6 Easy Ways To Dull Patent Leather Without Causing Any Damage

How to dull patent leather

Patent leather items are supposed to be shiny and glossy but what do you do when the patent leather item(s) looks overly glossy or even cheap? In this article, I’m going to show you 6 simple and easy ways to dull patent leather.

So, how do you dull patent leather? You can simply dull up your patent leather by:

6. Regularly Using The Patent Leather Item

5. Washing The Patent Leather Item

4. Using A Matte Finish Leather Cleaner or Conditioner

3. Removing The Gloss With A Leather Wax Remover

2. Sanding and Redyeing The Patent Leather

1. Deglazing and Redyeing The Patent Leather

The methods highlighted above range from less rigorous to a more abrasive approach to dulling your patent leather.

To learn more details on the various methods of dulling patent leather, Keep reading this article! But first, a little bit about dulling patent leather you should know.

Making Patent Leather Dull

The mirror glaze of patent leather can be very hard to get rid of. Chances are your patent leather items such as shoes, jackets, bags, which will be made from corrected grained leather coated with plastic.

These plastic coatings can be exceptionally hard to remove. The best-case scenario is that you will only be able to slightly dull it depending on the approach you take.

The high-end patent leather goods on the other hand are often made from top grained leather and are coated using the original methods of coating patent leather with a linseed based coating.

And because of this, the top-coating is very easy to remove.

6. Regularly Using The Patent Leather Item

Patent leather lasts for years and the more it’s used the more character it develops. Regularly using your patent leather shoes, jackets, bags, or boots, is a great way to gradually dull it especially if you don’t want to drastically make it dull.  

This is one of the basic ways to dull patent leather (by letting it see a lot of use). Simply wear and use it as often as you can.

You can wear it whether snow, rain or shine. You can as well leave it on the sun for a little bit or pass it on to friends and family to wear it out. (No pun intended)

With this method, you will be able to observe the kind of wear on the surface of your patent leather and if it gets to a dulling you’re okay with, you can simply resume a regular routine.  

This is an easy and slow way to dull up your patent leather but will work just fine for you.

5. Washing The Patent Leather Item With Soap

Patent leather is generally super water-resistant and waterproof but washing your patent leather items with soapy water will be able to tone down the shine on it.

In most cases, the surface of the patent leather will have some oil or wax residue or finish on it causing it to have that extra shine and gloss you do not like.

Washing the patent leather with soap is a good way to remove any shinny build-up that’s causing the patent leather to develop an extra sticky shine than it’s supposed to be.

So you will be able to dull up any patent leather that has seen a bit of wear or new patent leather items with this method.

Here’s What You Need:

  • Dish Soap
  • Distilled Water
  • 2 Towels or Cloths
  • Bowl


Step 1: Put about 16 fl Oz or 470 ml water into a bowl and add 3-5 drops of dish soap to the water.

Step 2: Allow both the water and dish soap to mix up and lather a bit.

Step 3: Dip your towel or cloth into the solution, wring it out slightly, and wipe the surface of the patent leather.

Step 4: Dampen your second cloth or towel ONLY with distilled water, wring it out and wipe the soapy residue off the surface of the patent leather.

Step 5: Leave the patent leather item(s) to dry.

4. Using A Matte Finish Leather Cleaner or Conditioner

Using a ready-made leather conditioner or cleaner that renders the leather surface it’s applied to a matte finish is another alternative for dulling patent leather. These products are formulated to put a nice matte finish on your leather.

You can simply check with your favorite supply store in your area and get any leather cleaner or conditioner that will leave a matte finish on your patent leather and inadvertently causing it to have a dull look.

If you’re interested, you can check out my recommendation for the best leather conditioner that leaves behind a finish that will dull up your patent leather nicely.

You can simply use these types of products by following the instructions on the package.

3. Removing The Gloss With A Leather Wax Remover

The shiny glossy surface of patent leather can be hard to remove but it’s possible to strip off a piece of its layer to dull it up and reduce its shine.

