Long ago I shared a leather dyeing project I tried on an old purse that, though super dingy, was structurally in great shape and still had a lot of life left. I wore that purse again on Sunday and it reminded me that I had some unused dye and a thrift store purse kicking around, so I thought I'd share a how-to. This dye lasts years, you can mix just about any color, and it's very inexpensive.
(there are a whole lot of step by step pictures, see the full post after the jump)
I use and LOVE Tarrago Self Shine Color Dye for dyeing leather. It's not a paint, it's a high quality Italian dye for leather and it works wonders. It does not chip, peal, or come off and you can even dye black leather white! There are over 70 colors to choose from, including metallic and pearlized colors (click here to see the color chart), AND IT'S $8.00! Seriously.
The instructions included in the package are translated a bit funny, but here's what has worked well for me.
Step 1: Tape off any hardware and parts of the leather that you do not want dyed. Make sure to check the tape on a hidden area to make sure it does not remove the existing finish when you take it off.
Step 2: Using a white cloth, rub the leather with the included leather preparer (apply liberally).
Step 3: Using the included brush apply dye to seams, hard to reach spots, and around hardware.
Step 4: With the sponge, apply dye to the leather in a circular motion. Be sure to apply dye in thin coats, allowing each application to dry before applying next coat (an hour should be fine). I needed four coats total to fully dye the dark brown leather a light pink.The leather may feel sticky when you first apply the dye, but once it dries completely (about 24 hours), it will be soft and ready to be treated and cleaned like normal.
I applied four coats to a small 6"x5" purse and used half of one bottle of the dye (in Rose). A little goes a long way!
You can use this dye to bring new life to purses, shoes, belts- anything that's leather or leather-like! I will be ordering a few more colors soon- I want to try mixing this metallic silver with this turquoise and see what happens!
Feel free to ask me any questions and I will do my best to answer them (my threaded comments are not working, so check back to see if I answered your question!). If you try this out, send me a link, I'd love to see!