Tech Tips

Send Us Your Tech Tips

  1. Use your old razor blades to your advantage by placing them in your velour containers. When you shake the jars this will help get rid of the clumps of velour in your containers and make your job much easier. - Shana
  2. I am new in this business and have found out that using a small bono spreader seems to work faster and leaves less sanding for spreading compounds. - Neil
  3. When needing extra adhesion while installing the Carpet Protector, apply SEM Bumper Coater before laying the Carpet Protector and this will give the carpet a brilliant look and help with adhesion. Use one of the various metallic colors depending on the color of the carpet. - Rod Girgan
  4. When using Leather Fill, Deep Leather Fill and Leather Cream Fill add WB Flex Additive and crosslinker to the product before using. This  will add much more flexibility and strength and will make for better adhesion
  5. New Epoxy Repair Method
    New Epoxy Repair Method
    As we constantly do our R&D to find better ways to repair the, "socalled non-repairable damages”, I wanted to send some pics of a newepoxy used on some highly stressed seats on a Lexus. As always we firstclean with Z7 and Silicone Wash.
    1. On the driver's seat we used theepoxy first, then deep leather fill, then color and clear coat - nosanding at all. 
    2. On the passenger seat we did 2 repairs that werecompletely split through the panels using only the baseball stitch andvinyl repair compound. Then we used the epoxy over the top of both thosepanels. We finished off with deep leather fill, color and clear -also nosanding at all.
      NOTES:
      1. We purposely didn't prep the vinyl repair compound before applyingthe epoxy and thereafter noticed that the epoxy fish-eyed over the vinylrepair compound. So this showed how important it is to clean and prepthe finished heat cured repair with Silicone Wash after curing thecompound, (you should always wipe of left over oils that come to the topof any heat cured compound), and then use sticky primer before applyingthe epoxy.
      2. When the seats are cracked, as in the pictures, deepleather fill will not hold. Previously, we’ve found it better toreinforce the cracks with clear flex gel and sand over to make a filler.This supports the deep leather fill OK. But, we know that with constantflexing these tend to crack and split apart again. Instead of clear flexgel, we could use the new 90 second epoxy to coat the entire panel. It'sthin enough to penetrate the crack but viscous enough to support itquite well on its own (from previous experience the thicker epoxiescrack out immediately). We recommend the entire panel getting coated,otherwise we'll have a smooth part and a rough part within the same panel.
  6. Leather Repair Technique
    1. clean material with Z7 cleaner (water base gets the dirt and soil) use scotch pad to clean - do it twice very very important - then use clean wet rag to get off any residue - let dry
    2. then use Silicone Wash (alcohol base) with a clean lint free rag (this gets off silicone or oils left) a must  then your material will be tacky and very clean so very little dye is needed to cover  - if you do not clean good you have to dye over dirt and could peel and crack eventually and will not be true color
    3. use Sand Away and wet sand the cracks on the leather - do not dry sand - leather has a water base coating that cracks and  you should remove that first and then you will have very minor surface damage when done - spray Sand Away on the leather and on 220-320 sand paper - as you sand you will see the coating come off and leave almost bare leather - then wipe off residue with Silicone Wash

      FOR LARGE DAMAGE or HOLE where you need STRENGTH and DURABILITY use HEAVY DUTY LEATHER REPAIR COMPOUND FIRST
      (for small repairs go to #4 Deep Leather Fill)

      DESCRIPTION: A heavy duty heat cure repair compound for leather and vinyl.

      FEATURES: Excellent adhesion, flexibility and durability and is sandable.  Thick viscosity compound will not shrink.

