Oiling to darken leather? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 6 Old 02-10-2013, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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Oiling to darken leather?

I have a gorgeous CWD bridle that I'd love to start using - but it's a very light oil, and my saddle is dark Havana... I was speaking with a CWD rep and she said that it would be very easy to darken the leather so that it at least comes a bit closer to matching my saddle - yay! However, I have never even attempted to darken the leather on a light oil item, and I'm terrified that I'm going to ruin a gorgeous bridle.
Help! Hints? Thoughts? Anyone have a CWD in a size 3 that they would want to trade? :P


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post #2 of 6 Old 02-10-2013, 03:32 PM
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JDI, just use 100% neatsfoot oil on it. One or two coats will take care of it. You won't ruin the leather that way.
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-10-2013, 04:10 PM
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Post some before and after pics please! I'm *thinking* of oiling my saddle because in my old barn it got dripped on in a few spots (tied more horse in the arena to go pee and when I came back I realized I'd tied him under a drippy roof!) my saddle is a light oil and hmmmmm I don't know what I should do......
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-10-2013, 05:53 PM
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I oiled my (rather light color) jumping saddle, and all I can say it very unlikely will turn havana or even close (at least it didn't for me). However it won't damage it either except adding some suppleness (which is good).

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post #5 of 6 Old 02-10-2013, 06:24 PM
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Clean the leather with something that will strip the oil, like hair shampoo for oily hair, then neatsfoot oil, soak it in, repeat over a few days. And if you can set it in the sun, that will speed up the darkening process.
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post #6 of 6 Old 02-10-2013, 06:25 PM
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Be careful about over oiling or it can wind up gummy. Try saddle soaping first and while the pores are open put some oil on your hands and rub it in. If you've taken the bridle apart friction from your hands will help the oil penetrate the leather. One fellow told me he'd toss it in auto oil to darken the leather. Not sure I'd want to go that route.
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