What Is Aniline Leather Restoration?
Full Aniline Leather Skin
After cleaning the aniline leather, the best practice is to use alcohol cleaner to prep the aniline leather, it’s best not to use prep unless in extreme circumstances.
The purpose of this is to prepare the surface for the new aniline dyes to bond in to the leathers surface. This process removes all grease and grime that the cleaning process can’t remove. By doing this you open the leather ready to take the new dyes giving a perfect repair every time.
It’s always best to spray the dyes on as application by hand allows too much dye to be applied and will cause the anilines to go too dark in patches.
Grease patches, like body oils are often present on anilines due to the absorbent nature of the leather. You don’t have to degrease these patches for aniline restoration to be a success. The dyes are very stable when used in these areas but it will darken these areas, degreasing anilines just causes bigger problems making it almost impossible to restore them once degreased or after using prep. Over preparing anilines can causing bleeding of colours due to the way anilines are dyed originally. Making the re colour process difficult to undertake and potentially impossible to do.
To tint an area, use a mixture of aniline dyes along with a very small touch of pigment paint no more than 5% to 10% pigment paint along with a satin leather finish 70% finish, 25% dyes and 5% pigment should be ok, but this is the final stages to seal the leather and blend off any dark patches, you wouldn’t coat the dark patches with this mixture it’s for going around them.
The grease could still present a problem after a re-dye, but as long as the grease was not too severe then this should be fine. It’s important not to prep the aniline so not to degrade the leather natural finish as this is where the problems can be caused over prepping the leather causing the grease areas to create an even bigger problem for the future. Once restored very regular cleaning and protection should avoid any future problems with greasy areas.
Application of Aniline Dyes
Aniline dyes should always be applied by airbrush application, do not over apply or the dye will run, causing issues, if this does happen you can very very lightly dab this with a sponge to remove excess dye, you must not push this into the leather all you are doing is gently wiping this off the surface with the sponge.
Aniline dyes will naturally soak into the leather, using a sponge for application will create darker areas and patches.
Aniline dyes can be mixed together to gain different shades, but with aniline you are limited on the dyes and what aniline leathers are on the market, e.g. you can’t get a white aniline, or cream.
The first coat will dry very quickly as it’s absorbed into the leather, you can speed this up with the hair drier, once this is dry, you can then apply a second or third coating as is required to complete the job and blend in any darker areas.
Always start at an edge and work over the panel completing the panel with an even finish of dye, or you will end up with darker areas if you start in the middle.
The natural look of anilines creates different shades on the surface this is very natural and adds character to the aniline leathers look.
Further coats can be applied, but remember that each coat you apply this will further darken the aniline leather taking you away from the original colour, once gone darker you can’t go lighter with aniline leather as the dye will have absorbed into the skin.
Once the product has dried for several hours you can then apply a finish lacquer, normally it’s best to apply a satin with some matt finish mixed into this so it’s not too shiny, again it’s advised to mix at a ratio of 70% satin to 30% matt lacquer finish. With aniline you don’t need to apply a finish, but it will further add to the characters of the leather giving it an even stronger finish and better durability, you will only need to apply a single coat of lacquer so that the aniline still feels soft and luxurious.
Once this has also dried, it’s best to apply over this several hours later a couple of coatings of leather protection cream.
Aniline Leather Before
Aniline Leather After
Aniline Sofa Before
Aniline Sofa Restored
Aniline Sofa Arm Before
Aniline Sofa Arm After