Tan leather has more than few good qualities: it's neutral, sturdy and blends with most outfits. However, sometimes, you might just want a change. Although dyeing old tan leather into a dark, modern shade of brown requires patience, the proper tools and a steady hand, you can complete the project at home in as little as one afternoon. Even the most inexperienced can use do-it-yourself leather color treatments to reinvent shoes, jackets and other leather goods.
Things You'll Need
- Rubber gloves
- Clean rag
- Leather stripper
- Small bristle brush
- Leather dye (dark brown)
- Sponge brush (optional)
- Leather finish
- Masking tape
Cover a well-ventilated workspace with old newspapers or plastic trash bags to protect your floors and other surfaces from accidental spills. Turn on a circulating fan or open a window if necessary and arrange all materials within easy reach.
Cover your hands with rubber gloves and use masking tape to cover portions of the leather you don't want to be dyed.
Douse a clean rag with leather stripper and rub it vigorously over all areas of the leather you plan to dye. For hard to reach areas such as creases and seams, use a small bristle brush or old toothbrush. Allow the leather to dry for 10 minutes.
Apply the dye until the entire leather surface is coated with one layer of dye. Allow to dry for 1 to 2 hours.
Apply a second even coat of brown dye to the leather and allow it dry for 1 to 2 hours.
Continue to apply the dye, with 1 to 2 hours between applications, until the desired shade of brown is achieved. Allow to dry for 2 full hours after the final coat.
Dampen a sponge with leather finisher and coat the dyed portions of the leather with the product to waterproof the material and prevent color transfers.
Gently wipe the leather finisher with a sponge to evenly distribute the product.
Allow the leather to dry for 1 hour, then store it in a cool, dry space.
Tips & Warnings
- Handle toxic chemicals with caution.
- Always work in a well-ventinatled area when using toxic chemicals.
- Consult the instructions and warnings on all products before using them.
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