      APPLICATION: Spread a medium coat of repair compound.  Use heat gun or iron to cure. Will cure at low, medium or high heat. Sanding can be done immediately after curing (400#). Very important  take Silicone Wash and wipe off repair compound after curing to remove all oils that come to the top of the compound when cured - this will allow step #4 repair to adhere excellent - if you do not clean off the oils the following will have a hard time adhering
    4. use Deep Leather Fill - spread over damaged area with a bondo spreader with a sharp edge  this will be very smooth finish -so very little if any sanding is  needed - you can use acetone to melt the edges in instead of sanding - the next step will blend it all in anyway
    5. use Leather Cream Fill to finish the repair - this is the most flexible and strongest of all the fillers and will leave a very flexible and slippery finish like original leather feels - add small amount of Crosslinker and Flex Agent in a dixie cup  to the Leather Cream Fill and mix thoroughly  spread over the Deep Leather Fill with a pallet knife or bondo spreader and let dry
    6. then add a little color and see if you need to texture or add any more cream fill
      then follow dyeing instructions
  7. Coloring Tips for Vinyl & Leather
    1. CLEANING  (gets dirt and oils off material)
      1. clean vinyl with Z7 cleaner ( water base cleaner has to be used  to get the dirt and soil) use scotch pad to clean - do it twice - very very important - then use clean wet rag to get off any residue  let dry - this allows you to match the original color once all the dirt is gone
      2. then use Silicone Wash  (alcohol base) with a clean lint free rag (this gets off silicone or oils left) a must - then your material will be tacky and clean of any residue - so very little dye is needed to cover and you are matching the original color instead of the dirt - if you do not clean well you have to dye over dirt - this will take more coats of color to cover the dirt and can cause cracking of the color and peeling
    • PREPPING not the same as cleaning - (opens pours and softens the material to allow the best adhesion possible)
      1. wipe with lint free towel - use Vinyl Plastic Prep or Leather Prep (depends on which material you are working with) just wipe area and let dry - material will be very tacking now
    •  PRIMER -  USE STICKY PRIMER
      use to improve adhesion of problems areas where body oils are present (steering wheels - bolsters any high wear area - retail work - furniture - changing color) prevents migration of any oils already in the leather and vinyl- we have tested this extensively with excellent results
    • COLOR - (mixing colors by eye or tinting)
      use  yellow oxide and red oxide as your base red and yellow when mixing colors - it is also easier to make tans using these colors since there is some brown in them - always use  dark brown for tinting not black when making tans- brown is a earthtone color and black has too much blue in it- the oxides have more UV resistance in them than  fast yellow or fast red or any  other non-oxide color which will prevent fading or color changes - (use these colors only to brighten color if needed or if your color is very bright to start with) - the sun UV rays can at times  pull out the red and yellow of the fast colors which can change your color from red to green or yellow to - always use crosslinker in your dye before spraying application:
      1. rub or spray Sticky Primer  and let dry (add 3% Crosslinker to primer first)
      2. then add 20 % of the sticky primer to your color (add crosslinker to mixture 3%) with first coat of dye and rub in for best results and dry - should have great bond now
      3. then spray only color (with crossliner & flex agent) - let dry -  use 2nd & 3rd  coats as needed
    • TECH TIP - DO NOT USE TO MUCH CROSSLINKER can leave tacky
    • NOW VERY IMPORTANT TOPCOAT (must use this so not to leave color sticky or tacky)
      use High Wear Clear Coat (with slip agent/crosslinker/flatner/flex agent) - spray one or 2 coats this final coat will leave your repair soft and slippery like new leather -  help prevent any damage from UV rays - and provide chemical and abrasion resistance
  8. Coloring Tips for Plastic
    • CLEANING  (gets dirt and oils off material)
      1. clean vinyl with Z7 cleaner ( water base cleaner has to be used  to get the dirt and soil) use scotch pad to clean - do it twice - very very important - then use clean wet rag to get off any residue  let dry - this allows you to match the original color once all the dirt is gone
      2. then use Silicone Wash  (alcohol base) with a clean lint free rag (this gets off silicone or oils left) a must - then your material will be tacky and clean of any residue - so very little dye is needed to cover and you are matching the original color instead of the dirt - if you do not clean well you have to dye over dirt - this will take more coats of color to cover the dirt and can cause cracking of the color and peeling
    • PREPPING not the same as cleaning - (opens pours and softens the material to allow the best adhesion possible)
      1. wipe with lint free towel - use Vinyl Plastic Prep - just wipe area and let dry - material will be very tacking now
    • PRIMER -  USE PLASTIC PRIMER
      application:
      1. rub or spray Plastic Primer  and let dry (add 3% Crosslinker to primer first)
      2. then add 20 % of the plastic primer to your color (add crosslinker to mixture 3%) with first coat of dye and dry - should have great bond now
      3. then spray only color (with crossliner 3 %) - let dry -  use 2nd & 3rd  coats as needed
    • TECH TIP - DO NOT USE TO MUCH CROSSLINKER can leave tacky
    • NOW TOPCOAT
      use High Wear Clear Coat (with slip agent/crosslinker/flatner if needed) - spray one or 2 coats   helps prevent any damage from UV rays - and provide chemical and abrasion resistance