Ceramic Coating and Leather. If you know anything about ceramic coating or leather then you know that those two don't look like a fit, at all. Well, we are here to tell you otherwise. Some people that are into leather, and we won't go into much detail on that, well, they found a way to utilize ceramic coating technology to be usable with leather.
And, we must admit, the results are pretty impressive!
When it comes to cars, you'll usually find leather wrapped around the seats. Sometimes there is the dashboard, even doors. It all depends on the trim level you've paid for. But if you do have leather in your car - then it is almost always the seats.
Now, the leather looks amazing, it gives the car that luxurious feel, and it even feels nice. Of course, it all depends on whom you are asking. But, we and many like-minded people love leather in our cars. And then, all of us, at one point, start hating it.
Once it starts fading, cracking, and wearing down - there is nothing worse. At that point, it starts looking like a hobo car that no one would like to own. Even the value of the car depreciates simply because of the fact that the leather in the vehicle looks old and tired.
It is, unfortunately inevitable. The leather's durability will diminish over time and at one point you'll get into the car and notice your nightmare became reality. And at that point, other than paying some pro hundreds of bucks to fix it up for you, there is really not much you can do about it except slow it down with expensive and time-consuming maintenance.
But, fortunately, there is a way for that to never happen, at all - say hi to ceramic coating for leather!
What is Ceramic Coating for Leather?
Ceramic Coating is a chemical polymer solution that is applied to the exterior of a surface. This polymer solution creates a hydrophobic layer that protects the exterior of the surface applied.
Exterior surfaces like the body of a car or car wheels are the popular surfaces to be ceramic coated. Ceramic coating is applied to protect the original paint job of a car or to protect the car wheels from wearing down due to UV radiation and it gives it a slick finish that prevents dirt from sticking to it as easily. It also helps a lot with maintenance.
When people look at your car from the outside they admire the body of the car and the wheels of the car. But, when they look inside your car it is the leather that is most likely to make an impression on them.
So, let's say you've ceramic-coated your wheels and the body of your car, what can you do to make the seats look impressive? The answer to that is ceramic coating. Really? Can you ceramic coat leather in a car? Yes. Yes, you can!
Benefits of using ceramic coating on leather
We will just list the most obvious benefits so you have a clear view of what the benefits are:
very high durability that will last you anywhere from 1-2 years
insane hydrophobic capabilities
they'll help repel any dye transfer that you might have from your jeans
built-in UV inhibitors
the ultimate way to protect the leather in your car
will leave the matte finish on the leather and will not change the color or the texture
it will not stiffen up the leather or leave cracks once it cures and you sit on it
very easy to apply
Effects of harsh weather conditions on leather and getting them clean
Cleaning the leather seats of your car can be a hassle. The weather is a significant influence, and when moisture gets underneath the covers in winter, it builds up and causes mildew on the leather seats.
When you clean your leather seats, you can get rid of the specks of dirt and grimes but when it comes to mildew, it won't all go away. Mildew is one of the toughest stains to get rid of from the car leather seats. The tiny spots caused by mildew can be very annoying.
Sunny climates have problems of their own. UV radiation from the sun will damage the leather in your car. Also, high temperatures will dry up the seats, leaving them defenseless against cracking. Especially if the leather is black or some darker color. Darker colors do not reflect heat as well as light colors, meaning the seats will be more prone to stay hot for longer. Unless you're taking care of such leather often, it is bound to be ruined at some point.
Ceramic Coating is an amazing solution for those problems, as it deals with both, and will last you for a long time.
How do you protect the leather in your car?
There are three known methods for protecting the leather seats of a car; Conditioning, Waxing, and Ceramic Coating.
Conditioning protects against UV rays, cracks, and heat.
Waxing also protects against UV rays and provides heat and gives the leather water resistance.
Ceramic coating provides everything the previous two and more. Ceramic coating is the most reliable when considering long-term protection. Ceramic coating makes maintenance easy and ensures minimal dust adhesion properties. There's an improvement in durability with ceramic coating and the leather's aesthetic value is preserved.
The leather seats won't absorb water because the hydrophobic layer from the ceramic coating will repel any liquid. Ceramic coating has a huge edge over waxing and conditioning. But the biggest is - durability and longevity.
For proper waxing maintenance, you will wax your leather seats at least four times per year. To maintain conditioning, it is a routine of weekly application which can be demanding and time-consuming.
If you want to compare wax and ceramic coating directly and see how both perform across various categories then read this article we've written.
Ceramic coating can last anywhere from one to about two years (depending on the product used, maintenance, outside elements, etc.) without getting damaged which makes it much more durable than other protective coatings.
Ceramic Coating for the Car Exterior will last anywhere from 2 to 5+ years. Ceramic Coating for Leather however will last you less.
When to apply the ceramic coating for leather?
Ceramic coating for leather will not restore any damage to the leather itself. Any type of damage will still be there and visible after application.
That is why you want to install ceramic coating when the leather looks new. This way you will preserve this new look for a long time. Much longer than what you'd normally get.
