We've prepared this guide to help you determine what type of leather you have.
There are 3 options for treating faded aniline leather:
If your leather is faded, free of stains and/or the original finish is still intact (if there was one), this approach could be right for your job. It lets you re-dye the faded leather with transparent stain. Any blemishes will not be covered but may be blended so that they are less eye catching. Use a colour that is close to the original or slightly darker. Apply 2 coats of Topcoat (No.7) to seal the dyes and protect the leather. Leather has an irregular fibrous structure. Dyes may not be absorbed completely evenly. This can create a subtle mottled appearance that looks natural or a somewhat uneven colouring. For a more uniform finish, the Aniline Restoration Kit is ideal. Filling cracks and scratches is not possible with this option.
This is the most popular solution for faded, blemished, and worn anilines, semi-anilines and waxed leathers. It lets you replenish faded dyes then coat the surface with a blend of dyes, pigments and resins. The result is a cohesive, semi-aniline look with a pleasing and protective finish. Coverage is light to moderate which allows the natural features of the leather to remain appreciable whilst lightly concealing or blending marks and stains. For maximum durability, we recommend that you finish your restoration with 2 coats of Topcoat (No.7). Filling cracks and scratches is not possible with this option. See examples of other customer DIY jobs using this kit in the Customer Before & After Gallery.
If you are happy to change your leather from aniline to pigmented (painted/coated), you can use a Repair & Recolour Kit. It gives full coverage to conceal stains completely and allows for a colour change if desired. Filling cracks and scratches is possible with this option.
For more information, read out guides in the How To library.
The best solution depends on your leather type and the type and severity of scratches.
Pigmented (painted/coated) leather
If your leather is pigmented (painted/coated), you'll need a Repair & Recolour Kit. Start with Spot & Prep (No.4) to clean the surface. If there are loose tags (typical for cat scratches), use Glue (No.15) to fix the leather/coating back into position. Use Fill (No.14) to fill any pits or gouges. Once the surface damage is repaired, use the leather finishing trio: Prime (No.5), Colour (No.6) and Topcoat (No.7) to colour over, conceal and blend the repaired area. Head to the How To library, explore more FAQs and read through the product descriptions to learn more.
If it is just one small scratch, it may be best to do nothing. If there's a patina of scratches all over and the colour has faded, it might be time to do a restoration using an Aniline Restoration Kit.
If the scratch is deep and very eye catching, you can use a Repair & Recolour Kit (with filler) together with some Sample Pots (to create a mottled bi-tone or tri-tone effect). With some careful and artistic blending, it is possible to produce a well blended and concealed repair. However, it's important to know that aniline leather is dyed and usually has some light transparent pigments on the surface. The Repair & Recolour Kit contains leather paint which is necessary for colouring over leather filler. Dyes are not suitable for use over filler. Your result may be a signicant improvement on that nasty scratch, but it may not be a completely invisible repair. Choose 'Aniline' colours when repairing aniline leather. Head to the How To library, explore more FAQs and read through the product descriptions to learn more.
If your leather is waxed, try rubbing the scratch with you finger tip until it warms. This can soften the wax in the coating and minimise or remove the scratch. This works on some waxed leathers but not all. If it doesn't work, refer to the information relating to aniline leathers (above).
This is the most common outcome for older pigmented leathers. After years of use and especially when there's been inadequate or incorrect cleaning and care, the coatings can become compromised. Ongoing exposure to body oil, perspiration and soiling can break-down the bond between the leather and coatings. We call this flaking 'delamination'. You will need a Repair & Recolour Kit (including filler) to correct the surface irregularites then refinish (recolour) the leather. Effectively, your task is to prepare and repair the surface then apply new coatings over the old coatings.
You'll need a Repair & Recolour Kit. To repair cracks, apply leather filler in thin layers, allowing drying between each layer. When cured and sanded, recolour over the repair. Thereafter, maintain a regular care regime to help prevent further drying and cracking. Head to the How To library, explore more FAQs and read through the product descriptions to learn more.
A Steering Wheel Kit or Repair & Recolour Kit is what you need. Depending on the needs of your job, you may need some leather Glue to fix any loose tags or sections, leather Filler to fill any pits, gouges or textural irregularities then some leather colour finishing products to to conceal and blend the repair (primer, colour and topcoat).
