Hard leather + a REAL leather treatment like Leatherique? - Pontiac G8 Forum: G8 Forums - G8Board.com
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-03-2016, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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Hard leather + a REAL leather treatment like Leatherique?

I know every car care product manufacturer has their own suite of leather treatment products however most of these, even from the best of brands, don't do all that much for long term leather care. I restored a leather interior from an old Jaguar using a product called Leatherique. It was applied to the seats, the seats were covered, and then the car set in the sun to heat up the interior. After a few treatments my seats went from hard G8 leather to glove soft leather. There was a catch in that I had to wet sand off some of a lacquer coating sprayed over the seats so that the oil could penetrate the leather.

Has anyone tried this on a G8? I would like to know if the oil will penetrate whatever colored coating is sprayed onto the G8 leather seats.
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-03-2016, 01:25 PM
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I'm interested in this also. I've used Leatherique before and it was really good stuff. I've used a bunch of over the counter stuff on my GXP seats and none of them seem to make a difference in the feel of the seats. The only thing that seems to soften them up is use. Since I'm usually the only one who drives/rides in my car there is a big difference in the stiffness of the passenger and back seats compared to the drivers seat.

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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-03-2016, 03:23 PM
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My interior guy swears by Lexol. I haven't used it yet.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-03-2016, 07:35 PM
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I have just spot treated wear points such as the driver's side seat bolster with Leatherique, but it was effective - it made the spots where the finish was rubbed through a lot less noticeable. But - it was a small area.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-03-2016, 10:35 PM
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I'll start with saying, I've never heard of leatherique. I've used a lot of different leather care products. Most of them are commercial products for dealerships but that isn't one of them.

I've used lexol and have been happy with it. The cleaner is ph balanced, so it won't remove the dye coloring on the leather and also helps open up the pores. the conditioner will help soften. Its not a one time and you'll notice a difference kinda thing though. I do the cleaner and conditioner every 3 or 4 months and sometimes will do a conditioner treatment before a show.

I've used a product called saddle soap. It will soften the leather quicker. However i didn't like the sticky feeling you get right after using it. The tacky feeling does go away but not 100%.

The coloring on leather seats is a dye. So if that dye has already faded, the condition won't help. The conditioner is best to prevent cracking and sun damage but you gotta maintain it from the start. On average they say every 6 months to clean and condition leather. More if the car sees a lot of use.

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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 04:58 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by terryscott621 View Post
The only thing that seems to soften them up is use. Since I'm usually the only one who drives/rides in my car there is a big difference in the stiffness of the passenger and back seats compared to the drivers seat.
My seats are all pretty hard as well - even the driver's seat.

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Originally Posted by imalabill View Post
I have just spot treated wear points such as the driver's side seat bolster with Leatherique, but it was effective - it made the spots where the finish was rubbed through a lot less noticeable. But - it was a small area.
Did you use the rejuvinator oil or the pristine clean? Or both?

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Originally Posted by pony killer View Post
I'll start with saying, I've never heard of leatherique. I've used a lot of different leather care products. Most of them are commercial products for dealerships but that isn't one of them.
Leatherique can be used for leather maintenance but I think it's probably better known for restoration. The process consists of oiling and heating the leather to make the pores pull in the oil and expel contaminants. You clean, oil, heat cycle, clean, and repeat as necessary.

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Originally Posted by pony killer View Post
I've used lexol and have been happy with it. The cleaner is ph balanced, so it won't remove the dye coloring on the leather and also helps open up the pores. the conditioner will help soften. Its not a one time and you'll notice a difference kinda thing though. I do the cleaner and conditioner every 3 or 4 months and sometimes will do a conditioner treatment before a show.

I've used a product called saddle soap. It will soften the leather quicker. However i didn't like the sticky feeling you get right after using it. The tacky feeling does go away but not 100%.
Are your seats soft from the Lexol? I feel like Lexol is the go-to but I've never been wowed by it. Maybe I haven't used it long enough. I avoid saddle soap as I think it has a high ph and is bad for leather over the long term.

