Friday, March 5, 2010

Mad briefcase DIY

I like colors, bright, pale, dark, how they complement or contrast against each other. It’s amazing how the same item can look more or less interesting depending on the color the designer decided to apply, for example a shoe can look amazing in a subdued nude shade but gaudy in a metallic one, this obviously is not a rule and depends on how well design and shade collaborate.
The choices are endless when it comes to colors, which is precisely why I wanted a really bright in your face pop of color for the sort of Mad Men men’s briefcase I found at El Armario some time ago.
I decided on the color and took it to the cobbler, however the color of dye needed was nowhere to be found –searching high and low- and I was left to either keep it as it was –black- or order the dye online. In the end neither was good enough given my urgency this transformation needed to happen and fast, so left to my own devices the answer to my needs dawned on me; after all it is true that necessity is the mother of invention.
Spray paint! Oh yes the very one used for street art masquerading as façade defacing doodles. Sounds deranged but it actually worked and I want to share just in case you find yourself in the same pickle. On a plus side it covers completely as opposed of using actual leather dye if you are not fully licensed the brushing strokes can show and it looks like you tried to paint your shoe with a nail polish brush, not pretty.

So now onto the things you’ll need:
-spray paint: try to search for one that is CFC’s free and non-toxic when dry
-body cream
-old newspapers
-something comfortable and not precious to wear


1. Clean your leather item with dry rag to get rid of any dust
2. Wipe your item with a wet rag and let dry
3. Moisturize your item with the body cream and let it rest until all moisture is absorbed. Why? Well remember how you are using spray paint? The composition is different from leather dye and so if the leather is dry it will stay dry as the paint will block any moisture from coming thru to the leather, so you want to get that done before. Mostly I moisture dry leather with baby oil with great results but since I was not sure if it would prevent the paint from adhering to the briefcase traded it for body cream.
4. Cover a wide surface with the newspaper to avoid staining your grass or floor if you are doing this indoors, remember to get good ventilation and if outside mind the wind so you won’t spray yourself
5. Cover any part of the item you don’t want getting paint like metal closures or a sole border if it’s a shoe
6. Spray away following the instructions in the can, spraying at a distance gets more even coverage and remember several thin layers are better than one heavy one
7. When satisfied with the color let it dry (my brand of paint dried very quickly so I finished each side in less than an hour but I left the first side rest overnight before turning it over as a precaution)

The original look of my briefcase...

The updated version after some spray r&r, I luv!!! btw my hair is so much lighter in this picture than it actually is...there's a lot of yellow going on in this pic
The process was very easy and the look I got resembles patent leather which I like.
So now if you have a certain piece lying around waiting for some color this is your chance and go crazy with the color! If you try this pls share the results, so pics are very welcomed.


leatherbagsmore said...

Not bad at all, if you ever do want to upgrade let us know and will take care of you!

Midnight Cowgirl said...

Great DIY!

M said...



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