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A jacket like no other

Leather jackets come in many styles; from high fashion to seasonal fashion, motorcycle to op-shop and custom made specials. But if you want one that really stands out from the crowd, why not embellish yours with personalised hand-painted or commissioned artworks?

Here’s one of our commissioned jackets. Step by step, we transformed a smart ladies motorbike jacket into a very beautiful, one of a kind functional artwork. We used just 6 colours (ochre, magenta, blue, scarlet, rust and yellow) plus black and white to create it.

Consider your canvas. How much space do you have? What composition will works well? Where are the stitching lines and how can you make them work with your design?
Use Leather Hero Spot & Prep (No.4) to clean the artwork area. A soft scrubbing brush can be used to agitate the prep solution into the grain. Wipe with a lint free cloth
Etch the surface of the leather using fine sandpaper (800 grit)
Apply Prime (No.5) with a paintbrush or sponge to the area you intend to paint
Rough in your design
If your jacket is a dark colour, paint a white foundation for your artwork. One to two coats should do it
Paint in the main shapes and colours
Use black or another dark colour to begin defining the design
Add details and refine shapes. Make adjustments, corrections and changes as needed
STEP 10:
Redefine any lines that have been over painted. Balance the colours and refine shapes
STEP 11:
Add detailing. When you are done, use Spot & Prep (No.4) to clean up any little dots of colour that may have splashed onto the leather. Alternatively, use black paint to paint over them!
STEP 12:
When you artwork is finished and dry, give it 2 coats of clear topcoat to seal and protect your masterpiece

And you are done!

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Choosing The Right Topcoat

The job of a topcoat is to ‘seal’ and protect the colour coatings. Topcoats act as a physical barrier between the leather and damaging factors such as body oil, perspiration, soiling and abrasion. They have additional physical properties that lend rub resistance and thereby help to slow colour wear. They also provide a degree of water resistance.

Professional grade topcoats are beautiful to touch, soft and flexible. They deliver a desirable ‘finished’ look that resembles a tannery finish.

A satin topcoat was used to protect this soft, quilted aniline leather jacket

Topcoat Basics

Seal & protect the colour
Protect the leather
ResinsSoft to touch
Abrasion resistant
Sponge or spray on
Fast drying
Self leveling
Variable gloss levels
Low to no odour
Can be tinted
Can be dulled

As wear and tear take their toll over time, the manufacturer’s original topcoat can wear thin or become compromised. Refreshing the colour coatings and replacing the worn topcoat can go a long way to extending the life of your leather whilst also making it look much, much better.

Leather Hero Topcoat (No.7) in Matte, Satin, Gloss and High Gloss finish

Level of Sheen

Topcoats can increase or decrease the level of gloss you see. It is best to match the sheen of your colourant to the sheen of your topcoat ( or vice versa). Leather Hero pigments (paints) can be ‘flattened’ using Dulling Agent (No.30).

Getting the right colour is important. Equally important is getting the right level of sheen for your topcoat. Here is an overview of Leather Hero’s 4 Topcoats

SHEENExtra flatSoft & subtleModerate glossVery shiny
APPLYBest by spray.
Can also use
sponge or brush
Sponge, brush
or spray
Sponge, brush
or spray
Sponge, brush
or spray
USESModern cars,
some sofas
Most common
for all applications
Not often used
on cars or sofas
(except some Chesterfields)
Some handbags
& shoes. Rarely
used on furnishings
OPTICSCan make
colours seem lighter/cloudier
Balanced Can highlight
textural features &
Can highlight
textural features & imperfections

If in doubt, Satin Topcoat

is usually a safe choice

Not sure which topcoat is right for your job? Start with a small bottle to test first.

A glossy finish on this piece of leather helps to highlight the beautiful textural markings
Topcoats, from Matte to High Gloss, absorb and reflect light
Here, a glossy topcoat has been used to draw the eye to embossed features