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VHT vinyl dye review?

8426 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  mj40's
Ok, I cant call it a review cause its not been in place long enough. So what the hell do I call the thread? A check see? Ok, thats what it is.

Ok, so I have this Fiat. Hang on a sec, I have a Nova also. So this Fiat had one headrest when I bought it. Black interior. I looked around and could not find another black headrest. But did score a tan one for 10 bucks via ebay.

Ive had it here for a few years with the intention of trying to dye it black.

Decided to go for it and dye the damn thing. I looked around and did find some promising reviews of some of the products. Most were spray on products and some were dab on dyes.

I had a hard time thinking a spray on dye was a dye. Im thinking a dye is a very thin fluid that needs to be applied with a sponge or something so it can infuse with the part you are dyeing.

I did NOT want a spray that would dry and become a coating on the surface of the vinyl. In my mind it would crack and separate. I wanted a dye that would soak into the vinyl, is there such a thing?

Cause really what is vinyl? Im thinking a plastic type thing right? I still dont know. The chemical make up it seems can be a variety of mixes over the years. Not to be confused with Vinyl records which no one wants to die.

Well my Fiat is a 71 so its prolly more akin to the vinyl of our 60s and early 70s cars. So whatever the plastic compound is I tried to color it with some VHT vinyl dye.

Did it work? Only time will tell. But so far so good. I followed the directions to the T.

I used not a wax and grease remover but my fav grease cutter, greased lighting. And wax and grease remover might work, but it should be able to cut silicon (aka, Armor All, its a verb now, funny). Very hard, the silicon is a ***** to remove. You cant remove it with most solvents, its silicon!! It doesnt react with most if any solvents.

For some reason greased lightning does eat the silicon away. I tried acetone, lacquer thinner and some other solvents, no good.

So I scuffed the headrests down with the red scotch bright pad (dont use a cheap green one, it will scratch the vinyl) using the GL as the solvent.

It dried the vinyl out to a nice buff surface that looked ready for some dye.

Here are the pics. I bought a couple of cans of the satin and used one can for both headrests, still some left in the first can. JR

Washed the vinyl per the instructions and taped off the parts I didnt want painted.. The black one was old looking and I wanted them to match so it gets a dyeing also..

They say to spray on two light coats and follow up with one wet coat. 10 minutes in between each coating. This is the tan headrest after one coat. The stitching is still tan.


It looks shiny. Its not as shiny in person. Its hard to photo black, the flash gets crazy. You can still see the grain of the vinyl which is cool.

So anyway... Time will tell. The rests feel soft and flexible still. Funny how a spray can be so flexible. The rests will be in the vert which stays outside with the top down all year so the sun gets to hammer the dye job.

It wont be a good test for seats that take some abrasion. But it will be a good test for durability RE: sun and weather.

Check back in a year and Ill prolly post some new info. JR
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Vinyl dies

I have used the SEMS brand and have had good luck over the years. High wear areas would take a fresh up every couple years and all looked good again.
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