The finish is drying streaky.

Streakiness is typically caused by applying the color too heavily and over-working it as it begins to dry. This is remedied by applying thinner coats and dabbing or stippling the color, rather than using a back-and-forth swiping motion.

Less is more when it comes to coats. Remember, our finishes are paints not dyes. If you have lots of coats of color already, start by reactivating the color with a damp sponge or a spritz of water from a spray bottle. Only add more color if needed.

Consider these other factors:

  • Material type and grain – In general, vinyl tends to be fussier than real leather and requires a little finesse in application. Smooth leathers lacking a distinct grain can also be difficult. Weathered, porous, or sun-rotted surfaces may also soak up the color unevenly, in which case a mixing a glaze of 2 parts Clear Prep+Finish™ + 1 color is recommended for the first coat.
  • Surface temperature – If a surface is too hot, the color will begin to dry before you have evenly dispersed it, which will result in a streaky, uneven appearance.
  • Sponge moisture – Make sure your sponge is not too dry nor sopping wet. Too much water may erase your work, dilute the color, and streak the surface. Too little moisture in the sponge creates more friction and can etch the surface.
  • Color dispersion – Periodically stir or gently swirl the bottom of the bottle of Rub ‘n Restore® Color, as mineral pigments settle faster and may cause the liquid base to go on chalky and streaky. Don’t shake Clear Prep+Finish™ or Rub ‘n Restore® Colors, as this creates foam which may dry as spots on the surface.

If streakiness persists, consider applying the color with a spray gun.


  1. Hello, I used your product ( midnight blue) to cover a leather kitchen stool and it dried streaky and chalky looking, what can I do to correct this as I have two more to do and do not want this to happen on my other ones!

    Thank you

    • Chalky? Be sure you’re stirring and dabbing to avoid streaks. Clear Prep+Finish can be used to add luster. Be sure you’re working with real leather or vinyl and not faux leather. We can be of more help if you email photos to

  2. Hello, having the same issue as Mary describes. We shook the bottle well and applied according to the video but you can see the application path (swirls, swipes, etc). I understand you to say in your response that you should use a wet, but not dripping sponge for a light application of color prior to applying the clear? Is that correct?
    Thank you

    • You want to stir the color. Shaking creates foam and does not properly disperse the pigment. Dab or stipple the color. Don’t overwork it as it begins to dry. The sponge should be damp but not dripping. Periodically add a single spritz of water to it to maintain this level of moisture.


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