Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Rejuvenating a Thrifted Leather Purse

Last weekend I scored this awesome leather purse at an estate sale for only $1.  Craziness!

The only down side was that it smelled like it had been chilling out in storage for a loooong time, and it was definitely dirty. I knew that I had to clean it, but I wasn't exactly sure how.  Yuck!

There is a leather store in south Syracuse, so I popped by on Saturday and asked what they recommend for cleaning leather. This is what I came home with:

The product on the left is the leather cleaner. The product on the right is the leather conditioner.

I started out with the leather cleaner and following directions: apply with a lint-free cloth (part of an old t-shirt), and wipe clean. Well, because my purse didn't have a finish on it (ie: it wasn't shiny), it was soaking that cleaner up like it was its JOB.  Seriously, not a darn thing was actually coming off the purse--I was just putting a lot of cleaner in.  Soooo, I went against the little voice in head called "common sense" and gave the purse a bath in the sink with a little bit of baby shampoo, making sure to rub it well with another scrap piece of t-shirt. I didn't want to use a brush or anything too abrasive that would potentially scratch the finish of the leather...I mean, I was already pushing my luck by putting it in water!

Then I put it outside to dry. It took a good 24 hours to really dry out because it was really water logged! Luckily, my work paid off though. The purse was much cleaner, even though it was quite stiff. The guy at the leather store told me that the purse would probably be stiff after cleaning it because the cleaner will dry it out (this will probably happen regardless of what you end up using).

To combat the stiffness and rehydrate the purse, I used the leather conditioner:

The leather conditioner made the purse a LOT darker, as you can see in the picture below.  I haven't applied the conditioner to the middle pocket yet, and it's really really (!) obvious.

This is what it looked like after I was all done!  So much better, right?

Because this is what it it looked like before:

So now that this little purse has been given a new lease on life, we've been spending a lot of time together...shopping for more treasures at estate sales!  

So tell me, have you scored any deals this summer at garage/estate sales lately?  

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing the post here. Keep up the good work. All the best.