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Sometimes the color on leather jackets can fade. And unless you want to purchase a brand new jacket, it helps to know how to dye your leather jacket to make it look brand new. But how exactly do you do this? We've looked into an easy method to dye your leather jacket at home, and in this post, we will share it with you.
Here are the steps to dye your leather jacket and change it to a different color:
- Clean and repair the jacket
- Apply leather conditioner
- Apply the colored dye to the jacket
- Re-apply leather conditioner
- Apply a leather paint
- Let it dry
Dying your leather jacket isn't as difficult as you may think. You can complete the entire process within half an hour or so. It's best, however, to prepare ahead of time to ensure that you have all the materials you need before you get started. Continue reading to learn how to do it.
Steps To Dye Leather Jacket And Change Its Color
Before dying in your jacket, it's essential to know where exactly you'll complete the process. The best places to buy the jacket will be either in the bathroom or kitchen counter or sink. Be sure to remove any personal items from around the area to avoid getting dye on them.
Things you'll need:
- Leather dye
- Leather conditioner
- Dry towel
- Lint-free cloth
- Contact glue
- Sewing kit
1. Clean and repair the jacket
Start by inspecting the leather jacket to see if any areas contain any damage. Next, take a semi-damp cloth and run it over the jacket. You don't want any dirt to become muddy once you apply the dye to the jacket. Turn it inside out and look for holes or patches that may be thinning. If holes exist, use patchwork strips to patch them up.
You can sew these strips on or glue them with contact cement. Keep in mind that the glue will take about 15 to 20 minutes to dry. And it's best if it dries before you dye the jacket.
2. Apply leather conditioner
Next, to prepare the leather jacket for dying, apply a quality leather conditioner to the jacket. Use a damp cloth, apply a quarter-sized amount of the cloth, and then rub it over the jacket using a circular motion. Be sure to pay special attention to the areas around the buttons and zippers at the jacket and the ends of the sleeves. If the leather is dehydrated, applying an additional coat of conditioner will make the jacket more supple. This, in turn, will make it more reactive to the dye product.
3. Apply the colored dye to the jacket
If there are any decorations on the jacket that you don't want to paint, be sure to cover them with painter's tape beforehand. Next, take your paintbrush and carefully apply the dye to the jacket. It's best to start on the back of the jacket and then work your way to the front. Make sure to use thick strokes and go over any areas that you have missed. After you have applied the paint to the back of the jacket, turn it over and apply it to the front.
4. Re-apply leather conditioner
Allow the dye to dry on the jacket for about 20 minutes, and then re-apply another coat of leather conditioner. Each leather conditioner will have a different drying time, so be sure to look at the instructions on the packet.
5. Apply a leather paint
If there are sections on your jacket that the leather dye won't cover up, use leather paint to camouflage them. To do this, clean off your paintbrush and apply the paint to the jacket. Make sure to apply thin, even coats to avoid peeling. Let the paint dry for about 2 to 4 hours before moving the jacket.
6. Let it dry
It's best to give your leather jacket anywhere from 24 to 48 hours to completely dry, as you don't want the paint or the dye to rub off on your furniture or your clothes.
If you prefer a visual of how to dye your leather jacket and change its color, check out this video:
What is the best dye for leather?
There are a few different quality dyes that you can use to change the color of your leather jacket. Let's look at the top 2 dyes to use.
Fiebing’s Leather Dye
This leather dye is one of the most reliable ones that you can find. It's an alcohol-based dye, and it's available in black, blue, gray, brown, amongst other colors. You can use it on both finished and unfinished leather, and you can also mix it with other colors to create unique shades. This dye is best for restoring high-quality and faded leather products.
It's easy to use, as you apply the dye directly to the leather product using a sponge or lint-free cloth. The great thing about this dye is that it doesn't crack or peel once it dries. It also offers a clean finish, and it's perfect for spot repairs.
Angelus Brand Leather Dye
The Angelus brand dye is also worth considering. This liquid dye is great for jackets, purses, shoes, belts, and other leather products. It's a highly pigmented dye that is suitable for staining or repairing damages. It does not crack once it dries, and it has a lasting color, which means that you don't have to worry about re-applying the dye every six months.
You can also use this dye on vinyl products as well. If you're looking for a long-lasting leather dye and that can easily penetrate your leather products, here's one to take a look at.
Rit All-Purpose Black Liquid Dye
The Rit dye brand is one of the oldest and most dependable brands on the market. With over a hundred years as a reputable fabric dye, this liquid dye definitely won't disappoint. It's easy to use and can be used on leather furniture, clothes, and apparel. There are over 400 different colors to choose from, and it's one of the most budget-friendly options available today.
This versatile dye is also non-toxic and great for dying both dark and light leather colors. Whether your leather is finished or unfinished, the Rit dye can easily penetrate the grain for long-lasting color.
What is the difference between leather dye and stain?
Leather dye is also commonly known as aniline dye. It is a concentrated color used to restore color to leather products. It can penetrate the fibrous layer of leather and make a chemical bond to the inner layers of the grain. Once a leather product is colored with dye, the color cannot be removed. To change the color again, you'll need to dye the product using another colored dye.
Leather stain products add a translucent color to the leather fabric while allowing them to maintain their natural characteristics. It does not change the color of the grain per se, but it can be used to lighten or darken the grain. Leather stains aren't used to cover up damaged areas or stains on leather products but more to enhance the natural color of the leather.
These stain products are often referred to as semi-aniline coatings, and they are typically used in polyurethane and other pigmented topcoats. For example, suede and nubuck are commonly finished using leather stains instead of dyes.
How do you make an old leather jacket look new?
The best way to make an old leather jacket look new is to either apply a leather conditioner to the jacket or completely restore it. To do so, you'll need first to clean the jacket, repair any damaged areas, and then apply a leather conditioner and oil. During this process, you can also add colorant and a protective finish to help protect & waterproof the leather and ultimately extend its life.
How do you darken leather naturally?
If you're looking to darken leather products naturally, the easiest ways to do this include using coffee, tea, or natural oils such as olive or coconut oil.
Wrapping Things Up
Dying a leather jacket a different color can make it look brand new. Also, don't forget to add a quality conditioner to help restore hydration to the leather and prevent it from drying out after you dye it.
Before you go, be sure to check out our other posts: