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adama

Tried 'dying' A Belt With Mink Oil

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Hey guys, any comments would be great ;D.

I've never worked with leather before, and decided to have a go at making my own belt. I ordered 2 belts worth of materials from Tandy Leather factory, along with some fudge brown dye. I dyed my first belt brown, and it ended up looking pretty cool. It wasn't exactly even in all spots, and kind of reminded me of patterns made by wood, but in the end I liked it. I decided it would be silly to make another 'fudge brown' belt, so instead I decided to 'dye' it a bit with Mink Oil. It didn't look brown enough for me, leaving it the way it was.

So any who, I did a little research. Apparently Mink Oil works best when the leather is warmed up first. I put the belt in the over for a bit, and then started rubbing in the Mink Oil. The leather seemed to just suck up the Mink Oil on the first couple places I put it, but this seemed to stop pretty fast (my guess was that the belt was cooling?). This made it so the first areas I applied it too were pretty brown whereas the second areas were much lighter. I decided to pop it back in the over to try to heat it up a little again. When I removed it there were a bunch of craazy patterns on the belt. I can't take a picture of it at the moment, but I guess you guys have some kind of idea what it looked like. In some areas it was quite even, but in others it was just weird. Swirly patterns, spotted patters, all sorts of strange stuff. After I pulled it out the second time, I really put some muscle into trying to work the oil into the leather, but it didn't seem to do much. I don't understand why some areas were so much darker than others. Was it because I put more muscle into those areas?

So I'm deciding whether to do more coats (I've only done one, and I've heard that its better to do more coats if I want it browner), and how best to go about doing this.. The belt kinda looks silly at the moment.

So yea, any advice would be appreciated :).

thanks.

-Adam

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Don't EVER put leather in a oven! Warming leather means leaving it in the sun for a short period.

It is preferable to warm the oil or stain or whatever by placing the bottle in a container of boiling water. How long depends on the size of your bottle, but when it reaches a warm temperature it should stay evenly warm enough to complete your job. I don't know whether you can rescue this project or whether you have actually damaged the leather. You may have to stain it dark brown or black to make it useable.

The joys of leaning by experience!

Good luck with it,

Lois

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lol, damnit. I was specifically advised to put it in the oven! Good to know for the future though. Rats, and I already make a darker belt, I wanted a lighter one.

So in the future I should just warm up the oil? Slather it all on, wipe off the extra, and then let it dry? Repeat the desired darkness?

Will adding more coats of Mink Oil darken the belt? I feel if I used the dye I have it will be darker than I want. I'd like to keep it as light as possible.

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You could try oxalic acid solution to bleach out the leather, but I'm not sure what damage the oven has done to your leather. You will find this in most hardware stores and is used to bleach wood and often listed as a rust and stain remover. I can't help you with brand names in your country, but in Australia it is made by "Diggers". It is a very mild acid and will not harm the leather as long as you oil or condition afterwards. It's useful also to get rid of any dirty finger marks or stains on any leather.

"So in the future I should just warm up the oil? Slather it all on, wipe off the extra, and then let it dry? Repeat the desired darkness?" - Yes you've got it!

If you want a very light stain try wiping with a used tea bag.

Cheers

Lois

Edited by impulse

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