our everyday life

How to Change Brown Leather to Black

by Chance Henson, studioD

Mankind has mastered the artistry of leather, irrevocably incorporating this fine, sturdy material into nearly every aspect of your wardrobe. Both a traditional and modern clothing fabric, even this timeless material can fall out of favor as new trends take hold of the fashion world. While leather garments and accessories can be expensive to replace, you can reinvent old brown leather garments and accessories by giving them a new coat of sleek, modern-looking black dye.

Cover your workspace with newspapers or a plastic sheet to prevent spill stains. Cover your hands with plastic gloves to guard against potentially toxic chemicals. Open windows or turn on a fan to ensure the space is well-ventilated.

Dampen a clean cloth with the liquid leather stripper. Rub the leather vigorously with the product to remove polish, oils and dirt.

Dip an old toothbrush or similar scrubbing device into the stripper. Scrub all crevices and creases to remove built up grime, polish and oils. Allow the leather to dry for 30 minutes.

Dip the provided brush into the dye. If no brush is provided with your product, use a small sponge brush. Apply the dye to the leather with smooth, even strokes until the entire surface is covered with one even coat.

Seal the dye container to prevent caking or spills. Allow the leather to dry for 30 minutes to one hour.

Apply a second coat of dye to the leather using smooth, even strokes. Allow the leather to dry for 30 minutes to one hour. Repeat the action as necessary until your desired coloration is achieved, allowing the dye to dry between coats.

Allow the leather to dry for two hours after the suitable coloration is achieved. Gently rub the entire dyed surface with a polishing cloth to make the leather shine.

Seal all of the toxic chemical products and store in a cool dry space. Dispose of the old newspapers, plastic gloves and old toothbrush.

Items you will need
  •  Well-ventilated workspace
  •  Old newspapers
  •  Plastic gloves
  •  Leather stripper
  •  Clean, dry cloth
  •  Sponge brush (optional)
  •  Black leather dye
  •  Polishing cloth


  • Always work in a well-ventilated area when using toxic chemicals.

About the Author

Chance Henson earned a B.A. in English literature and a writing minor from Lamar University. While interning at the "University Press" newspaper and "UP Beat" magazine he received an award for news feature writing from the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association. Henson went on to serve as content editor for "CUSH Magazine," eventually leaving to pursue the development of an online secular humanist educational publication.

Photo Credits

  • Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images