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Tooled leather is coloured and highlighted with dyes and paints to show off the etches and stamp designs. The colours are vulnerable to fading and wear with use of the item. A leather sealer helps to protect the colours and keep them looking as bright as the moment they dried on the leather. The sealer also protects leather from moisture and wear. Applying leather sealer is the very last task in crafting a piece of fine leather.
Allow the dyes and any paints to dry for the recommended time. Some paints need 24 hours of curing before applying your chosen brand of leather sealer. (see Resources)
Shake the bottle of sealer, or open and stir well. Apply with a damp sponge applicator or soft brush. Apply sealer to a small inconspicuous section of the leather to see if it changes the colour before using all over. Work the brush or sponge over the tooled surface in circles while applying leather sealer to every cut etch and over all the edges. Clean the brush or applicator immediately with soapy water.
Allow the first coat to cure for at least 3 hours. Touch the sealed leather to be certain it's not tacky, but completely dry. Apply a second coat using the same method. Use sealer for protecting leather and its dyes and paints by applying it to the entire smooth grain side. Cover all edges with sealer, but leave the coarse suede side of the leather sealer free. Clean the sponge applicator or brush.
Cure the second coat for at least 3 hours and touch to see that it's dry to touch. Apply a third coat if desired and dry it to the touch. Buff the sealed side of the leather with a clean cloth or sheep's wool once the final coat is dry. Polish it to a high-gloss shine. Clean the cloth or wool buffer with soap and water.
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