Help me revive this Coach!

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  1. Okay, so I got a Coach black leather duffle (legacy duffle perhaps?) off eBay a couple weeks ago (definitely authentic). It's a few years old, I'm guessing, and it does NOT appear to have been well taken care of by her previous owner :sad:.

    It was missing a zipper pull--not disclosed in the item description--and the hangtag. I got a replacement pull from SilverCoach and ordered a hangtag from JAX, but I'm not thrilled about the one they sent me, so I'm bidding on a replacement hangtag right now. The strap was perfectly fine.

    I got the bag dirt-cheap--I believe I only paid $24!--and I really want to revive it. I purchased the Coach leather cleaner and moisturizer, following the directions, but I still have a couple issues:

    1. Even after applying the conditioner, the leather still looks "dull" to me. Not very shiny at all. Did I use too much or too little conditioner? Did I not clean it well enough? What in the world does "buff" mean anyway (referencing the directions on the conditioner bottle that says to "buff")? For what it's worth, the leather feels fine--soft and supple, no cracks or stiffness--but it doesn't look very good to me.

    2. There are a couple scuff marks on the leather and a couple places where there was definitely a lot of wear. Even after the cleaning and conditioning, those spots are still quite noticeable. They're somewhat faded--not deep black like the rest of the bag, but a grayish color. There's also a chance that the "wear" that I described might be caked-in dirt or something. When I look at those spots in certain light, those spots seem to have a little different texture.

    Anyone care to help a newbie out?
  2. I don't have anything to add, unfortunately, but I'm sure pictures would definitely help!
  3. The best thing I can recommend is Apple Leather Cleaner and Conditioner. You can get it from You may want to clean it really good with Saddle Soap as well, before you do anything else to it (you can get it at WalMart or any place like that). If the gray spots don't come out, then they are most likely where the leather rubbed, and you may want to dye those spots with some black leather dye - Terrago makes great dye. Good luck!!!

    ETA - this is how I've restored some beat-down combat boots of mine, and this is how I treat my horse-riding boots, so it does work. :biggrin:
  4. #4 Jan 30, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2010
    Buff basically means polish. I'd take a really soft cloth and polish the crap outta that baby. Don't put any more conditioner on it, just try polishing it. Oh, and put some 'elbow grease' into it, as my Mum used to say!!!

    These are just my personal suggestions, so feel free to yell at me if they are no good. Good luck. BTW, like CoachGirlJami said maybe try dyeing the faded spots with black dye:tup:
  5. I agree with coachlover1000 - take a nice soft washcloth (dry) and rub your bag with circular motions (as though waxing your car). Let the conditioner dry between coats, too.

    I've never tried Apple products, but have been using the Coach conditioner for over 20 years. I've even used it on old, cracked leather car seats. It's great stuff. In fact, the Miu Miu boutique told me to use it on my Miu Miu bag too.
  6. There are a number of threads here on tPF about rehabbing older Coach bags, particularly the older bags with thick leather. Some of the ladies here have washed and even redyed Coach items to make them look new again! I am eyeing an older bag on the Bay right now that could use some TLC, and I am confident that it can get a like-new look with the right technique.

    If you think the bag is soiled, it may need a wash. Oil on dirt doesn't EVER look good - it just enhances the imperfection.

    What is the creed number? It would help to know what bag you want to revive because you can't wash any old Coach bag and get those results.