Bike Forums - View Single Post - Has Anyone Successfully Dyed a Brooks Saddle?
Old 10-23-15, 12:31 AM
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Bikes: '13 Trek Madone 5.2 '14 Giant Thrive - (wife's)

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To RedBowTies: White is very do-able with the proper prep and materials even over dark colors. Meltonian Nu-Life Color Spray. Available @ Ebay, Amazon, Shoe repair and leather supply houses, etc. They suggest using their prep-solvent which is basically a wax and grease remover prior to a refinish. The surface has got to be clean enough to allow penetration, and adhesion obviously. I've used their products for years in automotive projects and am still amazed at it's durability. Covered a bright red headliner with white once. It did take several coats, but it looked like it came white when it was completed.
I just recently did a f'izi:k Alllante. It was white and went to a medium brown with Meltonian spray. I cleaned/scrubbed it with an automotive upholstery cleaner, and then final wiped it with naphtha...and followed the "several light coats" directions. It looked great for one ride. Areas of flexing flaked off, but overall it stayed where it was applied very well. So I decided to get a little more serious on the second attempt. I stripped off all the brown with lacquer thinner and some clean terri cloths, turning them frequently. The recently applied Meltonian came off easily, and this procedure stained the thread in the stitches for an even better final result. The lacquer thinner softened and removed the underlying, original, factory white finish as well, since it was quite a bit stronger than the naphtha. There was No turning back now; so I removed all the factory applied color. What remained was a light gray primer like coat, and it was really sticky. Working quickly in single direction strokes I tried to get as uniform a surface as possible on the gray undercoat. I gave it a few minutes to kinda tack off, and hit it with the Meltonian. I gave it one single, heavy wet coat, and let it dry over the weekend. Have yet to road test this attempt but I feel like it's gonna live this time. Instead of riding on top of the original finish, this coat has probably bit into some real adhesive promoter. Additionally, I can actually see the grain of the material across the entire cover. Will post an update soon or how it does in service.
On the tooled leather Brooks, I think what's going to be needed is probably called a dye, but acts like a stain. It's been decades since I've worked on belts and armbands in shop and art classes, but i do remember the color was water thin, with a dobber in the bottle like you'd see in a PVC cement can. Probably this is going to be an apply, and remove from details wipe down, then repeat, method I would imagine.
If there is a flea market nearby, seems like they all have a leatherworker making belts in there. Find one of these guys for some on site instruction.
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