You all might have owned a few leather products at some point in your life, or you still do. But did you observe it closely?
If you did, you would notice that the color of leather keeps fading as time passes. This is because most of the leathers are dyed, and the look of dyed leather tends to alter with time. Besides, certain climatic parameters accelerate the process.
If you didn’t know, let me tell you that dyed leathers are pH sensitive, and these parameters affect the pH level in leather that ultimately results in fading.
If your items are made of high-quality grain leather, there’s always a chance of restoring it to its original color. How? You will know in this article we will tell you how to darken leather. So keep reading! Also make sure to condition leather shoes regularly.
WHAT TO DO BEFORE LEATHER DARKENING?
When leather fades, it looks lifeless, and to bring freshness to it, and you need to use some kind of polishing. You can do that by darkening your leather item. But, you should not dive straight into the darkening process.
First, you need to do some preparations before going ahead with the darkening method. Clean your leather item thoroughly before giving it a new polish. You will need the following things for cleaning;
- You would need a bristle brush
- Vacuum cleaner
- Mild soap
- Leather cleaner
- Microfiber cloth
Step 1: Dust off the leather with a vacuum or brush
This method is important because there are so many tiny particles on your leather fabric that need to be removed before cleaning or darkening. You do not want that small debris to scratch off your premium leather, so do this step first.
Step 2: Cleaning
For cleaning, you will need a soft cloth, mild soap, and tap water. Damp the cloth with the mixture of soap and water, then wash every corner of the leather surface in a circular motion.
Agitate the rag until it starts foaming. Once the foam is nicely formed, remove excess water from the cloth. Make sure the cloth is not wet; it should be damp.
Step 3: Wiping
Now that your cloth is damp, you can wipe down the leather surface. Maintain a gentle circular motion while cleaning. Also, do not forget the hidden corners; cover the surface entirely.
Wiping is very important as this will remove excess grease that has been building up in your leather for a long time. Once you are done with the cleaning, wait for some time till the fabric air dries completely.
Note: Keep the leather away from direct sunlight as it can extremely dry the fabric and cause cracks.
Once it’s completely dry, you can go ahead with the next step, i.e., Darkening.
Best ways to darken leather
1. Using oil
This sounds easy. But, you cannot use any regular oil. There are some specialized oils such as Mink oil, coconut oil, neatsfoot oil that moisturize, protect, and darken your leather.
If you specifically have suede leather items such as sofa, recliner, etc., I recommend using neatsfoot oil, but if not, you can use darken leather with coconut oil.
How to dark leather using oil:
2. Using coffee powder
This is the easiest method of all as coffee is a very common household item that can naturally make your leather 2 or 3 shades darker.
In addition, coffee is a chemical-free item, so you can be relaxed about its usage on your leather. You can use any brewed coffee no matter if it’s cheap or expensive, as the results will be the same. So, I recommend you use regular brewed coffee.
Brewed coffee, filtered water, sponge, cloth
3. Using walnut hulls
Black walnuts are perfect for darkening leather. Walnut hulls come in the form of powder, granules, etc. You can use them as per your choice or availability.
This is another great method of darkening your leather because it’s a natural ingredient, so it will be harmless and effective too.
Gloves, walnut hulls, water, container, strainer, sponge, cloth.
Steps to darken leather boots using walnut hulls:
5. Using Polish
This method can be used mostly for leather bags, boots, and shoes and proves to be effective if you want to know how to darken leather boots.
The shoe polish has wax in it that penetrates deep into the layers of leather. The more application you do, the darker the color will be.
Brush applicator, soft dry rag, neutral black shoe polish.
THINGS NOT TO DO FOR DARKENING LEATHER
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. Can I darken leather with olive oil?
You can. But it will not be as effective as neatsfoot oil. I would not recommend olive oil for leather boots, leather sofas, or other delicates.
2. Can I put oil in new boots?
Oiling your new boots is not bad, but it’s unnecessary because your new boots already have enough oil in them. But, if you wish to keep them shining, you can apply oil once or twice a week to maintain and color leather boots.
3. Does boot oil darken leather?
Yes, it does. If you apply good quality boot oil, you will get a perfect dark hue in a single application.
4. Does mink oil darken leather?
Yes, mink oil darken leather because it contains essential fats needed to nourish and keep the leather flexible for a longer time.
I hope the ways I shared with you were helpful and relevant. These methods are effective DIY methods that you can do at home, and you don’t have to buy expensive leather conditioners and oils.
Justin is a Master Fitness Trainer, coach, and consultant. Justin holds Science degrees in biological science, natural life science, and human anatomy focus. He has been assisting as a Fitness trainer for over 15 years in the health and fitness industry. He enjoys teaching others to achieve their goals and wellness using his expertise.