Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Newark, Delaware.
Vehicle: 1998 SLK 230, automatic, white, now tan and gray interior, 93,000 miles.
Other Toys: mowers, snow blowers, scooters and go karts.
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I used SEM Classic Coat spray paint on the seats and part of the door panels. After I got the seats out, I took the driver's seat to a local trim shop to see if he could repair the loose seat cover and color them in a suitable shade of tan. I really like tha saddle tan color used in the new Camaros and Corvetts called Kalahari. The trim guy said it would be three to four weeks before he would be able to get it done. He said he would sew a new cardboard stiffening trim on the bottom of the seat cover after he removed it from the seat, then we could pick out a color. I didn't want to wait that long, so he suggested I paint them myself. I would have to find a way to reattach the loose outer, lower edge of the leather trim. I had repainted seats and trim before in a few of the Miatas that I've had. The tan color that I used for them, my wife didn't like-too much orange.
I liked the way the R171 models did a two tone effect on the door panels. Since mine were coming unglued and loose-and I was going to recolor them anyway, I sort of copied that trim idea. I thought it was kind of an update. I tried to tie part of the color to the lower dash color and part to the seat color. If I was going to do it again, I would definitely go with a darker tan color. I chose SEM paints because I have used them before and they wear well. Their color selection is pretty good, although they didn't offer the exact shade of saddle tan I wanted. I actually did find a source on a Corvette site, but found that they made it in house. It was between Colorbond or SEM. They are both very good. It would have taken longer to get the Colorbond brand with a higher price, plus shipping. I didn't want to spend $100 just fot the paint. I didn't know how well it would cover the dark blue and black seat covers.
I used SEM 17063 Prairie Tan for the seat color and 17073 Medium Dark Graphite for the dash and console parts. A primer is not needed to get the color to work. With leather, you have to scrub the material with a gray scrub pad and soap, but light on the soap-not too wet. After they look clean enough, with them off a couple of times with a damp towel and water. Let dry. I taped off the seats so I could paint the backs black. I used SEM plastic and leather prep for cleqnibg the surfaces and Duplicolor vinyl and trim paint in black. instead of blue. After taking the door panels apart for re gluing, I painted the inner sections the same. On vinyl, you must use SEM 39863 Plastic adhesion promoter. That helps the paint stick after using the plastic and leather prep for cleaning. I left the head sests black and the black portions of the door panels were not painted. It's a nice project. I hope this helps some.