Monday, March 3, 2014

Louis Vuitton Restoration- Sticky Pockets Saint Cloud GM

If you don't know me, I will tell you, I have a few vices. One of which is my insane love of Louis Vuitton purses (authentic only!) I am not Kimora Lee Simmons and don't yet have the bank to get every new model that comes out. That's okay because I only really want the Classic Brown Monogram and the Damier Azure. 

One way I have found to expand my Louis Vuitton collection is to invest in vintage, classic pieces. I purchase from sites such as Malleries, and very carefully from Ebay.

 Word to the wise, there are lots of fakes on Ebay so if you don't know what you are doing, buyer beware, in other words, I wouldn't do it. I also have the bags authenticated on The Purse Forum, or Carol Diva who use pictures to authenticate. You can also take your bag to a Louis Vuitton store, which I do. I also like to tell sellers that I am going to take my bag and have it authenticated at a Louis Vuitton Boutique. With this warning, many sellers have cancelled my bids. That's fine too, I don't want their fake crap. 

With that said, there are still some great deals to be had. I recently purchased a Louis Vuitton Saint Cloud GM( the big one.) It is vintage, no longer in production and I love it. It was a little rough when I purchased it but I knew I could revive it. 

Don't buy a hopeless piece that is broken and the leather is dead and cracked. Sometimes Louis Vuitton can fix it but there are a lot of variables involved: Is the canvas cracked? If so, they won't touch it. Has it been repaired by someone other than LV? If so, they won't touch it. Do they have the pieces needed anymore? If not, no go. 

Here is what you need to bring one of these beauties back to life:
  1. GOO GONE Xtreme
  2. Wool Daubers
  3. Paper Towels
  4. Apple Care Leather Conditioner
  5. Fiebings Edge Kote 
  6. Fiebings Acrylic Resolene 
  7.  Armor-all

The pockets of many of these vintage bags have sticky peeling pocket linings.  Underneath these pockets are nice suede-like interior but removing the sticky mess is just that a mess. GOO GONE is great for this, it takes it off pretty fast. It smells like nail polish remover and you will need to air out your bag after you clean it, but it will be worth it.

 Apply GOO GONE to the sticky mess with a wool dauber and scrub until the sticky stuff comes off. Use paper towels to dry it off and judge weather the sticky stuff is gone. Please use gloves. This stuff sticks to everything and is hard to get off. Also be careful with the GOO GONE, It will strip paint. ( I took color off of my dining table by mistake)

My bag had good leather that was a little dry. I used Apple Care leather conditioner. I conditioned it twice and now the leather is nice, soft and supple. 

After the conditioner is dry, apply Acrylic Resolene, this will give a great shine and waterproof protection to the delicate Louis Vuitton Leather.

The edges of the bag were also a bit raggedy. I cut off any stray strings and then resealed the edges with Edge Kote by Fieblings.

Armorall is great for cleaning and shining up the canvas monogram but don't get it on the leather. Before Pictures:


  1. I loved how you restored this vintage LV! What color was used for the Fiebings Edge Kote? Brown or Dark Brown? Thanks.

  2. I used the brown Edge Kote and I did use a couple of coats. I let it dry first and went back over it as i saw fit. I used a 4 ounce bottle but it only took a little, the bottle is still almost full. Glad you liked it. Thanks for stopping by

  3. My bag has light soft cream leather liner unlike yours hard leather. Entire inside is sticky. And it would get that sticky cream on my phone and wallet if I use the bag. I tried vinger, it won't work. There is no black mark, just sticky feeling. Is good gone works for that. Need help please, thanks.

    1. cut and paste the url below, when you get to that page, go down to post #539 and start reading from there. Hope that helps. Or you can just google louis vuitton sticky liner & see what comes up. Good luck!

  4. you turned that bag into a masterpiece. where does one get all those supplies you listed to refurbish the purse?

    Wool Daubers - where can i purchase?

    Apple Care Leather Conditioner- where can i purchase?
    Fiebings Edge Kote where can i purchase?
    Fiebings Acrylic Resolene -where can i purchase?
    Armor-all (is it safe to put on the lv canvas)?

