Reconditioning Existing Leather Finish On Courtroom Fly Doors

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Prior to inclusion in GSA’s library of procedures, documents are reviewed by one or more qualified preservation specialists for general consistency with the Secretary of Interior Standards for rehabilitating historic buildings as understood at the time the procedure is added to the library. All specifications require project-specific editing and professional judgement regarding the applicability of a procedure to a particular building, project or location. References to products and suppliers are to serve as a general guideline and do not constitute a federal endorsement or determination that a product or method is the best or most current alternative, remains available, or is compliant with current environmental regulations and safety standards. The library of procedures is intended to serve as a resource, not a substitute, for specification development by a qualified preservation professional.


We’ve reviewed these procedures for general consistency with federal standards for rehabilitating historic buildings and provide them only as a reference. Specifications should only be applied under the guidance of a qualified preservation professional who can assess the applicability of a procedure to a particular building, project or location. References to products and suppliers serve as general guidelines and do not constitute a federal endorsement nor a determination that a product or method is the best alternative or compliant with current environmental regulations and safety standards.




A. This procedure includes guidance on repairing and restoring the existing leather door covering finish (typical on courtroom fly doors).

B. See 01100-07-S for general project guidelines to be reviewed along with this procedure. These guidelines cover the following sections:

1. Safety Precautions

2. Historic Structures Precautions

3. Submittals

4. Quality Assurance

5. Delivery, Storage and Handling

6. Project/Site Conditions

7. Sequencing and Scheduling

8. General Protection (Surface and Surrounding)

These guidelines should be reviewed prior to performing this procedure and should be followed, when applicablealong with recommendations from the Regional Historic Preservation Officer (RHPO).

C. An imitation leather material called "Pantasote" iscommonly used in the place of leather on Courtroom fly doors. For general information on "Pantasote" see 09950- 01-S.


A. Qualifications: Reserve this work for a leather cleaningand restoration specialist, saddle or luggage maker,leather upholstery restorer, or similarly qualified leather worker with not less than three years experiencein the care and refinishing of fine leather work.



NOTE: Use only products and procedures which are approved and recommended for the restoration and conservation of old leather materials, non-drying, which do not cause hardening, non-film forming, and non-staining or discoloring.

A. Saddle soap or leather cleaner: "Fiebings" liquid glycerine leather soap, or approved equal.

B. Leather dye: Oil base dye, to match existing color ofcleaned leather.

C. Leather preserver and conditioner: "Lexol", oil based, or approved equal.

D. Adhesive: PH neutral, "Yes" all purpose (Gane Bros. & Lane, Inc.), or approved equal.

E. Ornamental tacks and fasteners: To match existing, brass or other non-ferrous or non-rusting.



A. Removal of doors for work or work-in-place at contractor's option.

B. Verify existing hardware, and have hardware replaced or reconditioned and refinished as required to restore original function and operation, before proceeding withleather reconditioning. Be responsible for all damage to leather finishes from subsequent work on doors or otherwork.

C. Use care to preserve all original and unique hardware forrestoration and re-installation to match original condition.


A. Repair any loose edges, cuts, or tears by re-cementingleather finish to the wood door face; suitably clean andprepare the substrate to ensure a secure long-lasting bond to leather finish.

1. Apply adhesive to both surfaces to be bonded, prime surfaces, all as recommended by manufacturer, and apply weight or clamp as required until bond is complete.

B. Remove all loose or damaged hardware and ornamental tacksor studs for replacement or re-installation after leatheris cleaned and reconditioned.

C. Clean leather with approved soap and clean water, appliedand supplemented with clean sponges and soft bristled brushes, to remove surface dirt and residue of old cleaners, oil staining, and other water soluble coatings.

1. Supplementary cleaning, spot cleaning, may be required to remove oil and wax based stains or
foreign materials, using care to prevent damage to existing leather and over-cleaning with harsh chemicals harmful to leather. Verify non-removable stains with Contracting Officer and leave as-is unless greater removal effort is required.

2. Use gentlest cleaning methods and products practicable to avoid damage to leather.

D. Touch-up any scuffs, cuts, abrasions, and seams with leather dye to make them unobtrusive from normal viewingdistance.

E. Apply leather preserver and re-conditioner in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations, followed by hand buffing and polishing with soft cloths or brushing.

F. Reinstall hardware, fastenings, and ornamental studs and make secure from loss and removal, using supplementaryadhesives as required.


A. Provide adequate protection to save doors and leather finish from damage until completion and acceptance of thework.