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Burnishing Leather Edges

Finishing the edges of your leather can really enhance the overall look of your project. This can be done with edge paint, or you could simply burnish them instead. If you have used edge paint before, you are probably quite familiar with the multiple coats needed, the drying time between coats, and the precision required when painting. If you struggle with this, you will love burnishing!

Burnishing can be done fairly quickly and easily, and it will leave your project with nice, smooth edges. I should mention not all types of leather can be burnished, and some not as easily as others. There are lots of videos out there on how to burnish various types of leather, but the best and easiest burnish typically happens on veg-tanned leather. So, what materials and tools are needed? Keep reading...

There are several methods and different types of gadgets to aid in this task. We talk about this a bit in the video, but it doesn't have to be expensive or complicated. Simply using a small piece of canvas (or a wood slicker), a burnishing agent (or water), and good old-fashioned elbow grease can produce beautiful results. With a leather that takes burnishing well, you might be amazed how quickly your bags and/or straps transform.

One more thing...If using water to burnish your edges, consider also sealing the edges with something like beeswax. Keep in mind, water can darken some types of leather, so we recommend testing it on a scrap of your leather before using it on your project pieces.

Take a peek at the video below showing the method we use most frequently for burnishing.

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