How To Restore Your Old Leather Wallets
April 11, 2023
Jane Smith, Managing Director
Restoring an old wallet has never been easier!
We've all got old leather items lying around. Leather Wallets, leather purses, leather belts, leather shoes... even leather watch straps. This guide will show you how to rejuvenate & restore your leather items.
Its not just the above that can be restored or leather art put on them sneaker are a huge part of our business, adding custom designs to sneakers is big business, we can even train you how to do this and start up your own business as sneaker art designer.
We will use an old, worn leather wallet We'll be changing the colour of a black leather wallet to orange and grey, this is just the start of what can be achieved, you can even paint coloured art on your leather items, using the leather art paint range.
Everything we did in this guide was done using our own leather care, leather repair & leather restoration products.
Getting started with your leather wallet repair or leather restoration
Preparation is key here. If you want a quality finished product, you must spend the most time preparing the leather items that you will be working on. After this, we'll go through the leather colouring process. Then finally, sealing the leather repair paint colour in and protecting the leather to extend it's new lease of life.
* Due to the natural heavy use that wallets see daily. I wouldn't advise you to totally change the colour for a day to day wallet.
- Put on your gloves!
- You will need to use the Leather Prep to take off as much of the original leather colour as possible. You do this by applying the Leather Prep to a Red Emery pad and scrubbing in all directions. Both along and against the grain of the leather. You can conserve some of the leather prep by folding the red emery pads in half with a cloth or piece of fabric in the middle. Repeat this process until most of the colour has come away. The purpose of doing this leather prep stage is to make the leather surface absorbent again so the new leather colour repair paint will take to the surface
- Next, you want to give your wallet a good clean with the Alcohol Cleaner provided. This will remove any dirt and give the wallet a good surface to start work on.
- Once cleaned thoroughly, you will start to sand the wallet.
- Using a fine paper such as 1200to get rid of any imperfections left on the wallet.
- After sanding, wipe the leather wallet once again with alcohol cleaner.
- At this stage, you can assess the wallet and repeat the above steps: Prepping > cleaning > lightly sanding> Alcohol cleaner.
It is important to prep' the leather wallet correctly in order to achieve the best possible results.
- When you are happy with the leather prepping stage, you may use a hair dryer to remove any dampness from the leather.
- Once totally dry, decide on your design. Mask off any areas that you don't want to colour at this stage. You can mask with masking tape or you can use a masking fluid to draw a patters on, or use stencil to place over your leather wallet or whatever the leather items is your working on or doing a customs leather art paint work on.
- When satisfied: start applying the leather dye to the sponges provided. You will need to do a few coats, so please don't apply LOTS of dye. Thinner layers are better than 1 thick one.
- You can apply the first few layers of leather dye by dabbing, spreading or rubbing. I prefer the" dabbing" process. This keeps the colour even and also helps build a natural leather look.
- Alternatively, if you have the tools available - using an airbrush/airgun will also create a great finish. In between layers, you can speed up the drying process by using a hair dryer. Do not poke the leather dye at this point. You can often tell if the dye is still damp if it has a shiny look to it.
- Repeat this colouring process, building up the thing layers until you have a solid, unformed look across the whole area.
- For our wallet, we added an orange trim. We applied this colour by using a small paint brush. Applying thin layers, leaving us with a great finish.
- Repeat this leather colouring process for the inside of the leather wallet.
- This is the "locking in the leather colour stage". Using a personal choice of leather lacquers, Gloss, Matt or Satin. Apply the leather Lacquer in the same way as the colour.
- Again, speed up the drying process with a hair dryer.
- Finally, once the leather dye has been sealed using the lacquer leather sealer, we can protect the leather to help extend its life and prevent stains or dirt. Apply the Leather Protection Cream with built leather aromas, this gives the wallet a stain protection system to prevent stains and dirt build up in the future.
With any leather wallet or whatever the leather items are this process above is the same, these steps above for restoring this leather wallet were to do a custom job on it to show what can be achieved. But follow these steps to carry out a restoration on your leather wallet or leather goods.