or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › Changing (Slightly) Shoe Color
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Changing (Slightly) Shoe Color

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I recently bought a pair of what I thought were burgundy shoes on eBay, only to find that they are really a slightly reddish shade of medium brown--but not cordovan color or burgundy. Does anyone have experience changing shoe color to a neighboring shade? I want the burgundy color if possible. I doubt that just polishing with cordovan cream or wax would do it, or would it? What other methods would work? Is it  hopeless?
post #2 of 9
It is not hopeless, a few here are - dare I say - experts at this operation. There are a few threads with detailed explanations. I'll look for them.
post #3 of 9
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks, zjpj83. I looked at the thread. I had seen Harris's earlier one on antiquing, but wondered more about the specifics of going from brown to burgundy. If the whole thing was feasible, I thought I might start with some red shoe cream, rather than burgundy, to speed the process up.
post #5 of 9
Okay, I haven't done what you're planning before, so take what I have to offer with a grain of salt. I have antiqued shoes before, though. I'd suggest using the red shoe cream instead of burgundy, at least at first. With the first couple of coatings, if you don't like the result (and the results probably won't be that drastic a change), you can always strip it away with neutral creme. Then there's the rather nerve-wracking method of actually stripping off most of the finish with acetone. I don't have the bowels to do this to my own shoes, but others have done so with good results. Be forewarned: the acetone must be applied and removed almost immediately. What'll be left is a barely-colored leather. It should thereafter be easy to color your shoes with burgundy shoe cream, antiquing and all. I'm sure others will chime in. I'm tempted to go buy some thrift-store cheapies just so I can try the stripping method myself. Let us know what you do.
post #6 of 9
I'm wondering if the leather quality has anything to do with how well the antiqued end product will be. I know that certain shoe-makers (like EG) use hides that are not "˜finished' (I can't think of the correct term), in order to better antique their shoes. I'm more concerned with lower-end leather as I don't have the guts to do this type of process to anything worth over $200. I have an old pair of reddish-brown Bostonian loafers which I am thinking about stripping with acetone and then applying melted dark brown Meltonian cream then adding black cream for some slight antique effects. My main goal is simply to change the color as the reddish brown isn't very practical for daily wear for me. Sounds feasible? Can anyone guess how well Bostonian leather stands up?
post #7 of 9
All the Bostonians I've seen have had rather plasticky corrected-grain leather. It's not going to be the same at all as acetoning a pair of EGs or even AEs (though some Church's would be similar). Chances are there is a smooth filler layer on top that you will be removing with the acetone and exposing whatever's underneath. I don't know how it will end up, but there are enough Bostonians in thrift stores that it might be worth a try anyway.
post #8 of 9
In my experience, corrected-grain shoes are the ones that show the GREATEST improvement from being stripped/repolished. The purpose of the grain correction-- which is applied like a paint job over the entire hide-- is to cover any potential flaws, and to give the less sophisticated buyer a "shiny as a new dime" look. When I have stripped midpriced shoes (always with acetone and paper towels), the leather underneath has generally been uniform, since after all the likelihood of the show having a visible flaw in a prominent place is small on an overall basis. And the improvement in appearance is dramatic. Not only do stripped and repolished shoes look more expensive immediately, their crease patterns thereafter are much more "natural."
post #9 of 9
Quote:
In my experience, corrected-grain shoes are the ones that show the GREATEST improvement from being stripped/repolished. The purpose of the grain correction-- which is applied like a paint job over the entire hide-- is to cover any potential flaws, and to give the less sophisticated buyer a "shiny as a new dime" look. When I have stripped midpriced shoes (always with acetone and paper towels), the leather underneath has generally been uniform, since after all the likelihood of the show having a visible flaw in a prominent place is small on an overall basis. And the improvement in appearance is dramatic. Not only do stripped and repolished shoes look more expensive immediately, their crease patterns thereafter are much more "natural."
I understood the purpose of the application of the plastic finish was to make the shoe absolutely even in finish in color - without regard to how the leather will accept the dyeing process. Of course, the whole purpose of antiquing is to develop an uneven color. simply another instance of how different tastes can appreciate entirely different results. If I was faced with the challenge of changing the color, I would first start with the darkest color I though I was going to use. There is only so much pore space to fill. Filling it with red will make the shoes resemble a fox, then you have to tame it. I would apply the darkest burgandy cream I could find to the light brown shoe. Then use a light weight conditioner to try to get it moved into the leather. Then do that again. don't worry too much about the color yet. Get them as dark as you want, then apply some of the red to brighten the highlights. Alternating the polishing with dark burgandy and a red cordovan should bring about some consistency of tone over time - if you want to do that. Using conditioner with each polishing will further drive the color into the leather, probably unevenly, and get you on the road to the antiqued finish. I would be very cautious about stripping. The striping can be uneven as well.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Classic Menswear
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › Changing (Slightly) Shoe Color