How to restore a leather coat's colour

Updated April 17, 2017

A good leather jacket is an essential piece of any wardrobe. However, after years of use, even the best leather begins to lose its colour. Sometimes jackets lose their colour only in areas of high use, such as the elbows, and sometimes the overall tone of the jacket begins to fade. Regardless, it is fairly easy to restore your leather jacket back to its original colour.

Wet the soft cloth with the rubbing alcohol and clean the areas of the leather coat that require recolouring. If you are recolouring the entire coat, clean the entire coat. Be sure to wear gloves to keep your hands safe from the chemicals.

Apply the dye or colour coat from the recoloring kits to the sponge. Lightly rub it into the coat using a circular motion. Be careful to apply the dye evenly over the coat.

Allow the coat to dry completely. Repeat Step 2 as needed if you want a deeper colour on your coat, but always let the coat dry in between new layers of colour.

Hang the leather jacket on the hanger for 24 hours. Do not touch the recolored surfaces for at least 12 hours after recoloring.

Find the leather protector or final layer in your leather recoloring kit. Apply the leather protector to the coat and buff with the sponge or soft cloth.


Try to match the colour of the dye as closely as possible to the coat's original colour. Wash your hands as soon as possible after you finish and don't touch anything.

Things You'll Need

  • Leather jacket
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Soft cloth
  • Recolouring kit
  • Sponge
  • Gloves
  • Clothes hanger
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About the Author

Allison Lockwood began writing in 2007. She has been published in the student newspapers of Sarah Lawrence College and Scripps College as well as on the Argentina's Travel Guide website. She is particularly interested in American and international politics, travel writing, dance and music. She received her Bachelor of Arts in political science from Scripps College in 2010.