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The coloring on leather seats is a dye. So if that dye has already faded, the condition won't help. The conditioner is best to prevent cracking and sun damage but you gotta maintain it from the start. On average they say every 6 months to clean and condition leather. More if the car sees a lot of use.
This is one of my main questions. I know Leatherique works on regular "bare" leather... leather that's been treated by water based colorants or dyes. I believe the edges of my seats are bare enough for the Leatherique to work, however, the center perforated part does not feel like leather. It feels like either vinyl or leather sprayed with some sort of thick protective colorant like the one I had to wet sand off my Jaguar interior. The problem with these protective colorants is that they do not allow the Leatherique to reach the pores of the leather. On these you either remove the colorant (I used fine sandpaper and a 50/50 mixture of isopropyl rubbing alcohol and ammonia) or wait for the leather to slowly harden, shrink, and crack. Has anyone got that center perforated section to soften up?

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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 10:09 AM
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Hard leather + a REAL leather treatment like Leatherique?

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Originally Posted by FastKat View Post
Are your seats soft from the Lexol? I feel like Lexol is the go-to but I've never been wowed by it. Maybe I haven't used it long enough.
I'm with you about the Lexol. I bought some because of a recommendation from a buddy who does detailing. I wasn't impressed with it either.

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This is one of my main questions. I know Leatherique works on regular "bare" leather... leather that's been treated by water based colorants or dyes. I believe the edges of my seats are bare enough for the Leatherique to work, however, the center perforated part does not feel like leather. It feels like either vinyl or leather sprayed with some sort of thick protective colorant like the one I had to wet sand off my Jaguar interior. The problem with these protective colorants is that they do not allow the Leatherique to reach the pores of the leather. On these you either remove the colorant (I used fine sandpaper and a 50/50 mixture of isopropyl rubbing alcohol and ammonia) or wait for the leather to slowly harden, shrink, and crack. Has anyone got that center perforated section to soften up?

I thought I remember reading in here that only the center inserts of the seats were real leather and that the rest of the seat was "pleather." I'll have to look for the thread. That could be the reason they're so damn hard and difficult to condition.

Found the thread. Not definitive proof though.
https://www.g8board.com/forums/4-tech...l-leather.html

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Last edited by terryscott621; 10-04-2016 at 10:22 AM.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 02:49 PM
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I googled learherique and read what I believe are the proper instructions for using the product. It didn't mention anything about sanding and I also didn't see anything about it being a dye. Just a 2 stage, oil and cleaner to open poures and thats it. The natural oils in leather , just like human skin will dry up and so the leatherique just cleans and provides an oil treatment to help prevent drying. A good learher cleaener and conditioner will help make beaten leather look better but not like new.

I have never done a dye process for leather and don't know the steps to do it. Whoever i do know that anything to abrasive will damage the leather.removing the dye and stripping it of any oils. So you need a product to dye the leather again if you have done damage with sandpaper.

At work so will try and reply with more details later.

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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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I googled learherique and read what I believe are the proper instructions for using the product. It didn't mention anything about sanding and I also didn't see anything about it being a dye. Just a 2 stage, oil and cleaner to open poures and thats it. The natural oils in leather , just like human skin will dry up and so the leatherique just cleans and provides an oil treatment to help prevent drying. A good learher cleaener and conditioner will help make beaten leather look better but not like new.

I have never done a dye process for leather and don't know the steps to do it. Whoever i do know that anything to abrasive will damage the leather.removing the dye and stripping it of any oils. So you need a product to dye the leather again if you have done damage with sandpaper.

At work so will try and reply with more details later.
You're on the right track. It is a leather treatment and not a dye though they do have a line of water based colorants for commonly restored interiors like the one found in my old Jag. Wetsanding may be required if the leather is coated with a protective coating that the oil is unable to penetrate. You use a very fine sandpaper and the liquid chemical mixture really does the work. The colorants is stripped off in this process so the leather will need recolored.

Just because you're using sandpaper does not mean you are creating a rough surface. If you saw my seats you would never imagine that I wet sanded them. This is pretty standard fare in the mid 60s to early 90s Jaguar world. I have some pics on my web page - search Leatherique: www.buyrcars.com/jag.htm

My question is whether or not the G8 seats, particularly the center perforated panels, have a coating on them that the Leatherique oil cannot penetrate. They are pretty darn stiff and remind me of my Jag seats that required stripping via wet sanding with a chemical mixture.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 07:19 PM
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To answer your lexol questions. Its not a one time use and leather is automatically softer kinda thing. I've used mine steadily for 4 years now. The cleaner is fine and let me add that I use hot water with the cleaner to open the poures.

I'm the third owner and my leather looks great. I think lexol has weakened thier conditioner. It seems to me that it was thicker back in the 90s when I first started using it.

I've used the saddle soap several times on used cars at my one previous jobs and it didn't damage the leather. Just left it feeling tacky.

