Where do I buy these? How do I protect my finish from rust?
The answer is that rust and enamel are different types of finish. You should consider your finishing technique and be familiar with the terminology.
Rust and Enamel
Rust and enamel are two common finishes that have been applied to leather products over the years. They are also both very good for use at the edge of leather goods that make great accent furniture pieces. They can usually be used on any texture in leather: natural edge, rougher leather, and even soft leather.
Rust and enamel are often applied with very fine texturing, sometimes as thin as a fine hairline. Many applications are made with very soft textured leather, which makes it very easy to apply. Many times, an application will have a very coarse texture, which may require more sanding and oil to get the finish in place. When applying it, you don’t have to sand too much.
For a general definition on the topic of the types of finishes used to attach to leather, check out the glossary page of the Woodworking Institute of America’s website.
Rust and Enamel are used at the edge of leather goods, so if the leather is too rough or you are worried about rusting it (see Rust Basics), you should have it sanded or oiled to remove the rust.
You can also use oil to remove rust by placing a little bit on to the leather and then rubbing to remove more oil. You can do this using one of the special oiled leather tools, like the Enamel Finishing Tool or the Rust and Enamel Finisher.
To protect your leather finish from rust, you have to clean the leather with vegetable oil or mineral oil before using it. Clean in hot soapy water, or use a leather cleaner that is designed for oiling leather. You should rinse well before storing your leather as well.
Rust and Enamel finish does not allow any moisture in and so will eventually stain. As long as you store your leather and wear protective clothing or a lotion, the finish should protect it from stains.
The finish can also be removed completely with water, but you have to be careful with water, as water will evaporate the moisture from the leather and stain it. For the best results, do not keep your leather in plastic bags.
Because the finish only applies to the surface, you cannot use it on the entire surface of the leather
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