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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Cosmetic and Lighting Modifications (exterior/interior) > Interior Leather Color Change - Black to Red



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      01-29-2016, 08:20 AM   #1
scanspeak
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Interior Leather Color Change - Black to Red

So I've had my 2007 E92 323i MSport for about 6 months now and decided that the schwartz black interior is a bit too gloomy for my tastes (the exterior is Titanium silver). What's needed is some bright color so I've chosen to go with the red - a classic pairing with silver and as we all know, red makes the car go faster.

After much research I've decided that I will be using Leatherique dye (BMW Imola Red/Coral Red). Expensive but it seems a very safe bet if procedures are followed correctly.

While the interior is out I will be doing a few other repairs/upgrades -:

- the very dark tint (32%) will be changed to much lighter but better performing (UV/heat/glare) Formula One (42%)
http://www.tintacar.com.au/media/117...ure-jun14-.pdf
- the driver's side door pull which is peeling paint will be repainted
- the seatbelt presenters will be disconnected (I find them slow, noisy, unreliable and annoying)
- replace a few broken/scratched trim bits

I thought about changing the speakers but decided that the existing ones were decent enough






Last edited by scanspeak; 02-16-2016 at 02:21 AM.
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      01-29-2016, 09:22 AM   #2
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Where did you buy the dye?
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      01-29-2016, 10:54 AM   #3
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Awesome, keep us posted.
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      01-29-2016, 11:10 AM   #4
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Um... By definition, "dye" is a transparent coloring agent. Which means that if always combines with the existing color, not overrides it. It is not possible to dye black into red. It is not possible to dye black into anything. If you want to use red dye and arrive at red color as end result, you have to start from white leather.

If your starting point is black, then the only way to override that is to use a pigment (as opposed to a dye), i.e. paint it red. But painting is a completely different process. And I don't believe if is doable, but I might be wrong. I mean, it should certainly be possible to re-paint black into red, but will it last?

(Saw that E46 thread where they did seem to successfully repaint black into cinnamon using Leatherique stuff, if the pictures are real. 5 coats...)

Last edited by AndreyT; 01-29-2016 at 12:04 PM.
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      01-29-2016, 01:32 PM   #5
scanspeak
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Here's the leatherique website http://www.leatherique.com
This product is recommended by the Roll Royce Club of USA.

I agree that the term "dye" may be a bit misleading. It looks to me like a dye/paint.

Last edited by scanspeak; 02-08-2016 at 03:03 AM.
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      01-29-2016, 01:33 PM   #6
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It would indeed require painting. It can be done however and should be pretty hard wearing if done correctly.
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      01-29-2016, 02:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scanspeak View Post
Here's the leatherique website http://www.leatherique.com
This product is recommended by the Roll Royce Club of USA.
Sounds like good stuff.

But that web site... "Touch the PUFF into the bowel of dye..." Mother of God...
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      01-29-2016, 02:13 PM   #8
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Op- Have you pulled the trigger on this yet? Did you look into this stuff called Color Bond? Cant comment on Leatherique because I have never used it, but I have used the color bond (tan to red color change) and the stuff is great.

Either way the prep is the most important aspect of this type of project. I wish you luck and look forward to seeing the results.
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      01-29-2016, 06:14 PM   #9
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Garage List
2007 335i Coupe  [5.00]
Subscribed. Very interested in how this turns out.
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      01-30-2016, 05:13 AM   #10
scanspeak
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Products have arrived and as a trial run I started with a rear headrest.

First I oiled it with Rejuvenator Oil, put it in a garbage bag in the sun to open the pores and soak it in. After a day I then removed it and cleaned it thoroughly with Pristine Clean and a damp microfibre cloth. Keep rinsing the cloth in water.
I think the oiling stage is quite important and why I recommend doing this project in warm/sunny weather (it's late Summer here in Australia).

Waited 48 hours before proceeding to the next step for the oil to fully penetrate.

Then followed sanding with 600 grit wet-and-dry and a grey Scotchbrite scourer with Prep Wash to break down the existing dye before commencing with the dyeing process. Scrub seams and creases with a brush - very important as this is where oil and other products might have accumulated over the years.

Wait > 6 hours before dyeing. Use a hair dryer to help dry creases and seams if needed.

