How Easy Is It to Dye Tan Leather Dark Brown?

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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
  • Sponge
  • 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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References

  • Photo Credit Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images
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