How to dull shiny nickel hardware on leather jackets?

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Bulldozer, Nov 2, 2019.

  1. Bulldozer

    Bulldozer One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    136
    Location:
    J1407b
    Hello,

    I own the Schott 641HH, and I love everything about it except for the shiny nickel hardware (impressively heavy duty stuff though). So I had listed it for sale here: https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/fs-schott-641hh-horse-hide-in-size-36-like-new.98701/

    But, I'm starting to wonder if I would be better off trying to find ways to dull the finish (or "antique" it) rather than take a huge loss in the sale and re-ordering the jacket with custom antique hardware. And another problem here is that I could get a different batch of leather that does not have as amazing a hand as this. I mean, this is definitely horsehide based on the grain, thickness and texture, but feels as soft as a cowhide, and drapes so damn well.

    Is there an easy and effective way to do it? The hardware includes the main zipper, pocket zippers, sleeve zippers, their pulls, four collar studs, side snaps' buckles and rivets, and armpit rivets.

    Or, can I send the jacket to someone who might do it for a fee? (not over 10 years ;))
     
  2. Peacoat

    Peacoat Bartender Bartender

    Messages:
    5,574
    Location:
    South of Nashville
    If you love everything about it except the hardware, you might be better off taking the shine off yourself. You do have a lot of hardware you want dulled. I have never done it on hardware on a jacket, but I have used fine steel wool on other projects to remove the sheen. If you try that method, best to have a hand held vacuum to get rid of the metal particles after you are finished.

    Good luck.
     
    Bulldozer likes this.
  3. zebedee

    zebedee One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,488
    Location:
    Shanghai
    This is one of those things that risks ruining a jacket for something that no-one much will worry about. I'd ignore it- you could file the nickel, use small amounts of matt varnish on it, possibly use acetone on it, or find some other chemical treatment. None of these approaches will look as good as the nickel does now and each risks damaging the leather to a point where it will only sell for far less.
     
    Guppy and Bulldozer like this.
  4. Bulldozer

    Bulldozer One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    136
    Location:
    J1407b
    Thanks, so you would just rub fine steel wool over the hardware until you get the desired finish? A few quick questions:
    1. Are there any specifications that I should look for in this "fine steel wool"? You know, like how you buy a specific sand paper grit for a specific sanding purpose. Or are they all the same? I have never bought them before.
    2. When would I know it's time to stop? When the finish just dulls or whatever metal is underneath starts showing through?
    3. Will this sanding affect the function of the zipper if I did them on both the pulls and the zipper? I mean, will it make it more prone to failing?
    4. How do I sand just the hardware and avoid the leather? Like in the rivets and studs?
     
  5. zebedee

    zebedee One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,488
    Location:
    Shanghai
    Also, is the nickel plated over another metal? Aero's nickel hardware eventually wears off to a reddish metal. I'm thinking you'd be best off not just rushing out and grabbing wire wool, even in the finest specification. You might end up furious with yourself half an hour after starting...
     
    Bulldozer likes this.
  6. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,228
    Location:
    SoCal
    I sometimes use a little flat black spray paint on a small brush (the kind that come with watercolor sets) to tone down shiny metal. Cover the leather parts and be careful.
    You could also use the brush technique with some flat or satin spray varnish to give a matte look. Try it first on a hidden spot.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2019
  7. Peacoat

    Peacoat Bartender Bartender

    Messages:
    5,574
    Location:
    South of Nashville
    Steel wool is graded in two different ways that I am familiar with:
    0000 000 00 0 1 2 3 with 0000 being the finest and 3 being the coarsest. I have also seen it graded Extra Fine, Fine, Medium and Coarse. In the first, I would use a 0 or a 1. In the second I would use the Fine.

    Stop when you get the finish you desire. I would do a test sanding on an inconspicuous spot so you will know how the finish reacts.

    Sanding won't affect the life of the zipper as long as you vacuum well. You will need to remove the fine grit from between the teeth and the slider.

