XJ6 & XJ12 Series I, II & III 1968-1992

Frustrating Leatherique Seat Re-Dye

 
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Old 06-02-2019, 07:34 AM
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Default Frustrating Leatherique Seat Re-Dye

Hello Everyone

Posting because I've embarked upon a re-dye of my Leather interior with Leatherique products. I have an 84 Vanden Plas XJ6. If anyone has done this (read @Sanchez, HELP!) I could use some practical tips.

I've never done this kind of work so I have read alot about this everywhere I could. The problem is that the directions that come with the product are a little vague and people out there who've posted how-to's all seem to have used different processes. I have gotten through only ONE seat bottom and and using up product at an alarming rate, so I've kind of paused to do some trial and error.

First Problem: The directions come on a single sheet of paper and seem to indicate to put the Rejuvenator on first, let it sit then use Prestine clean, then use the prepping agent with sandpaper then re-dye. So this is how I started. The problem with this is that while this cleaned the seats nicely and even dulled the finish to a flat finish rather than the shiny condition they had been, and it even softened them up a bit, two oil applications with 24 hours in between didn't have them glove soft and I was worried I hadn't done it right. I read more and it seems I need to remove the lacquer dye first then oil. I called and emailed Leatherique on Tuesday, Thursday and yesterday, but haven't heard anything back.

So if anyone knows, please confirm, don't bother with putting Rjuvenator on until after you've removed the lacquer.

Second Problem: I've rejuvenator'ed all the seats at this point but I haven't prestine cleaned the back at this point. The back hasthe original dye and rejuvenator oil on that I have left there since Wednesday. I didn't take it off since If didn't seem to make the leather supple enough and I haven't solved the removing lacquer dye problem yet, so before wasting more Prestine clean that I might need later I've just left them.

I moved onto the center console lid which was small so I tried to test. I used some lacquer thinner with terry cloths and it kind of removed some dye. I think enough but it was very slow and used up alot of lacquer thinner. After a quarter can of a quart of lacquer thinner I got the console cover cleaned enough I think. But I thought that this can't be right. I have been aiming for the condition where I can just see the underneath leather though the dye.

I moved on to a seat bottom. I tried the lacquer thinner first with rubbing and some vigorous rubbing with a terry cloth barely moved any dye at all. So I tried to use some of the Leatherique Surface Prep with 800 grit sandpaper. This worked much better and i was able to eventually set the dye down to where I could see the leather underneath. But again I was using up a lot of the Surface Prep product. BTW I switched to 400 grit after I got more comfortable. When using the Surface prep product with Sandpaper the dye would liquefy and become a solution with the Surface Prep product. It could then be wiped off and cleaned with a bit of Surface Prep in a terry cloth. But since I was using up so much so quickly, I decided to try lacquer thinner. It took it off, but it took it off in a completely different way and again with an alarming amount of materials used up for very little progress. When I used lacquer thinner, the sandpaper (all this is wet sanding BTW) would gum up very quickly and instead of coming off in solution it would kind of "pill up" of come off in little rolls of dye almost like if you've ever tried to sand latex paint.

So any wisdom here would be appreciated. Does one really need to get down to the point where you can see the old leather underneath or do you really just need to rough it up then apply rejuvenator again?

Current Status: I was working on a front seat back (the vertical part of the seat, not the back of the vertical part of the seat) and got the seating surface done the same as the seat bottom. The seat bottom is very nicely soft in the condition I have expected it to be. I've used up about a third of the Surface Prep 32oz. This seems to me to be way to much (and I am not pouring it out or anything ridiculous, I'm putting it in a container and dipping the sandpaper). I stopped on the seat back because of this consumption rate. I've just used a very think coat of Rejuvenator on the seat bottom to see what it does becasue that should be the next step if I had removed the lacquer dye in the first place. At the same time, I have put a bit of Rejuvenator on one Seat Back side (yes it is leather I can personally see it where I took the lumbar adjuster off) when I have really just scuffed the side to see if it will soften with the Rejuvenator. I'm testing to see what difference the prep makes to the feel of the leather.

I'm really asking for some detailed observations from someone who's done this before about what you observed, how much product you used, whether you just scuffed the leather or went all the way through?

I am being patient with this but I cannot think that it should take this much product to get to the point where I am. When I bought it the representative said the 32 oz size should be more than enough and at the rate I am going I would need three times the amount I have.

Thanks for any help.
 
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Old 06-02-2019, 08:25 AM
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Update:

Very interesting phenomenom. So I went out to check to see the seats and thought I'd try to remove the Rejuvenator from the back seats with some lacquer thinner just to see if it would. It did but not was well as Prestine Clean, but what was more interesting is that I thought maybe the front seats have been re-dyed in the past which might account for why lacquer thinner wasn't doing anything. So I picked a bit of the seat, back where the squab would cover it up if I messed it up, and used some lacquer thinner with a scotch brite and damned if the dye didn't start dissolving right off and coming off very easily. I made more progress removing dye on that back seat in 30 minutes than I did with the front seat in 2 hours. So I'm thinking maybe the fronts were re-dyed before. Begs the question as to how to remove whatever dye is on the fronts now.

