If you’re getting ready to dye leather for the first time like if you would like to darken or change the color of your favorite leather black bag, it’s a good idea to make sure you understand the process before you dive in and get started. But what exactly does the process look like?
Suppose you’re looking to change the color of your black bag. In that case, this will require some preparatory work before you get going, as well as acquiring a few materials to complete the dyeing process correctly. Especially if you want the new colorway or version of your black bag to last a long time and look good, it’s best to take some precautions.
For example, what precautions do you need to take before you start dyeing your black bag? Keep reading to figure out what you should do before you get to the work of coloring your leather.
Get Your Workstation Ready
Before pulling out your leather and your dye, make sure you’ve chosen a good workstation before you get going. It’s a good idea to find an area that is well ventilated or even to go outside if that is what you would prefer. According to Masterclass, if you’re going to dye your leather indoors, its a good idea to open up the windows and turn on a fan inside your space.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to keep the temperature of your dyeing space pretty constant and as close to 70 degrees Fahrenheit as possible. This is mainly because it will help the leather dyeing chemicals adhere to the leather properly. It also helps with the drying time.
You should also ensure you use proper personal protective equipment during the dyeing process. Some chemicals may be harsh on your breathing ability or dangerous if they make contact with your eyes. So consider wearing a mask with a ventilator, gloves, and protective eyewear before you pull out all the chemicals.
It’s also a good idea to protect your work surface with old towels or a tarp before you get dyeing, as a dye that gets onto these surfaces will stain and be unlikely to come off.
Prepare Your Leather
If you’re working with a piece of leather that has previously been dyed and sealed, it’s a good idea to remove that seal with a leather deglazer. That way, leather dye will be much more likely to be absorbed by the leather fibers.
However, before you get going, remove the pieces you want to avoid dyeing. For example, if you’re working on your pre-dyed leather black bag, removing any clasps, buckles, or other hardware that is relatively easy for you to remove is a good idea. Likewise, you might want to do the same with shoelaces if you’re going to dye shoes.
Whether with your black bag or your soon-to-be-dyed shoes, it’s a good idea to keep the inside of the product dry during the process. So make sure that you fill-up the inside of your item with paper to keep it safe and dry.
After you’ve finished that prep work, make sure to spray your deglazed or non-glazed leather with water. Getting it damp will cause the leather to be more receptive to the dye and more likely to be evenly absorbed.
Dyeing the Leather: The First Coat
You probably won’t want to use a paintbrush for the entirety of your project, but you can apply the first thin coat of leather dye, at least the edges that you want to be careful around, with a paintbrush.
But because it can be challenging to hide paint strokes if you aren’t careful, it’s highly suggested that you use a cotton ball or sponge to apply the dye in a circular motion. This tip comes from Gold Bark Leather, who also suggests overlapping the circles slightly to ensure even and full coverage.
After this first thin coat, allow a whole day for the dye to dry before applying more coats.
Dyeing the Leather: More Thin Coats
Apply more thin coats depending on how dark you would like the color of your black bag or any other item you happen to be dyeing. The dye will not be completely opaque on the first coat, so this may require several coats.
Some suggest applying at least two or three coats, but your project may require more coats to reach the desired color you’d like.
Finish the Leather
If you want your leather to look more satin or shiny, you can apply a leather finish after you’ve reached your desired color and opacity on your article. After that application of finish, allow it to dry completely before handling. If you touch the finish before it is done drying, you need to start over.
If you don’t mind a more matte finish, use a clean cloth to buff the leather instead. From here, you can use your leather item again and clean up your workstation.