I'll be honest in saying that I've never heard of the manufacturer putting a protective coating on leather. I've done tons of different types of leather with no issues. If it was beat , it was beat. But if the leather had been previously cared for, it would clean up and condition fine.

Sorry for not being familiar with the leatherique.
I'd just try a different product. As for sanding leather. I'll have to take your word for it. Its just something that I've never needed to do. I've always been told to stay away from anything abrasive with leather. So I've stuck by it and haven't had any problems and hve been detailing for 20 years now.

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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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To answer your lexol questions. Its not a one time use and leather is automatically softer kinda thing. I've used mine steadily for 4 years now. The cleaner is fine and let me add that I use hot water with the cleaner to open the poures.

I'm the third owner and my leather looks great. I think lexol has weakened thier conditioner. It seems to me that it was thicker back in the 90s when I first started using it.
Good idea to use hot water. I never thought of that!

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I'll be honest in saying that I've never heard of the manufacturer putting a protective coating on leather. I've done tons of different types of leather with no issues. If it was beat , it was beat. But if the leather had been previously cared for, it would clean up and condition fine.
Yea, if it's torn it's torn. This process is good if the leather is dry and shrinking but has not yet cracked/separated.

Here is a quick read about lacquer based leather colorants used on cars until the early 90's and the process for wet sanding it off. The article has recoloring in mind but the process is the same for resoftening badly dried leather with a product like Leatherique.

How to Re-dye Leather | Leatherique Restoration Products

Maybe I will get my hands on some Lexol and try it out. If I spray the seats, bag them, and put the car in the sun I might get the same heat cycling effect. Leatherique costs a bundle and if I can replicate it with a similar less expensive treatment (cleaner for cleaning and oil for softening/conditioning) then it's a win-win!

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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 08:13 PM
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No need to bag it and throw it in the sun. Plus i don't know what lexol conditioner will do in that kinda environment. I don't know how long you've had the g8. But it sounds like you just need a little patience : )

Lexol isn't expensive stuff. You can get both the cleaner and conditioner at walmart for under 20 bucks. Back when I started using it , it was not really heard of ,let alone be in retail stores.

If you want to try something different. See about auto ammo products. They are more expensive but the guy who owns the company is hands down one of the most knowledgeable detailers out there and would think his products would work well. He does a lot of how to YouTube videos and goes by autoammo nyc. One thing I like about his vids is that he doesn't push his own products.

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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-06-2016, 08:53 PM
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I was just thinking. if you want, try to send Larry of auto ammo an email. He is a busy guy but will respond to questions. The guy is a border line detailing god. He'll be able to help you way more than any of us on this matter.

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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 11:08 PM
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Leatherique is really bragged on by people on various detailing forums I visit.

On a whim I tried Mothers VLR. It seems to do the best job on the G8 seats. It seemed to soften up the "leather",and leave a nice appearance that lasts a bit also.

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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 11:18 PM
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Haven't tried the mothers vlr. I am a fan of mothers products. It seems that it doesn't do anything for the poures though. I'd probably still use a cleaner and hot water, then try the mothers to condition

How long have you been using it?

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post #16 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 11:59 PM
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Haven't tried the mothers vlr. I am a fan of mothers products. It seems that it doesn't do anything for the poures though. I'd probably still use a cleaner and hot water, then try the mothers to condition

How long have you been using it?
I have been using it the last couple of months. I think I have used it 3 times now. It actually works better than Mother's Leathertech which I picked up for next to nothing. Gonna have to try the hot water thing.

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post #17 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-08-2016, 08:17 AM
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Gotcha. Good to know.

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post #18 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-08-2016, 11:13 AM
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The Mother's VLR is a decent product. I've used it in the past and it works about as good as any other off the shelf product at your local auto parts store. The one thing I did really like about VLR is that it works for Vinyl, Leather, & Rubber (VLR) so you don't have to switch to different products for different parts of the seats since ours aren't all leather. Makes it more convenient.

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post #19 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-08-2016, 12:08 PM
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I just bought some Leatherique restoration and going to give it a shot. I've got the typical stiff passenger seat from lack of use.

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post #20 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-08-2016, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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I just bought some Leatherique restoration and going to give it a shot. I've got the typical stiff passenger seat from lack of use.
It is good stuff. Griot makes a rejuvenator oil as well. I've been thinking of giving it a shot. It is cheaper and available at Advance.
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