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ANTIQUE FURNITURE RESTORATION DISCUSSION BOARD

Re: water stain on leather topped bureau plat

Posted By: Michael Richwine <woodwiz@birch.net> (rrcs-west-65-26-166-216.biz.rr.com)
Date: 4/21/4 16:17

In Response To: water stain on leather topped bureau plat (Theresa Evans)

First, give the leather several days to dry. I assume you blotted up all the water you could as soon as you found it. A lot of leathers will return to their normal color when they dry, and if you blotted up enough water you might not end up with a tide line or ring.

If the leather still is dark after it is thoroughly dry, it probably has shrunk, even though it is glued down to a base. Clean water would only stain minimally. I have gotten rid of some dark spots by gently stretching leather over a mandrel shaped like a doorknob, working it section by section until the color evened out. This would obviously entail removing the leather, which I would leave to someone with experience. Stretching the leather might leave a bulge when it is re-laid, but leather can also be shrunk by heating and chilling. I have done this on occasion, but not many people seem to know how to do it.

If you have a ring or tide line after the leather dries, but the color is otherewise OK, the ring can sometimes be removed by the judicious use of a standard water based leather cleaner. Again, I have done this successfully, even on Nubuck leathers, but it's "iffy" and takes someone with training and experience.

If the leather has already been replaced, and if it is salmon colored it most likely has, since I never have seen that color used on leather in the 1700's, it might be easier to simply replace the leather if it ended up badly stained. On the other hand, if it is a semi-aniline leather as I suspect, it can be fairly easily reclolored to cover the stain.

Those are the options that come to mind. Unfortunately all except waiting require some expertise and expense. Worse you have to find someone qualified, which might be difficult.

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