Baseball gloves look pretty much the same because of their iconic brown color.
What if players want to restore them to fit their personalities? Can you dye a leather baseball glove?
This guide will cover valuable information about dyeing baseball gloves.
Let’s check it out before changing your gear’s look!
Can You Dye A Leather Baseball Glove?
Yes. Dyeing is an excellent way to maintain your gloves and give them a new appearance. You can even choose different methods to dye them.
There are three main types of leather dyes in the market: water-based, alcohol-based, and oil-based dyes.
Each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Please scroll down to find the best one for your gloves.
The resin mixtures used to create water-based leather dyes allow for optimal absorption of the coloring agents with the leather.
Moreover, the dyes have waxes and oils that keep the leather supple while removing odors and providing resistance to color wearing off.
However, water-based dyes have a more complicated penetration. Hence, it takes a long time for the colors to dry.
Because of their fast penetration and curing on leather, alcohol-based dyes are very popular. The fibers in these dyes remain colored after the alcohol substances drain away from the gloves.
Unfortunately, the dyes can’t penetrate deeply into the fibers and will rub off with use. Besides, the ability to dry fast causes the natural oils in your gloves to evaporate, making them stiffer and dryer.
We advise against using alcohol-based dyes unless they are your only choice. There are still two alternatives to consider.
The pigment oil solution serves as the essential foundation for oil-based dyes.
Although this solution takes longer to cure than alcohol-based dyes, it provides for far greater penetration of the leather.
Furthermore, the oil solution retains the leather’s natural suppleness. You can also notice a far more uniform color than alcohol-based products.
We advise using oil-based dyes if you don’t mind waiting for them to dry because of the reputation they have built in the industry.
How Do You Dye Gloves?
Have you chosen the right dye for your gloves? Your task doesn’t end there. Let’s take the following steps to get your job done.
Step 1: Prepare the dye.
You need to cut or dilute the leather dye. To begin, we suggest dilution of the dye. Dilution can help create a lighter shade for the original hue, allowing multiple coatings and applications.
You may get the color and texture you want by applying diluted dye. Besides, try to use a color that matches your baseball gloves’ color.
In case you can’t find a perfect match, go for a hue darker than the leather’s original color. You can dilute your dye at any time to the desired shade for optimum results.
We advise a mixture for your final dying solution with a dye-to-thinner ratio of 50-50 to 70-30. You can learn more tips from this video:
Step 2: Deglaze your baseball gloves
Deglazing leather gloves help you remove the previous finishing and create a much superior foundation for applying new dye.
To get rid of any grime, grease, or extra paint coats, use a clean cloth, and a deglaze to brush on your gloves. The adhesiveness of the new dye will remain longer as a result.
Owing to the dye’s ability to go more evenly and over a more uniform surface, this step can also provide a consistent look for your gloves. Employing a leather deglazing solution would be best since it offers solid paint and dirt removal.
If you can’t get a good deglazer, you can sand the leather to remove previous finishes with a fine-grit sandpaper.
To loosen the gloves’ outer layer, gently rub it with 600-grit sandpaper, making sure to access all the nooks and crannies.
Step 3: Wash the gloves
Cleaning your leather gloves guarantees that the dye will apply easily on the surface and won’t cling to the dirt or filth.
Utilize a water spray bottle instead of submerging your baseball gloves in water at this stage. To completely clean the gloves, you may also need saddle soap.
Step 4: Apply the dye
Follow the instructions for the dye you use. Each product requires a different application method for a natural grain finish and consistent color.
Often, the dye needs you to apply three coats or more for an even effect:
- Use a sponge or a cloth for the first coat. Try to apply it in a circular motion on the surface and let it dry.
- Apply the second coat diagonally in a back-and-forth pattern from left to right and wait for it to dry.
- The final coat requires a diagonally right-to-left application. This method ensures that you dye the surface in all directions.
Top-grain leather can show off its natural spots and blemishes after dyed. And if it’s full-grain, you can retain all of the fibers’ original shape.
The moisture level also affects the process. Hence, we have wet and dry dyeing as follows.
- Wet dyeing
This solution is only suitable if you have experience with paintwork and leather.
You can pull the color uniformly over the surface if the leather is still wet.
Although it sounds good, the dyes can flow to wetter spots, leading to a more concentrated area on the leather surface.
Please note that dyes on a wet area will look darker than they really are. When the gloves dry, you can see the color in a lighter shade than when you painted it.
So, if you are unfamiliar with the paintwork, you can’t distinguish the different color shades on the leather. It may lead to inconsistent texture on your gloves.
- Dry dyeing
This method is more straightforward because the dye will be more apparent. You can easily point out the spots that need more dye.
So if you are not confident about your dyeing skill, this solution will be the best choice.
Step 5: Seal the dye
You should condition your baseball gloves after thoroughly dying them.
But before it, you must first allow the dye to dry completely. This video will show you some tips to condition your gloves:
Sealing the leather dye will provides a glossy surface and prevents unintentional color rub-off. So apply the seal, let it dry, and buff it with a cloth to see how it works.
Tips For Dyeing Leather Baseball Gloves
The five steps above are enough for your project to be done successfully. Yet, we like to highlight some practices to maximize your experience.
The following four tips are what we are talking about.
Only use leather-friendly products.
Make sure the dyes you use are suitable for use on leather.
Unsafe chemicals may cause harm to your baseball gloves or possibly make them break down over time since leather binds differently than other fabrics.
Allow the fibers to dry until the next application.
After every step in the procedure, you must ensure that your gloves have completely dried. This rule applies when you wash, deglaze, dye, and condition the leather.
Apply multiple coats.
As mentioned earlier, we advise adding multiple dye coats to your gloves to achieve the desired colors better.
Moreover, this tip enables you to choose the ultimate color tone progressively.
Follow the instructions carefully.
You should always pay attention to any particular directions that come with specific dyes.
You can use our information as a general reference, but always check the manufacturer’s recommendations carefully for the optimum result.
1. How do you change the color of a baseball glove?
You can use water-based, alcohol-based, or oil-based leather dye products to change the color of your gloves.
2. Can leather be dyed a different color?
You can dye light-colored leather to a darker one. But dyeing it to a lighter share will be much more complicated if you have a dark leather piece. You can consider painting it to change its color.
3. What type of dye is best for leather?
Oil-based dyes have the best effects on leather. They don’t ruin the original texture of the surface while having good penetration.
The only drawback is that you must wait quite a long time for the dye to set.
Can you dye leather gloves? Yes, and many types of dyes help you yield an impressive result. Try to choose the right product for your gloves.
Hopefully, you will find this article helpful. For any further information about dyeing leather gloves, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Thank you for reading!