Patent Finish

Leather Terminology / Leather Finishes


Definition of Patent Finish

Patent finish is a shiny, mirror-like finish made with boiled linseed oil, a liquid resin coating, or a plastic layer, and applied in three coats:

  • The daub coat: First coat. It’s 0.0025“ thick and penetrates the leather completely
  • The brush coat: The middle coat. It’s 0.0025“ thick and includes dye
  • The varnish coat: The top coat. It’s 0.005” thick and is clear, shiny, and waterproof

The high-gloss, shiny finish is generally water resistant (or waterproof) and provides extra durability to the leather by protecting the real leather underneath.

Because of its shiny nature, patent finish is mostly used for high-end leather goods and accessories, such as belts, shoes and handbags.

The only major downside to patent finish is that it’s prone to scratches and therefore requires high maintenance.

Leather that’s finished with a patent finish is called a patent leather. It’s mostly made from corrected-grain or spilt leather, which is treated using synthetic polymers or a layer of resins to give it its characteristic shine.

Example of Patent Finish in a Sentence

"Although on a slightly pricier end, this pair looks almost identical to the one Rose wore with their flared heel and patent leather finish."

Synonyms: enameling, Japanning

Related Terms for Patent Finish

Written by Ryan Popoff

Ryan Popoff is the creative mind behind Popov Leather wallets, iPhone cases, belts, watch bands and journals since 2013. With a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts, my leatherworking journey began at home. I wanted to create a simple leather wallet that could fit into my front pocket and — to my delight — it was a hit with family and friends. Hopefully you love our honest, quality leather goods too! Read more