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Courtesy of Aaron from Aus


When i bought my E12 the interior was not the best. Structually it wasnt to bad, the seats had some minor tears and sun damage, the carpet was badly stained. especially around the handbrake lever.

My first intenetion was to just swap out the seats with a set from a E28 at wrecking yard, i bougt the set for $250.

The leather was structually great and the back seat was in good condition as it was, the front had drivers seat had a bit of wear, and so did the passeger side, but less so.

After washing them with Sugar soap, they came up alot better again....but still lacked the rich coulour and lustre that good leather seats bring.

I got a Quote from a Leather dying place in Richmond (Melbourne), they remove the old dye, spray on new dye and bake it, Cost $650, i wasnt about to spend $650 on leathers that cost me $250.

So i went down to the local Auto Shop and had a look for Dyes and came across VHT Vinyl and Carpet dye, that also worked on Tanned leather.

I bought Buckskin colour and tried it on a spot of the back seat, at first the colour looked odd, but after it dried it looked OK, so i tried it on one of the big sunspots on the shoulders of the back seats and it covered it straight up perfectly.

The reason i bought Buckskin is because it was the closest colour to the original leather colour, and as it dried the original colour came out more and more.

So i done all the seats and was very happy with the result, i was just going to put the seats in as they were and not bother to do the rest of the interior with the Dye, but i quickly changed my mind as the green carpet and door trims just didnt match.

VHT BuckSkin Tan Satin Dye i used on the seats $12

Old seats from the E12

New seats, not yet dyed

Here is the pic of the first section i done, that being the top section of the back seat, the lower part i rubbed in the left over from the first Can of Dye into the bigger scratches with my should be able to see the lines in the Photo.

The Rear back section dyed the bum section is not


The carpet took about 6 cans of black Dye from memory, you have to remove all the seats and mask up areas that you dont want sprayed, if it does get on something you didnt want it on (as long as it isnt Vinyl, Carpet of leather, plastic) it will wash off after it dries because it is Dye, not paint ie: if it gets on metal, let dry and rub off with water and soap.

Firstly i Vacumed the carpets and made sure they were dry, i did a section no more than 1/2 metre square at a time and using a stiff scrubbing brush to rub the Dye into the carpet, as per the instructions on the side of the can.

Then re-coated the same section again with the Dye.

Note: Also if your working in a confined space with this stuff, ensure adequate ventilation, it is quite toxic, and dosnt smell good either, it has Tolulene in it a known Carcnogen. Really try to avoid breathing this stuff in.

My Car took 7days of windows open to get rid of most of the smell, it still smells and will probly be a while till it fully resides, especially after having the windows up overnight.

First Can , dosnt go far...down to the shops to buy a second!

Another can get the picture.

After about 5 cans and i was done....when you get the carpet in full sun, you start to see spots you missed, i got another can for that, and touched up spots, and whenever i see a spot i do it.

Door Trims

Door trims are the hardest part, only because they are difficult to remove and refit..rmoving not to bad, refitting a bit of a pain, Finding all the screws on th E12 door trim is a hassle, but i have made it easy for you here with a Photo that identifyes all the Screw points and hidden plastic covers.

E12 Door trim removal Screw points

I hope that helps in removing them.

Before masking them up, Rub some Methlayted spirits or Alchol over the parts your going to mask as there may be remanants of Vinyl reviver (armour all) that could prevent the Masking tape from sticking properly.

I found the best way to mask up the fine bits of chrome around the ash try and middle of the door was to stick the making tape on the chrome and then using a sharp razor blade cuting away the Excess tape, being careful not to cut the door trims.

Also, before painting the Vinyl on the door trims, clean them thourghly with sugar soap (or similar detergent), Dry, then rub them with Metholayted spirits, Alcahol or Pre wash thinners, even after all this the Dye in some spots didnt want to bond and bubbled, but after a few more coats it just went away....same should probly go for the seats as well..although i didnt do that to the seats.

Sorry i dont have any photos of the door skins before i did them, there is a photo were you can see them below were i have a before and after.

Photos, Before & After

Interior when i got the car


As you can see it looks fantastic.

I used:

Seats: 4x Cans of VHT Buckskin Tan $48

Carpet: 5x Cans of VHT Satin Black $60

Door trims: 3x Cans of VHT Buckskin Tan $36

Total: $144

For a $144 i have a brand new interior, i also spent $250 on the seats themselves, so a Total of $394

If you try and cover light covers with dark colours, it will take alot more cans and cost more, Vice dont try and cover black with White, Red over might end up with pink, i stuck with as close to similar colours, ie: tan seats, Tan dye, Dark green floor i went black.

If you do this Mod be prepared to waste 10 minutes of your life just standing there thinking how much of a wonderful job you done and how great your interior looks.


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