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Author Topic: Black to brown...  (Read 1771 times)
Archaeo_fozz
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« on: April 29, 2009, 07:53:30 pm »

I have a really nice nackerd pair of old new rocks, they are black leather, but i want them to me made brown! any one got any idea how to do this without further destroying them?
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Alessio
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2009, 08:00:27 pm »

Sadly I'm not sure if you can revert black to brown. I know for a fact that you can do brown to black with the right dyes, but once the leather is died I dont think that you can take the dye out without permentanly damaging the wood.

Dont take my word for it, there are plently more knowledgable people than me on the forums, I just share what I've heard.
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Titus Wells
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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2009, 08:09:08 pm »

I'd have to agree. Although you can bleach leather I think once dyed always dyed. For various shows in the past we've sprayed shoes with assorted paints to re-colour them but never found anything that would be suitable as a permanant finish.
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Mr. Hatchett
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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2009, 09:02:00 pm »

A friend of mine who is retired US Army told me that in boot camp they were made to "take down" their boots, scrubbing the boots until the dyed surface of the leather was scoured off, and reapplying polish until they shone again.  I have yet to find this technique or any mention of it elsewhere, but the man is not given to idle boasting, so I have to think it's possible to do it.
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« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2009, 09:09:17 pm »

If the boots are "dyed through", that is the leather is black on the inside, then there is no way to make them brown.  If the boots were originally brown and then they are polished to black (as some army boots are/were) then you can "take them back".
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Archaeo_fozz
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« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2009, 09:44:28 pm »

Yes i think the boods are dyed through, though in truth i dont think they need to be completley bleach away from black, since i want them in dark brown anyway, and i think that any bluey-blacknes that is left with brown over the top  would give them a nice weird oily look?

Opinions? ( that took me ages to tye, i typed onions atleast twice before i got to the desired word!)
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Mr. Hatchett
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« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2009, 12:26:37 am »

I'd only try it with something I wasn't afraid of ruining, personally.  In my limited experience with that sort of thing, it's too easy to end up with purple if your added warm color dye is too red, or green if it's too yellow.
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Zwack
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« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2009, 02:25:35 am »

Find a less noticeable corner of the leather (the edge of the tongue maybe) and try scraping the surface away very carefully.  If you can scrape it to Grey then you can do that with the whole surface and redye it.  If you only uncover black then you're stuck with black.

Z.
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mykeamend
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« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2009, 04:41:51 am »

Easy, at least it goes easy for me anyway.

Through high school, I made a living painting leather jackets and boots - gave people album covers on the backs of their jackets, and decorated them additionally elsewhere to build themes around their favorite albums, bands, genres, and the like. I often did the same thing for boots.

So, when I had a black leather suit jacket that I wanted brown, to match my leather hat and boots, I simply painted it brown.

The best way to do it convincingly, making it look like an aged brown if you so prefer, is to do so with a sponge.

If the finish on leather is still shiny, or if they have recently been polished, try buffing as much of that free as you can - a dry rag will do, a damp one will do a bit better.

Acrylic sticks well to leather as it is, but I liked being able to guarantee my paint jobs for up to 10 years, and found certain colors are harder to make stick than others.

For instance: white does not stick as well to leather that is soft or places that will do a lot of bending because the white pigments are typically grainy, red does not stick as well to hard surfaces and does not resist scuffing well because the red pigments are smooth.

So, what I typically do to make colors stick best to leather is to make the first layer very watery, allowing paint to soak into the grain and pores - each layer from there gets thicker, and sticks very well to the layer below it.

For black to brown, you probably only need two layers, the first one being only slightly watery as browns tend to be a bit on the thin side anyway. Use a lighter brown for this, lighter than the brown you want - the first layer will make the black a dark brown, the second will make it a medium brown, and of course each layer will make it lighter, bringing it closer and closer to the brown you chose.

Don't worry about coating it evenly, it will catch up with itself, and what unevenness there is in the layers beneath will cause the layers of slightly-translucent paint to look very very natural. If you cover it too perfectly/evenly, it will look less natural, and more like vinyl than leather.

You can put brown polish over that as needed, but should you get bad scuffs that need repairing, be sure to rub as much of whatever polish is on top of the paint off. You can then apply new paint with a sponge in the same manner as before.

I haven't painted a pair of new rocks before, but my jacket and my Frye boots have each gone over a year without need for any repainting in sight - and no one can tell them from old brown leather.

If you can find a pair of boots or shoes you don't care about, in your closet, at the thrift store, a $10 pair at wal-mart, I would recommend using those to practice on.
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kaffemustasj
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« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2009, 07:39:17 pm »

Mykeamend, I have just started to try out your painting method.
I am trying to turn a bright red piece of leather, into a dark brown one  Smiley
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mykeamend
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« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2009, 04:26:36 pm »

Mykeamend, I have just started to try out your painting method.
I am trying to turn a bright red piece of leather, into a dark brown one  Smiley

I use water coloring sponges that can be bought at Michaels or Hobby Lobby for $2 a bag. I hope it goes well, message me or something if you run into any problems.
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kaffemustasj
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« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2009, 02:38:40 pm »

I have just finished colouring a scrap of leather.
It was a really nice procedure to follow Smiley everything went well! The finish was quite convincing in that manner that it looks like the leather was dyed the colour I painted.
I Just used a kitchen sponge. The kind of sponge with a scrub on the one side.

Now I will move onto the larger piece of leather Wink
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mykeamend
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« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2009, 04:21:46 pm »

I have just finished colouring a scrap of leather.
It was a really nice procedure to follow Smiley everything went well! The finish was quite convincing in that manner that it looks like the leather was dyed the colour I painted.
I Just used a kitchen sponge. The kind of sponge with a scrub on the one side.

Now I will move onto the larger piece of leather Wink

Glad to know it is working out for you ^_^
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