Lotus Elan

Vinyl / leather dye - changing interior colour

PostPost by: dunclentdr » Sun Oct 16, 2016 6:20 pm

My Europa (oops, sorry!) has a mid blue interior from leather and vinyl - I would like to change it to black - the actual surfaces and stitching are in excellent so I am wondering about spray or other surface treatment, done by me or professionally.

Does anyone have experience or (UK) recommendations please?

Thanks

David
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Sun Oct 16, 2016 7:03 pm

Yes we get allot of trim re-dyed... In my opinion it's all about longevity, you can do it your self and frankly it's not hard with the right equipment but from past experience you get a much longer lasting finish (especially on contact area's of seats) if you get it done by a pro. Also i find it best to take the interior out (some of the better guys insist on it anyway on a colour change)

I'll have to check who our leather guy is using at the moment, but it depends allot on where your based?
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PostPost by: dunclentdr » Sun Oct 16, 2016 7:52 pm

Thanks - I am based in Worcestershire though will remove the items so can travel...
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PostPost by: weddingcarclive » Mon Oct 17, 2016 7:13 am

If you are doing a colour change then everything needs to come out, it is the only way to be sure it has complete coverage or you will be really disappointed.

Be sure of changing the colour to black by checking other cars of similar body colour with black interiors as sometimes a contrast in colour can be more than say black car with black interior, you could seriously lose wow factor of the car, you have not mentioned what paint colour is on the body of the car, my personal preference is a definite contrast of colours but hey ho its your car your choice, go with whatever floats your boat, but keep in mind that to change the interior colour could de value your car.

I have done colour changes to leather in the past along with re colouring what others have really cocked up on, I actually found paint brush hairs stuck within the colour of a Silver Shadow grrr, now that was one hell of a big job pulling a full interior out of that, and that was my initiation of leather colouring, that was over 30 years ago where it was some kind of secret that leather was artificially coloured and finding the product without what we all take for granted now (the internet).

Good Luck and do lots of research into whatever product you choose

Connelly Leather in Wimbledon seemed to be the only option at that time and their instruction in their kits were to apply with cloth, well tried that and I really had a great colour cloth but not much anywhere else !!!

you need to really clean the leather / vinyl with a ammonia based product to really get any grease & dirt off to the point of being happy to just put it back in the car as is, now it looks great !!

For using solvent based products I used the the process below, I have no knowledge of water based products so will leave that to someone else who has to advise you on !!

Hire a small low pressure compressor and set it up the spray gun to give a very fine misting of coats but just before actually spraying the colour on to the seats give them a quick wipe over with cellulose thinners which in turn as it dries becomes tacky to then spray your first light coat of the product to give better adhesion to the area painted, this is then given further very fine coats of the product you are using until you are happy with coverage & finish remembering to let each coat dry before next is coat applied, be patient as it becomes all too easy to go gun ho and put too much on with second coat, less is more in the grand scheme of things, I would personally use a company supplying the colour that you could visit and not just an ebay trader who is faceless
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:04 am

a long time ago I did change off white seats to black: I used Vinylkote (can be found today from http://www.kolorbond.co.uk/vinylkote-pa ... ther-vinyl ) , which I sprayed with a gun just like a paint on the upholstery after a thorough cleanup. Outcome was surprisingly good (product really sticking yet flexible), though I cannot vouch for long term longevity as I did not keep the car long afterward...
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PostPost by: gearbox » Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:33 am

Changing colors in an interior is fairly easy to DIY especially if your objective is black. Here in the states we have products made by SEM which are being used by professionals and a company called Eastwood.com who sells pretty much about the same thing and most likely made by them. But like everything, preparation is the key. Start with crap and you will end up with crap. Check Youtube for the product and the system to use. I think it's available on Amazon.com as well. If the leather or vinyl is good and free of rips and tears, you have to clean it well. SEM has several products to use to scrub the material and free it from dirt and oils. I changed a green interior to black and it was all vinyl. SEM has an adhesion promoter for vinyl which I used which seemed to soften the surface of the vinyl. The black I used was Landau black from Eastwood, but SEM calls it satin black I believe which both gives you a natural looking black. The Gloss black is just way too shiny for me and makes it look like it was just soaked in Armorall. The product comes in spray cans and three was all I needed for the Dash pad, seats and door panels on a 1970 GTO (big car). It covers very quickly and sprays very consistently. The finish was perfect and you couldn't even tell it was sprayed. After 7 years, it is still holding up well with no show through, even in the seats. And as I had said, the professionals will use the same type of product, you just have to spend some time on the prep. If you do tackle this by yourself, you will find that it is a very rewarding project and so easy to do. Good luck Allan
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PostPost by: billwill » Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:13 am

I had one professional renovation back in the 80s when my original black was replaced completely with tan vinyl.

Then in 2001 I had it done again by a different firm back to black. The seats were worn out & were recovered, and black carpets fitted, but the door panels and crash pad were dyed or sprayed black.

The darned stuff never ever dried properly it was always sticky and so finally in about 2008 I cleaned the black colour off the door panels and crashpad (using petrol) back to the tan colour.

So I now have a two-tone interior.
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PostPost by: dunclentdr » Mon Oct 17, 2016 12:43 pm

Thanks for the advice so far - sounds like a mixed picture and that prep is also important.

Will follow through on a couple of suggestions, more welcomed!

David
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PostPost by: prezoom » Mon Oct 17, 2016 3:22 pm

A plus one for SEM products. Though not the entire interior, I wanted the black windlass I purchased for surrounding the doors and the rear quarter windows to match the grey interior. Using Bulldog adhesion promotor prior to spraying the windlass, the application of the new grey on the windlass came out looking like it was originally that color.

The windlass leads a tough life where your feet drag over it when entering and exiting the car. Done in 2012, the windlass shows no wear at this time. I was able to purchase all the needed materials from my local automotive paint supplier.
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:57 pm

billwill wrote:The darned stuff never ever dried properly it was always sticky and so finally in about 2008 I cleaned the black colour off the door panels and crashpad (using petrol) back to the tan colour.


Good thing you don't smoke in the car, I suspect... :shock:
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Tue Oct 18, 2016 6:04 pm

weddingcarclive wrote:but keep in mind that to change the interior colour could de value your car.


Not likely. Original Europa interiors were either black or oatmeal, I'm unaware of any blue. So this is either faded somehow from original black or not original.

I believe I substantially increased the value of mine (based on viewer feedback) by changing to an orangey brown that contrasts well with the Lagoon Blue exterior.

Yes, I still have the crappy black carpets and other interior bits in a box in the attic so it can go back to hot and ugly if needed. Keeping mice warm in the meantime, I suspect. :wink:
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PostPost by: billwill » Tue Oct 18, 2016 11:07 pm

denicholls2 wrote:
billwill wrote:The darned stuff never ever dried properly it was always sticky and so finally in about 2008 I cleaned the black colour off the door panels and crashpad (using petrol) back to the tan colour.


Good thing you don't smoke in the car, I suspect... :shock:



I cleaned tho black stuff off, out in the open, not in the garage & with windows & doors wide open. :D
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