What is Colour Loss On leather?
Colour loss is where colour has come off the leather with age or fading from UV rays.
If you have applied any form of filler to holes or cracks on the leather you will need to change the colour of these first before applying any colourants, to do this match your colour first then for small areas use a paint brush and apply to the fillers this way, for much larger areas apply using a sponge. This can then be dried with a hair dryer.
By doing this you are making the fillers blend better with the colour of the leather and this means less colour will be needed to complete your job fully. We do manufacture special coloured filler which is an even better way of repairing holes and cracks and gives better result than just colouring the white filler as above.
BEFORE APPLYING COLOURANT YOU MUST FILTER THE COLOUR FIRST OF ALL.
If you are simply re colouring an area of leather start off by sponging on a coat of colour, if you are changing the colour of leather (follow our guide “ How To Change The Colour Of Leather” first) you will need to sponge on two or three coats to begin with before applying final coats by spray application.
Once you have dried off the sponge coats, using some 1200 grit sandpaper gently sand the leather to remove any specs that may have got in to the colourant or stuck to the leather.
You can then spray the colour on using an airbrush, spray on thin coats ensuring you have applied enough to colour the leather correctly. You will need to apply several coats of colour by airbrush drying between each coat and leaving to stand for 15 minutes once dry between each coat. When you are happy with the colour you can lightly sand this with 1200 grit sandpaper to smooth out any imperfections you may have in the final coloured finish.
Before proceeding to the final steps of applying the clear coat sealers, get your tack cloth and gently move this over the surface to remove any dust particles to enable a perfect end results to be obtained.
The next stage is to spray on the finishing coats. You will need to apply between two to five coats of clear finish to the colour to seal this in making it extremely strong and very durable.
Don’t forget to sand What grade of sand paper do you require at these stages ?
Before spraying on your final coat of clear finish, you can sand over the areas with 1200 grit sandpaper and again before applying your final coat. When sanding DO NOT rub hard, all you will be doing at this stage is lightly sanding over the surface almost hardly touching the leathers surface.
The finish takes around three to seven days to fully set and cure to a very durable finish, which in most cases is stronger than the leather’s original finish. But the item can be used after 24 hours safely.
Finishing & Polishing with fine grade polishing papers
The final stages of the repair is to perfect it. You will need to go over the full item with 3000 grit paper first of all and then follow that up with 7000 grit paper. These two grades of grit paper are so fine they are like paper, but will give you the ultimate finish on leather and make it feel luxurious and brand new.
If you need to use the item after you carry out the work, use it gently.
After 24 hours have passed you can wipe the leather down with a lightly dampened cloth to remove any fine particles of roughness or dust that may have settled in the very final coat, once this is done you can then apply several coats of Leather Protection Cream for a very soft supple feeling leather finish and to help protect your leather for the future from wear and tear and UV rays.
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT PREPARING THE LEATHER
Any job that requires a recolour it’s important that the leather surface is prepped correctly. You have to make sure that you take off enough top coating / colour to make the leather absorbent again.
Be careful not to over prepare. This is when you remove the grain and turn the leather to a suede effect.
To test this it’s best to place a ten pence size drop of water on to the surface for around a minute and then wipe this off if it has gone darker and soaked in to the leathers surface then that’s the perfect situation to carry out a repair to the colour of the leather.
If you imagine a car body that has been painted and they have just sprayed over the top of the old colour in time this will flake off and come away, this is what will happen to the leather coating you are applying if you don’t prep the surface correctly.