[Northkeep] Bummed Out Belt

Andrew Lechner littlerukh at yahoo.com
Thu Dec 17 17:46:27 PST 2009

I agree with both Thorvald and Karl. If you're determined to have the bright colors I'd go to a hobby shop that has lots of painted items. Talk to the people there and buy just enough to try it out, don't buy every color they have. 

The leather dyes that Karl mentioned do a good job but they give you colored leather not "paint" the plus side is it actually gets in between the pores of the leather so it has the ability to stretch.

And for general leather finishing advice, I (now) always grab a piece out of my scrap box and try out a new finish before the full project. I've lost/ had to recover several projects because things didn't go like I wanted. 

Sorry you had a bad experience at Tandy. I generally like them but it seems that the employees I really like never stick around. 


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

Northkeep mailing list
Northkeep at lists.ansteorra.org

More information about the Northkeep mailing list