DIY: Staining Leather

2:15 PM

I had never worked with leather before so when it came time to start my Tandy Expedition Briefcase I had to do some research. Where I went to look showed me what to use and how to apply it. I like things to look old, aged and distressed. Don't ask me why but a lot of what I collect is beat up- old and just darn "used", it's pretty rare that I buy something nice and shiny to either decorate or use. Anyhow- here is the link I followed before I dived into staining the leather myself. I had already chosen the Eco-Flo Antique Gel Stain Mahogany. I just had no idea how to put it on and I was pretty intimidated. When I do a project I like to do it right and I want to make it look good. I don't even stain wood so this was a pretty scary part of the project.

What I used for this Project:
Freezer Paper
Old ratty towel
Eco Flo Gel Stain
Round Sheepskin Wool Pads
Latex Gloves

The Unfinished Leather.

What I did:
To begin this project I laid out the freezer paper and placed all of the shiny pieces of the leather onto the paper.

I put on my gloves, grabbed a wool pad and squirted on a good sized glob onto the pad.

I quickly tried to cover the pieces in one big swoop with the stain to get the first coat of stain on as even as I could. I then took the old towel and buffed out all of the streaks. My first round was a little discouraging because it didn't cover like I wanted to but I did learn that if you let the stain dry for a day and go back over the first coat it looks a lot better. I also learned that if you try to apply another coat right after your first coat the stain just lifts up and leaves weird marks. So it's important to just let it dry overnight and apply another coat the next day.

The Results:
I got the results I wanted by reapplying the stain 2-3 times on some pieces. Also- you can't help what the leather is going to look like regardless of what you do with the stain. That piece of leather could have a scar or an imperfection that is totally inevitable to cover. I liked the way some of my pieces turned out because of the leathers imperfections.
My first coat of stain.

Burnishing is next!
Thanks for reading!

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