Leather Burnishing Masterclass - how to mirror finish the leather edge

Updated: Dec 9, 2021

BURNISHING is the final edge polishing step of leather craft process.

With a small a secret and a little bit of patience you can become a Burnish Master.

Mastering burnishing will take your leather craft to a next level,


They can be a little bit tricky if you do not know the drill.

Here is my secret and it WORKS.



- Fine Grid Sandpaper

- Sponge

- Edge Beveler

- Old T-shirt or good quality cotton cloth

- Burnishing Gum

- Edge Coating (IRIS)

Edge Beveller

Can be purchased from any leathercraft supplier,

I bought mine from eBay for $16

Burnish Gum

I use TOKONOLE - white and Brown.

Also Toko Finish (Blue bottle) this is a clear gel, easy to use.

They are both imported from JAPAN, but can be purchased from eBay or Craft supply.

They are Expensive in Australia! So I buy them in Japan..... :P

*There are different alternatives and brands.


This is a final coating for the edge.

This makes the burnish edge extra shiny like a mirror.

Only works well if the edge is polished very well.

Also expensive!



Note that this edge is a two piece edge and must be cut Square at the start.

Sanding is the most important Part!!

Getting this right, you pretty much win the game.

If you don't, you will find it very difficult to finish smooth.


First you must wet the edge a little bit with a sponge (you can also use a brush)

When you sand,

Only go one direction

Do not sand up and down.

Sand until the edge is very smooth, it should take about 50 -60 strokes.

It should look ALMOST shiny at this stage already.


STEP 2 - Rounding the Edge

When you do the sanding part correctly, the edge should look like this

Now you wan to get the flattened edge ROUND.

Run the edge beveller along the edge trimming the pushed edge.

Then Repeat the Step 2 one more time ( do not need to wet the leather as it should be wet enough still, if not, wet again. )


STEP 3 - Polishing / Coating

If you have done all the steps well so far, the edge should look something like this,

Now apply your burnish gum,

Then polish with the T-Shirt.

You can rub it both ways here.

It will probably take about 50 good polish and the edge will be nice and shiny.

Then apply the Edge Finish Coating.

Just use your finger.

Then you will end up with this beauty!



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