You can apply a ceramic coating on damaged leather, and ensure that the damage doesn't get worse. But if you want the leather to look fresh, we suggest restoring it first and then protecting it.
Applying ceramic coating on leather seats
The application process starts with preparing the initial surface before properly adding the ceramic coating of your choice. We've used both GYEON LeatherShield and CARPRO Leather 2.0 in our shop. Both are very comparable and are good products. So whichever you choose from these two, you won't go wrong.
We will talk about ceramic coating leather seats to keep it simple. But it doesn't really matter if you are installing ceramic coating on your leather steering wheel, your leather dashboard, or really any leather trim that you have inside your car - the procedure is the same.
You can read our article on 'How to Apply Ceramic Coating' here for more details. The preparation stage differs when you apply a ceramic coating on leather, but the application is pretty much the same.
Preparing the Surface
The first thing to do, before we apply a ceramic coating on the leather, is to prepare the surface. Vacuum the surface to remove all debris and heavier dust that might be there.
Once that has been taken care of, we need to fully clean and degrease the surface. We suggest you use a dedicated interior cleaner such as CARPRO Inside and a leather brush to help agitate any stubborn contamination that might be there. And then wipe and dry the surface using a clean microfiber towel.
Do not use the same cleaning products that you would use for the exterior of the car. These chemicals are simply too aggressive for the leather finish, and they might damage it.
Also, if you are using a brush to help clean the leather, then make sure that the brush is designed for leather. If it is not soft enough not to damage the leather, it is not a good choice to use, and we suggest skipping it.
Don't use cleaning products that contain alcohol as their active ingredient because such products will dehydrate the surface of the leather and cause it to look dull.
Ceramic Coating Application
Next, you follow the instructions that come with the ceramic coat product.
Take the foam applicator that came with the product and wrap the micro suede cloth around it. Open the glass bottle that contains the ceramic coating and apply a few drops along the whole length of the suede cloth. Make sure it is saturated, but not too much.
Now, apply it gently and evenly across the whole surface. It is possible that when you are applying the ceramic coat on your leather seats, you miss a spot or two. To help prevent this, work in sections, and make sure to apply the coating on all the creases of the leather seats.
When you are sure that you've applied the ceramic coat uniformly and thoroughly, next thing is to buff it off.
Wait for about 2-3 minutes and then take a clean and dry microfiber towel to wipe off any residue and level the coating.
Now we have to let the coating cure.
The Curing Process
The curing time of a ceramic coat will take several minutes, for example, CARPRO Leather is dry to the touch 10 minutes after application.
You can apply the 2nd layer if you want, just wait for at least 30 minutes after the initial application.
Make sure to avoid any water for the next 4 hours. At that point, you can start using the car normally. The best thing to do, and what we usually do, if a customer is in a hurry, is to leave the vehicle overnight to get a few more hours of curing time.
After 4-5 days, the coating will be fully cured.
If you would like to learn more about the curing process of ceramic coatings then read this article we wrote.
Advantages of ceramic coating your car's leather
If you've read everything above and you are still not convinced about using ceramic coating for your car leather seats, here are some advantages in a bit more detail to help convince you better.
Ceramic Coating Makes Maintenance Easier
After you apply the ceramic coating on the leather seats, you will notice that dust and dirt can't stick to the surface and the seats are easier to clean. Ordinarily, when you spill any liquid like coffee or water on your leather seats, the liquid is absorbed by the seats and they become difficult to clean. However, after you apply the ceramic coat the liquid just stays on top instead of getting absorbed. The hydrophobic layer created by the ceramic coat prevents soaking so you can wipe off liquid spills easily.
Also, when cleaning ceramic-coated leather seats in the future, all you have to do is to take a damp microfiber towel and wipe the surface clean. That's it!
Ceramic Coating Protects the Car's Leather Against Extreme Heat Exposure
When you apply ceramic coating to leather surfaces it creates a hydrophobic layer that protects the leather seats from getting damaged due to exposure to the sun. Ceramic Coating contains UV inhibitors that help protect the leather and keep it looking new.
Many people don't know that when they park their vehicles in the hot sun for a long period the cabin would overheat. And that can dry out the leather seats and cause ruin if the seats are not initially covered in a ceramic coat. Ceramic coating will prevent the drying, fading, and cracking of leather surfaces that could be caused by exposure to the sun and other environmental factors.
Ceramic Coating Maintains Aesthetic Value Of Car Leather Seats
Ceramic Coating for leather will not change the texture or the color of the leather in your car. It will also not make the leather glossy but will keep its original, usually matte, finish.
After you apply a ceramic coating though, you will realize that the leather surface becomes a bit smoother. So, the ceramic coating will help your leather seats preserve their original appearance.
Ceramic Coating Provides Long-term Protection
As mentioned earlier, the ceramic leather coating will last longer than other protective coating methods like waxing and conditioning. It can last up to two years before it requires a do-over. When you compare that with doing conditioning weekly or waxing four times a year, you realize that it is economical, both in terms of money and time spent.
So, with ceramic coating, your leather seats will continue looking as new for a very long time. If you keep up the application and the maintenance, it will probably last you the full lifetime of the vehicle.