Any ideas or suggestions?
 
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Old 06-02-2019, 08:47 AM
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I've never tried that process.

Redye? Take back to the natural product ?. And not all the material is leather. Vinyl covers some surfaces.

If so, where does the "new" color enter the process ?

I've always thought of Leaterique and similar as a means of fist cleaning off the material and then feeding it to restote the supple look and feel. .


Dr. Andrachuk posts here from time to time. SOVII A master of the process. A PM to him?

Carl
 
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Old 06-02-2019, 11:50 AM
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I've used Leatherique quite a bit, and I'd say you're doing pretty well! You are correct in that lacquer thinner is best to slowly remove original lacquer-based dye (basically surface paint) that was used by Jaguar in the day. And yes, the rejuvenator oil product works far better once the lacquer coating is removed--although it need not be completely removed. Also, the rejuvenator is very slow. It works better when the leather is warm. You can put a seat part, coated with oil, in a black plastic trash bag and let it sit in the sun to warm it. Also, when maintaining the seats after redye, you can rejuvenate whilst the car is sitting in the sun, windows closed.

Indeed, if your front seats were previously redyed with a modern water-based product (like leatherique) then lacquer thinner won't remove much of the dye.

I think you'll be pleased with the end result! You are doing a careful job.
 
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Old 06-02-2019, 01:49 PM
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Part of the frustration is, no doubt, having no idea what you are doing. LOL. So I think my problem was one of technique. I guess I was expecting to put the lacquer thinner on and have the dye just kind of come off with some very light brushing or sanding. It turns out that Grey scuff pads dunked frequently in lacquer thinner is doing the trick. I learned that you have to actually scuff pretty hard. I don't want to oversell that because I've hand sanded things lots harder than this leather. but you do haveto put some elbow grease into it. Imagine a tarnished cooking pot that just needs to be poished up a bit with scotch brite and that is the pressure. One seat to go then let them sit for a bit so the lacquer thinner can dry out.


Robert Wilkinson , I live in New England and we haven't had many sunny warm days. Mostly cloudy cool ones, then rain and then more cool, then more rain. etc. I assume that I can put the oil on and just leave it longer in the cool. I am right or does it need heat?
 
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Old 06-02-2019, 05:14 PM
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@ Muttony: Do not despair. I had the same problem. Lacquer thinner evaporates very quickly. I wasted 3/4 gallons of thinner to do my rear seats, because I was doing the same thing you did.
What I ended up doing. I went to Walmart and bought two cheap towels that would cover the rear seat completely and another gallon of Lacquer thinner.(cheap at Walmart)
I folded the towel and soaked it with the thinner, then unfolded it over the seat and immediately covered it with plastic sheeting to slow down the evaporation rate. After about 5 minutes, I folded a part of the towel and plastic sheeting and used a towel rag (harbor freight) wet with thinner and the dye came off completely. I then used Isopropyl Alchohol to clean up the seats prior to applying the rejuvenator.
The folks at Leatherique advised me to air dry(no heat) the seats before applying the rejuvenator.
What I found out during the process, was that Scotchbrite #800 (RED) works the best. A soft rag will not cut it. It will just slip on the softened material.
The rejuvenator will not penetrate vinyl, it will only work for the leather portion of the seat.
 
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Old 06-02-2019, 05:14 PM
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And but for another quart of lacquer thinner I would have finished. Isn't it always the way. I've used up a gallon today. That dye turns to sludge when you scuff it off.

Oh well, There's a Home Depot near work and I can pick up another quart at lunch. Remove the rest of the lacquer dye and then wait a few days for it to evap then put some Rejuvenator on let that sit maybe by next week I can be dying?

So question for someone. I'm thinking about spraying. Only problem is I don't have a spray gun. No problem there, that's what they make Harbor Freight for. But I only have a pancake compressor. I'm thinking that shouldn't matter because I won't be spraying for long periods at a time, but I dunno, is a pancake compresssor enough to support the sprayer for this?
 
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Old 06-02-2019, 05:17 PM
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Thanks Sanchez. Turns out I have a Vanden Plas and it is ALL leather except for the seat pockets behind, the sides of the headrest and the bottom of the front seats. Thats a sh!tload of leather!
 
