A-2 Jacket redye


Well-Known Member
I posted this on the fedora lounge but I forgot to post it here.
I did this in 2017 and am not making any claims to being an expert on how to dye a leather jacket, this was my first attempt and I'm sure I did things wrong. I don't know if brushes, a sponge or a cloth are better to apply the dye, I used brushes
The jacket was light coloured to start with so it was harder to dye, with a darker jacket it will be a lot easier and less work. I am usually a cack handed moron when attempting anything like this so if I can do it anyone can.

So why did I do it, I have been after an A-2 that actually fit me properly for years and I was very lucky to find this Buzz Rickson's rough wear for $US217 including postage on eBay in Australia where I live. I am not one of those lucky people who always seem to get bargains on eBay. I would not have done this to the jacket had I paid the right price for it. The tan colour was not for me so I was willing to take a chance and try a redye.
I was not trying trying to recreate any type of ww2 depot redye look, many of you may dislike my colour choice but I'm happy with it.


This was the dye I used, Fiebings mahogany alcohol based. Being in Australia there is only a couple of different brands of dyes available. I put the dye in a mug to make it harder to knock over which I knew that with my propensity for clumsiness would be inevitable.


The knits and waistband where removed as I was replacing them with rust knits.
I used painters masking tape in any areas where the lining and leather met and the zip.
I used two layers of tape and had no issues with the dye going through the tape. but remember to use gravity to help you so when doing the collar and other tricky areas hold the jacket upside down from where you are dyeing so the dye runs away from the liner. I used fine brushes for this.
Remember the dye is like water and runs the same.


Next I cleaned the jacket with acetone, let it dry out and the started.
If you use a brush get something decent or bristles will fall out when you dyeing.
Forgot to add precautions when using acetone.
If you use it be in a well ventilated area and wear gloves and eye protection the fumes are vey flammable, it will dissolve latex gloves so don't use those.


On the picture below the light coloured/greenish areas are excess dye you have to buff them off with a cloth as well as the whole area you have done between coats, be prepared for a lot of elbow work, Temperature, humidity etc.will play a part in how long it takes to dry and you will need a lot of cloths as a lot of dye will come off.
I knew it would be hard as I was dyeing over a light colour, you will get the feel for it as you go, a darker jacket would be way easier than what I had to do. Remember as I said before it is like trying to paint with water the dye will run and pool around the creases in the jacket, It's best to start with a little dye on the brush and see how you go, also be wary of the dye on the brush it's very easy to splash around.
It's also like ink to paper the first spot on the jacket the brush or rag touches is instantly going to soak up more dye than the areas around it.
You can use rubbing alcohol to lighten areas if you want a worn look though I didn't.



Pic below, more coats will darken lighter areas like the sleeve on the pic above, but it will never be perfect but that's how I like it, I think you would need to use a spray gun for a perfect match to avoid the first spot you touch always being darker but if you where doing a darker jacket it would be a lot less visible.


New MASH Japan rust knits.


Will the dye run?
I can't give a definitive answer for that there are too many variables, did it have a top coat the type of leather, how was it dyed etc. when I was researching this for some people it did, for some it did not.
I had to use lot of dye and you have to get off any excess between coats.
When your finished you need to buff with a cloth to remove as much as you can.
Mine did not rub off on anything like sitting in a a chair, but if I wet a cloth and rubbed hard some dye would come off.
I would say don't put any type of dressing on the leather till you are sure.
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Well-Known Member
Good job.

The parts of the dye that don’t fully absorb into the leather solidify and this is what you get when you wipe with damp rag. You can use alcohol on a cloth and get a good bit off that way. Just gently running the cloth over the jacket. You can also use a sealant but cut it with water and maybe only apply to areas that might run into something like a collared shirt.
But eventually that transfer will stop if you allowed the dye to fully dry.


Well-Known Member
Nice job and much, much better than the light tan.

I've spray finished in the past using a good auto finish gun but the amount of prep in terms of masking and workspace protection is increased although actual application time is less. As an aside for aged finished I like hand dabbing using an almost dry sponge or gamgee pad, you can also use the same with acetone to highlight areas too. All good fun.


Well-Known Member
Nice GW.... a pity it has so many holes from removed patches and name tag.
Super great dye job on the BR .
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I got a similar result using this.

It turn a light tan colour to a darker brown with a red undertone.
The oil was very user friendly. I have since used it to treat a few other jackets with no ill effect.


New Member
I got a similar result using this.

It turn a light tan colour to a darker brown with a red undertone.
The oil was very user friendly. I have since used it to treat a few other jackets with no ill effect.
Sorry to be late to the convo (like a year late), but was wondering if you could post a couple of photos of the Caron & Doucet results. Have you had any difficulty with rubbing off in the year hence? Cheers and happy holidays to all!