Restoration Hardware Waxed Leather Satin TopCoat Refinishing Kit RX6.tc by Leather Doctor is a topcoat refinishing kit for aniline waxed leather.
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What is Waxed Leather?
Waxed leather is made by dyeing through to the reverse suede side of the leather with transparent aniline dyestuff, such as Aniline 21.
The surface is then coated with Aniline 76 to even out its appearance and sealed with a waxy satin topcoat using Aniline Top 21W.
This process brings out the natural beauty of the grain surface.
To protect the leather from rubbing and other damage, a non-stick, rub-resistant protector is applied, such as Protector D or the leather-scented version Protector D Plus.
This leather finishing system distinguishes waxed leather from other varieties of aniline leather, such as wax pull-up leather.
What Leather Degreasing?
Degreasing or removing surface and penetrated grease is essential for good topcoat bonding, just like any other refinishing work based on the same principle.
However, the amphoteric protein leather material is especially pH-sensitive. The leather's pH value of 3 to 5 should be maintained at all times during the degreasing process.
Otherwise, a high pH value bleeds the dyestuff and displaces it, resulting in blotchiness.
A high pH or alkalinity degreaser can denature the leather when the tanning agents leach out, resulting in tackiness. In the worst-case scenario, this can result in permanent tackiness.
All degreasing processes will also dry up the original fatliquor to some degree, especially with solvent-alcohol-based and alkaline products. This leads to stiffness and, when stressed, cracks.
When degreasing existing cracks or dried leather, it is recommended to first hydrate and recondition or replenish the leather structure with sufficient fat and oil using the Hydrator 3.3 and Fatliquor 5.0 system before degreasing. Softening the leather first helps prevent over-drying of the leather during the degreasing process, which may accentuate or magnify existing cracks.
What is Topcoat Refinishing?
The preparation for topcoat refinishing varies depending on the extent of physical damage and the conditions of the topcoat itself. In most cases, partial or total removal is recommended to provide a stronger foundation and even out the appearance uniformly.
The standard procedure is a 6-step process:
1* Degreasing: Degreasing is done with Degreaser 2.2, followed by Acidifier 2.0 as a rinse and pH balancer system.
2* Stripping: Stripping is optional depending on the condition of the existing topcoat. The chemical stripping option is done with Stripper 2.3 and Stripping Brush 9. The physical stripping option is done with Hydrator 3.3 and Fatliquor 5.0 hydrating and reconditioning system, in conjunction with Razor 60. Wet sanding finishes the stripping process.
3* Rinsing and pH Balancing: Rinsing and pH balancing are done with Acidifier 2.0. This removes resurfaced soiling particulates to satisfaction and balances pH to eliminate any tackiness before topcoat refinishing.
4* Reconditioning: Reconditioning to restore suppleness to the leather when dry from cracking is done with Hydrator 3.3 and Fatliquor 5.0 system.
5* Topcoat Refinishing: Topcoat refinishing is done with Aniline Top 21W after dry preparation with a lint-free folding towel or padding. Allow it to dry between coatings until the desired result is achieved.
6* Protection: The final sequence of steps is the application of Protector W or the leather scent version, Protector W Plus, to reduce friction wear on the topcoat and prevent soiling with a non-stick protective shield.
Why were these products selected as a holistic, comprehensive system for top-coating refinished aniline leathers?
The answer is...
Degreaser 2.2, Acidifier 2.0, Clean 3.8, and Rinse 3.0 system.
Degreaser 2.2 is a dual-purpose formulation with a pH value of 2.2 designed to safely degrease the leather surface and penetrate soiling while charging the protein fiber ionic positive (+ve). This results in increased hydrogen bonding with the other ionic negative (-ve) leather constituents, such as the tanning agents, dyestuff, and fatliquor.
Acidifier 2.0 is a water-based acidifier with a pH value of 2.0 that works in sync with Degreaser 2.2 to rinse and pH-balance by charging the leather protein fiber ionic positive (+ve), to increase the attraction between the ionic negative (-ve) leather constituents like the tanning agent, dyestuff, and fatliquor, preventing tackiness, bleeding, and stiffness.
Clean 3.8 is an all-purpose, leather-safe, mild anionic universal cleaner. It is particularly effective in emulsifying general soiling and suspending particulates without potential side effects such as rings and browning on pH-sensitive aniline.
Rinse 3.0 is a rinse with a pH value of 3.0 used to remove suspended soil and balance the pH. It is used as a final rinse after Acidifier 2.0 to bring the leather closer to a neutral pH.
