Maybe some of you might find this useful - or, you probably already know it, or have better suggestions. Either way is win-win !
Finish on some of the upholstery buttons on my '13 runabout was worn to bright metal. Recalling some of these "goth" kids wear black nail polish, my wife found me a little bottle of "black black". Brush included, touched up the buttons with a quick-dry finish that should be OK since I don't reckon even "goths" want nail polish coming off and ruining their clothes.
A post recently wondered if leather straps and pads for the top bow saddles should be black. If you're making your own, or have some made from brown or leather that hasn't been dyed, a good way to go is to make "vinegaroon" - aka iron acetate by steeping iron scraps (old bolts, bent nails, etc.) or steel wool in vinegar for a while. The resulting liquid will dye most vegetable-tanned leathers coal black, and since the coloring is a chemical reaction between the "vinegaroon" and the tanned leather, it will not rub off or discolor other items. (Cheap to make, too !)
My dad recently made two new straps for my unrestored '17 roadster utilizing the original buckles - see photos.
He cleaned up and painted the buckles. He dyed the leather with Fiebing's leather dye, followed with Kiwi shoe polish.
As a favor for my dad, a saddle shop that has been Minneapolis since 1907 shaved the leather to the correct thickness with an antique machine designed for that purpose.
Those look nice Erik. I expect a lot of the tools still in use in the harness and saddle-maker's trade would be antique these days. The advantage of "vinegaroon" as opposed to Fiebing's (they make two types of dye for different purposes) and shoe polish is that the color imparted will not transfer to other surfaces (like clothing or your hands).