A lot of people love using leather. Who wouldn’t? You can incorporate it into your daily wardrobe, accessories, home furniture, footwear and even your car.
The look and feel of leather exudes elegance, style, and strength. It makes any plain object appear extraordinary. This is how powerful a leather is.
If you own a piece of leather item, you should know how to take care of it properly. Although this type of material may be durable, you still need to maintain its condition so it doesn’t dry, fade, crack or get damaged. When you are dealing with this kind of material, there are ways to improve or alter its appearance by knowing how to darken leather.
Manipulating the color of your leather to make it look darker is a fun way to update its look. This technique is especially great for pieces that have faded over time. If you’ve been wearing your favorite old boots on a regular basis, then chances are, your shoes are probably worn out and faded.
Instead of spending on buying a new pair of shoes, why not update its look by learning this technique. It will not only save you on expenses but it will bring life to your old favorite leather pieces. This way, you get to keep and use your leather items instead of throwing it away.
Technically, there are different ways to darken leather. We’ll show you the different methods to help you decide which one may work best for your leather piece.
Technique #1: Olive Oil
Here’s What You’ll Need:
- Olive Oil
- Leather conditioner
1. Before you begin, test a small amount of olive oil on your leather item. If you are altering your boots, apply it in the inner part or the heel where it is less visible. Observe how the leather will react to the olive oil and let it dry for at least 24 hours.
Some leather materials don’t immediately respond to darkening methods. In the case of olive oil, it can darken your leather boots and give it a deeper shade than you may expect.
2. Apply one tablespoon of olive oil on a washcloth and rub it gently on your boots. You can begin at the toes of your shoes and work your way up to the heels. If you notice that the darker shade starts to fade a bit, you can add another tablespoon to the washcloth to maintain the consistency.
3. Make sure you properly distribute the oil in the surface. Otherwise, if you put too much oil in one area, then it will appear darker than the rest. Just reapply the olive oil until you achieve the tone that you want.
4. Let it dry for another 24 hours and if you feel that the leather is still not dark enough to your liking, you can repeat the process. Your newly coated boots don’t require any maintenance. However, using a leather conditioner treatment can keep the leather moisturized and in good condition to prevent cracking and drying.
Technique #2: Shoe Polish
Here’s What You’ll Need:
- Shoe polish
1. Another simple method of darkening leather is by using a shoe polish. It’s easy and uncomplicated. All you need to do is to apply the shoe polish with a rag over the leather in small circle strokes.
2. Make sure that you cover the surface evenly and allow the polish to dry. Once the material is dry, use a new rag to buff the surface. This method is also inexpensive and acts as an easy fix for darkening any leather.
3. When you’re using a shoe polish to darken leather, use a shade with the same color as your leather material but it should be at least two shades darker in order to get an instantaneous effect. Another advice is when you are purchasing a shoe polish, it’s better to go to a leather store and look for a good quality leather polish instead of buying a commercial shoe polish in the supermarket.
Technique #3: Dye
Here’s What You’ll Need:
- Leather dye
- Leather preparer
- Water spray bottle
- Leather sheen
- Latex gloves
1. Before dying a leather, you need to determine first what kind of leather you are dealing with. If you have an aniline leather, you can soak it in dye. Semi-aniline leather, on the other hand, can also be dyed but the protective coat of this type of material must be stripped off in order for the dye to be absorbed properly by the leather.
2. Choose the right kind of dye for your leather piece. Alcohol-based dyes can stiffen the leather while water-based dyes can make it soft but it may possibly change the color of the leather.
3. Wear a pair of latex gloves to protect your skin from the dye. Set a plastic on the floor to catch any dyes in case of spills. The stain from a dye is hard to wash off and may permanently damage your floors.
4. Apply a leather preparer to eliminate the finish of the leather. This will allow the dye to be properly absorbed by the leather.
5. Wet the leather. Use a sprayer to dampen the surface of the leather evenly. Just use a small amount and avoid soaking leather.
6. Apply the leather dye. Begin by using a paintbrush to cover the edges. Then use the same paintbrush or a sponge to apply the dye in a thin coating. A sponge can create a textured effect on the leather while a paintbrush may be more suitable if you are darkening a small piece of leather.
7. Once the first coating dries, apply another layer of dye. Repeat this process until you reach your desired color. Using thin coats can make it the application look even. Usually, it takes three to six coatings to achieve a darker look.
8. Let it dry for 24 hours and use a new rag to buff the leather. Buffing will help eliminate any residue and polish the surface. You can opt to use a leather sheen for a shiny look.
Did you find this article useful? Hopefully,this tutorial can help solve your dilemma of how to darken leather as how to darken leather boots or shoes.
So, before you throw out your old worn out leather, you should try these simple and easy techniques. This may help you decide which method may work best for you.
If you have any feedback or would like to ask questions, feel free to send us a message or leave a comment. We’d be delighted to answer you. Please don’t forget to share this tutorial with your friends.