It depends on your leather type and your objectives. Each colourant type has different features, benefits and applications.
Don't be afraid of the word 'paint'. Professional grade leather paint is not at all like house paint. It looks and feels sleek, elegant and renders a showroom finish. In fact, most leathers are painted or 'pigmented'. What many people think of as 'dye', is actually leather paint.
If your leather is pigmented, you'll need to use a Repair & Recolour Kit (a leather paint based system). It is not recommnded to use Aniline Dye Stain or the Aniline Restoration Kit on pigmented leather.
Some leathers are coloured with a penetrating stain called 'aniline dye'. Semi-aniline leathers have light paint coatings over the dyes.
If your leather is in the aniline group, you can choose between paints or dyes. The most popular solution is a dye-based system such as the Aniline Restoration Kit. If you want full coverage, you can use a Repair & Recolour Kit (a leather paint system).
No, not necessarily. The products you need are determined by the leather type(s) you have.
If your sofa, handbag, car seats and shoes are all made from pigmented or man-made leather, the same cleaner and conditioner can be used on all pieces. You'll need this kit.
If your bar stools, sandals, satchel and armchairs are made from unfinished leathers such as nubuck, suede, aniline or semi-aniline, a different set of products is needed for these leathers. Here's a link to the products.
For waxed leathers, use these products.
If you have a mix of leather types, using the most suitable care system for each type is recommended.
Our topcoats perform equally. Satin is low-sheen and the most common finish. Gloss is less common. High Gloss is rarely used. Matte is very flat and is best applied by spray gun.
Yes. You can choose to recolour aniline leather with a Repair & Recolour Kit (a leather paint system). It offers full coverage that can conceal blemishes, cover filled repairs and allow for a colour change. This permanently changes the leather to 'pigmented' (painted/coated).
No. Pigmented leather has coatings on the surface that cannot be fully removed (to make it aniline/uncoated). To create an aniline look, you have these options:
1) Recolour with one of our aniline blended leather paints such as Aniline Ember, for example. This renders a single colour result with the luminours qualities of dyes (a somewhat semi-aniline look). Check out the Customer Before & After Gallery to see examples of this approach.
2) Using a spray gun, create a softly mottled finish that mimics the appearance of aniline leather by spraying a harmonious darker accent colour over a light base colour. To a lesser extent, this can be acheived by hand (if you are up for a big project).
3) Tint the pigmented coatings using Aniline Dye Stain (No.29). Most pigmented leathers can absorb dyes.
Note: This is an unconvential method. Test first to assess compatibility with your leather, evenness, colour intensity and whether you like the effect.
Choose a colour that is darker than the original and in the same family.
Example 1: use Aniline Cedar Dye Stain over stone or light brown pigmented leather
Example 2: Aniline Forest over mid green pigmented leather.
Example 3: As dyes are transparent, it won't work if you use Aniline Almond over a dark colour such as Dark Chocolate.
Man-made materials are less repairable than leather. They are fundamentally disposable. As they age, it is typical for the upper plastic layer to detach from the lower fabric backing as the glues and resins break down. The upper can also become brittle and crumbly as the plasticising agents expire. Attempts to repair these issues are rarely successful.
If the problem is minor, try using Glue (No.14) to re-bond the upper layer to the fabric backing. A Repair & Recolour Kit can be used address problems with man-made materials but durability may be undermined and reduced by the inherent nature of the man-made material itself.
Maybe. It depends on the severity and your leather.
Oils repel adhesion. Filler and Glue may not be able to stick to leather that is heavily impregnated with oil.
Coatings (Repair & Recolour Kit) may stick well initially and may even last for a satisfactory period of time but this can be difficult to predict. You may find that the greasy area needs touch-up now and then.
If your leather is aniline, you can choose to restain it with Aniline Dye Stain (No.29) in a colour that is similar to the colour of the greasy area. This can blend the stain so that it is no longer eye catching. The Aniline Restoration Kit was developed as a way of restoring faded and blemished aniline leather. It can give coverage to oily areas and produce a beautiful, easy to touch-up finish.
There are 4 ways to get a matching colour:
1) Standard colour - we may have a colour in our range that matches your leather. Sample Pots can be useful for testing our colour range.
2) Mix a matching colour by blending colours that are close to your colour. For example: Cream + Beige = Your shade of creamy beige.
