Clintock

Wood stain for leather.

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Anyone ever used wood stain to achieve a color on leather? I've searched forums and can't seem to find it anywhere. Asking because I have plenty of wood stain from various projects but no dye for leather. Wondering if it will dry enough to coat with leather sheen or resolene, or would it be too gummy. May just try some on a piece of scrap but was hoping someone knew before I went through the trouble. 

Edited by Clintock

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I've used Varathane brand Red Chestnut wood stain before. It does take longer to dry and takes more work to buff but it came out pretty close to the same color as when used on pine. Recommended? not really. Doable? yes.

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Appreciate it. I'm gonna give it a go and hopefully achieve lighter and darker areas. Might just have a leather paper weight when finished. 

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There is a guy on here that does some wicked holsters with wood stain. I have seen his posts, but don't remember his handle.

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Since I am primarily a woodworker rather than leather worker, I keep a lot of wood stains and dyes stocked. I've always avoided pigmented wood stains (think thin paint) for leather since I am afraid the results would be blotchy and unnatural looking. I actually don't use pigmented stains much for wood either. I prefer aniline dyes for wood to get a more transparent finished look. I've used the same dyes on leather with good results. The dyes I use are primarily water or alcohol based. I do apply a finish (Tandy's Eco-Flo Professional) over them to avoid any bleed-out. I recently used some Fiebings leather dye on a leather project and liked the results I got. It seems like the Fiebings dye was more color fast when applying the finish than the wood dyes I've used.

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Used a min wax stain late last night. It's mid morning and still hasn't dried completely. The color isn't quiet as dark as I was hoping for by I could always try to run another coat across it. will try to he a picture up. And that's the first holster I've made that required contact cement edge burnishing or forming. 

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

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Wood stain works quite well.  I hadn't done it since I closed teh wood shop (due to space available), but THIS GUY does it very nicely.

 

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1 hour ago, JLSleather said:

Wood stain works quite well.  I hadn't done it since I closed teh wood shop (due to space available), but THIS GUY does it very nicely.

 

That's THE guy.

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I would make sure, if you try it, you don't use the stain with poly added.

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Update. I ran it over with another coat. I'd definitely recommend staining before stitching. Causes the stitches to swell. Don't know why. And stain before the use of neatsfoot oil. If any wax from the thread gets on the leather it doesn't want to take the stain well. Can also see where the stain soaked in more at the edges. But everything has a learning process and you never succeed without first learning what doesn't work. This one is going in the scrap bin. On the other hand, it does kinda old when done like that. 

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

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Nerver, ever 'bin' an item that hasn't turned out how you expected it to

Someone else will think its great and pay decent money for it. If you have a 'bin' of rejects, failures or second-quality its not good publicity for your other work

I find finishing of leather products is like art; there are no failures, just things don't turn out how it was expected to

I think that holster has a certain antique & used look to it

Edited by fredk

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A

8 minutes ago, fredk said:

Nerver, ever 'bin' an item that hasn't turned out how you expected it to

Someone else will think its great and pay decent money for it. If you have a 'bin' of rejects, failures or second-quality its not good publicity for your other work

I find finishing of leather products is like art; there are no failures, just things don't turn out how it was expected to

I think that holster has a certain antique & used look to it

Appreciate that! It's kinda growing on me and for the first one, I can accept it. Really not looking to sell anything. Have sold a couple western holsters that were not molded or stitched but laced. If I am to sell a few things that would help with the cost of materials. Wife already says I have too many hobbies. And she might be right but don't let her know I said that. :) 

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Hi, a bit late maybe but I'd like to share an experience with wood stain on leather.

I live rurally and always try to support local businesses. I very seldom buy stuff over the net. Mostly books though (abebooks or amazon). I can't get leather dye/stain locally so I thought I'd give wood stain a try. My local paint shop (very old school, they sell all the good stuff and are very friendly and will get most things others do not carry at all, like borax and shellac flakes) had a wood stain which comes in powder form in small satchels. I had a look at the msds and it turns out to be sodium chloride (table salt) and azo dyes. Which can be used for leather. The instructions said the powder should be dissolved in boiling water, or for stubborn woods, 50% water and 50% ethanol.

Had a look at the fieblings dye msds and it's mostly alcohols plus a mixture of azo and methine dyes. Hmm worth a shot.

Turns out it works fine. The leather sucks it up fine. That the dye can rub off might be an issue, so it needs sealing with wax/oil but otherwise it works ok. Works well on edges to.

Conclusion, try to find as pure dye as possible, without any additives. Azo dyes works.

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Also, a photo might help. Unstained on the top. Stained below.

20171215_213159.jpg

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