Rub ‘n Restore® is a water-based acrylic finish that is exceptional for aviation leather. However, it does not yet have process approval from the FAA. It’s our understanding, however, that FAR Part 91 permits General Aviation pilots to restore the interiors of their airplanes, and no burn certification is required for GA operations.
During our Vinyl Lady days, we carried SEM® Aerospace (an elastomeric coating that came with burn certificates and FAA process approval for use on leather in commercial aircraft), but the pilots and DERs preferred our own brand.
Perhaps because Rub ‘n Restore® is a thinner, lighter coating, is easily applied with minimal down-time, and doesn’t peel or bubble.
The local ACO conceded that our work fell within the realm of “preventative maintenance” under AC 43-12.
FAR Part 43, Appendix A, addresses preventative maintenance that can be undertaken by the aircraft owner. Subparagraph (11) allows “Repairing upholstery and decorative furnishings of the cabin, cockpit, or balloon basket interior when the repairing does not require disassembly of any primary structure or operating system or interfere with an operating system or affect the primary structure of the aircraft.”
Rub ’n Restore® Colors receive a 0 (zero) rating for both flammability and reactivity from NFPA (National Fire Prevention Association) and HMIS (Hazardous Materials Identification System) — lower than SEM® Aerospace. If SEM® does not alter flammability characteristics, Rub ‘n Restore® won’t either. See our SDS (Safety Data Sheets) for Color I (colors containing white pigment) and Color II (colors without white pigment).
Furthermore, most aviation leather coatings like SEM® can only be sprayed. Rub ’n Restore® can be applied with a sponge, brush or spray gun. We typically use the former to massage the color into the leather’s grain and deeper creases and then do a light misting over that for an ultra-smooth finish. We have done whole interiors with just a sponge and still met rave reviews. That’s how many of our customers use it too.
Richard from Bend, Oregon gave Rub ‘n Restore® 5 stars for the “excellent results on 45 year-old seats” and remarked, “Frankly, everything related to aircraft restoration is ridiculously expensive. Your products provide a very inexpensive way to extend the life of the aircraft interiors.”
Jim from Denver, Colorado says, “Every aircraft owner (and I have two of them) has a headliner nightmare story.” He experimented with a Custom Color in this video.
Please let us know how we may help to care or restore your aviation leather. We’re even able to lend a hand with more complicated issues like the formica repair in this Learjet’s galley.