Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Leather Dying DIY

I finally found the perfect summer August.  Which totally works for Texas.  They're black, and strappy with a slight but comfortable heel...I always like a little heel in my sandals.  I wear them almost daily.  So when I saw them in a tan color on clearance I jumped at the chance to buy a second pair for super cheap.  However when I saw them in person I wasn't in love with the tan color.  So I googled dying leather and lo and behold came up with a great recommendation: Tarrago leather dye.  People raved about the results and the pictures seemed to speak for themselves.  Besides it's Italian so you know it's got to be good.  I decided to give it a go.  I ordered the dye from this company--best color choices and cheapest shipping.  It seems a little silly to call this a DIY because I bought a kit and followed the directions...but I still thought others might be interested for those shoes or that purse with the shape you love, but the color you hate.  And besides, I did it myself...DIY.     

Before:  Here are the original color of the shoes.  It says you can even go from a dark color to a lighter color...but some people seemed to think the color wasn't as authentic.  I chose a metallic called "platinum" and I was skeptical as to how well it would cover over the tan.  

The dye kit:  It's a small bottle, but I still used so little.  Even people dying purses say they only used half the don't worry about the size.   

It's also supposed to come with a prep. solution but mine was shattered during shipping.  I called and they sent a new one ASAP, but the guy also said if I didn't want to wait I could just use nail polish remover.  The preparer is to remove dirt and other leather polishers...I wasn't too worried about my shoes so I went ahead with the nail polish remover.  I just wiped the shoes clean using the remover and some cotton pads.  

 Next I stated sponging on the dye.  You can use the brush, but that was more for the details like around the buckle, the sponge gave a nice even coverage.  As you can see the leather takes the dye really well.  

After one coat:  Covered but you can obviously see sponge strokes and brush marks.  

After a couple coats and some touching up, voila!  They're completely covered and you would never guess I dyed these at home!  I love the results.  However...I'm not crazy about the color.  They feel a little middle-aged-woman-shopping-at-Chicos.  But the results are great and I can just order another color and try again right!    

I seriously can't wait to dig through my closet and look for more shoes and even purses to dye.

Yay for dying leather!  

*Please note that there is separate dye for suede.


  1. That is totally amazing! Who knew you could just dye leather? It looks so nice.... Maybe I'll go dig around my closet for something to experiment with!

  2. Did you say in the post where you actually got your shoes?? they are darling!

  3. I am so glad to read this! I have a purse that is just perfect other than the color. I will definitely be giving this a try. Thank you so much!