There is no reason to leave that discolored leather jacket at home if you are willing to spend a modest amount for a simple, leather repair kit. A variety of quality kits which include easy directions can keep you from spending more on re-coloring than you did on the leather item itself. Although it sometimes takes a few attempts, even the most unusual shades of leather can be matched with the right kit. Directions in an easy-to-use kit should include a color chart which will help you mix the shade to match your leather item, and clear explanations of how much color is included in each bottle.
Color is not the only thing to look for in a good repair kit. The area to be repaired, if not the entire piece, should be properly prepped with a professional cleaner made for the kind of leather you own. The kit should note whether it can be used for non-protected or non-treated leather, like aniline, or if it is strictly for previously protected leather.
A problem with color often means there is a stain or rip issue as well. Check to see if the kit includes all of the compound, sub-patch material, applicators, cleaners and conditioners that you are going to need to make a complete and professional-looking repair. Special extras which may be nice to have in a kit are sprays which reduce the appearance of brush marks after re-coloring, or ones which produce various, grainy textures.
Finding or mixing the right color can often be the most challenging aspect of doing leather re-coloring at home. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get it right, so see if there is a convenient, less visible part of the item which you can test out first.
Often a kit can be personalized. All of the items that you need are in the kit, along with an exact, premixed color. Some shades are being manufactured to match specific clothing, furniture or automobile interiors.
If the color of your leather interior is unmatchable in the default selections, then try furniture or even clothing colors. Some people prefer re-coloring kits which include a spectrum of colors, so they can test the combinations to find the perfect shade.
Liquid Leather Repair Kits
Liquid leather repair kits are another option. They produce the same result as traditional kits, but typically use a heating tool to bind the leather-like paper to the damaged area. There are also no-heat liquid kits.
These kits tend to be a little less expensive than the standard re-coloring kits. A benefit to using the liquid leather is that it takes less time to finish the job. You spend less time waiting for coats to dry than you would with the standard leather repair kits. Again, an area should be tested first, especially if there is antique or delicate leather involved.
Whether a liquid leather or traditional leather repair kit is used, the most important thing is that it includes everything that you will need, and in the right amounts.
Part of what is needed for successful leather repair, is concise directions. Directions for each bottle, tool, patch, cloth, color and applicator should be included. There should be a color chart which describes how much to mix of each color.
Spending a bit more on a simple-to-use repair kit will ensure that you can reproduce and match the texture and color of your leather as much as possible. Having too much product to do your re-coloring is better than not having enough, so make sure that your $15 to $60 investment supplies you with enough get your re-coloring project done, and perhaps one in the future as well.
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