Changing the color of my Mk2 seats and door cards. ? best dyes / tips

Hi guys, the previous owner of my Gunmetal Grey Mk2 fitted a complete new interior ( seats and door cards) in beige and I want to change it to its original red.
Current interior has had very little use from being fitted, I feel it is just wrong for the color of the car.
Is there a color code/name for the red dye Jaguar used back in the day ?
Is there a preferred brand of dye to use?
Any tips on application would be appreciated from those who have gone down this path.
Many thanks

Hi Eugene,

The Red leather Jaguar used those days (1946-1970) was Connolly Vaumol VM.3171. The vinyl and ambla etc was what best matched the leather.


Brilliant ! just what I needed. I am doing a full restoration and want to have all as close to original as I can.
Now I just have to read up on the application of the dye.
Many thanks

Buy a new red interior and sell the tan one ?

Killer58, I thought of it but I would never get as good as what I have which is next to new.

go to the website for Leatherique…and noodle around…videos, examples of cars that were done…even contact them…they can do custom color matches. Nick

I have dyed the leather/vinyl in perhaps 30 cars in the past 20 years. It can be done and will provide awesome results. When prepared correctly, the dye will NOT come off! I normally apply the dye with form brushes, even though many spray the dye on which is much quicker. I use lacquer thinner to clean the leather. Then apply thin coats until the color is uniform. In the US, the two companies I have used is Leatherique and Color-Plus. Their products are equally awesome. I always instruct them to mix the finish with no shine (flat). I hate a glossy finish. I have done some Jags/MB, but alot of Rolls Royces/Bentleys.

Another option (as mentioned) is to sell the beige set and buy a red set!

PS Here is a set of front seats I did recently. The seats were original gray! They are in a Rolls Royce Shadow.


Beautiful! How much colour do you remove with the lacquer thinner? How much sanding? Do you apply leather dye to vinyl surfaces or use a matching vinyl paint? Thanks in advance.

I normally do not sand unless there are creases in the leather. I use a “crack filler” for the creases, then dye. The crack filler must dry between coats because it shrinks. The leather dye is perfect for vinyl as well. You do NOT need to remove the original color. The key to provide perfect adhesion is to make sure the leather/vinyl is really clean using the lacquer thinner. A light sand would fine, but not abusively!

This pic is of of my 85 XJ6. These were refreshed in the same color as original.

This pic is of my 61 Rolls Royce Cloud. It is the same color, but it had MANY cracks! Not perfect, but extraordinarily better than original (with cracks everywhere)!



Excellent results there Richard. Yes, I could search for a good set of red seats but most likely they would still require some work to bring up to the standard I want. As mentioned previously my own seats and door cards are excellent and I believe recoloring them is the way to go. I am in the UK so will do a search for the products you mention. In the prep stage you mention lacquer thinner, can I assume this is 2 pack auto paint system ? I do have plenty of cellulose paint thinner at present if that is equally as good to use. Please advise.
After final dye coat is applied is it necessary to apply a protective clear coat of some sorts.
I too do not like a gloss finish either.

I use lacquer thinner in the can (pic). I have never used the “top coating”, but have heard about it. In the UK, I hear great comments about “Furniture Clinic”! The LT dries within seconds;it does an excellent job of cleaning with little effort!


US lacquer thinner is the same as UK cellulose paint thinner–originally used to thin what we called cellulose lacquer. Acrylic lacquer thinner is similar but more refined. IMHO.

Many thanks to all who responded to my post.
Well informed now to proceed.

In the UK Furniture Clinic do an excellent complete kit for doing all this.


Thanks for the link Steve.