Any hand-painted bag is an artwork comprised of paint on the original leather or canvas. It can be damaged, it can stain, and the paint can flake, peel, or scratch. If you take care of your custom bag, it can and will last for decades. We will walk through everything you need to know to maintain your custom painted bag so it stays beautiful for as long as possible.
CARING FOR THE BAG
Chances are, if you’re paying for a custom painted handbag, you’re ordering artwork on a designer bag. Most of designer bags come with their own care instructions based on specific materials, stitching, and dye. It’s crucial to retain and follow those instructions. Luis Vuitton, Hermes, and Louboutin will generally offer cleaning and repair services, and will give you updates on how and where to clean and care for your bag moving forward.
You should also:
- Regularly clean the bag. Use a damp cloth to wipe it down
- Take care of the leather or canvas. Keep it away from a heat source or direct sunlight. Ideally, you store it hanging or with a bag pillow when not in use.
- Apply a leather cream or conditioner (ask the brand) on a 3-6-month basis. If your region is very humid, you may be able to skip and do so once a year. This step keeps leather supple and beautiful and prevents it from stiffening and cracking.
You should also:
- Regularly dry clean your bag. Dry-cleaning is the easiest way to keep your bag clean without damaging the leather or the paint
- Buy and use handbag pillows so your bag holds its shape. This can also help prevent paint from cracking if your customization is on a large piece of leather
If you’re unsure of what you should be doing to take care of your bag, you should contact the designer to ask for recommendations.
CARING FOR THE ARTWORK
Paint is normally easy to care for, but you should avoid water, heat sources, and you should avoid scratching it. Your custom paint is vulnerable to many of the same things that leather is, so most normal bag care is enough to keep a bespoke pattern or design in good condition.
- Do not scratch the paint, it will come off
- Do not iron
- Do not clean with acetone or alcohol
- Keep the paint away from denim. Denim can bleed and stain the colors in the paint
- Keep the paint away from glass
- Keep the paint away from other paint
- Do not store the bag in direct sunlight
Essentially, you should keep the paint away from hard glass surfaces, make sure you don’t store two custom handbags with the paint touching, and make sure your bag isn’t stored touching denim. Other than that, your care options should be exactly the same as with your handbag before you ordered the custom painting.
You can clean your custom painted bag with soapy water as the paint is waterproof. Your bag might not be.
Taking a little extra time to keep your custom handbag clean will keep it looking beautiful for years into the future. Storing your bag with care, with a pillow, and hopefully hanging, will also preserve the shape, so your bag continues to look new.
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