Cowgirl_Jess

Bringing A Saddle Back To Life?

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I have a Billy Shaw barrel saddle that's about 6 years old. It still works just fine, but it's starting to look a little rough. It's a light oil, but there are a few spots where it has faded, and it just looks blotchy. Is there any way I can try to even out the color?

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I hope you haven't already oiled it. Oxalic acid will bring leather back to it's original "in the pink" color, but not if it's been oiled. You'll have to remove the oil by washing with detergent and rinsing well. Then try to find some leather dye the same color as originally used on the saddle. Then a sealer coat of dressing like Super Sheen or Satin Sheen from Tandy/Leather Factory.

The way I use oxalic acid is to dissolve three teaspoons of crystals in a cup of hot water and use a toothbrush to apply it in a circular scrubbing motion. You should be able to see the leather lightening back up. To neutralize the acid use a mixture of white vinegar and water. Your saddle will thank you.

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I haven't oiled it yet. I've thought about it many times, but I didn't know the best way to go about it. Thanks for the advice, I'm definetely going to have to try it!

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You can buy oxalic acid at a hadware store. It costs about $6 or $7 It's granulated and people use it to bleach their wooden decks. One container should last quite a while. Just be sure to use vinegar water to stop the acid.

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Thank you! Lets see if I can talk myself into doing it now. Could you do the entire saddle and re oil it darker?

Don't know. I've never tried it. I did an entire roughout saddle to bring it back to life. It was from the 50's and looked a mess. When finished it looked almost new. I oiled the saddle on the smooth side of the leather. That was quite a project; it got new fleece on the skirts, new stirrup leathers and Blevins buckles, strings and conchos and lariat loop on the right front swell. I priced it to a friend and he began counting out the money. He keeps it on a beautiful maple stand in his living room. He says it's too nice to leave out in the stable, where it could get dusty! He trail rides in the saddle, but when he gets home the saddle goes right back into the living room!

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