How to Remove Scratches From a Leather Dashboard
Unlike plastic, vinyl, or car paint damage, removing a car scratch from a leather dashboard presents its own set of challenges.
If you’re lucky and the scratch is more of a surface scratch, the simple use of microfiber and an automotive leather restoration product may suffice. However, if the scratch is more profound than the surface, basic leather restoration advice is no longer sufficient, and more extreme measures are required.
In the past, car owners were forced to rely on difficult, temperamental patches and heating tools to cover up the damage inflicted on their leather dashboard, half of which worked poorly, if at all. Fortunately, companies like Rivero Auto Interior have rethought the way we repair leather. Wonderful products and tools exist to help you repair dashboard leather.
But even with these sometimes revolutionary advances, leather repair is still as tedious as any other form of upholstery work. It can be more time-consuming than the vinyl mentioned above dash repair.
Leather repair kits are surprisingly affordable; the instructions are about as simple as it gets.
Step 1: Clean the surface
Wipe down the area you wish to repair and remove all visible debris and dirt with rubbing alcohol (70% isopropyl alcohol + 30% water) or an automotive leather cleaner.
In a motion parallel to the dashboard, carefully trim the rough edges around the scratch with a razor blade or cutter.
Step 2: Color matching and testing
Since the myriad car dashboard colors go far beyond black and grey, leather repair kits offer an equally diverse range of color matching options.
Follow the instructions in the color mixing guide and mix your selection with the filler provided. Once a color that resembles the dashboard and your car has been created (the markings should help), apply a small amount to an inconspicuous area inside the vehicle.
The underside of the glove box or a lower part of a door panel is a safe place; make sure you use a light to check your test area once dry to ensure you have the correct color match.
Step 3: Putty, compress, and brush
Using the putty knife or application tube provided, gently apply the putty (compound filler) to the damaged area and fill the scratch.
Deep scratches may require the insertion of a backing pad, which may or may not be possible depending on the width and depth of the scratch. If it is possible to drive a pad into the scratch with the tools provided, you will find that it is much easier to build up a filler layer. Once filled, you can spread the outer excess filler with a brush to make even the surface before moving on to some quick clean-up pads with a paper towel.
Step 4: Allow drying
Although drying times vary depending on the temperature and the amount of filler used, it is imperative to follow the recommended drying time and not rush to the next step.
If you are in a hurry, the use of a hairdryer or low-temperature heat gun is acceptable as long as you do not overheat the filling compound.
Step 5: Wiping
Once dry, dip a cotton swab in a bit of rubbing alcohol and rub the repaired area in a circular motion to smooth the edges.
This part of the repair process is crucial to achieving a matching finish, so take your time and continuously monitor the area repaired by the sealant before starting this step. If it appears that another layer of filler is needed first, it would now be time to repeat steps 3 and 4.
Step 6: Polishing and protecting
The repair of the torn dashboard leather is complete, but now we need to protect the surface.
While a coat of leather wax is the obvious choice, it’s not always the right one. Choose a ceramic treatment to help keep the dashboard looking new and protect it as much as possible from future scratches and accidents.
Hope the above helps you out. Remember to share your experience in the comment section below.