How to finish oil tanned leather

I was given some oil tan leather and I am not quite sure how to finish it as i have not used oil and leather before. what is the best way to finish it? any help would be welcome

Welcome to ILC!! Glad to have you here. With oil tanned leather, it is pretty much ready to go without having to add anything to finish it. One does not need to dye it. Usually it is purchased in the color one wants. The oils used to tan the leather automatically provide a level of protection against water. It also makes it soft and pliable. Not sure what you mean by “finishing” it. If you mean changing the color, buy the leather color you want. Don’t try to dye a piece that is already oil-tanned.

Good luck. Let me know if this helped…or provide a little more detail to clarify for me.

In God’s Grace

Pastor Bob

HI bob thanks for the reply. i use Fiebing’s Fiebings Acrylic Resolene to finish my leather to protect it as this is what i was taught. do i need to use it on oil-tanned leather or will it be doos without it.

i am still new to leather working so any help you can give would be grate.

Regards samo

Hi samo,

In general, the oil-tanned leather has some oils within it as Bob mentioned included in the tanning process. This is great for some water-resistance and protection (whereas many other leather require additional effort to waterproof them or make them water resistant).

For non-oiled leather, the Resolene can be a nice finishing coat to help give a slight shine, while also protecting the leather underneath. It can also help is one dyed the leather, as it puts a barrier between the dyed leather and the wearer’s clothing, helping reduce dye transfer.

For oiled leather, Resolene might be a bit much for most applications (and there are always exceptions and cool new ways of trying things, so always be open to experimenting). If you’re looking for additional water-resistance, applying various wax compounds to oiled leather can help created a more durable surface, while maintaining the look/feel of the oiled leather style.

Hope that helps some, and welcome to the club!

thanks so much for the response and i really appreciate the advice hope you have a good day

regards samo

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