Hydrator 3.3 and Fatliquor 5.0 system
Hydrator 3.3 is a water-based pH 3.3 hydrating conditioner that relaxes and plumps soft leather fibers, providing strength for easy stretching and shaving of existing topcoats. The leather structure becomes stretchable against the stiffer topcoats, causing the aging topcoat to loosen for easy shaving.
Fatliquor 5.0 is a pH 5.0 ionic negatively (-ve) charged micro-emulsion of fat, oil, and water for conditioning leather softness with strength when dry.
Fatliquor 5.0, when applied to leather, causes the water-encased ionic-charged fat and oil molecules to break free and become attracted to the protein fibers in the leather. This process results in excess water being wicked away, leaving space for the natural transpiration of the leather.
Aniline Top 21W
Aniline Top 21W is a water-based, fine particle-size urethane-resin emulsion wax satin topcoat designed to protect the natural tanning color and aniline dyestuff with excellent toughness and flexibility.
Protector W is a soft, waxy-feel, non-stick, rub-resistant, protective conditioner for waxed aniline leather types. Protector W Plusis the leather scent version.
Why Use Concentrated Products?
Concentrated products have an indefinite shelf life, do not freeze, suffer less handling damage, and save on shipping costs due to their reduced weight. Before use, concentrates in the bottle must be mixed with distilled water.
What is Leather Wet Processing?
Wet processing is a continuous dovetailing system that includes the working sequence of Degreaser 2.2, followed by Acidifier 2.0, then Rinse 3.0, Hydrator 3.3, and ends with Fatliquor 5.0. The leather is continuously wet throughout the product applications and is extracted with a cotton terry towel until it is dry. Hydrator 3.3 is used again after Fatliquor 5.0 to clean up any surface residue. It is then left to dry naturally, and a little stretching when almost dry produces the softest leather in terms of softness and strength.
How to work with Degreaser 2.2, Acidifier 2.0, Clean 3.8, and Rinse 3.0 system?
1* Degreaser 2.2 is applied after shaking it well, saturating sufficiently where apparent body contact soiling is evident, and feathering out to areas with less body contact soiling.
2* Eraser-4 is used for better traction without the risk of scratching the finish.
3* Leather Brush 1 is used for stitching rows, welting, grooves, creases, and wrinkles.
4* A dry cotton terry towel is used to extract emulsified and suspended soil until it appears clean.
5* Acidifier 2.0 is sprayed, brushed, and wiped, followed by towel extraction, changing folding sides until the towel shows clean.
6* Acidifier 2.0 should be sprayed again and left to pH balance if tackiness persists. A squeaky feel when testing with your fingers is a sign of healthy leather.
7* Clean 3.8 and Rinse 3.0 system is repeated as above to clean any sticky residue or reach hidden areas.
How to work with Hydrator 3.3 and Fatliquor 5.0 system?
1* Hydrator 3.3 is sprayed and brushed using a horsehair Leather Brush 1 to distribute and be absorbed into the leather structure.
2* When the leather appears evenly saturated with moisture, staking, massaging, and flexing will return it to its original dimensions and make it ready for fatliquoring.
3* Fatliquor-5.0 is sprayed and brushed to distribute and be absorbed into the leather structure.
4* Fatliquor-5.0 is repeatedly applied each time the water content evaporates and is continued until the leather cannot absorb anymore. It is then left to dry slowly, and the surface residue is further worked in with Hydrator 3.3 until it becomes clear. The leather is left to dry slowly once again.
5* Before it is fully dried, staking, massaging, or flexing it until it is fully dry will result in softer leather, which will be ready for protective conditioning.
What is Leather Dry Processing?
The dry process begins with Eraser 4, and Razor 60 is an option to remove surface residues that may have wicked up. Aniline Top 21W is best applied with a lint-free towel for padding. Sand2000 may be an option to use in between coatings, but sanding on the leather crust alone is not recommended. Protector W marks the end of the Dry Process.
How to work with Leather Aniline Top 21W?
1* The leather is inspected especially the penetrated stained area typically turns dark when soiling particulates resurface.
2* Stretching, brushing, erasing, or shaving with optional Razor 60 will lighten up the appearance.
3* Any sanding required is after the first coating has dried to smooth out without damage to the leather grain.
4* Coating with a lint-free folding towel is recommended among other methods of topcoat applications.
5* Let dry between the coating and further fine sanding to smooth out continues in between coatings to satisfaction.
6* Let the topcoat cure overnight for extra strength and inspection before the non-stick protection.
How to work with Protector W?
1* Protector W is sprayed and spread with a folding towel for an even appearance, let dry, and ready to use.
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