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The briiian13 shoo shine guide

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
To burnish the tan shoe to brown:

1. paper towel or rag, bottle of acetone, cover top of bottle with rag and quickly turn upside down twice. quickly while acetone soaked, gently scrub off all pastes or polishes previously you put on. this may take awhile, be patient. and oh, take the shoelaces off first. dont do it on suede parts if shoe has it of course.

2. let dry the shoe, perhaps work on the other shoe while letting dry. may have to wait couple of hours if you are a cautious type.

3. shoe will be stripped if you were patient and comprehensive. but original manufacturer color will usually still remain. acetone will not do it, but the texture, leather dryness, is more apparent. get your favorite color shoe cream, burgundy, brown, navy, dont matter. apply thin coating over certain sections or over whole shoe. (i tried navy just for the heck of it, and it didnt make a difference. color of shoe just got darker brown, i can only say for kiwi shoe cream).

4. make sure there are no clumps. as this will deter even drying.

5. after waiting 20 minutes. thats all i waited. anymore, and it will stick to your shoe like PAINT. i made this mistake in the beginning, and i had to acetone and start over. after 20 minutes brush buff with horsehair brush. to a clean slick matte finish. make sure all the cream is off and all that is left is a golden brown matte finish.

6. repeat thin layer of shoe cream if you so desire, maybe if you do several repeats of a certain cream color, the color will eventually come through. as for me, i cannot say, because i only put two coatings. repeat 20 minute wait and buff to a clean slick matte finish. (you can do this right away, no need to wait for shoe previous to dry).

7. after all your desired cream layers and buff outs, lay your shoe to rest, i think preferably overnite. let the color set and engrain. you know? i was so ANXIOUS, i started wax polishing only after a couple of hours. i could not sleep. (maybe that is why the crease areas still become tan lines after walking in them a little, because the cream didnt relatively-permanently sink in)

8. after complete dry out. begin spit polish.


To spit polish (can be done to any good quality leather even pebble grain shoe):

1. any wax will do, as i use the lowest common denominator of them all Kiwi. saphir, lincoln, i dont know, heard they were better. go ahead. warning, there is a tendency for wax application to slightly erase cream color, be careful in your technique, and hopefully you allowed complete drying of creme night before.

2. using whatever applicator u use, softest is best, sometimes the applicator i use have dried wax on it and it is abrasive to shoe. soften the applicator up. dont soften with water though, you know, just break up the brittle clumps with your fingers, massage the sponge with your fingers till it's soft again not stiff.

3. apply a good thin BASE coat of wax. make sure it is a THIN, EVEN layer. only over the toe and heel for now. josepidal you know how to do this right? wont go into detail.

4. wait a few minutes to dry and this time I DID NOT buff out with horsehair brush. i didnt go that direction this time. actually my collective method has no need for a horsehair brush anymore! i'll just toss them right now. oh wait, i need them for the cream part. nevermind.

4. THIS TIME, take a soft cotton rag u use for wax polish buffing. put the cloth over your index finger, no double layer just single layer and tighten by tourniquetting behind the finger. if you are not used to this, practice will get you to do it better as in all things.
make sure the layer over the applying area of the index finger is flush against your skin with no wrinkles, just straight single taut layer of cotton rag over your index applying finger area. get it?

5. DAB the index finger into the can of wax polish. just blacken maybe a size of a dime no bigger (philippines dont have dimes? less than 1 centimeter diameter circle). just enough the your finger is just black in color, it is just a dab. microscopic layer. any too much wax at anytime after the base wax application (step3) and you will ruin the base wax. will need to start over again.

6. put some drinking water, cold or lukewarm, dont matter, into the tin cap. (this should be step 3 or 4 or something, actually)

7. get your finger with the black dime spot and DAB it into the water. dont get too much water! dont even dab! slight look to see when you slightly touch the surface of the water the capillary action of water will bloop! touch your finger and when you raise your finger you will see a wee tiny baby water droplet on your black dime.

8. get that finger and start buffing the toe (or heel first whichever, you may do heel first for practice). back and forth real fast until you feel a little more friction. stop.

9. dab that black dime finger into the tin polish again. remember microscopic layer. dab into the water once more. get that baby water droplet. repeat buffing same area.

10. do this many many many times. at first you may think, is this ever going to end. this is where the sweat on your brow starts forming. make sure it does not drip onto the shoe while you are buffing.
this technique of buffing is so crucial, dont press too hard and dont press too light at first. practice. sometimes the angle that your are buffing, the finger being too wet, amt of polish, your speed all can influence how the polish is being applied. it should never clump and start dragging on the leather. if it does wipe away the drap portions carefully and repeat getting a new area of the cloth, dabbing polish and water and try to find that SWEET SPOT of buffing. the earlier minutes you may apply some pressure, but as you are buffing throughout the minutes you apply less and less pressure. you got to get the feel for this buffing for 20 minutes thing, cant explain it. the angle, the pressure, the cloth (too wet now? try another area), the tautness around your finger, everything can allow for smooth buffing or dragging of polish, i call it finding your sweet spot. ok?

11. after 10-20 minutes, miraculously, if you did it right during those 20 minutes, a mirror shine will arise. you will start to cry. do not allow tear droplets to fall onto shoe.