    1. I purchased all of these supplies from ebay... except armor-ol which i got from the grocery store. I have been putting it on my bags for decades with no problem. I have owned LV's since my mom bought one home for me from Beverly Hills on a trip with her friends. I was a senior in highshcool, now i am 41. Armor-ol has been in my LV kit for over 20 years.

  5. If you research the car care enthusiast websites many feel that Armor-all can cause car dashes to fade or tires to become dull so that you have to keep applying it once you start on their products. The problem appears to be a combination of the sun (UV light) plus the chemical composition of the Armor-all. In reality, this is a risk you run when layering any chemical product on-top of something else, which is why a lot of the high-end brands recommend nothing but water. But I understand that sometimes water, alone, just won't cut it. So for my money, a better choice for conditioning synthetic material is Lexol vinyl care (comes in a blue bottle and is generally available at auto parts stores). Manufacturers that make use of canvas, for example, typically coat the exterior in PVC (vinyl). Lexol Vinyl care helps condition such surfaces and the results are a noticeably more supple feel and a restored sheen.

    I would caution DYIers to use a minimalist approach to start: distilled water and a soft white cloth to wipe down the surface. Unlike tap water that is often full of minerals (aka "hard water"), distilled water won't leave behind spots (unless the surface is already dirty with dust/mineral buildup of its own, so you do need to make sure you aren't about to moisten a layer of dust/grime).

    For an "instant patina" on new vachetta or a more even appearance of a vintage vachetta — and a bit more stain lifting potential, too — alcohol-free baby wipes will do the trick (some also contain conditioning ingredients such as aloe, that help). Just keep in mind that there's no such thing as "spot treating" a stain using a wet method on this type of leather. You will want to go over the entire area, and probably the entire piece, to achieve uniformity. The color may darken down a bit as stains begin to "blend in" but it's a small price to pay for a piece that comes out looking cleaner and more even-toned overall.

    By far the best product I have found to treat a new bag or to prevent a restored bag from attracting additional water spots and stains is a coat of Apple brand Rain & Stain Guarde. Their stain/water repellent is the best I know of for not altering the color of pale or minimally-tanned leather, and because there is no wax or silicone it won't impair the patina process, either. Their conditioner and rain/stain guard is even safe on brand-new vachetta leather such as that used by Dooney & Bourke and Louis Vuitton.

    On a final note, there are also videos and How-to guides involving the use of a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Some say use it, some say don't. My take is this: If you have denim transfer dye on a pale color leather (finished surface), try it (with distilled water). Do this providing you have a shoe cream that you can use to go over the area when you're done. If you do this, use only a light touch and distilled water to wipe off when the job is done. As to use on vachetta, an eraser would be a safer bet for small stains. For very blackened, oily leather, however, Mr. Clean Eraser will work best (remove oils). Leather that is dry and already cracking shouldn't be exposed to Mr. Clean Magic Eraser because it is too abrasive and will dry the leather out more. But very oiled, dark leather that routinely comes in contact with the hands (skin oil) is a good candidate for this approach because the leather is overly oiled up (soiled) as it is. Upon using a Mr. Clean Magic eraser, you want to go over the area repeatedly with Apple care conditioner or Cadillac shoe/leather conditioner. After it has soaked in, use a clean cloth to lightly buff it to restore the sheen. Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are a last-ditch solution but it can do wonders where other products have failed. However, it's important to condition the leather on a regular basis after you use this method.

    I hope these tips help!

  6. I just purchased the small St. Cloud GM and the pockets are not suede. Is this a real one? And the little hook in from it bronze. Please let me know before I return it. Thanks

    1. The pockets are not suede they are a plastic feeling material that can eventually start to peel due to humidity. If you clean that off, the material underneath is a suede like material, but it is not suede. My experience is with vintage St.Clouds. the hook may look bronze because it needs to be cleaned maybe, but i believe it is brass. I have never asked to know for certain. That is a good question to ask at the purse forum. it is hard to tell you if your bag is real without seeing it. I would take pictures and go to the purse forum in the louis vuitton authenticate this forum area and have the experts there take a look at it.