vovi

Leather finish problem!

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Hello, I am new to this forum and from Slovenia-Europe so please excuse my grammar mistakes. Let me just say that i really like this page. It is awesome and so helpful!  I am a professional dog collar maker, sewing the collars from webbing, but recently decided to start making leather dog collars. I use vegetable tanned natural leather, i paint patterns on it with Angelus acrylic paint, then I apply 6 layers of Resolene (50:50) and finish with beeswax conditioner. The problem is the Resolene finish, because after only a week of my dog wearing the collar, the top coat is totaly scratched, the paint is cracking and chipping away, its like there would be no protection layer at all. What am i doing wrong here?! What kind of durable finish do you recomend? Please help me, because i am loosing my mind

Edited by vovi

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First questions; do you thin the paint before application? allowing the first two or three coats to soak into the leather then building up the colour with more applications of the thinned paint?

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I can't access that picture

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It is an Apple format, used in recent iphones..only half the data size of jpeg..

Converted HTH :)

IMG_9641 2.jpg

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1 hour ago, vovi said:

Hello, I am new to this forum and from Slovenia-Europe so please excuse my grammar mistakes. Let me just say that i really like this page. It is awesome and so helpful!  I am a professional dog collar maker, sewing the collars from webbing, but recently decided to start making leather dog collars. I use vegetable tanned natural leather, i paint patterns on it with Angelus acrylic paint, then I apply 6 layers of Resolene (50:50) and finish with beeswax conditioner. The problem is the Resolene finish, because after only a week of my dog wearing the collar, the top coat is totaly scratched, the paint is cracking and chipping away, its like there would be no protection layer at all. What am i doing wrong here?! What kind of durable finish do you recomend? Please help me, because i am loosing my mind

Vovi, . . . 

I see three problems, . . . which contribute to an overall process that needs to be scrapped, . . . or severely changed.

1)  the paint definitely needs to be thinned, . . . and if you would first use a swivel knife to outline the area you want to paint, . . . you could use dye in that area, . . . which would penetrate and not ever flake off like paint will ALWAYS DO.  Paint and leather simply are not made for each other, . . . but like driving a convertible car in Iceland, . . . under certain conditions it is OK.

2)  resolene must first be thinned, . . . I do a 1 to 1 thinning, equal parts of both resolene and thinner.  It also must be put on in thin coats.   Thick coats of resolene will produce a top coat that will crack, break, flake and be generally not acceptable.  AND 2 or 3 at the most, . . . THIN coats is more than adequate to protect the leather.

3)  beeswax conditioner put on after the resolene is a total waste of a good product.  The resolene will prevent the conditioner from doing anything but laying on top of the surface, actually only giving you an added bit of shine that you can get from a much cheaper and better product:  shoe polish.

May God bless,

Dwight

 

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Thank you so much for suggestions.... so how many layers of paint would be ok? What if I lightly sand the top of the leather strap off? I have thinned the resolene  with water 1:1 and applied it very light, but it seems that there is no protection at all. Are 3 layers really enough? I have so many questions so thank you again

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Well, my friend, . . . I also am beginning to think you are trying to produce a product that will never age, never wear out, etc.

Leather products are by design, . . . going to wear, . . . and the harder the work, . . . the more the wear:  ie shoe soles as an example, . . . one year is a long life for leather shoe soles.  And 20 meters from the shop, . . . they will look worn and the finish will start coming off.

Your dog collars, . . . unless they are only put on for dog shows, . . . or walking the dog up and down the street, . . . they are going to show wear and scratches, etc, . . . especially if there are other dogs that interact with him/her.

May God bless,

Dwight

 

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I understand i cant make the collar to look like new for next 10 years, but still want to make something that will last more than just a few days, something more durable than this, because my dog had this collar on for a few days which is a very short period of time. As i said this is my first time working with leather so any suggestions are helpful

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Here's how I would tackle this;

Veg tan leather, use a swivel knife or even a very sharp craft knife to cut into the grain side the pattern required - just a very shallow cut. Apply main colour dye in areas not to be painted. Thin the paint, to milk like. Apply paint in several thin coats, allow the first, second and even the third coats of thinned paint to soak into the leather, let them dry a bit, about a 1/2 hour between coats. Further coats just to get the colour density, not too many more coats. Let everything dry for at least 24 hours in a warm environment. Then apply thinned Resolene or Super Sheene. Let first couple of coats dry as per the paint. A couple more coats [4 in total] should have it all sealed. Allow to dry for at least 24 hours in a warm environment, then let it cure for at least another 24 hours - there is a difference between 'dry' and 'cured'.  Resolene is an acrylic finish which needs time to cure.

Thats just the painting bit. Hardware attached and edges bevelled and slicked before painting and after pattern cut.

 

My old favourite; this painted knife sheath. Painted with modellers acrylic paints. Lasted about 8 years in and out of a box full of chainmaille armour and other stuff. Never looked after. Still a little bit presentable but needs a repaint - when I find it again in my 'to do' boxes!

New; 1042635361_scabbard2.jpg.945f563f8f75a47994cd97fa85d228e4.jpg

Later:516522961_scabbard104.jpg.4f9fd42b2122d54c59b7deac937416eb.jpg

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This looks pretty good for 8 years if you ask me. Tomorrow i will try it again with all your suggestions guys. What about sanding the top of leather off where the pattern is?

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6 minutes ago, vovi said:

What about sanding the top of leather off where the pattern is?

Not recommended at all

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Thick layers of paint or finish crack and flake off with continual flexing.  Need to minimize the total thickness to avoid early failures.

Tom

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I can see now that the first thing i should do is to thin the paint, because it builded up on top of the leather

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