How to Prep Leather for Paint Adhesion That Lasts – Colorbond Paint

How to Prep Leather for Paint Adhesion That Lasts

September 30, 2022


Leather paint can do a great job renewing and restyling leather furniture, leather auto upholstery, leather boat upholstery and other leather items. However, if the leather isn’t properly prepared before painting the result can look worse than before it was painted. At ColorBond we know it’s very important to properly prep leather for paint adhesion, so the finish will be durable and long-lasting. It’s crucial to be patient and take time to be sure the surface is ready to go. We generally recommend thoroughly cleaning the surfaces to be painted with ColorBond Prep Cleaner before applying ColorBond LVP leather, vinyl, and plastic paint. This will remove dirt, dust, and oil, as well silicones and conditioners for best adhesion. You can see details on how to use Prep Cleaner here. Some of our customers take additional steps to prep leather for paint adhesion. Check out these examples.

Robert T. recently transformed the interior of his 1969 Jaguar XKE with ColorBond LVP. Bob says, “To prep the interior, I wiped it down with acetone, and then masked the side upholstery. The ColorBond was very easy to use and was not challenging at all. It’s easy to use for sure – as advertised. The most complicated part was masking the interior. The car turned out great. People can’t believe I did it myself, and it’s holding up great!”

Antique Leather Furniture

Harry S. did a wonderful job using ColorBond LVP for a leather furniture restoration project. Among the pieces he refinished are a 100-year-old horsehair stuffed leather chair used by his grandfather when he was a judge, and leather chair and couch. “It’s the best leather paint I’ve ever used” says Harry. To prep the leather for paint adhesion he simply cleaned the leather with lacquer thinner and then painted it with LVP Refinisher. “The results look great! I love it” Harry exclaims. Harry tells us replacing the two leather chairs and leather couch with duplicates would have cost about $10,000. Yet, ColorBond only cost about $500-$600 for the furniture restoration project.

Leather Steering Wheel

Scott J. used ColorBond LVP to restore the leather steering wheel in his 2005 Dodge Ram. It had been stained by mosquito repellant. Scott says. “To prep the leather for paint adhesion he cleaned the grip with denatured alcohol, and then lightly sanded the rough spots with 100 grit and then up to 1000 grit sandpaper. He cleaned the wheel again with Color Bond Prep Cleaner. Before painting he sprayed on ColorBond Adhesion Promoter and let it sit overnight.  “I applied five coats, waiting ten minutes between coats to be sure it was completely dry. Then I used the Color Bond Dash Clear UV Protectant to finish. I love this paint.  It goes on great, dries extremely fast and looks fantastic. So far it is holding up well!”

Leather Motorcycle Seat

Paul A. painted the seat of his 2006 Harley Davidson Road King Classic with ColorBond LVP. To prep the leather for paint adhesion, he scrubbed the seat with a solution made of a small amount of Dawn detergent mixed with water and followed up with ColorBond Prep Cleaner. Next, he roughed up the alligator skin inlay with 1200 grit sandpaper, and then lightly sanded the rest of the seat. As a final step, he wiped the seat down with a tack cloth before painting with ColorBond LVP.  “I used only one coat and it dried fast and came out great!” Said Paul. “After it dried, I wiped the seat down with a white cloth to see if there would be any residue. There was none.”

Leather Headrests

Bill F. purchased a 2001 Mercedes E320 wagon and found the three leather headrests were missing from the rear seats. He found a set of headrests on eBay however, they needed to be color matched to his interior. “I cleaned the headrests with rubbing alcohol before painting with ColorBond LVP in the OEM correct Mercedes color. The job didn’t even take an hour to complete.” Explains Bill. “ColorBond maintained the detail of every texture and stitch. There were no globs of paint or spots of varying finish. They looked exactly like the front headrests. I can’t tell the difference and I’m fussy. I’d call it amazing. One can of ColorBond was required at cost of $23.35 versus $1400 for new headrests.”

By taking your time to properly prep leather for paint adhesion, you too can get fantastic results with ColorBond LVP.