DIY Project: Restoring a Vintage Dior

It has been a while since I last made a DIY project. It was six years ago to be exact when I had recolored a bag strap. I was just browsing when I suddenly thought of taking another stab restoring a vintage Lady Dior Shoulder Bag from 1997 stored inside the closet.

Before and after restoration - Vintage Christian Dior Patent Cannage Lady Dior Shoulder Bag

Before and after restoration of this vintage patent Dior

I first wrote about this back in 2012, when I had looked back at things that were destroyed by Typhoon Ondoy from 2009. All that was usable from this was the zipper pull. It was, I believed at the time, a lost cause.

Fast forward to around 2017, I tried restoring it using various leather dyes, including the Tarrago Color Dye I bought in June that year. It was a major fail. Before I even started, I have read a lot of information online how some people managed to do it. In my mind, those tricks would do the trick. But I ended up with something like this blotched patent leather.

Before the restoration - Vintage Christian Dior Patent Cannage Lady Dior Shoulder Bag

Before the restoration

Look at the botched patent cannage - Vintage Christian Dior Patent Cannage Lady Dior Shoulder Bag

Look at the botched patent cannage

Thus, for five more years, to the closet it went. Forgotten. I was tentative whether or not I should just throw it out. I, however, thought that I may have the courage again to attempt another restoration. If this won’t work, then I don’t know what else.

I had also bought back in 2017 a can of Meltonian Nu-Life Color Spray. Maybe, this would finally do the trick. As shown in the two photos above, the upper left side of the cannage had some application of the spray. I was gobsmacked that it worked! The downside, I was barely 4 spray presses when the can already gave out. I no longer have any spray.

I searched on Google for the leather supply store in SM Megamall where I bought those leather dyes and conditioners from. They sadly already closed last year at the height of the pandemic. I was so sad to hear about it. Yet another business affected by COVID-19. =(

On the brighter side, the owner is still selling supplies from Quezon City. The Meltonian spray has been unfortunately phased out. They have the TRG Super Color Spray instead.

Wares for the restoration project- Tarrago Color Dye, TRG Super Color Spray, Angelus Leather Dye, and Angelus Acrylic Leather Paint.jpg

Wares for the restoration project and more: Tarrago Color Dye, TRG Super Color Spray, Angelus Leather Dye, and Angelus Acrylic Leather Paint.jpg

I never used the TRG Super Color Spray. I was not even sure if it would have the same consistency as the Meltonian. Nevertheless, I had no choice because I had already taped all the hardware parts of the bag, and it was a project I had to finish no matter the result is. I ordered two cans in case I would need more, another brown and black leather dye, and some white acrylic leather paint from Angelus I had no idea where to use. I just wanted to take advantage of the delivery I had to book via Grab.

Unlike other dyeing job I did in the past, it was trickier this time considering the fumes. I had to wear triple masks and some plastic gloves, and garbage bags laid out on the floor. After trying it at the bottom of the bag to see how the TRG spray would hold up, I noticed that it has the same consistency as the Meltonian. I got more confident and sprayed the hell out of the bag.

This is how the first coat looked like:

After the first spray of the TRG Super Color Spray - Vintage Christian Dior Patent Cannage Lady Dior Shoulder Bag

After the first spray of the TRG Super Color Spray

It was no longer as patchy, although I observed that those with relatively thicker application had more shine to it as compared to the others on the matte side.

The spray was surprisingly quick to dry, although my impatient self had to ruin some parts that were a bit wet. Fortunately, it was just the first application and I hoped that the second application would cover it.

Close-up of the leather, showing a bit of the bag's age - Vintage Christian Dior Patent Cannage Lady Dior Shoulder Bag

Close-up of the leather, showing a bit of the bag’s age. It is already a 25-year old bag after all!

After around 30 minutes that I was sure it was already completely dry, I applied the second one. I still noticed that some areas are too matte compared to the others. To be fair, I had stripped the patent to the bones during the prep of the 2017 attempt.  I had to do a third run, but focusing more on areas where it should be better.

It is no longer as patchy as before. In fact, I was very delighted. The leather spray exceeded my expectations!

While it was a quick-dry spray, I had to let the bag sit for another hour to make sure the color properly dries out. I could not risk ruining it again with a careless thumbprint, and subject it to another application.

Close-up of the Lady Dior hardware

Close-up of the Lady Dior hardware

One regret that I have was using electrical tape to cover the hardware parts. I did not have masking tape with me that leaves less residue. It was a challenge to remove the sticky feeling on the hardware, and I spent around an hour removing it and eventually rebuffing the metal.

Overall, I am very pleased that this Dior stuck inside the closet for 13 years had a makeover! The bag is already 25 years as of 2022 and honestly, even with its original color that tends to yellow in time, it was bound for this to be touched up.

New look for this vintage Christian Dior Patent Cannage Lady Dior Shoulder Bag

New look for this vintage patent Christian Dior

On the other hand, the handle had to be re-shaped a bit. Being stashed for more than a decade in the closet, ready to be thrown out will do this.

Good thing the TRG Super Color Spray did the trick, and gave new life to this vintage Dior!

bryologue

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