    If the rivets and studs are large enough, you could mask the leather around them and have a go at it. I prefer the blue painters' masking tape with the medium adhesiveness. Don't know how it will stick to leather, though. I normally use it on metal projects. Might do better to get a tape that has high adhesiveness. If the steel wool does affect the leather, a coating of Pecard or other quality leather conditioner should erase the damage.

    Good luck.
     
    Bulldozer likes this.
  8. Carlos840

    Carlos840 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,418
    Location:
    London
    If i were you i would do nothing, just wear it.

    I just had a quick look at my Schott 644 that has the same hardware as your 641.
    Mine have definitely lost a lot of their shine naturally in the few years i have worn it. (i think it is from 2013)
    Something worth mentioning, the metal beneath the nickel plating isn't silver metal.
    The pullers and teeth are brass, and the sliders look like a copper coloured metal.
    A little bit of copper or brass showing through the plating is cool, but it think that if you were to go at it with steel wool it would look a mess very fast.

    I'm afraid you are going to end up with something that looks bad, and be stuck with a jacket you are unhappy with, but that you have ruined the resale value of.

    Here is a pic of the sleeve zipper, and main zipper of mine after 6 years of use, as you can see, the shine has dulled down, and the plating has worn of where it rubs:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Edward, Guppy, barnabus and 3 others like this.
  9. Bulldozer

    Bulldozer One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    136
    Location:
    J1407b
    Oh wow, thank you. All of the posts here were very helpful, but especially this one with pictures of the same hardware after a few years of use. Good to know it's brass underneath!
     
  10. Carlos840

    Carlos840 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,418
    Location:
    London
    And its not like this evo took that much wear.
    I have too many jackets to wear any intensively, this Schott is pretty much my gym going jacket as it's the only one i have with a hanging loop. It gets worn on public transports from my flat to the gym and hung in the locker room, that's it.
    You would probably achieve the same thing in a year if you wore your jacket intensively everyday!
    I would let time do it's thing, you will be happier with the result in the long run.

    (if you click on the second pic you can see that brass is starting to show through on the main zipper teeth, that is happening all along the zipper)
     
    Gamma68 and Bulldozer like this.
  11. Sloan1874

    Sloan1874 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    8,367
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Perhaps a light coat of Indian ink will help take the shine off until the metal work ages of its own accord?
     
    Bulldozer likes this.
  12. Peacoat

    Peacoat Bartender Bartender

    Messages:
    5,574
    Location:
    South of Nashville
    I agree with @Carlos840 that you should let it age naturally. If you do anything to age it artificially, you could damage the leather around the hardware. I have never even thought about aging hardware on any of my jackets, but then I usually get the more subdued brass, and it ages fairly quickly. I certainly wouldn't sell the jacket because you don't like the bright silver; let nature take its course.
     
    Guppy likes this.
  13. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,575
    Location:
    Australia
    Heck man, bright new hardware is part of owning a new jacket. Just wear it. No one else will notice or care.
     
    willyto and Gamma68 like this.
  14. Bulldozer

    Bulldozer One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    136
    Location:
    J1407b
    Thanks. I contacted Schott customer support before listing, and I was told that they "would not dull much or tarnish" with age/use, so decided to do that. But seems like that may not be completely true.
     
  15. Carlos840

    Carlos840 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,418
    Location:
    London
    They also say they made Marlon Brando's jacket...
     
    willyto and Edward like this.
  16. Bulldozer

    Bulldozer One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    136
    Location:
    J1407b
    He does seem to be wearing a 618 in that movie though.
     
  17. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,710
    Location:
    East Java
    hairspray will dull shine, and mild enough not to damage anything permanently
     
    Bulldozer likes this.
  18. Carlos840

    Carlos840 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,418
    Location:
    London
    Mysteryo and Bulldozer like this.
  19. Bulldozer

    Bulldozer One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    136
    Location:
    J1407b
    Thanks. Is that from permanent corrosion over time, or just a temporary dullness until it gets wiped off?
     
  20. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,710
    Location:
    East Java
    semi permanent, usually it is used to seal artwork or modelkit weathering effect, as alternative for fixative / varnish, if you just mist over it lightly (not over saturate it) its grainy surface will look matte
     
    Bulldozer likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.