Darkening Leather is not always about transforming the color. It is conducive to the health of the leather as well allowing it more time to survive in your closet. Not just survive, but also maintains its quality while doing so as this process makes it more waterproof and protects it from the adverse effects of moisture in the environment.
While most leather conditioners may not darken the leather permanently, some heavy ones actually have the ability to transform its color. The ingredients of leather conditioners determine whether they will have an effect on the color of the products they are used for. DHA and organic oils such as sunflower, olive, coconut oils, and beeswax are known to deepen the color of the leather.
The method you used to apply the conditioner is also key. Polishing conditioner in comparison to spraying will allow it to penetrate more as none of the conditioners is being wasted and it is directly seeping into the fibers of the fabric.
It is also important to note the drying technique which is different for each leather conditioner. How it dries is imperative for the color it will turn out to be.
Brown leather darkens more than other colors.
Looking for a fun activity to do over the weekend? Get ahold of your leather products that you want to darken and get right to it. Make sure you have a nicely ventilated space to start this DIY project of yours because you don't want to be stuck in a room where the smell of the pungent dyes makes it impossible to breathe. Other than that the essentials you will require to assist you through the process are all available at your nearest art & crafts or leather products shop.
What you'll need:
- Leather deglazer: the solution that will prep your leather for the process ahead
- Spray bottle: spray water post-deglazing to expedite the dye absorption process.
- Paintbrush: or maybe even a wool dauber to apply the dye evenly across the surface.
- Leather dye: the end result is supremely dependent on the type of dye you choose to determine the quality, look and feel of your product.
- A scrap rag: to clean up spills and soak up the excess dye.
- Rubber gloves: even the dishwashing kind to cover your forearms from getting dirty while dyeing would definitely come in handy.
Minwax oil-based wood stains are used on leather exactly the way you would polish wood. They do the job in less time taking no longer than five minutes on the surface. They leave fewer marks as compared to dyes and allow for more products to be covered.
Leather Wax or Polish
Brown or black shoe polish will work as well as most leather-specific polishes. Faded leather shoes, wallets, and boots can come to life with them. It, however, takes a longer while than dyes and stains.
Coffee or Tea
Sounds peculiar, but it actually works. Brewed coffee whether instant or regular works miracles to darken leather. Applied with the help of a microfiber cloth followed by leather conditioner and you have yourself a great natural method to dyeing and darkening leather.
How it's done:
- Brew a small pot of very strong coffee
- Pour the coffee into a small saucepan over medium-high heat till it begins boiling. Stir the mixture as it boils for around 2 minutes. This will enable the solution to be more concentrated which in turn makes it more effective to achieve the purpose.
- After taking the saucepan off the stove, allow the mixture to chill for 10 minutes.
- Using the microfiber in the application process, coat the leather surface in a single uniform layer. You can add to the layer to get the color you want. Let the leather soak in the coffee for the next 12 hours minimum.
- Using another dampened microfiber cloth, clean the surface to remove any excess coffee that may still be on it.
- fter the leather has completely air dried, apply leather conditioner on it to help restore the natural oils it may have lost during the process and maintain its hydration.
Vinegaroon also known as vinegar black dyes leather pitch black on first contact. It changes the color of leather through a simple chemical reaction that doesn't stain anything else in the process. All you need is white vinegar, steel wool, and a mason jar coupled with baking soda. Plain steel wool should be used in the making and not stainless steel or one that is covered with cleaning products.
Make a small hole in the lid of the jar, fill the jar up to 2/3rds with steel wool, and pour in vinegar to fill it up, lastly, put the lid back and store it away for 2-3 days. The solution will turn a translucent brown with dissolved steel wool that requires straining to complete the process.
Leather Aging Technique
This is also known as Patina. Like wood and other organic products, leather too ages over time. It absorbs everything it comes into contact with from its environment. For example, if you handle leather goods with greasy hands, water, heat, and dirt or leave them out in the sun, it comes as no surprise that they will leave an impact on the leather skin. Some patches of the leather will exuberate luster while others may lackluster.
This is the leather version of buffing your nails. It basically entails buffing the edges of the fabric to achieve a glossy finesse. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing but also serves practical use, it acts as an adhesive to the cut edge through the friction motion.
Professional Leather Dyeing
These help in maintaining the shelf life of your prized leather possessions. They cater to high-end brands, so you know that these professional services will not let you down at any cost. If you want your leather goods to look like they did right off the rack, this is practically the best option to get that deep color you want and that doesn't require getting your hands dirty.
The last option is easily the safest as it eliminates the risk factor of compromising your leather with professional insight. So if you want to be safe, maybe that's the way to go. But don't be afraid to take risks once in a while.