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Thread: 2005 King Ranch truck leather seats are very faded and dry, how to restore some of the color and to preserve the durability of the leather?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default 2005 King Ranch truck leather seats are very faded and dry, how to restore some of the color and to preserve the durability of the leather?

    I recently purchases a 2005 king ranch edition truck and the seats have not been maintained and are very faded and dry.

    I will start by stating I knew the seats were not your ordinary seats and since discovered that the correct term is aniline leather.

    During my search, your name and posts kept surfacing and your posts always included the science of how and why and not just, "my experience shows..." and this leads me to believe your statements.

    I have attached pictures of the interior of the truck. My goals are to restore some of the color and to preserve the durability of the leather.

    Where and how do you purchase your products?

    Thank you for your assistance.

    Andy Noll










  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Greater Vancouver, Canada.


    Your goals to restore some of the color and to preserve the durability of the leather should come second.

    First is to remove all those stains, surface stains are easier to remove then penetrated , besides you have grease that need to be extracted out of the lather.
    I believe there might be food related stains and protein stains that coagulate with the leather protein fiber will be tougher to remove; moreover, how long they have been there is still a question.

    So to remove the various stains types cleaning has to go a few rounds in this sequence.

    Bear in mind that aniline absorbent leathers is pH sensitive and that the neutral pH of leather ranges from 3 to 5 averaging at 4.
    Note that the suffix number of products denotes the product pH value.
    We may start with a high pH value but ultimately the end results of the should be neutralized along the way to the neutral pH averaging 4.
    An easy way to tell is the feel of the leather when wet, a healthy leather will feel squeaky, have the same feel as the skin of fresh fish.
    An unhealthy leather will feel tacky, sticky or slimy just like the feel of a stale fish; is what a protein fiber will behave.
    In such situation, an acidifier with a low pH like Acidifier-2.0 is used to stabilize the health of the leather.
    This phenomenon can be demonstrated with any skin example chicken skin, when skin is soak in Acidifier-2.0 it will stay fresh, while the same piece of skin that soak in tap water deteriorates very fast.

    Another fact we need to know is that protein component of leather is amphoteric; while the chemistry component like the tanning agent, dyestuff and fatliquor are not.
    The protein component will shift its pH depending on the solution that influences it, while the other constituents remain unchanged.
    This causes the denaturing of the leather, through the breaking of their hydrogen bonding.
    Water is temperature sensitive as leather is pH sensitive, and water is a good example to demonstrate how temperature affects the hydrogen bonding of water transforming into ice and steam.
    The neutral average pH of 4 in leather is also refer to as the isoelectric point, also known as the pI in short.
    When influencing pH solution is above the pI of leather it charges the protein fiber and shift it ionic negative (-ve) and it loses its attraction with the other negative (-ve) charged constituents.
    This phenomenon of shifting pH value is the cause of the breaking of the hydrogen bond that denatures the leather.
    On the other hand, when an influencing solution is below its pI then the protein fiber is charged positive (+ve) and the hydrogen bond between the protein fiber and its other constituents strengthen, resulting the leather healthier and stronger.
    So when we use cleaning solutions that has a pH value, we want to know what is happening at the molecular level.

    In practice in such soiling condition with unknown stain, the recommended procedure is done in this sequence.

    1] The protein stains have to go first as a higher pH value product is being used and it has to be done first follows with subsequent acidic cleaners that follow.
    dProtein-10 > Acidifier-2.0

    Penetrated oil, grease and sweat is done with this degreasing and rinse system
    2] Degreaser-2.0 > Rinse-3.0

    Penetrated stains will require the help of hydrator to wick them out.
    Hydrator has many other functions that is design to relax the unnatural creases, activate the dormant dyestuff to resurface and charges the protein fiber positive for effective fatliquor hydrogen bonding. Hydrator is also the last phase of the wet cleaning process where the suspended soiling particulates is towel extracted when wet and erase with leather Eraser-4 when crispy dry. It is this stage after the soiling particulates are removed that inspection decides its appearance acceptance. Otherwise, the stain removing process continues perhaps with other specialty products like d’Tarnish-1.3 to remove the iron component from old bloodstains. The reason why stains need to be completely removed is that the coloring is using “transparent” aniline dyestuff and un-removed stains will show through. Otherwise, a darker coloring is necessary to camouflage it.
    3] Hydrator-3.3

    Fatliquor is emulsified fat and oil in a water solution. It contributes to the intensity of the leather as well as leather softness and strength.
    Heat from sunlight cause it to evaporation as gases and will require replenishing periodically to maintain the structure integrity of the leather.
    4] Fatliquor-5.0

    Only after fatliquor replenishing the leather for softness and strength that the surface is ready to be prepared for color refinishing. Fine sanding to remove rough scratches are done at this stage.
    This is also the stage to determine the absorbency of the leather as the used area may be worn of its original top coats and is absorbent comparing to unused area that still have the topcoat that will impede absorbency of dyestuff. This situation has to be corrected with either stripping with Stripper-2.3 or fine sanding with 1500/2000 sanding grit.

    This surface preparation will decide if the dyeing is done by “staining” it or by “coating” it. Staining is by using Aniline Dye-21 straight from the bottle or by coating with adding Adhesor-73 up to 30%. If the situation calls for coating, an alternative ready to use coating aniline dye comes as Aniline Dye-76. The dyeing process is preferably done by airbrush to reduce streaks and have a professional look.

    Topcoat-79G seals the dyestuff from crocking or bleeding.

    Non-stick, rub-resistant protection with a natural buttery feel and a classic leather scent is done with Protection-B+ prolong the wear to the finish from friction rubs when one slides in and out of the leather seat.

    Here is the Auto Aniline leathers problem-solving guide for reference.

    Leather-Safe Problem Solving Guide (A.a) – Auto Aniline Leathers

    Products mentioned are found in this Leather Doctor® Kit A8.dr

    Leather Doctor® Kit A8.dr

    Roger Koh
    [email protected]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013


    So did you ever restore your seats? I can't see your pix... but I have the exact same vehicle with the exact same seats. Have some issues as well. Probably the same. I sent pix into Roger. I think he was going to post some stuff for me here on the forum somewhere?


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