Dyeing bag to add metallic finish?

BattahZ

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Jul 12, 2009
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I'm seeing a lot of threads on dyeing bags a darker color than before, or refreshing the color. Has anyone tried using one of the metallic or pearly Tarrago dyes on top of black or another darker color to just add a sheen? I'm thinking a platinum or navy metallic could look really cool on top of black leather.

The Tarrago website says you can use their dyes on any color of leather, including white dye on black leather. I kinda wonder whether that would REALLY work. But might a metallic or pearly dye add a cool sheen to a solid, matte leather?
 

BattahZ

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I tried a bunch of different search terms but didn't find anything. I may have to be the guinea pig ;) Looks like I'll have to stop by Goodwill to find an old leather bag or wallet to experiment on!
 

chloehandbags

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It sounds like a very cool idea, but I'm concerned that, even with just one coat, the Tarrago coatings (sorry, but as you may have already read in other Tarrago threads [LOL! :shame: ] I don't think of most of the Tarrago 'dyes' as dyes, as such - as they just coat the leather, rather than sinking in, as a true dye would and also, I believe all metallic dyes [not just Tarrago] are just coatings, anyway) might be too thick to let the original colour show through evenly; especially as they're specifically designed to cover any colour completely (rather than just adding a subtle sheen to the original colour).

If you are going to do it, I think trying it out first on something expendable is a great idea. However (and I'm no leather expert, but), I assume that different leathers with different finishes (or no finish) will, presumably, take the paint quite differently? So even if it works well on a cheap bag, that already has coated leather, it might not work so well on one with a differently finished, or unfinished, leather (or maybe it might work better, I don't know?)?

Also, as you've read some threads, I take it you've probably already read the tales of peeling and so on, with Tarrago, haven't you?

Anyway, if it did work on a cheap bag and I was going to risk it on one of mine, I'd, personally, go for the navy - as I think, being much darker, it would be less likely to streak, or look patchy (assuming you are intending to do only the one coat, with the idea of letting the black show through) and I also think it would be a cooler, more subtle finish over black than platinum, anyway.

As I say, I think it will, almost certainly, be too thick to let the black show through, though - I think what you really need is some sort of translucent metallic/pearly finishing product, rather than an opaque metallic dye/coating.

I don't know if anything like that exists? :shrugs:

Anyway, good luck! :biggrin:
 
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BattahZ

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Jul 12, 2009
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Thanks for the thoughtful reply, chloehandbags! You make a good point. And I'm trying to figure out from the Tarrago posts I've found whether the color is kind of on the sheer side or not. It's hard to tell, since most of them take a light bag and turn it dark with several coats of dye.

I did find one thread where someone put a steel shade of Tarrago over a bag that was turning green, and got a nice sheen over the original color: http://forum.purseblog.com/balencia...t-should-i-do-with-greenish-steel-384713.html

Looks like I may just have to play with it. If I can get a nice steely shine over a plain matte black leather, I think that could still look really great.
 

chloehandbags

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Thanks for the thoughtful reply, chloehandbags! You make a good point. And I'm trying to figure out from the Tarrago posts I've found whether the color is kind of on the sheer side or not. It's hard to tell, since most of them take a light bag and turn it dark with several coats of dye.

I did find one thread where someone put a steel shade of Tarrago over a bag that was turning green, and got a nice sheen over the original color: http://forum.purseblog.com/balencia...t-should-i-do-with-greenish-steel-384713.html

Looks like I may just have to play with it. If I can get a nice steely shine over a plain matte black leather, I think that could still look really great.

No problem, thanks for the link, BattahZ! :flowers:

Yes, it does seem to have just added a sheen, doesn't it? I wonder if she applied really thin coats?

It looks pretty good and nice and even, doesn't it?

Although, I have to admit that, personally, I preferred it before, as I kind of liked the mottled green effect (like verdigris) and it's definitely taken away some of the character of the leather and made it look a bit shiny and plasticky, IMO.
 

BattahZ

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Jul 12, 2009
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Yeah. That's why I'm torn! I do like that sheen, and I'm thinking I'd just like to add a sheen to a black bag, not change the color. So I wonder if a dark steel metallic dye applied very lightly over black would give a nice effect. Just a bit of sheen. One of the Tarrago metallics is called Antique Silver and looks pretty dark, so may just add a sheen to black leather. There's also a pearlescent dye in steel gray that should do something similar.

Well, if I do take the plunge, I'll post pictures so you can see! I'll order those suckers soon and hit up Goodwill for a test subject ;)
 

greenpixie

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"Plastic-y" is definitely a good way to describe it. I read tons of rave reviews on the Tarrago dyes here and the "after" pics looked great, so I decided to try it myself. Easy to use, but time consuming. The dye is very opaque - after one coat you could barely tell the underlying color. The end result looked pretty good, but the leather character is totally gone. The bag I dyed was a lovely goatskin, just not my color, and now it feels like pleather almost. :sad: Plus it is a slouchy style, so I can already see places when it is cracking a little, and will probably flake.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out. :yes:
 

chloehandbags

ChloéClutchCollector
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Mar 23, 2006
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Yeah. That's why I'm torn! I do like that sheen, and I'm thinking I'd just like to add a sheen to a black bag, not change the color. So I wonder if a dark steel metallic dye applied very lightly over black would give a nice effect. Just a bit of sheen. One of the Tarrago metallics is called Antique Silver and looks pretty dark, so may just add a sheen to black leather. There's also a pearlescent dye in steel gray that should do something similar.

Well, if I do take the plunge, I'll post pictures so you can see! I'll order those suckers soon and hit up Goodwill for a test subject ;)

I'll be very interested to see the results. :yes: :smile:
 

chloehandbags

ChloéClutchCollector
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Mar 23, 2006
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England, UK.
"Plastic-y" is definitely a good way to describe it. I read tons of rave reviews on the Tarrago dyes here and the "after" pics looked great, so I decided to try it myself. Easy to use, but time consuming. The dye is very opaque - after one coat you could barely tell the underlying color. The end result looked pretty good, but the leather character is totally gone. The bag I dyed was a lovely goatskin, just not my color, and now it feels like pleather almost. :sad: Plus it is a slouchy style, so I can already see places when it is cracking a little, and will probably flake.

Oh dear, that's exactly what I was afraid of, greenpixie. :s

Sorry that happened to your bag. :sad: :flowers:
 

dramakitten

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Feb 1, 2009
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Greenpixie--What colors are your bag? Could you maybe crinkle it up even more so that it more of the paint comes off? The effect might be kinda cool...you know, sometimes the belgian designers do that sort of thing. It may be worth a try,
 

Luv n bags

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I have been experimenting on a shoulder strap. I have painted over a black patent leather strap with a paint match sample from a store. I will post pics when I finish. So far, the color is the perfect match! And one coat has covered the black.
 

BattahZ

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Jul 12, 2009
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Thanks again for the feedback! Good to know re: the flaking at flexible points. I wonder if that would work better on a bag that isn't slouchy, or a wallet that has less flexible surface area. I'm trying to think of a way to sort-of mimic the Hayden-Harnett crinkle patent effect, which can be really pretty.

I'll post when/if I try it ;)