12. when the mirror shine appears. stop the process. get a nylon or a silk or even a clean portion of your rag and gently and briskly buff. you should not even be applying any pressure at this time.

13. make sure you can see your reflection somewhat in the heel.
now do the toe.

14. after the spit shine is done, do the rest of the shoe the normal way. apply layer of wax over the creamed areas and wait and buff out with brush and then buff with cloth to an adequate shine.

as you get more practice on this, you may want to make the shine more seemless from your captoe to the body of the shoe. in the beginning i didnt like the contrast of shine on the captoe and then just regular shine on the body, made the shoe look like one of those shiny captoed deerskin shoes. i later tried carefully to make that border area more transitional . you know what im saying?
post #2 of 13
did i spell shoe like that?
thanks jose, i didnt know you saved this?!
post #3 of 13
I have a question, how should I care for the bottom of my shoes? Do people normally do anything to the bottoms?
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by diorshoe
did i spell shoe like that?
thanks jose, i didnt know you saved this?!
You HAVE to spell shoo like that.
post #5 of 13
i just followed this to great results, so am giving it a big bump back to the front as a public service...
post #6 of 13
im surprised you were able understand alot of it.

this was originally a pm response back to josepidal. if i meant to publicly post it up i would have written it more fluently !
post #7 of 13
Sorry. Too much freaking work when I can pay my local cobbler $2 to make them look pretty.
post #8 of 13
I was shuddering as I read the OP. Despite what some forumers recommend, I really don't recommend using acetone on shoes--at least ones that you care a lot about. After some experience trying to learn antiquing, and using a couple of pairs of disposable shoes, I wouldn't touch a pair of really valuable ones with acetone. In my opinion, it's just too corrosive, and you run the risk of having it take out the dye in the leather along with everything else. If you need to strip shoes of built-up polish, etc., I've found that regular drug-store isopropyl, or rubbing, alcohol (use the 70% version and consider diluting this) works fine and is far less aggressive than acetone. However, with any chemical that dries the leather right out the way these do, you run the risk (greater with acetone) of getting darker/lighter spots and areas on your shoes. In other words--at least in my experience--the final surface might be somewhat blotched, and, believe me, this is difficult, if not impossible, to fix. Once cream or conditioner is rubbed in, darker areas will turn even darker, leaving you with little choice but to antique the shoes so that the darker splotches appear to be there by design.

If all you want to do is to strip away built-up polish and wax, there are a number of products available for this. One that I use is called Neo-Cleaner, made by a Japanese company and widely available in Vancouver. You could also use diluted rubbing alcohol, or both. However, based on my experience...I've learned to just say no to acetone.
post #9 of 13
I learned in organic chemistry class that acetone can be quite dangerous to handle...please be careful if you do this. It seems like a strong chemical for a leather shoe.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
have a question, how should I care for the bottom of my shoes? Do people normally do anything to the bottoms?

Clean them up with sandpaper or steel wool if they are really rough, and then treat them with conditioner or shoe cream.

Quote:
I really don't recommend using acetone on shoes--at least ones that you care a lot about. After some experience trying to learn antiquing, and using a couple of pairs of disposable shoes, I wouldn't touch a pair of really valuable ones with acetone. In my opinion, it's just too corrosive, and you run the risk of having it take out the dye in the leather along with everything else. If you need to strip shoes of built-up polish, etc., I've found that regular drug-store isopropyl, or rubbing, alcohol (use the 70% version and consider diluting this) works fine and is far less aggressive than acetone. However, with any chemical that dries the leather right out the way these do, you run the risk (greater with acetone) of getting darker/lighter spots and areas on your shoes. In other words--at least in my experience--the final surface might be somewhat blotched, and, believe me, this is difficult, if not impossible, to fix. Once cream or conditioner is rubbed in, darker areas will turn even darker, leaving you with little choice but to antique the shoes so that the darker splotches appear to be there by design.

This is good advice IF you are not looking for a dramatic change in the appearance of your shoes. Acetone is not bad for the long term health of the shoe but it is going to forever change the original color/finish. If that is not your aim then stay away from it. If on the other hand you want a really dramatic antiquing job or color change, you probably will not be able to do it without acetone.

I'll add, when attempting to refinish shoes, DON'T PANIC. Leather is resilient, and no matter what you do to it it can almost certainly be incorporated into a satisfactory final finish. Case in point:





I paid a pretty penny for those Lattanzi's (once shipping, wire fee etc was factored in,) from a German ebay seller. They were plain black calf from the factory, not blue. On recieving them I discovered that they had been BADLY overpolished. Bad enough that they needed to be refinished, so I decided to take some acetone to them. Immediately upon applying it however, the acetone went straight through the wax AND the original factory finish leaving a large light blue-grey spot. Whoops!! After attempting to restore the spot back to some semblance of black, it became apparent that wasn't going to be successful. So I gritted my teeth and finished stripping the shoes. A few hours of work later and I ended up with what you see above. They turned out beautiful!!
post #11 of 13
Nice job, Andrew. Very inspiring.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Bumped upon request.
post #13 of 13
Exelent ! Thougt this merited a bump Annyone have pointers for suede ... exept from spray & the bubber brush? TNX
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