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Here at The Leather Colour Doctor, we're committed to making the world of leather restoration and leather dye a more accessible place to everyone.
To help with that, we try to explain our products so you can understand the role they play in helping restore your leather furniture, clothing, shoes, handbags, and other items.
Today, then, we'll start by looking at preparation fluid, where we'll explain what it is, how it helps, and why it should be a part of any good leather restoration kit.
Preparation fluid is a product that's designed to help with leather prep - specifically when dying leather to restore its colour, so it's essentially a pre-paint fluid that prepares leather ahead of time.
It does a number of things to help with leather prep, and it's an essential part of the process. Here's what it does:
Each manufacturer of leather products will treat their leather differently during the manufacturing and tanning processes, so it's important that you strip back that leather before starting work on restoring its colour.
When using preparation fluid in conjunction with other products from us here at The Leather Colour Doctor, the surface of the leather will be as ready as possible for the restoration process, and it will serve to protect the materials in the future too.
So, that's what it does, but let's focus on what our Preparation Fluid can do to help in more depth.
First up is the cleaning process. This is an essential part of the process because it helps deep clean the leather on every layer after application. Sand, dirt, grease, grime, and any other debris or residue that's been left behind on your leather item will be cleaned up - this alone can help bring back your leather's old colour before you even add any more products.
And, of course, it helps with leather prep. Our preparation fluid is specifically designed to strip away old sealing and finishing layers gently, exposing the leather beneath to each product you'll use after the leather prep fluid. Often there are matt or gloss finishes on leather furniture, which may make the leather look good, but can be a nightmare when trying to restore old or worn leather. By stripping away this matt or gloss, you expose the materials beneath these finishes so they can be better treated and then protected moving forwards.
Repairing leather is an important part of restoring it too. Everything from a small hole to a larger hole can be fixed with the right product (be sure to checkout our range to purchase everything you need from our own brand of products). By using preparation fluid first, the liquid is able to penetrate deep into the leather and make it more likely to accept the repair kit product you use. This makes the repair easier.
In order for you to improve the colour of your leather product, preparation fluid must be used first so that the leather will accept the new colour. Without it, the colour simply won't stick, making your leather seats, furniture, or item of clothing look faded still.
Leather prep also involves thinking about the finish. And that's about more than just the colour, too. After you have achieved the colour you want, you'll need to think about the finer details - things like the sealing layer and the conditioner you'll use moving forward to keep the leather soft, comfortable, and clean. The leather prep fluid will all help the leather accept these items more readily.
Not sure what other items you need? Visit our products page or search in the search bar above to hear about the services and products we offer that might help keep your leather happy moving forward.
And although this isn't about how preparation fluid can help you, it is about how we can help you. You shouldn't have to pay through the nose for an item or product that can help repair, protect, or restore leather when you add it to your shopping cart - and our leather prep fluid is competitively priced for this reason. If you need help preparing your leather for painting with a colour dye, then we're on hand to help with a price that will keep you content.
Absolutely! Preparation fluid is designed specifically for colour matching, helping the leather return to its original state.
Without the proper leather preparation, you could never hope to achieve the same standard of finish, because the leather wouldn't be in an ideal condition for the colour to be applied. When you apply colour after preparation fluid, though, the colour match is much better.
If you're trying to restore colour, or repair a cut, scratch, or crack in your leather, then it's true that our preparation fluid is what you'll need for the job. But once you have it, what do you actually need to do?
Below, we'll explain the simple steps involved.
The very first thing you should use is one of our foaming cleansers before you start with the preparation fluid to ensure the worst of the dirt and grime is cleared away before you begin. This will then mean you can continue with the colour matching and repair. Yes, our prep fluid does do some cleaning of its own, but you need a dedicated cleaner first so the prep fluid can do its job effectively.
Before the preparation fluid is applied, you'll need a few additional things:
Before you start, you should always test your product on an inconspicuous area first before you cover it entirely. Although our preparation fluid is specifically designed for most leathers (more on this below), it's always a good tip to practice on a small part first to make sure it reacts in a normal way.
Next, apply the preparation fluid on to the seats, shoes, or clothing you're trying to fix. Use abrasive pads gently to remove the old sealing finish. You'll know that the product has taken effect when some of the old colour comes off on the cloth after wiping it down. This is perfectly normal, and it's a sign that the sealing finish is coming away as planned.
Our prep fluid drys matt, so if an old gloss or wax finish was used, the difference should be stark after use.
After that, you're free to move on to the next steps of your restoration kit, whatever that may be.
Whilst our prep fluid can be used with most normal types of leather, it's important to note that leathers like suede, nubuck, and similar products may not react with our prep fluid in the same way.
It's difficult to prepare these types of leathers because they aren't treated the same way during the manufacturing process. Rather than tanning, these leathers are sanded instead, so they don't get the same sealing finish, etc., that most other leathers do.
Even if the leather you're treating is not suede, nubuck, or similar, a test patch is always a good idea, as we said earlier.
Hopefully, our article today has shown you the importance of using our leather prep fluid when trying to restore your old leather to its former glory. You'll find our prep fluid in most restoration kits from us, but it's also available separately if you need an additional product because of a larger project.
And if you need any further information, then reach out today. We're always happy to help our customers solve their leather problems wherever we can!