It took about 6 THIN coats (1 hour drying time), first brushing the seams with a fine artists brush, and then fill in the rest with a wide artists brush. As a final finish I used the wipe-on method with a microfibre cloth. According to the company it's important not to put on thick coats or it will start to look like plastic. Also the product has to be stirred very regularly as the pigment settles quickly,

I'm very happy with the result. The look and feel is virtually the same as the original leather, even a little softer thanks to the Rejuvenator Oil. The sheen level is satin.

Before considering it complete I will wait a few days for it to fully cure and then give it another Pristine Clean to get off any residual color.

The color "Imola red" looks virtually identical to Coral Red.




Last edited by scanspeak; 02-10-2016 at 07:46 PM.
      01-30-2016, 01:46 PM   #11
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That headrest turned out great! Good luck with the rest of it, it seems like a fun project to do.
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      01-30-2016, 02:14 PM   #12
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Wow, awesome. I wish I had the patience and courage to try this.
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      01-31-2016, 12:19 PM   #13
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Very impressed. Can't wait to see the result!
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      02-01-2016, 07:31 PM   #14
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I've ordered some matt clear-coat from www.furnitureclinic.co.uk/Leather_Finish.php which I will test to see how it looks and feels.
It's supposed to add a great deal of wear resistance and the matt look may give a more OEM appearance (though I have no issues with the current satin finish).

They also have an excellent guide to the recoloring process https://www.furnitureclinic.co.uk/Fu...ange_Guide.php

Last edited by scanspeak; 02-01-2016 at 07:57 PM.
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      02-02-2016, 01:12 AM   #15
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Hope the first time you get some swamp ass it doesn't come off on your pants. Looks great so far though!
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      02-02-2016, 08:06 AM   #16
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Have now removed all of the rear trim and seats and the front door trims without too much fuss.

Getting the armrests apart was a bit difficult as the plastic welds holding the door pulls needed to be drilled out.
The leather door inserts will be painted in situ as they are held in place by >50 plastic welds.

Now preparing the armrests for painting.




Last edited by scanspeak; 02-23-2016 at 07:10 PM.
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      02-02-2016, 12:57 PM   #17
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Really impressed with this thread! OP has got some serious balls/confidence to do this!
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      02-02-2016, 05:03 PM   #18
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Thanks Vish. Or maybe I'm just crazy lol
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      02-02-2016, 05:12 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scanspeak View Post
Thanks Vish. Or maybe I'm just crazy lol
Lets go with balls and confidence!
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      02-03-2016, 09:50 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scanspeak View Post
I've ordered some matt clear-coat from www.furnitureclinic.co.uk/Leather_Finish.php which I will test to see how it looks and feels.
It's supposed to add a great deal of wear resistance and the matt look may give a more OEM appearance (though I have no issues with the current satin finish).

They also have an excellent guide to the recoloring process https://www.furnitureclinic.co.uk/Fu...ange_Guide.php
This makes all the difference. My brother and I dyed an M3 steering wheel (top and bottom sections) in LSB (leatherique) and sealed it with matte clear coat (FC) and it was daily driven for 1.5 years without any wear. His front seats were also clearcoated, the dye will flake off in time if you don't. Best of luck. As long as you clean it up properly and allow time for the dye to set in you'll be fine. Don't underestimate getting every little crevice with an art brush. We used a nail salon airbrush to add very light coats. Some coats were from a bit further away to give it some texture to grip the next coat. The end result after multiple smooth coats was just clean and smooth. The truth is this isn't a true dye unless you have light leather. Don't be afraid to wet sand the leather during the prep/clean. It helps loosen up the black original dye. The clearcoat is sticky so be careful when spraying, you can't correct it like when laying the dye. Just let it sit and dry, then you can correct it just like any paint. Let all the leather cure for a week in room temperature. The leatherique clearcoat was shiny, FC has the perfect OEM finish because the oil you and your clothes have will slowly sheen it up.
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      02-03-2016, 05:32 PM   #21
scanspeak
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Thanks for the tips mate. Do you think the clearcoat can be effectively applied with a brush or sponge?

Last edited by scanspeak; 02-03-2016 at 05:37 PM.
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      02-04-2016, 02:54 AM   #22
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Refinished my peeling door grabs in matt black Plastikote.
* Edit : Later added a satin clear coat for extra scratch resistance.


Last edited by scanspeak; 02-23-2016 at 07:11 PM.
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