Fix the Leather car seat again

About 10 months ago I repaired some ratty looking leather using a product called Leather Magic. Link to Leather Repair. It looked pretty darn good after the repair, but I got a lot of inquiries about how well it would hold up. Well, I have the answer for you now.

First a caveat, I may not have prepped the repair area perfectly as it was my first try. It looks like the seat that gets the most abuse, the drivers seat, started to show wear again in the repair zone after about 9 months. I spent a few hours one Saturday afternoon and did a quick touchup. Here are the results.

Repair seat Leather Magic

Driver’s seat by the door where most of the wear happens.

I could have let it go a bit longer, but I thought that maybe it would be easier to repair if I got to it sooner. Also, I didn’t do the full-on airbrush application. I just used a foam brush so you can see brush strokes if you look close. In reality, you’ll hardly notice it in daily use.

So now we have the real world update. For me, the repair lasted 9 months. Not too bad for the investment cost.

Here’s a link to the original post if you haven’t seen that: It covers a detailed overview of the first repair process.

===<Another Update>====

Today (8/25/2013) I refreshed the front seats of the car again. So it’s been about 1 year and 3 months since the last treatment. The driver’s seat outward panel had the most wear and a lot of the previous finish had come off completely. I had to carefully cut out flakes with a single edge razor and then re-coat a 2×3 inch area.

The leather compound material I had was hardened and I had to order more. The color coat material was still good and I was able to finish the front seats and my steering wheel. Tomorrow I’ll use something new called a “Gloss Restorer” to top off the job. The finished leather tends to be tacky and the Gloss Restorer is supposed to reduce that.

I’ll update with more pictures later in the week.

Here’s a general repair kit from Leather Magic that you can get on Amazon. However, if you call them directly they can arrange a color match for you. That’s what I ended up doing.


About song

Tech guy in the silicon valley. If you need anything else, look on the blog. It's all there.
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5 Responses to Fix the Leather car seat again

  1. Song Huang says:

    I’m going to continue to update this page as a real time tracker to the effectiveness of the Leather Magic product. Today (5/27/12)I repaired the same seat section on the driver’s side. Once again it has been 9 months since my last repair. I am thinking that the repair lasts 9 months tops for an area which gets daily use. The other parts of the car show slight cracking, but they don’t look at all bad. The driver seat side panel had chunks of the old repair coming off. I used a razor and trimmed off all the old and loose pieces before applying the new repair.

  2. YewHonn says:

    I was just about to tackle my cracking volvo-850 driver seat side-bolster using leather magic when I stumbled across your site.
    Thanks! Especially for the follow-up repair updates as I was wondering about the durability of the repair.

    A couple of questions

    1. You mentioned that you hadn’t done a proper prep the 1st time it was fixed. I’m assuming that the 2nd time around you did a more detailed prep, but the repair still also lasted ~9mths?

    2. Does the dye wear off on clothing?

  3. YewHonn says:

    I have a 18-yr old volvo, and it just hit me when i was looking at the pictures of the seat repair. Is yours a volvo s70?

  4. song says:

    Well it’s not a S70, but a V70. From the B pillars forward, it’s about the same car. Mine is a 1998 model. Still running like a champ, but cosmetically it needs care and attention.

    Did you see the blog post for the original repair?

    Be sure and take a look at that post. There’s a lot more detail there.

  5. song says:

    Answers to your questions.
    1. I scrubbed the seats pretty well, but I believe that you need to spend more time on the dirt in the cracks. Use some kind of mild cleaner and get as much dirt out of the cracks as possible. Also be sure and let it dry really well. When the repairs start showing wear, I’ve noticed that it starts at the cracks. Actually the 2nd time around I just did a light prep. I’ve come to the conclusion that it won’t last much more than 7-9 months. I can refresh it in a matter of an hour or so. Not bad for another half year or so.

    2. There’s no issue with the dye wearing off on your clothes at all. The “dye” is actually a water based plastic paint. I’ve noticed that when it dries, it still tacky in that it picks up dirt pretty easily, especially on light color seats. There’s more of a danger of your clothes colors coming off on the seats than the other way around. For us, it was really noticeable with new blue jeans. They always left a bit of dye on the seats.

    I called Leather Magic about that and they sold me a conditioner that was basically a clear coat. I’ve noticed it’s a lot like the stuff that my concrete guy used to seal our concrete work in the courtyard. I kid you not. Basically it’s a water based plastic that has a satin finish. You wipe it on and it creates a little protective barrier. This did help in the tackiness, but the cracks still come back. I hope this answers your questions. Feel free to fire more my way if you want.

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