Make leather look worn by using rubbing alcohol, sandpaper, a wire brush and dry dirt to distress the surface. The time required depends on the amount of wear desired. Take care with your efforts so you give leather a worn look but do not permanently damage the piece.

  1. Wet with rubbing alcohol

    Use rubbing alcohol to wet the leather. Apply the liquid using a spray bottle and toothbrush or a clean cloth dipped in alcohol. Avoid saturating the leather. Fold and roll the wet leather to create lines in the finish. As the alcohol dries, it removes some of the oils from leather to give it a worn look.

  2. Scratch the surface with sandpaper

    Use a fine grit sandpaper to wear away part of the leather. Create additional wear along the bottom of the garment or bag and at any handles. Try to create marks where the leather would wear naturally.

  3. Scrape with a wire brush

    The stiff bristles of a wire brush add a different type of wear. Continue to focus on the natural wear spots. If an area becomes thin, focus on distressing other areas to prevent creating a hole in the leather.

  4. Drop in dry dirt

    Find an area with dry soil and drop the leather article in the dirt. Scuff it to add a dusty appearance to the worn leather. Pick up the article and shake off any excess dust.