3) Mix a matching colour by blending colours from scratch. For example: White + Ochre + Black = Your shade of creamy beige.
4) Use our paid Custom Colour Mixing Service (minimum 1L order required). Send us a sample and we will mix a colour to match. T&Cs apply.
No. Photos are too unreliable and colour perception is somewhat subjective. We can't recommend or make comment on your colour selection. The best way to find the right colour for your job is to start with some Sample Pots.
It's possible. Many of our colours match popular car interior colours. We can't tell you which colour correlates with any given make, model, code or OEM colour name. Sample Pots can be a good place to start.
We can't tell you which colour to choose but we can say that most black car interiors are a soft black like Midnight rather than a pure black like Black.
Yes. The Repair & Recolour Kit allows for full coverage.
It is generally easiest and requires less product to recolour in the same colour. That's because you don't have to be as thorough when it comes to the nooks and crannies and coverage may be achieved with fewer coats.
You can go light over dark and dark over light. Keep in mind that the base colour may show if there's a scuff in the future. Some colours give coverage in fewer coats than others. Adding some White Leather Paint to your first coat can help to build coverage more quickly.
Only a little. This system is for aniline, semi-aniline and waxed leathers. Dyes are transparent which means that they don't give coverage and without coverage, you can't lighten the colour. We recommend that you choose a colour that is similar to the original or darker.
No. This system is a colour refresher; like make-up for your leather. It gives sheer coverage which means that you must use a colour that aligns well with the current colour.
The colours that are prefixed with the word 'Aniline' are a blend of leather paints and dyes. For example. 'Aniline Ember' is mostly paint with a dash of dyes. The result is a single colour with an extra dimension or vibrance coming from the dyes.
Yes, spot repairs are possible. You will need a matching colour and shine (topcoat) to achieve a cohesive result. Spot repairs may stand out because they are new, clean and fresh whilst surrounding areas are worn and subtly discoloured from years of use.
Often it is easiest and results are best when the entire piece is recoloured. A perfect colour match is not needed and the whole piece looks cohesively restored and renewed.
About the products
Colourants can be applied by hand using a sponge, fine paintbrush (for detail areas such as piping), small foam roller, spray gun or airbrush. For most DIY jobs, a sponge is ideal.
The products are water-based and air-drying. Drying times
vary based on a few factors. Typically, they are dry within 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Drying time may be slower on a rainy day or after several coats have been applied. A hair dyer, gentle sunshine or a room heater can be used to speed drying times. For large jobs, it can help to leave 2 or more days drying time mid-project and before applying topcoat.
If at any time, there’s coatings disturbance, that’s a sign that the previous coatings are not dry enough yet. Allow more drying or use a hair dryer to speed the process.
Typically, 30 mins to 1 hour.
Filler must be applied in thin coats. A hair dryer, gentle sunshine or a room heater can be used to speed drying. Overnight drying can be helpful mid-project.
Filler can be sanded when dry. If it crumbles or balls when sanding, it isn't dry enough or was applied too thickly. Allow more further drying.
No. These colourants are self sealing which means that they will not rub off onto skin or clothing.
Sometimes. Dyes are stains that are not self sealing. In some cases they transfer onto skin and clothing. To seal dyes, apply 2 coats of clear Topcoat (No.7).
You could push through the job in 1 day (using a heat sources such as a hair dryer and with 2 people) however, taking your time is recommended when using a Repair & Recolour Kit. We suggest you allow 1-2 night drying time half way through the colour coats and again before applying the topcoat (more if needed). For most jobs, 2 to 7 days is enough time.
When restoring an aniline sofa and using an Aniline Restoration Kit, your job can be completed in 1 day or 3-5 days if finishing with topcoat.
If the leather furniture is under cover, the products can be used successfully.
Yes, the Repair & Recolour Kit can be used on man-made leather-like materials but typically, with reduced durability. If the material is in a degraded state (peeling, flaking, crumbling), repairs may not be viable.
In some instances, Aniline Dye Stain can be used to stain man-made materials and fabrics.
The care products can be used with pleasing effects.
Broadly speaking, 'Aniline' means 'dyed'. Aniline leather is coloured using dyes and has little to no coatings.
2 days, or longer if you can.
