4 Ways How to recolor leather bag, Shoes, Jacket

How to recolor leather bag

Have you ever heard about recoloring the leather? Maybe you hear that but do not know that? How can you dye the leather bag? Sound crazy, right! Well, you have zero experience with dyeing leather good. 

So be with us. Even a tiny mistake can deteriorate the whole leather bag or leather goods. 

 Don’t don that any mistakes while dyeing the leather. It is most important to know “How to recolor leather bag.”  

Because some leathers are not dyeable, you couldn’t apply the leather dye before getting any information about them.

According to the report of Thefashionlaw, vintage bag sales are going to rocket if you are using the old tanned leather bag, then you are going forward.

You can give your leather bag a new life with the recolor method—all in your hands. You can show your creativity and imagination on the leather bag.

Although it’s not that easy, leather dyeing is a subject of trial and practice, but what a little bit of practice, you can master this art, and of course, it may sound cliche, but practice makes a man perfect!

Our detailed guide will help you start from preparing the leather for dyeing to finishing and sealing the leather after dyeing. 

Let’s get started.

What is leather Dyeing?

What is leather dyeing

Before we jump on the other method, now we know “how to recolor leather bag” let’s first look at what is leather dye? 

Leather dye is a pigmented substance mixed with base substances like water, alcohol, and oil applied to leather fibers to change the leather’s original color. 

The tanning industry has introduced dye of synthetic origin in its tanning process.

Why We Do Leather Dye?

Why do we dye leather

Although leather itself looks so sexy with this original texture and excellent stylish. Then why dye leather any further?

While there are some reasons for dyeing leather.

  • After maintaining years, your favorite leather bag or jacket might start to fade its original color, and you can bring it to life again by dyeing it in some fantastic shades and designs. 
  • Another good reason is that replacing the leather color, be it your leather bag, leather jacket, leather belt, leather shoes, and even pieces of leather furniture because of faded colors, is quite expensive compared to dyeing them.
  • Fading and color loss is a natural process. It’ll happen after frequent use or exposure to the sun and need a new coat of dye.
  • Dyeing leather is an individual’s preference for something different from the usual color shades of brown or black. Although dyeing leather is an art and a way to express your imagination and artwork on leather substantial.
  • The last reason for doing the recolor of leather is that it will be peeled after frequent use of leather appearance. You can fix and, after, change the color(whenever we repair peeled leather, it changes color so you can dye the leather to avoid the unmatched color and get a new look at your leather appearance).

Types Of Leather Dyes

There are several kinds of leather dyes available in the market, and every leather dye has a different aspect for applying on the leather. Here are some most popular types of leather dyes that you can use to liven up the ultimate piece of art.

Acid Dyes

Acid dyes add the colorant simultaneously as an organic and inorganic acid. We call the dye “acid.” In an acidified water solution, the dye acts as an acid and combines with the basics groups of the skin.

Once adding the color, 

the product should be in the dye for about 15 minutes or more to get the desired level of dyeing. More time will be helpful in the leveling of color on the substance. They are also great for creating “fancy” shades – red, green, blues, or pastel. You can use acid dye with any other dye except basic dyes. 

Basic Dyes

As the name suggested, the direct dye, so here in this, has a high color value and is among the brightness dye available. Primary colors give full shades if the proper selection is made. 

If you change the color with a dark color or after you want a lighter color, it could not be easy to change the color of the dye. So if you are planning to dye your leather in the darkest color, then go for these dyes.

Sulfur Dyes

Sulfur dyes are known for deeper penetration, high wash fastness, and high lightfastness if you keep in sunlight for too long to prevent washing from taking away the substance.

Natural Dye

If you ask how to dye leather naturally, technically, the sun is a natural dye. You can tan your leather accessories like a leather jacket, leather boots, leather messenger bag, leather briefcase, etc., by keeping them in direct sunlight for not more the 30-50 minutes. It does take time, but it tans the leather dye naturally. Many leather crafters use this method to change leather colors to a darker color naturally.

Which Type Of Can Be Dyed

Ideally, most leather that does not have any protective finish applied can be dyed. Also, a leather piece with light color can be dyed into darker shades easily, but a leather piece of original dark color cannot be easily dyed into a lighter shade. 

So keep in mind these things before doing coloring the leather.

Natural vegetable-tanned leather is one of the most famous options for dyeing.

How To Restore Faded Leather Bag

Over time, the leather develops an exemplary character and patina, maintaining our status. You could be seeing some undesirable or uneven fading. Here we share with you how you can restore color to the leather. Although, it will take some diligence on the top end to find a high-quality polish in the right color. Here we highlight how to restore a soft leather bag in 4 steps. 

Things that need

  • Gloves
  • Clean, white cotton ball
  • Leather cleaner 
  • Leather Conditioner 
  • High-quality leather polish 
  1. Prepare the leather before getting the restored color of the leather. You have to know how to prep your bag for polish. Begin by gently cleaning the bag’s entire outer surface with a quality leather cleaner. Next, move on to your leather conditioner
  2. Polish apply the leather polish on the faded leather using a cotton ball/rag. Always wear gloves and use a clean, white microfiber cloth when polishing your leather bag. Use the same method as you did when applying your leather conditioner. After you touch up the areas of soft leather, allow the polish to soak in for about 20-30 minutes.  
  3. Buff, use a clean cotton cloth to rub off excess polish, and puff the leather bag, just as you do after applying the leather conditioner. Be sure to buff the leather with a clean rag after each application to avoid having a polish transfer to other surfaces. Moving forward, apply the leather conditioner to your leather bag at regular intervals to extend it for decades and look its best.

Recommended Products 

How Do You Remove Dye From Leather

How Do You Remove Dye From Leather

Dye transfer occurs when a colored dye bleeds onto another piece of leather. This usually happens when garments of contrasting colors. 

