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Distressing leather

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  • narziss
    this is a good way to go on about it.

    nubuck leather is basically just the roughened up surface of fullgrain. what you want is to raise to protein fibers on the surface. depending on how coarse a surface you want, you can either take metal brushes (if you have a drill, there's metal brush inserts for them. i have found them to work excellent. brushes will leave a fine and quite smooth matte surface.) or coarser options like lower grain sandpaper, rasps etc. when distressing, it is important to go with the grain of the leather. after brushing them and having attained a uniform finish, wipe them down well with a wet cloth and apply conditioner (neatsfoot oil or similar thing).

    i have only ever done this to pieces of hides laid out flat on the table. the thing is that a finished object such as a boot or shoe will have nucks and corners which are hard to reach. i think it will never look the same as a boot made out of nubuck as the harder to reach corners will have different hues, but that may just be what you're looking for. also keep in mind that, depending on how the leather has been dyed, there might be a slight to drastic change in color.

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  • Deuce
    started a topic Distressing leather

    Distressing leather

    Hey guys,

    I've already done a search, and found a similar thread, but unfortunately it was quite old, and the picture guide has since been deleted.

    I've got some RO side zips in black, that I've always wished were suede, so after looking around online I've found a few different ways to do create a similar style (nubuck), trouble is, some advice seems to be conflicting...

    My plan at the moment is to get some rubbing alcohol, and sandpaper them.

    Obviously I'm wary as they're expensive boots, but I rarely/never wear them as it is, so no loss, right?

    Does anyone have any experience in essentially turning leather into nubuck, and does my plan sound ok, or does anyone have any last 'please dont do it' pleas..?


    edit: I forgot to add, if/when I go ahead with it, I'll be sure to give before, during and after pictures
    Last edited by Deuce; 06-11-2013, 10:19 AM.