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Can you polish corrected grain shoes?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have a pair of corrected grain dress shoes. They're not particularly attractive (borderline square toes, in fact), and I haven't ever worn them. Can they be polished? Do I have to rub them down with acetone first to take off the hard, plastic finish? Is this even worth trying?
post #2 of 7
contrary to popular belief, acetone is not as harsh as everyone makes it out to be. acetone will not destroy the film, rather constant application and rubbing of acetone on it will destroy it, because of the lack of quality of the leather and just the fact one keeps rubbing it with something.

there is a reason why some leathers are chosen to be corrected grain. the leather underneath if was at least half decent in appearance would be saved for regular grain leather treatment.
post #3 of 7
I would think so. Even the glossiness gets nicked and smudged.
post #4 of 7
I'm assuming you mean grain-corrected and then coated leather, like KCs or something. I will again admit that I had a pair of KCs (actually still have them, I don't know what to do with them...) and I had another pair before these. I polished them regularly and it did make them shinier. However, knowing what I know now, I probably wasn't leaving any polish on the shoe. Polish just won't stick to that plastic stuff. But whatever was happening, it shined them up.

To your second question, I don't think acetone will take off the plastic coating, at least not very efficiently, and as diorshoe said I don't think you want to see what's under there. I wouldn't take acetone to plasticky shoes anyway, since what usually happens when you take acetone to plastic is that the plastic turns mushy and sometimes sticky. This would pretty much ruin the shoes for any purpose.
post #5 of 7
Man, this thread just confused me even more. I still have no idea what corrected grain leather is or what it looks like and how you can tell the difference.
post #6 of 7
Corrected grain leather certainly can be polished. If it has been nicked or scuffed, polishing with a cream that closely matches the surface color will cover the problem. However, the overall plasticky covering will not absorb much of the treatment and will not take a patina over time.
post #7 of 7
Okay, I didn't mean to be confusing, but I'd like to try and clarify something. (Anyone who knows better about this, please correct me, but I'm pretty sure I am right.)

"Corrected grain" is used to refer to a few types of leather. All of them have had some treatment to the surface of the leather. However, not all will respond the same to different polishes, etc. I am certain that some leather is grain-corrected by sanding to smoothe the surface and remove minor defects, but not coated with anything plasticky. Then there are various grades of coatings that are applied. For example, Church's, Alden's and AE's corrected grain seem to be similar coatings. But they are completely different from the near-polyurethane (maybe it actually is?) of Kenneth Coles. These different coatings have different characteristics, such as how they bend/wrinkle, whether they will absorb or adhere any polish, and what it looks like if you chip the surface off. I've seen some Aldens and AEs with chips, and the leather underneath the surface is light tan, like the color of a scuffed sole. Contrast this to KCs which can't be chipped away because the surface is so soft and thick.

Maybe I will take some pics of corrected grain shoes I have lying around to help this discussion go somewhere.
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