6 Ways Patent Leather Age Plus How To Slow The Aging

how does patent leather age

Are you planning to buy a patent leather item or already have item(s) made from patent leather and want to find out how its end is going to look like, then this article is going to give you a futuristic view of how your patent leather goods will age.

So, how does patent leather age? Below are the various ways patent leather will age;

  1. Patent Leather Becomes Tacky And Sticky With Time
  2. Scuffs, Scratches, And Creases Will Buildup
  3. Patent Leather Will Yellow With Age
  4. Patent Leather Will Get Color Transfer With Time
  5. Squeak Sounds Lessen As Patent Leather Ages

Patent leather goods are generally the easiest leather materials to care for. However, as stated above, there are a couple of things that are likely to happen to your patent leather with time.

In order to learn more and understand the details of how patent leather age, then keep reading this article!

Details On How Patent Leather Age

While patent leather aging will largely depend on the type of goods and the quality of the patent leather, grade, or whatever durability scale they have for it, there are a couple of general aging factors that will occur on patent leather.

1. Patent Leather Becomes Tacky And Sticky With Time

Why does my patent leather feel sticky? This is commonly asked about patent leather goods. While there are other factors such as heat or humidity, body fluids, etc, often causing patent leather to become sticky or tacky, aging is also a huge causative factor.

And actually, in most cases, patent leather will naturally develop stickiness with time due to decay causing the patent leather to lose its luster.

To elaborate a bit further, the reason why this happens especially as patent leather ages is that the making of some patent leathers (the older ones) will usually involve the use of linseed oil although a lot of the newer patent leather is made using plastics.

Either one of the two does not do so well or hold up well under heat. So all the various kinds of heat (like the sun) that the patent leather item takes over time will eventually breakdown the patent leather causing it to become sticky or tacky.

How To Deal With Patent Leather That Has Become Sticky Due To Age

Unfortunately, there is no permanent solution to this problem. All you can do is to clean your patent leather timely until the sticky substance begins to resurface as the leather ages.

When the stickiness begins, there are a couple of things you can do to manage it.

The first is to clean the patent leather surface with a very mild leather cleaner and then wiping the surface of the patent leather with mineral spirits.

This will help to diminish the stickiness temporarily as long as the conditions around the aged patent leather are good.

Related Article: 7 Simple Ways To Fix Sticky Patent Leather

2. Scuffs, Scratches, And Creases Buildup

The glassy surface of patent leather will always look fortified against moisture, dirt, and all sorts of stains.

Patent leather, however, still has a bunch of vulnerabilities. One of which is that it easily develops scuffs.

And if scuffs are properly and timely removed as and when it happens, it’s going to build up and ruin the overall look of the patent leather item with time.

Another typical damage to patent leather is it scratching. Your patent leather scratching is a lot scarier than all of the other aging factors.

While minor scratches can be managed and removed, deeper scratches and creases will be almost impossible to get rid of after the patent leather item has served its time.

This is a common sign in patent leather that has seen a lot of wear. Those untreated scratches on the patent leather would only get worse and usually there’s no turning back.

Deep scratches can’t be removed from patent leather

The scratch will now allow moisture stains to get through into the leather beneath the glossy finish and while at it, color transfer, dirt, dust, and stains will fill up in-between the scratches.

With time, the scratches on the patent leather will begin have an ugly bright stripes appearance.

How To Prevent Scuffs, Scratches, and Creases Buildup On Patent Leather

When it comes to patent leather and scuffs, there’s no excuse for allowing scuff build up on patent leather.

Removing scuffs from patent leather is very easy to do and shouldn’t be allowed to mar the beautiful appearance of the patent leather items.

There are a list of things you can use to take care of the scuffs on your patent leather so that it does not build up and cause your leather to look very bad years down the line.

You can use items such as erasers, vaseline, toothpaste, non-acetone nail polish remover, hand sanitizers, regular alcohol, windex, and a host of other house hold items.

Here’s a video on how to remove scuffs and minor scratch marks from patent leather using an eraser.

3. Patent Leather Will Yellow With Age

While leather in general becoming yellow is a pretty common thing, it’s also pretty common to deal with. However, on patent leather, it gets a little tricky.

Patent leather becoming yellow is probably one of the biggest or characteristic changes patent leather undergoes as it ages.

This is usually the case for white patent leather not so much for the darker-colored patent leather items.

Meaning, patent leather goods that are of light colors will yellow the older it gets. This is because light-colored patent leather such as white are particularly sensitive and will easily yellow with time.

Related Article: 6 Things That Causes Patent Leather To Yellow

How To Prevent Yellowing Patent Leather With Age

The best way to ensure your patent leather doesn’t become yellow too quickly is by ensuring a good cleaning routine and good storage practices.

A good cleaning routine will be to clean off stains immediately. When it comes to storage, you do not want to go wrong with it. Patent leather has to be stored right.

Related Article: How To Store Patent Leather

4. Patent Leather Will Get Color Transfer With Time

Color transfer is probably one of the biggest issues when it comes to patent leather. It’s something that will inevitably happen one way or another.

So what you’re bound to see after many years of using your patent leather item is the patent leather item taking on some color as a result of the patent leather item being kept or stored close to other colored items of taking up stains.

This is particularly very common with light-colored patent leather goods.

How To Prevent Color Transfer Onto Patent Leather As It Ages

As heartbreaking as this can be, seeing your precious patent leather shoe or jacket get discolored and losing its original beauty, is usually somewhat easy to mitigate if you know what you’re doing.

The way you will be able to manage this if not completely avoid it is by ensuring stains do not travel through the cracks and creases onto the leather itself underneath the gloss finish.

This is because stains, discoloration, or color transfers that occurs on the surface of the glossy finish of the patent leather is usually quite easy to remove.

You can also help to manage color transfer onto your patent leather items by simply ensuring good storage practices for your patent leather items. Such as not keeping light-colored patent leather close to colored bags, shoes, dresses, etc.

Pro Tip: What I generally suggest is if the patent leather item you intend to get is an expensive buy and you would want to have it and enjoy it for the longest possible time, then any dark-colored item should your must-go-to. This is because dark-colored patent leather items will suffer no color transfer no matter how long it lasts or ages.

5. Squeaking Sounds Lessen As Patent Leather Ages

This particularly goes for patent leather shoes, heels, and sometimes pants. Although they are very stylish, they squeak a lot when they’re new.

Patent leather shoes and heels will squeak with every step you take which can be a bit much. This can be embarrassing, disruptive for others, and will draw unwanted attention.

But hey! that’s the genesis of most of the patent leather shoes and heels you will buy. However, the annoying (at least to me :D) squeaking sounds of patent leather tend to diminish and eventually go away with time and will only pop back up on few occasions for short periods.

If you’re there thinking well that sucks, there are some super cool ways to removing the squeaking sounds from patent leather prematurely.

You can check out an article I wrote earlier on how to remove the squeaking sounds from patent leather in quick simple steps. By doing this, you wouldn’t have to wait for eternity for the squeaking noise to go away naturally with time. You really want to check out this article.


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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