How to Dull Patent Leather

Do you own a patent leather purse, shoes, or belt? If so, you may be wondering how to keep it looking its best. Patent leather can be a bit difficult to care for, but it can last for years with the right tips and tricks. Read on to learn how to dull patent leather and keep it looking great! There are a few ways to dull patent leather if you want to give it a different look.

How to Dull Patent Leather

One uses a diluted bleach solution and applies it with a cloth. Another option is to create your color by mixing paint with rubbing alcohol. Be sure to test any solutions on a small patch of leather first to ensure it doesn’t damage the surface. Finally, seal the newly dulled patent leather with a coat of clear acrylic sealer. This will help protect the finish and keep it looking faded for longer. Read on to know more information!

Summary: There is no need to dull patent leather! Simply wash it with a mild soap and water, then dry it completely. To prevent it from becoming shiny, apply an oil-based cream, like petroleum jelly, to the surface before applying your favorite shoe polish.

What is Patent Leather?

Patent leather is a type of gleaming leather made by combining pigmented plastic with the traditional leather process. In patent leather, the topcoat of polymers with a high refractive index forms a mirror-like surface. As a result, the patent leather shoe can be shined to a high gloss luster.

Patent leather and chrome are two materials that are used together because they are both shiny. Carmakers use masking chemicals to make the new car smell last longer.

Why Do People Want to Dull Patent Leather?

Patent leather is a gleaming type of leather with a mirror-like finish, making it a desirable material for apparel and luxury goods. However, many people do not like the extreme shininess of patent leather and will use oil to dull the finish. Patent leather is a type of leather that has been given a high-gloss finish.

This creates the appearance of being made from glass or metal, which is why many people have taken to calling it “liquid leather.” While patent leather was only available in black, more recent seasons have expanded the available colors to red, blue , green, and yellow. The appearance of the leather also varies from smooth to grained, depending on the manufacturer.

10 Effective Methods on How to Dull Patent Leather

1. Oil-Dipping Method

Use a cotton ball or piece of cloth to apply a drop of oil (baby oil, olive oil, mineral oil, etc.) to wherever you would like your patent leather to be dull. Rub the oil in a circular motion with your finger, and wipe off any excess after a couple of minutes.

2. Acetone Method

Put a few drops of acetone into an empty bowl. Using a clean paintbrush or cotton ball, dab the acetone onto the patent leather where you would like it to be dull. Let the acetone sit for a couple of minutes, and then wipe off any excess that has not dried.

Acetone Method for Dull Patent Leather

3. Vinegar and Salt Method

To make patent leather dull, mix salt and vinegar in a bowl. Dab the mixture onto the patent leather where you would like it to be dull. Let this sit for at least 20 minutes, then wipe off any excess that has not dried.

4. Coffee Grounds Method

Take some used coffee grounds and grind them up in a rock or mortar and pestle. Use this to rub the patent leather where you would like it to be dull. Let this sit for 5–10 minutes, then wipe away any excess with a dry cloth.

5. Deglazing and Redyeing Method

To deglaze patent leather, you need to remove any excess dirt or dust. You can do this by scraping at it with a fingernail. Next, take painters’ putty (or plumber’s putty) and press it onto the area where you would like to dull your patent leather. Let it sit for 15–20 minutes, then remove the putty.

Do not wipe this area with a cloth or any other object; doing so can scratch your patent leather. Now, apply an acetone-based polish to the dulled area (you may need to spray some water onto the patent leather first). Once it dries, dye your patent leather using a darker color (if desired) and let it dry fully.

6. Rubber Band Method

To make patent leather less shiny, wrap rubber bands around it tightly and leave for 20 minutes. Remove the rubber bands and wipe away any excess water with a cloth.

7. Removing The Gloss With A Leather Wax Remover

Take a small amount of the leather wax remover and rub it onto the patent leather where you would like it to be dull. Let this soak in for 15–20 minutes, then wipe away with a clean cloth dampened with water.

8. Buffing Method

Use a piece of fine sandpaper to dull your patent leather by setting your shoe atop it and spinning the sandpaper around with an electric drill.

9. Toothpaste Method

Take a small amount of toothpaste (any kind except gel works well) and apply it to where you would like to dull your patent leather with a paintbrush, cotton ball, or cloth. Let this sit for 20 minutes, then wipe away with a clean, damp cloth.

10. Using A Matte Finish Leather

You can also use matte finish leather to make your patent leather dull. This is good for keeping your patent leather looking shiny but don’t mind having it look a bit less polished. You will need a matte finish product that can be sprayed on, such as Matte Finish Leather Spray. Using the product according to the manufacturer’s instructions, spray the leather where you want it to become matte.

Use Matte Finish Leather for Patent Leather Dull

Some Tips and Suggestions

Here are some tips and suggestions on how to dull patent leather.

1. Apply baby oil with a cloth to the patent leather. This will remove some of the shine and dull it down significantly.

2. Apply petroleum jelly (Vaseline) with a cloth to the patent leather. This will remove more of the shine than applying baby oil by itself. Still, this application process is more tedious because you may have to reapply and wipe off excess petroleum jelly to avoid leaving your shoes greasy.

3. Professional shoe polish can also be used to soft patent leather. Apply a few coats, allowing ample drying time between each coat, until the shine has been lowered significantly, then buff with a soft cloth to remove any excess dirt or scuff marks left by prior polishing attempts.

4. Apply a non-glossy clear topcoat over patent leather to dull it further. This will dull down the shine of your shoes and serve as protection against wear and tear. Only use this method if you are satisfied with how dark your patent leather has become after using one of the other methods.

5. Purchase patent leather chaulk and apply a thin coat to your patent leather shoes for a more long-term solution. Allow the first thin coat you use to dry completely, then apply up to three additional coats until desired darkness is reached.

6. Use commercial furniture wax with a soft cloth to gradually dull down the shine on patent leather shoes. Buff with a soft cloth to remove any excess dirt or scuff marks that the furniture wax leaves behind.

How to Clean Patent Leather at Home?

To clean patent leather, you can use either a soft brush or a lint-free cloth to get the job done. Take your choice of a cleaning product, whether it’s baby wipes, tea tree oil, or saddle soap, and give your patent leather item a good rub down with it until the surface looks dull. If you use a tea tree oil product, just let it dry until the leather is dull.

Use Cloth and Saddle Soap to Clean

If you’re using saddle soap, give the surface a quick buff when you’re done before letting it dry. To keep your patent leather shiny in between cleanings, use a good quality conditioning cream to protect and nourish the leather, so it doesn’t get pigmented. Use leather conditioning cream every few months on your patent leather item to keep it looking bright and shiny.


The leather should be treated with a conditioner to soft and supple. An excellent way to do this is by using neatsfoot oil, which will help the surface of the patent leather look more like natural leather while also conditioning it. Apply about an inch or two of oil onto your hand and rub in circular motions on the surface of your shoes for five minutes before wiping off any excess product onto a paper towel.

This process can take anywhere from 1-3 hours, depending on how dry the shoe was when you started applying the treatment. If you want to maintain one color across all surfaces, avoid cleaning between coats with water so that each layer gets thoroughly dried before being coated again in another coat of conditioner.

If there are any problems with this process, the leather may darken to a dark brown instead of staying black. We hope this blog post on how to dull patent leather has been helpful. If you have any questions or want to know more, then feel free to comment below!

Jennifer Branett
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