Leather Deglazer: What’s It, Uses And Best Leather Deglazers

best leather degalzers

A leather deglazer is one of the most important liquids you would have for your leather works, DIYs, and crafts. So in this guide, I’m going to show you what leather deglazers are, their uses, the best ones or brands out there, how to use them, and other important tips. But first, a quick summary!

The leather deglazer is used to clear the surface of leather before, painting, dyeing, or refinishing. The best leather deglazers on the market today are the Fiebing’s deglazer and the Angelus leather deglazer. While the Angelus deglazer is the most popular leather deglazer, the Fiebing’s deglazer is the most versatile deglazer. 

For the remaining part of this article, I’m going to get into the details of the 2 best leather deglazers I have highlighted above and show you some cool things you will be able to do with your leather deglazer. But first, what’s a leather deglazer?

What Is A Leather Deglazer?

A leather deglazer is a specially formulated acetone used to safely clear or remove the topcoat of old leather and in some cases, new leather as a form of surface preparation for leather work and DIY activities such as dying, painting, re-dying, stamping, or tooling.

The leather deglazer is acetone-light and is often confused with regular hardware store acetone. A leather deglazer will be carefully formulated just for leather and not the general purpose of regular hardware acetone. 

However, regular acetone will come at a fraction cost or serve as a cheaper alternative to a leather deglazer. 

For most leather workers, the leather deglazer is going to be a vital secret sauce in their toolbox.

What Is The Use Of A Leather Deglazer?

Here are 2 basic functions of a leather deglazer.

Help To Removes Topcoats Before Redyeing or Painting

The primary functions of a leather deglazer are that you will be able to use it to remove the top-coat from an old piece of leather item or any leather surface.

Usually, the leather deglazer comes in pretty handy when it comes to knocking off the top coat of a beat-up or old leather item. It clears the surface nicely for you to be able to redye old or leather items that have faded with time. 

You will also be able to change the color of leather items even if the leather item’s surface is finished. It will safely go onto the leather and clear it up for a new dye and finish to be applied.

When you apply a leather deglazer on leather or leather items, what happens is that it can also remove any form of stubborn dirt, dust, grease, waxes, finishes, old dyes, paints, mud, and any other foreign materials from the leather.

The leather deglazer basically makes the leather surface very clean so that it will make for better adhesion for the paint or dyes that are going to be applied to the leather. 

Using a leather deglazer is a great way to help bring old leather projects back to life. Not only is the leather deglazer useful for preparing leather for dyeing or painting, but you will also be able to use the leather deglazer to clean dye stains and paint stains around your work table.

Prep Leather For Tooling

The leather deglazer is also useful for prepping leather for tooling. Here I’m talking about applying leather deglazer to a leather material before activities such as stamping, carving, or any other tooling methods are done.

This helps to clear up the leather surface nicely so that any kind of impressions made on the leather is spot on. But is this really necessary? 

Generally, no if you’re using a top-quality leather material for your leather crafts. 

However, this is a very common practice among top-end leather toolers. 

The preparation the leather deglazer gives

Leather Deglazer Can Be Used As A Dye Prep

You can also use a leather deglazer to prepare a surface for dyeing. This means that not only is a leather deglazer useful when the surface of the leather is finished or has once been dyed but also it can be used to remove grease, stains, or glazes from the leather before dyeing.

This will help to clear out the surface of your leather nicely so that the dye you will be applying absorbs thoroughly for a uniformed dyeing outcome.

Cons To Using A Leather Deglazer

The leather deglazer is a good thing to have but comes with 2 big disadvantages. The first downside to using a leather deglazer is the fact that it has a pungent smell and so not very friendly to the nose.

So what you need when using a leather deglazer is really really good ventilation. You can set up fans to help blow its pungent smells away from you towards your room vents.  

Another downside to using the leather deglazer is that it’s an acetone-based cleaner and so it’s highly flammable. So you will have to be careful with it around your heat and fires.

The Best Leather Deglazers On The Market – Reviews

Now that you know quite a few things about the leather deglazer, let’s now take a look at the best ones on the market you can get for your leather crafts and DIY projects today. 

I’m going to share with you their advantages, their disadvantages, and why you would want to go for either one. 

2. Angelus Leather Preparer And Deglazer (Best Most Popular)

Angelus is one of the best and main leather Preparer and Deglazer brands on the market today. It’s also one of the most widely used degalzer brands out there.

As you will typically want a leather deglazer to be, the Angelus leather preparer and deglazer is a general-purpose leather cleaner and stripper. 

You will be able to strip away colors, finishes from purses, shoes, holsters, sheaths, holsters, and almost all leather articles.

You can also use the Angelus leather preparer and deglazer on your leather surfaces to prepare it for painting or dyeing.


  • It’s affordable
  • It’s both a preparer and a deglazer
  • Very easy to use
  • Deglazing is instant and super fast
  • Very effective at taking off finish and color residue from leather
  • It can take off waxes, leather sealers, grease, and any kind of buildup easily
  • Angelus has lots of tutorials for this product
  • Works great for both old and new leather items


  • Like all other leather deglazers, It has a strong smell and Angelus hasn’t done a lot when it comes to the smell of this product
  • Can’t be used on vinyl and plastics

If you’re interested in this leather deglazer from the Angelus brand, they come in 2 different quantities. You can check out their 5 ounces here on Amazon! 

1. Fiebing’s Deglazer (Best Most Versatile)

The House of Fiebing’s is one of the biggest leather tools and materials producers. This brand produces high-quality products and so it’s a definite must-go-to brand. 

Fiebing’s deglazer is high quality and comes with special ingredients like no other on the market. 

You will be able to use the Fiebing’s deglazer to prepare any kind of leather surface before applying your dyes and finishes.

This leather deglazer works just like the Angelus leather preparer and deglazer but 2 unique things that set the Fiebing’s deglazer apart from the Angelus are that it has added natural oils that help to restore the natural oils of the leather, the original softness, and leather texture after it’s applied.

Another unique thing about the Fiebing’s deglazer is that apart from leather, it can be used on any kind of material and is very safe when it comes into contact with your hands. You’re, however, required to wear gloves before using it.

How To Use The Fiebing’s Deglazer


  • Strips the surface of the leather safely and thoroughly
  • Restores leather to a nice softness and texture
  • Cleans leather surface and helps to prevent your dye from blotching
  • Good preparer for dyeing, painting, and refinishing leather
  • This product can remove years and years of dirt and grease build-up
  • Can also work on other materials like cloths, faux leather materials, etc. and will not cause any damage
  • Not harmful to the skin
  • Good prep for dyeing faded leather
  • Dries fast
  • Very easy to use


  • Can be a problem if you’re very sensitive to harsh smells

If you’re interested in the Fiebing’s deglazer, you can check out their 32 ounces or their 4 ounces on Amazon for any additional information you will need. 


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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