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Edge Painting Chrome Dyed Leather Using The Giardini Mix Colour Package.

Posted on 03 July 2019

I started the week feeling like I was back in school and in the science lab, just not so many Bunsen burners and skeletons around! 
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I had a commission bag that I was making for a client in LA. She bought us the
Giardiani mixing set to colour match the leather we were using. It was such a fun process.
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I have mixed opinions of the rubber edge paint. It is a technique that requires a lot of time and patience to get perfect, but when you do dedicate that time and effort it looks absolutely top notch.
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So I thought I would write a little blog post to explain the process that I have found works best for me.
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  • Gentle tragacanth gum – This is a polishing agent used for bonding the fibres on the raw edge of leather. It works best on vegtan leathers however on the chrome dyes leather it still works and I feel helps to give the paint a good flat surface area to start building the layers of edge paint onto. I only use my finger to apply the tragacanth gum to make sure it doesn’t have a super shiny surface as the rubberised paint needs something to hold on to.

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  • To mix the paint – The Giardini mixing pack has a colour sheet with reference codes for each colour. It then had a colour mix formula. From this you take the exact quantity of each colour that is required to make your specific choice.

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  • I then stirred it thoroughly to make sure that the colour was completely mixed and then popped it into a screw lid container. I must warn you that the paint easily dries out so make sure that you do not leave the lid off for long periods of time. 
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  • Applicator - I like to use a roller mesh application pen which I sourced from etsy.
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  • I will always start with a very fine layer of paint. Apply it with the roller mesh pen and making sure to rub off any excess paint that is on the surface of the leather. I tend to work quite fast on the first layer so that you get a nice even layer. Then leave the leather to dry in the air. I like to prop it on a glass jar so that very few edges hit a surface. The reason for this is that the paint has a tendency to drop down onto a table if you leave it on surface and then it dries with an angle in the paint. You are wanting to create a slightly rounded edge to the leather edge paint. 
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  • Once it has fully dried for around 30 mins I will then sand the edge down very lightly with a fine sand paper grade 600. I work on creating a smooth edge to the paint and also sand off any excess that paint that might have hit the surface of the leather.

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  • Re apply next coat – I then add another 5 layers of paint letting each one dry and sanding in-between the layers until you get a really beautiful rounded edge with no lump of bumps, just a smooth even surface. 
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Job done, happy days! : ) 

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