Many people love the unique look of aged leather material. The reason is that good leather types tend to appear cool after some years of use. If you want your leather to age premature, learn how to age leather. Thus, you can also achieve such a worn look with new leather without waiting for years to pass.
When you use a leather item for a long time, it wears out as the color begins to fade. You’ll also notice spots and other things that come with aging. The process gives it a distinct, vintage appearance that makes it look even better than when it was new.
This piece will show you how to achieve this weathered look in a fresh leather item in some simple steps.
How to Age Leather
Whether you want to know how to age leather jackets or how to age leather shoes, the natural way to go about it will be to use it frequently for a long time, and the years will reveal more of its beauty. But here are steps to beat the years and age of new leather.
How to Age Leather with Rubbing Alcohol
The things you’ll need for this process include:
- Rubbing alcohol
- Grit sandpaper
- A buffing brush
- Leather conditioner
- A bucket
- Rubber gloves
Fill the rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle for easy application while working on the leather material. You can get the isopropyl alcohol from general stores or drug stores if you don’t have it at home.
Put the leather you want to age into a bucket, wear the rubber gloves, and spray a generous quantity of rubbing alcohol to cover the leather item. The alcohol will help remove some color if the leather material is colored.
Now begin to beat up the leather item; you can wring, squeeze tightly, and even crease it into a ball. The process will create folds and lines on the item’s surface. So, you can go as hard on the leather as how aged you want it to appear when you’re through with the process.
You can also apply some dirt and stains if you want more faded look. However, you should be careful not to go hard on stains like ink, so that you won’t have to deal with removing ink stains from leather.
When you are satisfied with beating up the leather, get it out of the bucket and place it on a flat surface. Then, scrape the leather surface with sandpaper till you achieve a worn look. You can work more on shoe heels, the elbow of jackets, and other exposed areas to show more aging signs.
If it’s a handbag and you want to know how to age leather strap, you can scrape that area harder to get a more worn look.
Next is to condition the leather with a leather conditioner. You can apply it to the item using a soft cloth or a microfiber towel and remove the excess with a damp cloth. Then, buff using a clean rag or a soft brush to give it a fresh look.
How to Age Leather with Powdered Cleanser
The things you’ll need include:
- Spray bottle
- A powdered cleanser for cleaning tough stains
- Wire brush
- A clean cloth
- Leather conditioner
Step 1: Pour some water into a spray bottle and spray it all over the leather to dampen it. Ensure that the leather doesn’t become soaked, it should just be damp. This process will help to soften the item you want to age and make it easy to work.
Step 2: Pour a generous quantity of the powdered cleanser over the leather or parts of the leather item you wish to age. You can use a powdered cleanser that contains some bleach but don’t use pure bleach as it can ruin the leather.
Step 3: Get the wire brush and use it to scrub the leather. It’ll help the cleanser to get into the leather and give it a worn look. Use the brush for some time to work the leather and let the cleanser settle in.
Step 4: Let the cleanser paste sit on the leather for about an hour or more. Then, use a clean, damp cloth to wipe it off the surface of the leather.
Step 5: Apply a leather conditioner to the leather surface. A leather conditioner helps to rehydrate leather to restore its shine and give it a perfect look. Then, buff it with a soft cloth to give it a super look.
Tip: If you’re wondering how to age faux leather, you can achieve a weathered look on faux leather by following the same procedures above. However, you’ll have to take off the additional shine on it before you begin and use a meat tenderizer before finishing.
3 Ways to Age Leather Quickly YouTube Video
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: How do you give the leather a patina?
You can give the leather a patina by using it often. Constant use will expose the leather to climatic conditions that will affect its look as the years go by. The sun can give it a gold shade, rains introduce watermarks, while oils and dirt from human skin can introduce dark shades.
Q: How do you darken leather?
You can darken leather by using candle wax. The simple steps to follow are:
- Remove the wick and metal of a tea candle to have only the wax.
- Rub in the wax on the part of the leather you wish to darken.
- Apply heat to the waxed leather surface by rubbing a felt cloth/pad there. It’ll cause the wax to melt into the leather.
That is how to age leather with wax, especially when looking for how to age white leather and other bright-colored leather items.
Q: What is the fastest way to age a leather jacket?
A fast way to age a leather jacket is by wearing it outdoors. The heat from the sun will make the jacket fade and have a lighter shade.
You can also use a washing method that involves soaking the jacket in soapy water inside the washing machine and allowing it to wash. Wring out the extra water to create wrinkles on the jacket, and then dry in a dryer set at medium heat. You can repeat the process till you get your desired look.
Q: How long does it take for patina to develop?
You may begin to see the signs of patina within some weeks or months of constant use and exposure to factors that aids it. However, it may take some years before it develops fully. Patina is a gradual process, but it’s worth the wait whether it starts showing in a few weeks or years.
Q: How can I soften my leather jacket?
You can soften a leather jacket by applying leather conditioner to it. The conditioner will supply moisture to the coat and make it supple. You can also apply coconut oil to the leather after hanging it in the sun for about 5 minutes.
Q: How do you distress a leather coat?
The steps to distress a leather coat are:
- Pour some rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle and spray it on the leather coat to make it damp.
- Knead, crease, and beat up the coat as much as you can while it’s still damp.
- Use sandpaper to scrub the coat to create a worn look.
- Throw and rub the jacket on the dry ground outdoors to make it appear a bit old.
- Clean off the excess dirt and dust with a soft cloth.
- Apply a leather conditioner to the leather jacket and buff it with a clean cloth.
Aged leather has become a fashion trend that many people love as old leather seems to be the new again. Knowing how to age leather is an advantage because you won’t have to wait for years to pass before enjoying the benefits of leather that have seen many years.