Coatings are touch dry in 1 hour, dry in 2 days and fully cured in 14 days.
Wait 7-14 days before applying any care products or wiping with water.
Proven performance : Our leather products are professional grade and many are used in tanneries which means that they are performance tested and industry approved. Whilst they can last for years, in after-market applications, results and durability vary from job to job due to many factors.
Coatings & colour maintenance : The products let you do as much coatings maintenance as you want or need over the life of your leather. As natural wear and tear and accidents happen, they give you the ability to touch-up any mishaps or give your leather a periodic make over. This might be once a year, once every 2, 3 or 4 years and so on - it depends on your leather and how much use it gets and what it needs to look good.
Repair & Recolour Kit : The results of this system can last for years. The products replicate those used in the tannery. When applied to a well prepared, quality substrate, this system gives excellent performance on most leathers.
Aniline Restoration Kit : Results from this system can last for years. The dyes stain the leather whilst the colour cream coats it. The durability of this system can be maximised with the application of clear Topcoat (No.7) over the colour coatings.
Colour Cream Kit : Results from this system can last well especially when clear Topcoat is applied over the colour work. This system trades some durability for speed and ease. It offers a fast make-over and easy touch-ups.
Best results on quality leather : The coatings perform best on a well prepared substrate that is inherently robust. Where the strength and integrity of the leather is compromised, the durability of repair and recolour work may be reduced.
The location of a tear affects the outcome : Repairs to tears in non-load bearing areas can last indefinitely. The longevity of tear repairs in load bearing areas such as seat cushions can be difficult to predict. Stitching the join can lend extra strength before gluing, filling and recolouring.
Oils prevent adhesion of coatings, filler and glue : Areas that are affected by body oil and hair oil may require touch-up before other areas.
Correct products and processes : Best results are acheived when the full process and correct products are used. Each product plays a role in creating a beautiful and durable result. Leather paint will stick without primer but it will perform better when primer is used. Similarly, leather paint is rub-resistant but it is gives superior performance when sealed and protected with 2 coats of clear topcoat. Thorough surface prep is vital to coatings longevity.
After care : Wear and tear typically occurs on high impact zones such as armrests, head rest and seat cushions; the areas that receive body oil and perspiration. Good ongoing after care can extend the life of leather and coatings. Harsh techniques or inappropriate products can damage leather coatings. Never rub as it can result in coatings removal.
Amount of use : If your leather sofa is used by 4 people, it receives 4 times the amout of use as a sofa that is used by 1 person. Think of it as 'mileage' - like on a car. Rotating your use of a sofa spreads the wear and tear evenly and can extend the life of the coatings and leather.
Type of use : Avoid abrasion to minimise coatings wear and tear. Dog claws and lots of perspiration can reduce the longevity of the coatings.
The products are made for leather. They are laboritory tested, widely used and known to be safe for leather.
- Ensure you like it. You need to be sure that you like the effect of the product before using it. If you don't like it, don't use it. If you do like it, go ahead and use it. It's better to be safe than sorry.
- Test your colour in an inconspicuous area to make sure it's what you want before proceeding with the job. If you want to alter it, it's best to make that adjustment before you start colouring.
- Test your topcoat to ensure it has the level of shine you like before proceeding with the job. Topcoats shine can be reduced with the addition of Dulling Agent.
- The right product for your type. Ensure you have a product that's suitable for your leather type.
- Learning curve. Get to know the product and how your leather responds to it. Learn how the product handles, then proceed with your job.
Each product in our Repair & Recolour Kit performs an important role towards maximising durability and creating a beautiful, showroom finish. When used alone, Leather Paint will stick to most substrates, however for optimal results, we recommend the full process. Here's why:
Spot & Prep (No.4): Anything that prevents optimal adhesion, undermines durability. This strong cleaner strips soiling, surface oils, silicones, waxes and emollients. A thoroughly clean surface is the first step towards producing a lasting result. Use it generously, scrub vigorously and wipe with moderately firm pressure.
Sanding: Sanding smooths surface imperfections and keys the surface - another important step towards good coatings adhesion.
Prime (No.5): This adhesion promoting coating creates a chemical bond between the leather and the new colour coats. Good adhesion contributes to durable results.
Colour (No.6): This is the bit we all enjoy! Applied in thin layers to render a showroom quality finish.