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Old 06-03-2019, 06:09 AM
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Yes. Your pancake compressor will work just fine. The dye has to be sprayed at 20 psi.I used 15 psi at the spay gun. More pressure will just dye everything around you.
While spraying, you will have to agitate the gun regularly as the dulling agent will sink to the bottom of the spray gun if you don't, and the color will look different and will have a shine.
The dye has to be misted on. Not sprayed like regular paint. To achieve that, keep the air pressure at 20 psi, open the fan control wide and work with the paint flow knob until you get the result you want. You are allowed to thin the dye up to 50% with warm distilled water.(I thinned the dye at about 30% because of the size of the spray nozzle on the Harbor freight gun I purchased for my project) I applied 5 coats of dye on my seats, and I still have about 12 ounces of pure dye left over from the original 32 ounces

Mini spray gun from Harbor freight
Harbor freight has a mini gun for about $10.00.
 
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Old 06-03-2019, 06:14 AM
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This is what my finished seat looks like.
 
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Old 06-03-2019, 10:44 AM
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Man, that looks good. However much effort it took, it's worth it!

I am using Rejuvinator oil today. Out in the sunshine. It's 66 degrees air temperature but very sunny and it was over 120 degrees in the closed car. And it's only 11:30 am. So you just need a real sunny day, not necessarily a hot day. Here in Ohio it has been a very wet cool spring as well.

Jeff
 
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Old 06-03-2019, 03:25 PM
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The dye and the rejuvenator "oil" is water based, so in a couple of months, I will reapply a small amount of the rejuvenator. The leatherique people told me I can wait for a year before re - application, but if I want to do it sooner, no harm with that. As long as you don't have the lacquer dye on your seat everything should turn out OK.
 

Last edited by sanchez; 06-03-2019 at 03:27 PM. Reason: add info
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Old 06-03-2019, 06:41 PM
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What I really need to know is how critical is heat to the process of the rejuvenator oil. I work during the day and am gone from 6:am til 6:00 pm, so oiling the seats before work and leaving them out is not a palatable option. Neither is waiting til the weekend because I can't guarantee that it will be sunny then either.

So if any knows please speak up. I'll try calling Leatherique tomorrow during the day, but I haven't had any luck with them yet.
 
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Old 06-04-2019, 04:46 AM
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Heat only accelerates the process. As stated, apply the rejuvenator; cover with plastic; leave the car in the sun with the windows up.
However, if the seats are prepped properly, you can apply the rejuvenator and cover as stated above and use a heat lamp or not.
When I did mine, the ambient temp was about 60 degrees. I just applied the rejuvenator, covered with plastic and left on for 48 hours.
The results were amazing.
 
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Old 06-05-2019, 10:11 AM
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Muttony,

I'm a little late here.

In my view, all the information given above is good, and it looks like you are over the hump.

A couple of things that may not have been answered:

The reason it is suggested that you use the Rejuvenator before and after stripping, is to protect the leather from the thinners before, then replenish the natural oils after. This is much the same process as when hides are made, they are are subjected to a lot of nasty chemicals that dry out the hide, so they emerse them in aniaml fats; a process call fat liquoring. Have you ever had lacquer thinners on your hands? It makes the skin dry and crack right away.

I too like the 3M pads for removing old dye. I just throw them out as they become clogged.

400 wet sandpaper is fine, and a little quicker. Just don't make suede. Once you have most of the dye off, be careful. I dry sand with 400 before the dye goes on. It removes bits left from stipping.

Good luck with your XJ, I have an '85

Rob Laughton
Leatherique Canada
 
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:30 AM
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Finally ready to apply the dye. Got my spray gun, measuring containers, ....

F'ing air compressor **** the bed!

Thank god it broke before I started!
 
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Old 06-09-2019, 01:25 PM
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If you can't use your compressor since it took a crap, you can apply the dye with a very fine bristle paint brush. It will just take a longer time to do.
 
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Old 06-09-2019, 01:33 PM
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Ugh, tools fail. proceed as best with what you jave? or good reason to get a btter tool!!!

or fix the busted compressor.

My newest entertainment is You Tube via my smart TV. A guy iup Vermont way fixes all manner of little stuff. Including cast off compressors. Why can I not recall his channel name???

Carl
 
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Old 06-09-2019, 02:53 PM
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Borrowed a friend's compressor. And the channel you're talking about is Mustie1. I'm obsessed with it.
 
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Old 06-09-2019, 05:09 PM
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Well, I got the first few coats on the front seats. @sanchez -> Just finished a few minutes ago and I notice these droplets on the finish that are darker than the backgroun, almost like a different color. I'm hoping it's just drying at a different speed. Did you have that experience? If so, what did you do if it stays that way? Also, the finish is a bit rougher than I'd like. I feel like if I just lightly wet sanded with soap and 1000 grit it'd be nice and smooth. Did you experience that?

It's also possible that I didn't get all the rejuvenator off, or maybe it is where there is the tiniest bit of old lacquer clinging into divots? Don't know, we'll see. I sprayed with the fun at 15 psi as suggested and thinned to 30% and agitated alot so, not sure.
 

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