If your patent leather has a wax mirror shine, then you can get a leather wax remover to help you remove if not all a significant part of it.

Things Needed:

  • 2 Microfiber Cloths
  • Leather wax remover


While the best thing will be to follow the instructions on the package of your leather wax remover, you can follow these general 2 step processes to dull your patent leather items.

Step 1: Put a liberal amount of the leather wax remover on a microfibre cloth or soft cloth.

Step 2: Wipe over the surface of the patent leather item. Make sure you give the patent leather a good scrub.

You can repeat the process of loading your rag and rubbing the surface of the patent leather as many times as possible till the shine on the patent leather product has drastically reduced.

2. Sanding and Redyeing The Patent Leather

This method is an old fashion way of dulling patent leather. It does include a bit of work to be able to dull up the leather quite nicely.

Carefully follow my step-by-step guide on how to safely get this done without the help of a professional cobbler. But first, let’s gear up!

Things Needed:

  • Emery Paper
  • Alcohol based dye
  • Soft brush or rag


Step 1: Use your superfine emery paper and sand the glossy finish on the patent leather.

Make sure to carefully sand every inch of the patent leather item. This will help prevent the patent leather from looking spotty after your dyeing is completed.

Step 2: After the leather is thoroughly sanded, use your brush or rag to remove all the debris from the patent leather.

Step 3: Apply the first layer of your dye to the sanded patent leather item.

Step 4: Allow the first coat to dry. Since it’s an alcohol-based dye, it will take only a couple of minutes before it dries.

Step 5: Apply the second coat of dye and allow it dry.

Step 6: (Optional) After the leather is dry, rebuff to get a gloss on you redyed patent leather.

1. Deglazing and Redyeing The Patent Leather

This method is actually similar to the sanding and redyeing the patent leather method. 

The only difference here is that instead of sanding the entire surface of the patent leather, you can use a deglazer like the Fiebing’s Deglazer to prep the surface of the patent leather item before dyeing. Here’s how it’s done!

Things Needed:

  • Deglazer
  • An Alcohol-Based Dye
  • Leather Oil
  • Soft Microfiber Cloth
  • Coarse Cloth


Step 1: Follow the instructions on the deglazer product you choose. A deglazer will basically prepare any type of leather surface for dyeing or the reapplication of finishes.

Deglazing the patent leather will typically include using a very coarse cloth to apply a very liberal amount of deglazer to the entire surface of your leather.

It’s absolutely essential to first test out your deglazer on an inconspicuous portion of the patent leather item before applying it to the entire surface of the leather.

Step 2: Allow the deglazed patent leather to thoroughly dry.

Step 3: Apply your alcohol-based dye to the deglazed patent leather surface.

Step 4: Allow the dye to dry and place another coat. You can add a couple more coats if you like.

Step 5: Once satisfied with the matte finish you get, you can now allow it to finally dry.

Step 6: Rebuff the dyed surface with a soft clean microfiber cloth to get a soft natural semi-gloss.

Step 7: Finally, oil the surface with your leather oil. This will help protect the patent leather from water.  


The process of dulling patent leather goods can be very tricky. In this article, I share with you 6 of the best ways you can effectively dull your patent leather shoes, jackets, wallets, boots, etc.

You will be able you use the methods I shared in this article to completely dull up your patent leather items or only dull it slightly.

If you’re a bit skeptical and wouldn’t want to be too intrusive in your attempt to dull your patent leather, you can use methods 6, 5, and 4.

But if you’re ready to drastically tone down the gloss on your patent leather item(s), you can use my personal favorite methods which are the Sanding and Redyeing The Patent Leather and Deglazing and Redyeing The Patent Leather to bring your patent leather to a nice natural gloss or matte

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Hi! I’m Kwabena, the owner and founder of Favored Leather. I’m a huge Leathercraft enthusiast and I’ve been that for almost 13 years now. I'm excited to share my experiences and all the new stuff I learn each day about leather craft, leather cleaning & care, and everything in-between!

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