Topcoat (No.7): With the highest rub-resistance, this coating protects the colour coatings from wear and tear thereby extending the overall performance of the system.
Beware cheap alternatives: The full benefits of each coating are achieved by layering in the correct order. Some sellers mix a tiny percentage of primer and/or topcoat into their paint and call it a day. There is a clear difference in performance when corners are cut.
Colours and leathers vary
Some colours give coverage with fewer coats than others. Some leathers may require more coats than others.
Why so many coats?
You want a lux showroom finish. The coatings a refined. They are formulated to colour the leather without looking thick and painted. These professional colourants are low viscosity (watery). They produce a sleek, grain-hugging finish.
Prime (No.5) : 1 coat (apply 2 on high traffic areas like seat cushions and armrests if you have some left over)
Colour (No.6): There's a wide range of normal. Anywhere from 3 to 6 coats are typical. Some colours and some leathers may require more. Your application method and technique may also play a role in determining the number of coats needed. Once full and even coverage has been achieved, no further coats are needed.
Tip: When changing colours, it can help to add White to your first coat. Add less White to your second coat then use the final colour for subsequent coats. This trick is particularly helpful when changing from a dark brown to Lemon for example.
Topcoat (No.7): 2 coats (you can apply more to high traffic areas if you wish).
Colour Restoration Cream (No.32): 1 to 5 coats are typical. You can apply more to high traffic areas or to cover stains if you wish).
Aniline Dye Stain (No.29): 1 to 3 applications are typical. If you are using a darker shade (than the original) or your leather is very faded, more applications may be needed. You can apply more to the faded areas and less to the areas that are uneffected by fading.
Colour Restoration Cream (No.32): 1 to 3 coats are typical. You can apply more to high traffic areas or to cover stains if you wish.
No. Colour work corrects colour problems. It just address the aesthetics. Coatings offer protection but they do not moisturise, nourish or soften leather. If you are looking to restore the look of your leather, you'll need a repair and recolour system suited to your leather type. If you want to maintain the health of your leather to help prevent drying, cracking and delamination, you'll need a set of care products for your leather type.
After repairing and recolouring your leather, wait 2 weeks then commence an ongoing 3 monthly care regime.
Feel: No, when applied to viable, clean substrates and when fully cured (up to 14 days), they are not sticky. Finishing with Topcoat and conditioning your leather 7-14 days after colour work is recommended for best results.
Smell: For most people, most products have an insignificant smell when they are wet and no noticable smell when they are dry. The products with the strongest smell are in the cleaning category. Many products have a pleasant aroma.
Yes there are treatments for nubuck leather.
1) You can use Aniline Dye Stain (No.29) to enrich the colour. For larger jobs, using a spray gun may help to deliver the most even result possible.
For nubucks that are older, stained and have a low nap, these options require a compromise along with the solution:
2) The Aniline Restoration Kit gives semi-opaque coverage of blemishes and leaves a coating on the surface.
3) For full coverage of imperfections, a Repair & Recolour Kit. is needed. If repairs are needed, including the use of leather filler, this system can provide the coverage needed to conceal the repair work.
The compromise: Although imperfections can be disguised or covered, the original doe skin look and feel will be permanently changed to a coated /pigmented finish.
Yes there are some treatments for suede leather.
1) Aniline Dye Stain (No.29) can be used to enrich the colour. For larger jobs, using a spray gun may help to deliver the most even result possible.
2) For small touch-ups to cover marks or stains and for pastel and mid-tone colours, Fabric & Suede Colour (No.) is an option. Colours can be mixed.
Repairs: Most suedes can be glued but are not compatible with leather filler or leather paint.
Leather care & Stain treatments
Use Mould Remover (No.29). It is an easy spray or wipe on solution that kills mould and mould spores. It can be used on fabrics as well. After treating the mould, clean the leather to remove any organic matter (grime from hands) that may be a food source for mould. Finish with a leather conditioner to maintain softness and suppleness. Have plenty of cloths on hand and dispose of them or launder them separately. Ensure garments are dry before storing in a mould free, dry cupboard/wardrobe.
In some cases, mould can leave behind stains in leather and vinyl. In other instances, mould can eat into leather coatings leaving behind a whitish, frosty look. To correct this damage, recolouring with a Repair & Recolour Kit is usually the best solution.
