Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Adventures in DIY

alternate title: This Project Nearly Gave Me a Drinking Problem

As previously mentioned I picked up a cheap dressage saddle that worked fabulously for Dee. And while it was brown like I was hoping for, it was an ugly brown.

Not my favourite brown

With some encouragement from the blogoshpere I read and re-read Amanda's tutorial, picked up supplies and decided to give it a go.

I decided on Chocolate as my colour because as SprinklerBandit pointed out, it "literally can't look worse" so I basically narrowed it down to two colours and then played Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe to make my final decision. The guy at Tandy got a good laugh out of my decision making process.

I found it be super nerve-wracking and found I drank way more adult beverages than I had planned on. It turned out good but I have compiled my own list of Do's and Dont's.

First coat

Do: Buy more adult beverages than you think you'll need. Every time I questioned my decision I just drank more.

Don't: Forget to liberally spray yourself with bug spray. It's always fun to swipe at a mosquito with your dye covered hand

After oiling and Tan-Kote

Do: Check the weather forecast before you set up outside. Once you deglaze, raindrops become a big problem... I'm just telling people my saddle is spotted to match my spotted pony.

Don't: Assume the dogs will be well behaved and are totally fine to stay out in the yard with you. After you get started it's always great fun to have to go chasing after a beast who decides to jump the fence.

Do: Wear crappy clothes. I have no idea how I manged to get dye on my butt.

Don't: Skimp on deglazer. Going back to redo a spot you missed (after starting to dye) is no fun.

Do: Oil the saddle after the dye step (if you are using a non-oil based dye). The guys at the leather store recommended this step and it really helped the leather. Just be aware it will cause some darkening

Don't: Get frustrated with the Resolene and just say fuck it and assume the streaks will go away as it dries.
The final product. If you look closely you can see the streaks
But my GAF is broken so it stays this way.

Do: A full 3 coats of Resolene is needed. After 2 I rode in it and had dye transfer. After 3 I had no transfer at all.
Before and after. 

Even with all of my challenges I would dye another saddle. Every time I see a greenish dressage saddle my grabby hands itch to dye it. 

I love how it turned out. I think I'm going to see about dying my super faded an splotchy TSF girth next. I just need to make a quick trip to the liquor store first...


  1. It looks great! After reading everyone's dyeing stories, I think I might be brave enough to try it on my saddle. (With a plentiful supply of wine, of course!)

  2. Ha! I'm famous. ;-) I was right too. The finished product looks awesome! Hope you love it.

  3. That looks so good! I've been trying to convince one of the girls at my barn to do it but she is reluctant. I guess I just need to buy her more adult beverages ;)

  4. Reading about all these successful dye jobs makes me sort of regret not having a super faded saddle to dye..... j/k there are not enough adult beverages in the world! Haha

    But at least yours does look much better than when you started! :)

  5. Wow! You did a fantastic job.

    I really want to dye my Dressage saddle... it has faded quite a bit.

    1. Do it! It's really not that bad once you get past the fact that you basically put nail polish remover on your saddle.

  6. Looks amazing! Huge improvement

  7. Looks amazing! I need to do this for my TSF girth too as it's a horrible red color.

  8. So pretty! Well done! (cheers!)

  9. I really like the final color! Looks great :)

  10. This blog post is the perfect compliment to my feelings on rum.

  11. Ooooh it turned out great!! Nicely done!!