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I'm dyeing here

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dsw6551 Don Weeks
Hopewell Junction, New York, USA   USA
I recently dyed my TR6s tonneau and top covers, and I thought I'd share my experience. After watching a few You tube videos, and reading testimonials, I chose the Rub 'n Restore ladies as my supplier. This mother/daughter team have many years in the furniture reupholstery/restoration business, and are expert at what they do. After a couple of emails back and forth to Lesandre, I decided to send a sample of my New Tan vinyl for color matching. The color matching is a laborious manual process and at $55 it isn't cheap, but they keep the formula on file, so should I ever need more dye, color matching won't be required. I ordered a 16 oz bottle of custom formulated dye ($59.95), and an 8 oz bottle of Clear Prep + Finish ($17.95). Tax and shipping are included in the price.

The dye and clear coat arrived quickly, contained in what looks like old fashioned jumbo ketchup/mustard squeeze bottles. Packed with the dye and clear coat was a flyer, a pair of deli gloves, and a long stirring stick (shaking of dye not recommended).

Step 1: Clean the vinyl thoroughly. I used 409 and a brush, followed with a water rinse. As a test of surface readiness, after it's dry, apply a short strip of masking or painter's tape to the surface. It should stick firmly to the vinyl. Ideally, you should have to prise it off with a fingernail. If the tape doesn't adhere well, or curls up at the ends, the surface has probably been coated with AmorAll or Nuvinyl, etc and needs further cleaning. Repeat the process, using a Scotchbrite pad. Rubbing alcohol or lacquer thinner may be used instead of 409 (NEVER use acetone)

Step 2: Apply a coat of Clear Prep + Finish. First soak a new cellulose (kitchen) sponge with water several times and squeeze out most of the water until it's just damp. Squirt a little clear prep onto the sponge and spread it evenly over the vinylsurface, rubbing it into all the nooks a crannies. Replenish the clear prep often so you're not just spreading water around. It dries quickly and should leave the surface with an even gloss. If the surface gloss is streaky and uneven, repeat.

Step 3: Stir the dye until it appears uniform in color. Squirt a little onto the surface of another damp cellulose sponge and spread it onto your vinyl surface as in step 2. The sponge should glide easily. If you begin to feel resistance at any time, spray a bit of clean water onto the sponge to remoisten it. The dye coat will dry quickly, but you can hasten it along with a hair dryer. The first coat will dry very flat and coverage will be uneven (especially if covering a dark color). Apply succeeding coats in the same manner until you are happy with the color. My tonneau cover was black, and it took 6 coats before I was satisfied. My top cover was New Tan to start with, so it only needed 2 coats.

Step 4: To seal the dye, and give a glossy finish apply a final coat of Clear prep + Finish. For a satin finish, make a separate glaze mixture of 50/50 dye and clear and use it for or your final coat.

The R&R ladies advise against using leather cleaners or conditioners on their product. It is intended for furniture (interior use), so this may not be the product for you if your car is frequently wet, or occasionally wet for an extended period.

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Spitfirejoe Avatar
Spitfirejoe Joe Guinan
Fremont, Nebraska, USA   USA
1980 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "The Phoenix"
GREAT write up on the process. The results look quite nice. Thanks for the info.



Joe Guinan
Fremont, Nebraska

dsw6551 Don Weeks
Hopewell Junction, New York, USA   USA
Thanks for your response, Joe. I was surprised at how pigment dense this product is, especially considering that's its consistency is roughly equivalent to heavy cream. It's intended to be used on vinyl or leather furniture, so dying mismatched seats, door panels, etc shouldn't be a problem. The Rub 'n Restore ladies have half a dozen youtube videos up that demonstrate the process better than I could ever explain it.

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Spitfirejoe Avatar
Spitfirejoe Joe Guinan
Fremont, Nebraska, USA   USA
1980 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "The Phoenix"
Yeah - I used to sell limousines and hearses, and we would occasionally have a vinyl roof dyed. We almost always got good results from the professionals that did the work for us. It cost us a couple hundred bucks instead of about $1000 - so was a good deal. I'd imagine it could be $2000 or more by now. However, it was a project that I wouldn't have dreamed of doing myself. Your results show that it can be a DIY job. Thanks again.



Joe Guinan
Fremont, Nebraska

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