Jump to content

1St Time Dying & In Need Of Advice For Dye/finish

Recommended Posts

Hello, I just pulled out my old kit of Pro Dye. I don't know much about dying and only read the bottles for how to use. It said to have a clean surface and apply with dauber, cotton swabs or sponge. Then rub down again with a clean clothe to remove dried dye. So I adorned the plastic gloves and took a whack at it with a sponge paint brush. The stuff streaked all over the project and dried up each time after only covering 5-8 inches (which happens to be 1 brush stroke). ... you can guess the outcome of doing this. It got really dark and looked pretty bad and I had no control on it. I looked up a ton of sites of how to's and found that you supposed to dampen the leather first... 1st question: Is this true with all dyes? is it supposed to be damp first with all types of dyes in general? (I don't know what my dye is... it don't say but it does say it has alcohol in it.)

Many places listed a few dyes...but from what I gathered. There's spirit dyes, oil based dyes, alcohol dyes and water based dyes... 2nd Question: Is this true? Is that all of the types or are they not explaining everything or are they mixing things up?

So the next day my project was as hard as a rock. So I took water and used a sponge and soaked it to spread out the dyes... it worked a good bit and evened out the blotches. I then took it and flexed it a bunch to help the fibers... after a few hours of flexing it and letting it dry; it felt somewhat better. So I took out saddle soap and drenched it with a sponge and vigorously rubbed it in. Saddle soap is to help restore the leathers natural properties... So I figured it couldn't hurt as this point. After applying it 2 times. It's now 80% better! I kept it moving as well for hours while it dried. So I hope that part helps out others as well if they find themselves stuck like I did.

Here's my last question... I have few options for finishes and I'm confused on what to do. 1st... the saddle soap helped allot... do I even bother with adding a finishing protective coat? I'm not sure if it is considered a finish or not...? 2nd: I have the following finishes available and they all seem to be just as good as the other and I have no clue what to use and if 1 of them would screw it up again or whatever. and can I use more than one of them?

Here is the list of what I have.

-Fiebing's Leather Balm with atom wax (neutral)

(The side says: ... is specially formulated for cleaning, softening, polishing and restoring smooth leather, shoes, handbags, boots and sporting goods. Buffs to a rich, satiny gloss. Do not use on fibrous or suede finish leathers. Protect from freezing.)

-Carnauba Creame Leather Finish #22012-01 by LF Tandy

(The side says: Natural Carnuba Creme - Recommended for fast, easy application on all leather goods. Tandy's carnauba Creme provides a natural wax finish that resist finger prints and scuff marks.)

-Snow-proof Weatherproofing - Original formula

(Helps prevent mildew, dry rot, salt stains, and scuff marks.

-Fiebings's Saddle Soap - Clean and Polish in one easy Step. This is not a liquid version

(Bottom says: Cleans thoroughly while restoring the natural preservative leather oils. ... Cleans leather and lubricates the fibers to prevent brittleness... Maintaining suppleness and strength.)

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Edited by hunteil

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a lot of questions for my little brain but I'll try to answer them. You have a 'spirit' dye if yours has alcohol in it. I use a particular dark brown like this and it does really stiffen things up. How I do ALL my dyeing no matter what type I'm using is dampen the leather to make it spread more evenly. Then I do buff the excess off. Then I put a finish on it...resolene or mop 'n glo both cut with water on it. I burnish my edges and then I get to work on the stiffness. I use bag balm to condition the leather and work it in with my hands and work the leather maybe 1/2 hour. Turning it under into a roll or what ever shape it would make sense to roll it under. There are a ton of conditioners you can buy specifically for softening your leather but I just like the way bag balm works. Saddle soap isn't a finish, it won't protect the leather from the elements. Also I don't think any of the other things you listed are either except maybe the snow proof one but I've never used it. So to me the most inexpensive AND best thing you could do is go to the store and buy mop 'n glo and cut it with water and brush it on and let it dry. Buy some bag balm at the store too. Most places carry it because it's used for so many other things than cows. After your mop 'n glow is dry, rub the bag balm all over it and work it in. It will probably be greasy after you finish but on dry leather it will soak all in over night and your leather will practically drape. I hope this helped some. Cheryl

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, I'm far from an expert on this topic but had the same problem and it almost made me stop dying leather. I tried something different on my last holster and it worked pretty good.

First, I clean the surface of the leather with some denatured alcohol.

Second, I applied a light coating of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Third, I used a piece of sheepskin and applied two light coats of dye.

Fourth, I applied a second light coat of EVOO.

Fifth, I buffed off any excess dye.

Seemed to work okay.

I recently went away from the dyes with alcohol and started using water based dyes and stains and have had really good results so far.

I use a 50/50 coat of resolene and water to seal some of my work. Other times I use Skidmore's leather cream. Both have given me good results.

I just recently ordered a quart of leather balm with Atom wax, has not arrived yet so I cannot give an opinion on it yet.

Hope this helps a little.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the information guys.

I just found out why I was so confused on most of the options out there. I buy Tandy products b/c thats all I can find around here. I bought their Pro-dye products 5 years ago. Right now they don't sell that. They switch to Eco-Flo which is a Eco friendly version without all the super harsh chemicals. That helps...

Is Neats Oil worth buying for the above issue btw? Saddle soap has some of that already. Just checking b/c I need to buy more dyes... I'm all out of the color I need now.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have never used neatsfoot oil for anything. I don't mean to say it can't help in some situations, but get your dyes for now. Anyway that's what I would do. If you can't find any bag balm, vasoline works too. Cheryl

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Neatsfoot oil tends to darken the leather and can make a nice light dye really dark, I pretty much use Extra Virgin Olive Oil on all my goods with the exception of tack items. I have found that if you apply too much neatsfoot oil it never goes away and can leave oil marks on clothing and belts. Just my opinion.

The Eco-Flo dye has been great for me and seems to have very little if no bleed off onto clothing, it just takes longer to dry before you assemble and stitch. I have also been playing around with the water based stains and some of the colors and finish are really nice.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...