Friday, May 5, 2017

How To Dye A Vernis Louis Vuitton Bag

I feel like I am running a center for handbag rehab over here. 
Two of my recent projects were eBay finds. 
The other was a piece in my collection that never got used. 
I'll talk about each in its own post.

I'm quitting my job.
I know I've told you but it's just so exciting to say it over and over again. 

How to dye a Louis Vuitton Vernis

I have exactly 9 more alarms!
I'm not a morning person. Just FYI. 

There were a few things on my bucket list before I quit and I have to become Thrifty Katie again. 
I'm always thrifty, so even though I have a wish list, I still want to snag them for the best price possible.

Dyed Louis Vuitton Vernis bag, Patent leather

Louis Vuitton has a patent leather color so perfect that it has been on my wish list since I started stalking their website 8 years ago.
Amarante is a gorgeous, deep purple/red color.

How to dye a Louis Vuitton Vernis

The Vernis line is more expensive than the regular canvas line.
Plunking down that kind of cash for a special occasion bag was just not something I could bring myself to do.
It's not clear to me why this happens but older Vernis pieces from Louis Vuitton discolored or got color transfer.

They are a bargain on eBay.
They are quite worthless in their current state but a few savvy crafters have found an amazing fix for these old bags.
When Bill is watching some television program involving outer space or grizzly murder, I'll watch YouTube videos.
I came across an artisan that re-dyes older Louis Vuitton pieces.
I binged watched almost every clip. It gave me the impetus to plop a Vernis piece into my shopping cart over at eBay.
I chose the cheapest bag in the style I wanted.

It arrived from Japan in about two weeks.

The inside of the bag is perfect.
It has no odors which is great.
Sometimes sellers will spray stuff with Febreeze. I can't stand that smell.

 Fiebing's Burgundy and Purple leather dye were the two colors used to get the deep Amarante color.
I hoped the dye would cover up some of the deeper marks in the leather.
Reportedly the dye would not cover up the shine of the Vernis - varnish in French.

The surface was rubbed with acetone nail polish remover to deglaze it a little.

The first coat was done in the red. The second coat was done in the purple.
The process isn't like painting. It is more like staining furniture.
Long sweeping motions with the dye dauber are best.

The red looked just like the Louis Vuitton color, Pomme. It's also a sought after color in that line.
There may be a second dye job in my future.

At some point the color looked copper before it was completely dry.
It was not the look I was going for.
I used a dry cloth to remove the excess dye that seemed to be pooling in random spots.
Once dry, the copper color disappeared.

Leather dye is a different type of liquid. It's very runny. Even though I was meticulous and careful some of the dye seeped onto the tan Vachetta leather.
I went ahead and dyed all the piping Amarante.

Dyed Louis Vuitton Vernis bag, Patent leather

There was no fixing that.

How to dye a Louis Vuitton Vernis

In 24 hours it was completely dry.
I haven't sealed this with a leather sealer, I want to see how it holds up. If it chips, I'll seal it with leather finish.

How to dye a Louis Vuitton Vernis

It's so pretty!
This is the Thompson Street bag.  It was made in France in the ninth week of the year 2000.
It looks good for something 17 years old.

Dyed Louis Vuitton Vernis bag, Patent leather

This would have ended up black if this mixing experiment had been a fail.
I didn't really need another black purse so I'm thrilled it worked.

Just an FYI. The thread took longer to dry than the patent leather.
Keep that in mind when handling the bag. (I learned that the hard way.)

How to dye a Louis Vuitton Vernis

How to dye a Louis Vuitton Vernis

This was so much fun to do.
Have a wonderful weekend.


  1. Katie,
    Could this be a new opportunity for a part-time job for you? Dyeing designer bags? This one turned out great.


  2. You continue to amaze me. I would never have thought of rehabbing a designer purse, but now I want to!

  3. Sounds like you may have a future business as the purse whisperer.

  4. Wow - well done! I was surprised that it was sent from Japan through Ebay - How did you know it was authentic? I see so many knock-offs on Ebay and they come from Asia! Enjoy your "new" bag!!

  5. What a beautiful job, Katie! I love how shiny it turned out. When you had the paint on it looked flat; did you add anything to bring the shine back?
    I'm visiting from Wow Us Wednesday Link Party.
    ~ Megin of VMG206

  6. This is great to know! BTW how did you know the date and where it was made?

  7. I was so happy to find this blog! I just bought the same LV vernis bag in gold and have not found a bag restoration company that will restore this bag for me. It's in great overall condition except for the discoloration. Do you have a particular recommendation for gold dye on vernis?

  8. Wow! I am going to attempt to do this now :)

  9. These ones are very popular and are worn over the shoulder. It is a popular accessory of women. Tote bags are also known as handbags or evening bags. luxury travel bag

  10. Did you do the inside too? With the same product?

  11. In your opinion, Do you think could you dye the denim pink bag that louis Vuitton makes?