Over time and with sufficient use, even the best leather coats eventually fade and develop uneven spots. Although the distressed, lived-in look is often desired -- and even sought after when purchasing new garments -- you may prefer to keep your leather coat looking brand new. Leather dyes and dyeing kits enable you to keep your favorite leather coat or jacket in tip-top condition with minimal effort.
1 Clean the areas of the coat you plan on re-coloring with the rubbing alcohol and cotton balls, whether it's the entire piece or just in specific areas. Apply light to medium pressure; you don't need to scrub hard. Apply the alcohol directly to the cotton balls, rather than pouring the liquid directly on the coat.
2 Tape off any sections of leather or hardware you don't want affected by the dye.
3 Apply the dye in multiple thin coats, using a sponge applicator or brush. The latter works best for getting into smaller areas or around snaps and zippers, while the former is ideal for larger sections.
4 Rub the section using a buffing cloth or brush. Many dyes do not properly set until this step is accomplished.
5 Apply one or two coats of leather sealant with a clean sponge applicator. This product makes the color more permanent and matches the sheen of the existing leather around the repaired area.
Items you will need
- Rubbing alcohol
- Cotton balls
- Plastic tape
- Leather dye
- Sponge applicator
- Leather sealant
- Buffing cloth or brush
- Compare a removable hood or small leather piece to the coat to properly match the colors. This is especially useful if you need someone to color-match a custom dye shade.
- Rubbing the coat with alcohol won't remove the color, but will thoroughly clean any oils or residues that may hinder dye penetration.
- When dyeing, avoid wearing nice clothing, and work away from any wood surfaces that you don't want accidentally stained.
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