Yes, often but not always. It depends on the coatings on your leather and how long the dye has been present. Dye Remover (No.15) can be 100% effective when used to treat fresh transferred dye stains or when the leather coatings are not very porous. If the dye has penetrated the coatings, the stain may be permanent. Recolouring over the stain using a Repair & Recolour Kit (for pigmented leather) or Aniline Dye Stain or the Aniline Restoration Kit (for aniline leathers) can help to minimise the appearance of the dye stain.
You can't really. We believe that there's no effective, user-friendly way of drawing embedded oil from leather.
There are some oil removers on the market that you could try. We have tested them and found the process to be long and messy and the results less than ideal. When we find a solution that works, we will happily make it available to you through our store.
If you are doing colour work over an oily area, clean it thoroughly with a strong cleaner like Spot & Prep (No.4) to remove as much oil as possible from the surface.
Restore and maintain suppleness with this 3 part solution:
1) Condition your leather every 3 months or so using a suitable conditioner. Find out which one is right for your leather here.
2) Softener (No.22). This is a tannery grade leather softener. Use it as a once a year treatment.
3) Wear or use the leather. This results in 'milling' which is the tannery term for stretching, flexing, and tumbling leather. It helps to loosen the fibres and soften leather.
Almost always, yes. However, some anilines can mark incredibly easily - even with water. Protect (No.3) offers great benefits for all leather types but, in particular, aniline leather as it can help reduce fading and minimise stains. That said, due to the propensity for anilines to darken, this product must be tested in an inconspicuous area first to ensure compatibility with your unique leather. Do a small test spot. If your leather doesn't darken in response to it, make Protect (No.3) part of your ongoing 3 monthly care regime for the life of your sofa (or handbag etc).
Note: although permanent darkening can happen, it is very rare.
The short answer? Every 3 months. However, it depends on the leather type, frequency of use and you.
Pigmented leathers are protected by coatings; Aniline leathers are not. Frequent care helps to minimise the risk of marks and stains. It also helps to maintain the health of leather. If you want to treat your leather once a week or once a month, you can. Just don't leave it longer than 3 months.
Frequency of use
Leather items that receive irregular use such as some handbags or apparel may need less frequent care. For example, a leather jacket may just need a service in the middle of winter and again before storing it away for the summer. On the flip side, if you sit in the same armchair every day, it will benefit from much more frequent care. If there are lots of people using the leather, step up the care regime to match.
Some people perspire more than others and medications can change skin pH. If you perspire a lot, your steering wheel, drivers seat and your favourite seat on the sofa will benefit from more frequent care. If you are up for it, you can clean, condition and protect on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. 'Light and regular' is the key. Think of it as you would your kitchen bench; a quick wipe down on a regular basis using a small amount of product together with deeper clean now and then, gives best results. .
Deliveries and Policies
Delivery time = Dispatch time + Transit time.
Dispatch times: Most parcels are dispatched from our Sydney warehouse within 0-2 business days.
Transit times: Australia Post offers the following estimates:
1-3 business day to metro locations
2-4 business days to rural locations
5 business days to remote locations
2-4 business days to metro locations
3-6 business days to rural locations
5-8 business days to remote locations
6+ business days
From time to time, dispatch times may be slower than normal due to health measures, resourcing limitations and supply chain issues. Similarly, Australia Post transit times are affected by external factors such as weather events and health measure. Such delays may apply without notice. We thank you for your understanding.
No. We don't have a customer facing warehouse. All orders are placed online and fulfilled via an automated process.
Currently, Leather Hero products are only available online.
We accept some products back for refund. For full details, check out our Returns Policy.
No. Due to online automation, it is not possible to combine orders. Freight is automatically purchased from Australia Post for each order. No refunds for postage charges will be made.
If possible, we will ship both orders in the same box for your convenience. However, as frieght is calculated based on weight and dimensions, this may not be possible in all cases.
Repair & Care Toubleshooting
Do a small test area. If the Topcoat you chose is duller than you like, consider these options:
1) Add 20% Gloss or High Gloss Topcoat to your last colour coat. Then apply 2 coats of Gloss or High Gloss Topcoat to finish and protect your job. Topcoat is available separately through our online store.
