How to paint the leather seats in my car

Leather seats are the most durable seats to have in your car. They are luxurious and easy to clean. However, like many other types of interiors, leather requires occasional maintenance in order to keep its attractive appearance. Over time leather seats will suffer normal wear and tear causing the colour to fade or darken. Whether you are looking to restore the colour or completely change the colour, you can paint your car's leather seats using the same techniques as the professionals at a fraction of the cost.

Pick a leather colouring kit, which you can find online or at your local auto retail store. Your kit will come equipped with multiple colour selections, leather prep, finishing sprays, a spray unit, gloves, a palette knife, an abrasive pad and sponge applicators. The colour selections will vary per kit. Check the kit to make sure it has the colour you desire. Make sure the kit's contents are nonflammable and nontoxic.

Protect your work area. Exposure to chemicals can cause damage to other areas inside the car. Cover the inside of the car around the car seats with newspaper, a sheet or plastic covering. Tape the edges down with painter's masking tape. You can also remove your car seats to prevent chemical exposure by following the "Removing Car Seats" instructions in the manual that came with your car.

Prep your seats. Open the kit, put on the gloves, take one of the sponge applicators and apply prep solution onto the leather with the palette knife, according to the kit's instructions. Rub the solution in with the abrasive pad, making sure to cover all of the seats. This process will remove old colour and the manufacturer's finish. Continue this process until the old colour is stripped, and the lighter colour beneath is exposed.

Apply colour. Using a different application sponge, apply a thin layer of colour to your seats. Colour should be applied in smooth, even strokes. Applying the colour too thick will cause bubbles and runs. If you notice this, take a cloth and smooth the surface. Allow the layer to dry undisturbed, with the windows down for ventilation. If you want a richer colour, add additional layers of colour until you are satisfied with the appearance.

Apply finishing spray. Once the colour has completely dried and you are satisfied with the colour, add a thin layer of finishing spray using the spray unit that comes with the kit. Be sure to cover all of the seats thoroughly.

Allow the seats to dry. Wait approximately 48 hours before sitting in your seats or reattaching them. The paint should last for a long time, although you may see some fading if the car is exposed to the sun for long periods of time. To help prevent this, invest in an indoor windshield sun cover. Use this whenever you park your car outside.


Always read the instructions that come with your kit. Steps may vary depending on the brand.

Things You'll Need

  • Leather re-colouring kit
  • Cover for your work area
  • Tools to remove car seats (optional)
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About the Author

Based in Baltimore, Maryland, Damica Brownswood has been writing music articles for over four years. Her most recent articles have appeared in several notable online music sources. Brownswood is currently pursuing a career in the entertainment business. In her spare time she enjoys saving money by creating things from scratch.