB View Post
I did steam clean both of my seats with a Dupray Neat steam cleaner. It is safe to use on leather. It gets 285 degrees but the microfiber bonnet disperses the steam nicely so you aren't just blasting the leather with a stream of hot steam. I am going to do this again to see if I can dull the finish a bit to match my bolster. The theory is that it will release embedded oils/waxes. I am going to try that again and treat the seats in their entirety with Pinnacle stuff. The steam cleaner isn't going to have a negative impact on the leather but it does clean out the pores letting you treat it again. I will do this again on mine and report the results to give you peace of mind.

The Dupray was $150 but I justified it because it does so much around the house. I have used the heck out of it on household cleaning tasks with amazing success. That darn thing got out carpet stains that an extractor and chemicals couldn't.
I'm glad to hear that and the fact that the steam is dispersed instead of concentrated/blasted on one small area at a time sounds much safer. I don't suppose a household iron with its short little steam burst feature will do the trick? At what rate of speed is the steam supposed to move to clean or does speed not matter?

I'll appreciate you reporting back after you try it again.
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