[Northkeep] Bummed Out Belt

ravenrux at cox.net ravenrux at cox.net
Wed Dec 16 13:41:54 PST 2009

We've all seen colored leather, but I think the majority of that is analine dye.

Cova colors are waterbased, and I've never seen any clear coat that I'd trust on it.

You may be able to do it with a water-based clear coat by spraying it on in very thin layers (just a sprinkling in the first few coats and let it completely dry between coats).  This works with lacquers and oil based paints, but I've never done it with Cova colors.  You'd have a clear coat in a spay can, and you'd have to build it up thick enough to resist wear, but it might work.

Normally, I'd include a caveat about trying it out on a scrap piece first, but I don't see how it would matter in this case.

I'm sorry to hear that you lost so much of your artwork and effort.  I hope this helps--it's the only thing I can think of to do.


---- Cheryl Kiel <azuredecodragon at yahoo.com> wrote: 
You've got every right to be pissed on this.  I'd be screaming my head off.  I'm afraid leather isn't something I've worked with but I have messed with acrylic's.  It's a water based paint & if it's running then it's washable.  The gummy mess is going to be a pain but it should come off.  Be patient & gentle.  See what you can get off with just water & gentle wiping.  One of the leather workers on here has to know some kind of leather soap or some such that you can try as well.  I've tried to use acrylic's on a couple leather pieces & it's always cracked on me.  Patience dear, there's gotta be a way to do this, we've all seen colored leather.


From: Catherine Lackey <catanlac at yahoo.com>
To: The Barony of Northkeep <northkeep at lists.ansteorra.org>
Cc: gdh at ki.org
Sent: Wed, December 16, 2009 12:59:27 PM
Subject: [Northkeep] Bummed Out Belt

    Well, folks, I'm pretty bummed out here and I hope someone out there can advise me.  I embarked a couple of months ago on a project--hand painting a wide leather belt in Celtic knotwork and zoomorphic figures.  I went to Tandy Leather and talked to one of their personnel who directed me to the acrylic paints and something called Tan-Kote Protective Finish.  I explained to the guy what I wanted to do and bought what he told me to buy.  The only thing he told me to do was to dilute the paint when I used it, but didn't say why.
    Well, I planned my design and started to work.  Diluting the paint made it too difficult to get bold color and using full strength gave me what I wanted.  Even so, it took several coats on the inner design to get the coverage and strong line I needed for the design to show properly.
    Finally, this Monday I finished it and if I do say so myself, it turned out great.  The colors were great, the design showed beautifully...then I put the sealant on.
    To my horror, it made the colors of the paint run, especially the blue.  It bled on the yellow badly and suddenly it looked like hell.  I had to repaint another coat on the yellow to clean it up.  Then, today, having had 2 days to dry, I checked it out and wiped away dust with a damp cloth.  To my further horror, the colors still ran (which they hadn't done before I put on the Tan-Kote) and became sticky.
    I called Tandy and the woman told me that I shouldn't have used the paint full strength and it would certainly crack when bent.  She said diluting it makes it sink into the leather and apparently bond somehow, which I was never told.  I said I told the guy what I wanted to do and this was not explained to me and how do I get bold colors watering down the paint.  She said "Use a brighter color."  Really?  What's brighter than red and blue?  She also told me the Tan-Kote was for unpainted areas and the acrylics are self-sealing.  Really?  I wasn't told that at the time, and there *are* no unpainted areas?
    She was pretty much useless, and I pretty much feel ripped off, as well as heartsick that 2 months of work apparently have gone for naught but ruination.  I don't dare wear the thing as it is, for it surely will stain the garb I wear it with because of the Tan-Kote ruining the seal of the Cova acrylics.
    Does anyone have any knowledge of how I can seal the thing so at least as not to ruin the garb I planned to wear it with, at least until it cracks and goes to hell?  I feel kind of sick about this since it seemed to turn out so well and I bought leather to make more belts which I now don't dare to do.  
    I know in the greater scheme of things this is not a big deal, but it feels like a bummer to me.  I'm really ticked at Tandy and inclined never to give them my business in the future.  I hope someone can tell me how to seal this thing so at least it doesn't damage my garb at least.  Thanks for the space to vent.

                                                                                  Catrin, cranky

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