Thursday, September 6, 2012

Two-Tone Leather Bag: Leather Dye Testing

I picked up this all leather messenger bag from the thrift store for a few dollars.  But, the "vintage" bag came along with a few "vintage" stains.  And I have yet to find a good method of getting stains out of leather (if you know of one, please pass along).  You can see a couple of the stains on the front of the bag - there were also several on the back and on the shoulder strap.  

I'd heard good things about the leather dyes that you can purchase online, in a multitude of cool colors, but I didn't have the patience to order and wait for it to be delivered.

So I used Kiwi Leather Dye, which I found in the shoe department at Wal-mart.
But it only came in one color - black.

I tested it out on the strap first and it seemed to work quite well.  So then I attacked the stained sections of the bag.

in progress - after 1 coat

And finally, after probably 3-4 coats:



Close-up of the coloring.

So, my verdict on this product is pretty positive.  It covered the stains and the leather still is soft and leather-like and doesn't looked "painted".  Although I used black dye, it did turn out more of a dark brown, not a true black but I actually liked that better.  I did take a white cloth and rub it over the surface to see if any color would rub off (I was worried about it rubbing  off on clothes) and nothing came off on the cloth.  There are a few spots that I just couldn't get the dye to adhere to (you can see one in the above photo).  Not sure why but it's pretty subtle so it doesn't really bother me.  The only other issue I had was that the applicator was a bit finicky.  Sometimes the dye wanted to flow out in big globs, other times it didn't want to come out at all.  I would try this out again and may even venture in to some of the cool online colored versions.


  1. Looks pretty good for a shoe polish/dye

  2. Tarrago leather dye works great. You can buy online in many colors. Here's a link (sorry so long):