Can you dye a brown leather couch black

Published by
31 May 2024
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Leather furniture is popular among many people and for good reason. A good piece of leather furniture, be it a leather chair, leather sofas, or anything else, can last for years and is completely timeless. Sometimes, though, we buy a piece of leather furniture only to later wish we'd chosen a different colour.

But that's where leather couch dye comes in. As long as you're not working with a sensitive leather like aniline leather or suede, you can easily dye most leather furniture relatively easily. This means that you can take your dark brown leather couch to a slick black sofa in no time at all!

How to get the best results with leather dye

There are a few different things to consider when using leather dye. These can help to ensure that any leather dye job you do gets just as successful results as a professionally done job. So if you want to take your leather sofa from drab to fab, keep these five tips in mind in order to really improve your leather furniture.

Follow any instructions

When you buy leather dye or leather finish, or even leather cleaning products, be sure to follow the instructions that they come with. Leather is a temperamental material and it's important to treat your leather sofa well otherwise you could fins that in trying to get a darker colour, you ruin the material.

Evenly coat the leather furniture

Even coats are crucial. In order to get the best leather colour when you dye leather furniture, you must apply coats that are the same thickness. This can be hard to do, so just be sure to take your time and pay full attention to what you're doing in order to be sure you achieve an even and solid colour change on your leather sofa.

Let each coat dry

Leather sofas and other leather products will get darker as the dye dries. It is therefore crucial to let each coat dry completely when dyeing leather furniture before you put another coat of leather dye on. This will give you the best control over what colour your leather sofa comes out as.

Clean the leather first

Leather cleaning is essential when dyeing as it ensures you can really get even coats. You should hoover, dust, brush and clean your leather couch, including any small seams and tucked away areas before you get started.

Make sure the leather sofa is dry

Once you have put the final coat and leather finish on the leather sofa, do not rush into sitting on it. If you sit on the sofa too early you will smudge the dye, ruining your clothes and the top coat. It is best to leave the leather sofa to dry completely rather than risk doing so!

A step-by-step guide to dyeing leather furniture:

If you do decide you want to change your dark brown leather sofa black, it is important to make sure you know what you're doing. This will make sure that your leather has a good leather finish and that you still love your leather sofa when done.

You will need:

  • A bowl or container
  • Drop cloths
  • Paintbrushes
  • Soft cloth or sponge
  • Leather dye
  • Masking tape
  • Cotton wool balls
  • Leather prep wipe
  • Applicator sponge
  • Leather sealant
  • Abrasive pad

You should:

  1. Prepare the area: open windows and ensure that you are working in a well ventilated area. You should place drop cloths on the floor and cover any parts of the sofa you do not want to dye in a cloth or masking tape.
  2. Prepare yourself: find gloves and protective clothing or clothes that you do not mind damaging. It is essential to wear gloves, otherwise you will dye your skin as well as the leather sofa.
  3. Prepare the leather: you should gently rub the leather with an abrasive pad in order to remove any leather waxes or silicones that the manufacturer may have added. On the sides, you may find that rubbing alcohol is enough to do this. This process will also help to remove cracks and creases. Any creased and cracked areas that are not removed here should be filled and sanded. Once you notice colour coming off of the leather, you can stop using the rubbing alcohol/pad as the finish has been suitably removed.
  4. Clean the leather: using a leather prep wipe, clean the leather sofa diligently. Once that's done, you should then go in with alcohol and clean the sofa further to remove any further polish or wax. Afterwards, wait for at least 30 minutes for the cleaner to dry completely.
  5. Apply the first coat: using the applicator sponge you should start to work the colour into the leather. You should apply light pressure as you work and try to apply a thin coat. If you get a foam on the surface just wipe it away gently. Once one coat is applied, let it dry completely before going in again.
  6. Apply the second coat, and so on: continue to apply coats to your leather couch until you are satisfied with the colour change. Remember that dye darkens as it dries, so you should always leave your leather couch to dry before determining whether or not to do a final coat. If you want to hurry along the dyeing process you can use a hair dryer to get the leather to dry quicker.
  7. Apply a sealant: you should then apply a leather sealant to protect the leather dye and your leather sofa. A leather top coat works as a protective coating and should be applied by following the manufacturer's instructions. These are usually very similar to the dyeing process.

Leather dye vs leather paint

Leather dyes permeate into the leather to cause a colour change. When dyeing leather furniture, you will find a subtle, more natural looking colour. Alternatively, leather paint sits on the surface of the leather. It comes in a range of colours wider than those that leather dye offers, but it is also much harder to maintain.

When possible, leather dye is always recommended over leather paint.

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