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Why is the finish drying streaky?

A streaky finish is typically caused by over-working the color as it begins to dry. This is remedied by dabbing or stippling the color rather than using a back-and-forth swiping motion. You can also apply a single spritz of water from a spray bottle to the color before it dries to help it flow, soften any marks, and extend your working time.

Consider these other factors:

  • Material type and grain – In general, vinyl tends to be fussier than real leather and requires a little application finesse. 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 priming with a coat of Clear Prep+Finish™ is recommended.
  • 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 sopping wet or too dry. 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 spraying the color or clear finish.

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The Knowledge Hub is a library of articles and videos complied to help our customers complete their DIY leather and vinyl restoration projects.