It can also occur when a wet garment comes in contact with another fabric for an extended time. At the same time, we have already made a dedicated article around the leather stains removal method.

  • Make a mixture of two cups of warm water, one tablespoon liquid dish soap, or one tablespoon white vinegar.
  • Mix the proper ingredients, saturate a clean sponge with the mixture, and blot the entire dye stain.
  • While you can use a dye removal solution to remove the dye stains.
  • So leave the vinegar mixture for 5 minutes. Wet the sponge once more and re-blot until the stain disappears.
  • Clean the excess vinegar with a soft cloth.

How to Paint Faux Leather

Pleahter or faux leather is synthetic leather, and it’s a fabric made with a plastic coating designed to emulate the look of real leather. Some paint may adhere for a while but crack or peel off when the fabric fold and moves. 

  1. Place an old newspaper on the ground or work surface. Set the faux leather on the newspaper.
  2. Apply masking tape to the area where you can’t want to dye.
  3. Now dab the brush into leather dye while wearing hand gloves to protect your hands during the dyeing. Buff the area of the faux leather that you wish to paint using acetone to prepare it for painting. Wipe the buffed area again with a damp cloth, then leave it for a few hours.
  4. Allow the base coat to dry completely. For some leather paints, drying takes only 15-20 minutes. Before putting the next coat on, make sure your last coat is completely dry.
  5. Apply the second layer of paint over the first, keeping the second this. Allow the paint to dry completely between coats, slowly building up paint layers until the color looks solid and perfect on the leather.
  6. Now is the time to clean the paint from hardware, metal handles, buckle, and zipper. For cleaning these, you can use the cleaning solution.

We have already made a more specific article about fixing your peel leather.

Color Mixing Guide 

Color mixing guide

While making custom colors is difficult if the colors are like red, blue, black, and green, that’s okay, but if the colors are like dray, brown, violet, it’s different represent different color shades. 

Every color has thousands of shades. If we put white, the color will be lighter, or if we put black, then the color will be darker.

Sometimes, it is a tricky method, and we get different color shades from the actual color.

Here you get a brief idea about your leather color and how you can get these perfect contain of each color to match with your leather.

How To Dye Leather In 4 Easy Steps

How to dye leather in 4 easy steps

Before putting any coat on the direct leather, first, try this process on test pieces of leather to get more 

friendly and confident with the process before dyeing the final goods. 

Let’s see how to recolor a leather bag or leather in 4 steps.

1. Preparation 

  • Leather dye has some chemicals, so the best way is that you can apply the leather dye outdoor or ventilated area. Because leather dye has been highly toxic when breathed in for a longer duration. So, you can dye your leather outdoor or a ventilated space.
  • Clean your leather before moving for the coloring of the leather.
  • Wear gloves on hand before start applying the dye.
  • Cover the surface with old newspaper to avoid dye marks on the surface.
  • The chemical used in dyeing leather works best in ideal weather conditions. Suppose the environment is warmer or cold, so it’s not suitable for leather dye. Well, you could not apply the leather dye to sunlight. The dye won’t be able to work at its best.
  • Use a brush, cotton ball, or soft cloth for drying the corners and edge of the leather and soft cloth to remove the dye from the hardware.
  • Keep all the items with yours like leather dye, leather conditioner, leather polish, and leather wax.

2. Mix with Solution

  • Whatever you choose your color, the density of the dye to be used depends upon you. Make sure could not use the light color on the darker color if you want to make it lighter, so you must have applied the more coat of light, then it will look perfect.
  • Cut your dye and apply it to leather with a leather brush or cotton swabs. 
  • It is most recommended to cut the dye with the base you are using. Use water to dilute alcohol-based, oil for oil-based, water-based, and so on.

3. Apply The Dye

  • There are many options for applying the dye on leather, soft cotton swabs, and a brush to make it easy.
  • Gently apply the dye on leather with a thin coat with a circular motion to get even spread.
  • After completely drying the first leather dye, the second coat in the same steps to get the desired color.
  • Now you completely dye the leather, so now time to dry the dye. Allow the leather dye for a whole day to dry thoroughly. Avoid touching the leather; otherwise, it will ruin the finish.

4. Finishing and Conditioning The Leather

I’m sure you are happy to see your excellent results, and I think you enjoy the coloring process.

  • Most commonly, chemicals are used in leather dye. It can often dry out the natural fibers. To help ensure they are adequately maintained and last long. It’s essential to condition the leather after dye. Conditioner is necessary once in six months. 
  • Apply the leather conditioner in a circular motion and use a microfiber cloth. It will take a few hours to get set. After leather, absorb the conditioner, then remove the excess leather conditioner with a soft cloth.
  • The last step is to wax the leather. It also extends the life of the leather. Meanwhile, it makes some waterproofing coating. While you can get a glossy, shine finish with leather wax.


Hurry, we have finished it. Now we can turn our leather color into a new leather color or feels like new leather and return the new leather smells with the conditioner and wax. I hope you enjoy this whole process. You can share your favorite part of this process, which process you had enjoyed more. If we missed out on any step, you could comment down, we will add it to our article. 

Once again, don’t forget to mention your experience if you even apply any leather dye on leather. Can you perfectly do that?


1. What paint can I use on faux leather?

Ans. You can use Acrylic paint is perfect for using to paint faux leather. It is flexible, adhere well to faux leather, and won’t crack with flap close and open. 

2. Can you dye already dyed leather?

Ans. Yes, we can, but here is a small problem if we have a purse with a darker color, so we have to do some hardwork on for drying. 

3. How do you add color to leather?

Ans. There are four types of color made leather, acid, basic, sulfur, and natural color. Above, we share more details around these colors and different variations.

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