Making Vinyl look like Leather
Simulating a weathered and beaten piece of leather is easy. You just beat the leather and rub it in the dirt until you like the look. Getting Vinyl to simulate this beaten leather look is another thing. Most likely the vinyl you use will be brand new, directly bought from the cloth store.
Take some flat black spray paint and spray a medium streak across the bottom of the assembled item, this dark black area will look like months of sweat and water has collected at the bottom of the object. Do the same streak to the corners of the object, or in places where the leather would touch a wet surface.
Next you'll want to rough up the vinyl in the areas that would be rubbed against during it's use. Areas that are raised higher than the rest of the object are good places to rough up (like belt buckles, or strap connectors), also corners and long edges of the object are good to rough up.
I recommend using a 150 or 200 grit sandpaper to do the distressing. An electric sander can be used to speed up the process if you are doing multiple items. If you need just a little amount of distress in the object, Steel Wool works great as a low abrasion material.
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