Re: IML: 61 Imperial Interior Refurbish
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Re: IML: 61 Imperial Interior Refurbish

I received a lot of questions regarding my leather refurbishing project for my 61 convertible and thought I would consolidate them into one message for answering to keep from cluttering up the list. If you missed it, the web site with the pictures is at
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Nick asked:

You really seemed to have revitalized that leather. What do you attribute it to, the MEK or the leather conditioner???

It's the combination I guess. I had to remove lots of the old flaking pieces and the methyl/ethyl/ketone (MEK) seemed to dissolve them pretty well. I also sanded and used a wire brush in my electric drill to get the surface clean and smooth. But the real key to success is that doggoned Surflex.
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Bill P. asked:

Was this the first leather refurb you took on?

Yep. I would not have even attempted it but a guy near Portland (not on the IML) has a 62 convertible and did his and had pretty good results. He had not even bothered to take the seats out of the car though and it showed.
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Mark asked:

Would you please post a detailed method of obtaining those results? And a list of materials?

What I said above is about it. Be sure to soften the leather first (I used Color Plus "Soffener" but I'm sure there are other products) over several months to give it a chance to really soak in (my leather was pretty dry). Other than that, it's just a lot of rubbing and sanding and scraping to prepare the leather. I used a cloth to apply the MEK (with appropriate gloves of course) and a paint brush to apply the Surflex but I suppose a cloth or sponge would work as well. The Surflex is water soluble so clean-up was easy. I had the Surflex color-matched by Color-Plus to my interior - not too well by way. I had intended to just do the seats but the color was different enough that I had to do the dashboard and door panels as well (now I'm glad that I did). Check out the Color-Plus site for their excellent detailed explanation of the procedure. It's at They did not suggest the MEK.
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Dick Benjamin asked:

I'm surprised you were able to buy MEK so easily. ....Did you get a
material safety bulletin with the product when you bought it?

It was just sitting on the shelf at my local Ace Hardware Store. It carried the standard cautions to avoid vapors, don't swallow, don't smoke, keep it off of skin and out of eyes and keep it away from children. It has a curious message on the can stating that it is a "Product of U.S.A. Packaged in Canada". The brand name is Recochem.

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