2) Mix some High Gloss Topcoat into your existing Topcoat to create a shinier Topcoat. How much you need will depend on your job size, how much Topcoat you have on hand and how shiny you want the final topcoat to be.
3) Add around 10 - 30% leather paint to your topcoat. The shine of the paint can help to lift the shine of the Topcoat. Apply 2 - 3 coats. You can experiment to find the mix that meets your desired look. This approach somewhat dilutes the protective properties of topcoat but generally produces a satisfactory level of protection.
4) Use Waxy Nourish (No.9). Wait 7 - 14 days after colour work then apply this conditioner. It contains natural organic waxes and glazes that render shine. Apply 1 or more applications per your desired aesthetic. Do a test area in an inconspicuous place first to ensure that it is the right solution for your needs. Reapply after cleaning as needed for the life of your leather.
1) Allow more drying time. The colour coats may not be dry enough. Anywhere from 2 -14 days may be required. A heat source such as a hair dryer, room heater or gentle sunshine can be used to speed drying.
2) Try another applicator. If the sponge is old and caked with dried product, use a new one. Do not use a cloth or any other abrasive applicator. A foam roller can work well. Of course, if you can use a spray method, that will remove all chance of abrasion.
3) Use a light touch. A heavy handed technique can drag damp coatings off. When you reach the finishing coats, use a gliding pressure; the lighter the better.
4) Use a blend of 80% paint and 20% topcoat as your last colour coat. Topcoat has sealing properties that can assist the transition from colour to topcoat. Complete your job with 2 coats of topcoat.
5) Don't disturb the coatings whilst they are drying. They want to form a film. If you work into the coatings during drying, disturbance will occur (peeling, pilling, colour removal).
6) Work quickly. Work in one area or panel at a time. Working quickly, sweep the topcoat over the surface then leave it to self level.
7) Insufficient surface prep. Adhesion problems can stem from inadequate surface prep. There may be soiling, waxes, silicones (from conditioners or even added by the manufacturer), or oils (from conditioners or skin and hair) preventing optimal coatings adhesion. A strong cleaner like Spot & Prep (No.4) together with vigorous scrubbing and firm wiping with a microfibre cloth is needed to remove these contaminants. Sanding the old coatings keys the surface for optimal adhesion. If you have a resistant area, it could be that more surface prep was/is needed. Go back to the beginning. Scrub, sand (try a coarser grit paper this time), prime (2 coats), colour then topcoat again.
When some colour coatings are old, thin, worn, inferior quality, unprotected (by a robust topcoat) or compromised by body oil, perspiration, inadequate cleaning or the use of inappropriate cleaners, they eventually degrade. This can first become evident when cleaning. The coatings may ball up, feel tacky, peel, disintegrate or come off. This shows that they have expired. Whilst this is a known to occur it is not common.
The solution is to refinish (recolour) the affected areas. After thorough surface prep, apply new coatings over the old expired ones to restore the look and feel and to protect the leather. In some instances, new colour and topcoat may be needed. In other cases, just topcoat may be required.
If your leather has recently been recoloured the coatings may not be cured yet. Allow 7-14 days curing time before wiping your newly coated leather with water or any other care product.
Filler is an adhesive, flexible compound used for surface correction before recolouring with a leather paint system. It sticks to clean, structurally sound surfaces. If you find that it isn't sticking well, there's something preventing adhesion.
1) Oil in the leather. Hair and skin oils prevent adhesion.
2) Surface level barriers. Soiling, waxes, oils or silicones on the surface can also impede adhesion.
3) Applied too thickly. Filler must be applied in thin layers and each layer must be dry before the next one is applied. If you can sand it, it's dry. If it balls up, it's not dry enough yet or was applied too thickly.
4) Weak substrate. Whilst filler is flexible and bonds well to robust surfaces, it may not adhere as well to a heavily stretched, strained and generally weakened surface. Basically, it needs some support from the underside to do it's job.
5) Load bearing limitations. Glue and filler can hold together a tear in a non-load bearing area indefinitely. When repairing a tear on a seat cushion that may carry 50-100kg of human weight, stitching the leather back together before gluing and filling can produce a more viable repair.
Try cleaning the leather again using Spot & Prep (No.4). Sand the area to key the surface. Leather Binder or Leather Glue may help to seal the surface and priming may also optimise adhesion before reapplying filler.