refinishing my holster


Revolver Ocelot
February 23, 2007, 02:23 AM
I'm hoping this is the right forum to put this thread in being there isn't one for leather care, I am a security gaurd and normally the company I work for prefers we use the firearm they supply us with but they have allowed me to carry my gp100 under the conditions I have a holster that matches the rest of my equipment, I like having my gun in the crossdraw postion so I use the bianchi cyclone but being it is tan it won't work so in short basicly I need to know how if poosible can I give it a black finish without compromising the holster.

If you enjoyed reading about "refinishing my holster" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
February 23, 2007, 02:30 AM
I did this with a KaBar knife sheath. Take some sandpaper to the leather and then use parade gloss shoe polish. You just have to let it dry for a couple months and it'll smell a little. Its not A-Grade leather care, but it works.

Revolver Ocelot
February 23, 2007, 04:57 AM
someone told me rite dye would work put I'm alittle sceptical on that one, I think sanding it down would count as compromising it, I'm hoping for more along the lines of dyes besides I don't think I could go with out a holster for 2months acouple weeks maybe but not 2 months.

Seven High
February 23, 2007, 07:02 AM
I would find a well equipped shoe repair shop and inquire there about dyeing your holster. They should be able to give you instructions about the proper way to do it. A large problem is the dye crocking off on your hands or clothing.

February 23, 2007, 09:04 AM
+1 for the shoemaker. They die shoes all the time.

Old Fuff
February 23, 2007, 10:13 AM
Generally the advise you've gotten is good. Changing from brown to black isn't hard, but it can be a bit messy so you may want to get a pair of rubber gloves. Start by wiping the holster clean. Then apply two coats of leather dye (not polish or wax), and let each coat dry for at least a half-day. Follow this with a coat of black shoe wax to bring back some shine. There is no reason you should not be without the holster for more then 24 hours, and a weekend would provide plenty of time.

Another alternative is to Google up the Tandy Leather Co. and find their website. They sell a full line of leather refinishing supplies, including dyes, waxes, and even a lacquer leather finish that's similar to what was applied by the holster manufacturer. They also have stores in many communities where you can buy what you need, over the counter. Advise is always free.

February 23, 2007, 10:52 AM
I will second Old Fluffs recommendation, that's pretty much what I do, and I get my supplies from Tandy. They also have also have several books on the subject.

February 23, 2007, 04:06 PM
As an occasional custom maker here's how I've re-dyed holsters:
Tandy Leather is a good source for supplies.

First, use a "de-glazer" to remove any factory finish and prep the leather to absorb the dye.

For new, un-dyed leather I personally preferred Tandy's water-based leather dyes, but for a re-dye I recommend Fiebing's solvent based dyes, since this is the best available.

On a holster that's already been finished, I would use a solvent based dye, and Fiebing's is the best.

Use a wool dauber to apply an even coat over the outside of the holster, letting it dry bone dry.
If it's not even looking when dry or the color is not totally black, apply another coat.
If you want, you can also dye the inside.

When the color is even and you can't see any of the original color showing through, make sure the holster is totally dry, then seal and finish.

I do NOT recommend ANY type of leather dressing or oil, since these will soften the leather and cause it to stretch, greatly reducing the service life of the holster.
All holster makers use their own favorite finishing methods, but one of the very best is to seal and surface coat with Fiebing's Resolene.
Resolene is an acrylic finish that unlike the old style lacquers, won't crack, chip, or peel off.

To apply, I preferred an airbrush for the more even, smoother finish, although you can use a large wool applicator.
Apply the Resolene in a THIN coat, inside and out, then force dry with a hair dryer.
After the Resolene is dry, allow the holster to stand for a day to allow the Resolene to fully cure and harden.
Then apply a thick coat of Neutral shoe wax, or a wax like Johnson's Paste Wax.

The Resolene and Neutral shoe wax will prevent the black dye from rubbing off on your clothes, and will protect from water and wear.
From time to time, apply more wax to keep it good looking and to protect the leather.

Revolver Ocelot
February 24, 2007, 01:18 AM
do you think a shoe or leather repair shop would be equiped to do a black laquer finish, I'd rather trust it to a professional then do it myself on an $80 holster.

February 24, 2007, 03:04 PM
There's no such thing as a "Black Lacquer finish" on leather.
Lacquer will not adhere very well and will almost immediately start to crack and peel off.
What's necessary is a real leather dye that penetrates and soaks into the leather, followed by some sort of durable surface finish, like Resolene.

Any good shoe shop should be able to do a good dye job for you.

Revolver Ocelot
February 25, 2007, 12:58 AM
oh I'm sorry, I have no idea about anything refinishing leather, thanks for the advice I'll start calling around to local shops.

February 25, 2007, 03:40 AM
"...I'd rather trust it to a professional..." No need. You polish your own shoes/boots don't you? You can get a 'spit shine' on any good leather holster with a minimum of fuss or expertise. Paying somebody will cost you at least what you paid for the holster. Refinishing leather really isn't a big deal. Nor is it messy.
You need a bottle of leather finish remover(comes with an applicator), a bottle of leather dye(the applicator also comes with it too) and some regular shoe polish. Plus a few clean, flannelette rags. Flannelette remnants from a fabric shop are really cheap. (Good for cutting into firearm cleaning patches too.)
The finish remover can come from a shoe repair shop or Tandy's. So can the dye. Shoe polish you likely have. Follow the directions on the finish remover bottle, apply the dye and then apply the shoe polish just like you do on your boots/shoes.
The finish remover does exactly what it's called. As does the dye and it dries in about an hour or less. The shoe polish has waxes in it that waterproofs, protects and shines the leather. Just like it does for your boots/shoes.

February 25, 2007, 05:09 AM
I had my shoes re-dyed at the local leather guy....cost me $12.

I have no idea if thats too high or too low.....but I doubt I could have bought the materials and paid shipping for less than that $12.

If you enjoyed reading about "refinishing my holster" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!