Ever felt regret after purchasing a pair of shoes? Or simply just got bored of them and wanted to do something about it in order to give them a makeover? Well, I have and am sure that many of you have too. That’s why today I am hoping to show all of you a simple way to remedy this situation should it ever occur. Now, first and foremost, if you don’t feel comfortable in doing this, you can always take it to the cobbler who should be able to do it for you. But for those more adventurous, please read on to see the simple steps of dying your shoes.
What you will need:
-a soft sponge of sorts (for applying the first layer of polish)
-shoe dye (preferably a brand called Fiebings)
-an applicator brush (usually comes with dye – but a small paint brush would be better)
-a soft rag (old t-shirt)
-newspaper (as you will make a mess)
-white spirit (like surgical or bleach if necessary)
-marigolds (dishwashing gloves)
How to get on with it:
Now, let me first state that you will never be able to make a black shoe become tan. You will always have to work to a darker colour.
Stage 1 – removing the finish
Clearly, I started with a white shoe and therefore did not need any spirits to remove the finish. But if you are starting with a tan or medium brown shoe, you will want to use a alcohol based spirit to try and remove as much of the finish that can so that the dye can seep into the leather. Use your marigolds, a white cloth and rub the spirit onto the leather, applying enough pressure to take the finish off, but not so much that you are destroying the leather. Start softly and work from there.
Once done, allow the shoe to dry for at least an hour (if not more)
Stage 2 – Applying the dye
Put your dye into some small dish (like the lid of your polish) so that you can easily dip your sponge and applicator brush into it. Put some on your sponge and start applying it by using circular motions so that you spread it evenly around the shoe. Try to get everywhere that you can, but if you miss some areas, you will want to use applicator brush to get them.
You will most likely have to put on multiple layers of the dye for it to really get into the leather. You must wait at least one hour between each application (or at least until the shoe is completely dry). Apply as necessary until the shoe even in colour all around.
Stage 3 – Sealing it in
While shoe dye is theorhetically permanent, it is always best to finish the job off with a nice shine job, preferably with a bees wax based polish that will help to create a protective layer over the leather. This is pretty self explanatory, but if I can offer any recommendations, use a lighter polish than the dye so that you can bring up the undertones of the dye (unless of course you are dying it black – then it does not matter…)
Allow shoe to dry and then you have a new looking shoe! Easy peasy!