Training

Fitzgerald’s offers a wide variety of training courses that cover automotive, marine, aviation, and commercial upholstery repair.

Contact us today for more information on specific training course offered at our S.M.A.R.T Repair Training Center.

Leather Repair
Below are the five basic steps in Leather Repair. Following the basic steps we list some unique situations with directions for repair.

  1. Use clean, dry cloths. Clean off dirt and grime with VLC (Vinyl, Leather Cleaner). Then use S100 (Silicone Wash) to clean off silicones and contaminants. Last use FLP (Fitzgerald’s Leather Prep) to achieve a tacky surface.
  2. Cut a circular piece of VM6 sub-patch or HAS (heat activated sub-patch) 1/4″ to 1/2″ larger than the damage. Bond sub-patch under the repair with LRA (Leather Repair Adhesive). If you are going a heat cured repair, and you are using the HAS there is no need to use the LRA.
  3. Fill repair with LFF (Leather Flexfill), DLFF (Deep Leather Flexfill), or EZ Fill and air-dry. You may use low heat on heat gun to speed up drying time. Sand smooth with 320 or 400 grit W/D sandpaper.
  4. Optional to use LRA (Leather Repair Adhesive) to seal repair.
  5. If necessary, re-texture leather with WBG/S3 or VM12 (Water Base Spray Grain) by spraying in quick short bursts until desired grain is achieved.

Unique Situations
To repair scratches or scuff marks, do the following steps:

  • Clean and sand, then apply a thin coat of LRA.
  • Let dry, then sand and texture with LCL (Leather Clone-it)
  • Seal with LS5 (Leather Sealer) and Recolor.
  • Using dry clean cloths clean the damaged area with a good dirt remover such as VLC or Lexol Cleaner.
  • Next wipe the repair area with S-100 and finally with Leather Prep.
  • Now sand the area to be repaired with 320 wet/dry sandpaper to expose unfinished leather.
  • If the damage is deep scratches or shallow gouges, fill them with LRA or EZ Fill.
  • Dry with low heat, sand smooth and grain.

If the damage is deep gouges or deep cracks, we suggest the following:

  • Coat the damage with a film of LRA and dry with low heat.
  • Fill with EZ Fill, dry with low heat. Sand with 320 w/d sandpaper.

If the repair sands out nicely but lifts at the ultra-thin edges, rub a thin film of LRA on the area. This will set the repair, and allow you to finish sand the repair with no lifting at the edges.

If the repair needs more filling, try the following steps:

  • Coat with a thin layer of LRA and dry.
  • Add a thin layer of EZ Fill, dry and sand level and smooth with 400 w/d sandpaper. A film coat of LP Leather Primer will give better adhesion to the Color Coat.
  • After the first coat of color, inspect the repair for quality. If you are satisfied, grain the area and color coat as needed.

If the damage is a hole through the leather, try these steps:

  • First place a subordinate patch under the repair.
  • Bond the sub-patch with LRA being sure that all the edges are tightly adhered to the sub- patch and there is a coating of LRA on the sides and bottom of the hole.
  • Fill the hole about half way with DLFF.
  • Dry and layer LRA and DLFF until the hole is filled.
  • Finish the repair in the same manner as described in the previous paragraph.

Key Terms:
VLC = Vinyl & Leather Cleaner
LFFII = Leather Flex Fill
DLFF = Deep Leather Flex Fill
LRA = Leather Repair Adhesive
EZ Fill = Easy Fill

Prep area with S100 Silicone Wash. This assures a clean surface free of protectants.

If the damage is completely through the fabric, insert a piece of VM6 Sub Patch Material between the fabric and foam cushion using tweezers or palette knife. If the foam is gone, you can put a piece of DACRON in the hole. Fix backing in place with FBA (Fitzgerald’s Base Velour Adhesive), adding enough adhesive to fill the hole. If the damage is only superficial, simply add FBA directly to the repair area.
Using the Velour Color Chart (VCC), select the velour color that best matches the fabric. If need be, intermix other colors to make an exact match or try to use fibers within the basic color family. Embed fibers into the adhesive using a detail brush or toothbrush. Accent patterned velour using a single-edged razor blade to define lines or squares. Place remaining fibers into an EVA-2000 electrostatic velour applicator or a velour atomizer.

Fitzgerald’s Water Base Velour Spray Adhesive
WBVA spray adhesive may be applied with a mouth atomizer, Preval sprayer, or Wagner Power Sprayer. If the adhesive is too thick for your method of application, reduce with water only as much as needed to attain atomization. Spray adhesive over repaired area, blending into adjacent fabric. For large or multiple repairs an entire panel may be sprayed.

Shake velour fibers with a velour shaker (VS), an EVA electrostatics velour applicator, or apply the fiber with an A11 (velour atomizer) onto the adhesive. If you use an EVA the fibers will be drawn into the adhesive, standing on end, leaving a soft velvety feel to the repair. Apply a light coat of velour adhesive over the fibers and heat “set” the adhesive using a hair dryer or heat gun on low. Finally, top coat with S-704 Durashield to add a soft finish.

Using a clean dry cloth, wipe and prepare the vinyl you will be repairing with VLC (Vinyl Leather Cleaner) followed by S1OO (Silicone Wash) and then VPP (Fitzgerald’s Vinyl Plastic Prep). Before proceeding with the repair, be sure the area is thoroughly dry.

If there is a hole through the vinyl, cut a piece of Mini-Mesh, approximately 1/2″ larger in diameter than the damaged area. Put a wet film of Vinylhyde over the damaged area Place the Mini-mesh, centered on top of the damage. The film of Vinylhyde compound will hold the mesh in place.

Now coat the Minimesh with another smooth layer of compound. Heat the entire repair area with a heat gun or Ultra Torch until it starts to smoke and turn clear, curing the compound. Now concentrate the heat onto one small area, until it again smokes. Immediately and quickly remove the heat, simultaneously placing your graining pad on the hot area and apply even pressure for about 5 seconds, embedding the Minimesh into the hot vinyl. Please be careful!

Repeat the heat and graining process, one spot at a time, until the entire area has been covered. If the compound has not been properly and completely cured, in time, your repair will fail. When the entire compound has turned clear and has smoked, it has cured properly.
Repeat the process of applying a smooth layer of repair compound on the damaged area. Cure the additional compound with heat and re-grain the area until the repair area is smooth and even and a nice grain pattern has been embedded to look the same as the adjacent, undamaged area.

Next spray a dry coat of Fitzgerald’s’ Barrier Coat onto the entire repair area. Fitzgerald’s Barrier Coat is specially formulated to add strength to the repair and help hide minor imperfections in the new grain pattern. Allow 1 minute for the barrier coat to dry.

Now spray a dry mist coat of Fitzgerald’s Color Coat onto the repair area. Inspect your repair closely. If you find flaws that you would like to correct, now is the time. Note: yellowing will occur on light colored vinyl. This is natural due to the heat fusing of the compound and vinyl. The yellowing will be covered with the color coat. Repeat the repair, heat and grain until you are satisfied with the appearance. Spray 2 wet coats of color coat allowing 5 to 10 minutes drying time between coats. The color coat should be dry within 15 minutes, and completely cured within 24 hours.

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