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Polishing shoes.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
When one polishes shoes what is the most proper way to do it? I have several pairs of high end shoes which when polished do not really achieve the effects I want. The shoes I have are not of the type that have the glossy sheen. For example the shine is of more like the Gucci bit loafers if you know what I mean. Also for leather soles should one polish them as well or what? I find that some of them get quite dry, and crack in a sense. Thank you.
post #2 of 6
I copied this from a shoe care website some time ago(unfortunately,the url escapes me). Hope it helps: HOW TO SPIT SHINE SHOES Spread a thick layer of paste polish over the leather to be spit shined. Allow it to dry for 5 minutes. Wrap a soft, clean cloth around your index finger so you have a smooth area on the end of your finger and dip it in water so it is thoroughly wet but not dripping (see note 1 below). Using a small circular motion (see note 2 below), buff the dried polish with the wet cloth until a shine starts to develop. Then, still using the damp rag on your finger, apply a fine layer of polish in a circular motion and keep on rubbing lightly until a hazy shine develops. Keeping the rag damp, build up the shine with thin layers of polish applied in circles with light pressure until a glossy shine develops. When sufficient shine has developed, use a clean, dry, soft cloth to give it a final buff and remove any last haze. NOTE: (1) The reason you use a wet cloth is to stop the fine coats of polish sticking to the cloth and to encourage the polish to stick to the leather. You want to keep on building up thin layers of wax until you have a completely smooth surface that gives the glossy shine. (2) After the first heavy coat of polish you must use minimal amounts of polish to build up the shine. If you use too much polish, the solvent in the polish you are applying will dissolve the base you have already built up and you will have to start again in that area.
post #3 of 6
Another quick hint - you may want to heat up the polish with a lighter before applying it. It seems to go on smoother and cleaner that way.
post #4 of 6
There are two types of shoe care product: shoe cream and shoe polish. Shoe cream (sold usually in glass jars), has a soft consistency. It nourishes the leather and because of the high pigmentation refreshes and restores the leather color very well. But it only polishes up to a soft sheen. Shoe polish (sold in the well known tins), has a high wax content and therefore polishes to a high sheen, but is not as good on the leather care aspects. For day-to-day care use polish and if you want to do a good job, follow the instructions for spit shine. And with spit, I mean spit not tab water. Mind you, Olga Berluti recommends champagne, but not any old bubbly, only Dom Perignon (not sure about the vintage) will do. Every two or three month give it a good coating with shoe cream in a matching color. Apply with a cloth and polish after 10 minutes. (Don't let it dry hard; it will be a b**** to remove the excess.) On that occasion give the soles a good coat with neutral shoe cream. Also use shoe cream regularly to care for the sole edges: that's where the color needs refreshing the most (easiest to do apply with one finger). I'm sure your shoes will last for many years to come.
post #5 of 6
Mind you, Olga Berluti recommends champagne, but not any old bubbly, only Dom Perignon (not sure about the vintage) will do.
I'm an ignorant cuss compared to Ms. Berluti, but c'mon... wouldn't alcohol dry out the leather? Or are there rare botannical tannins in Dom Perignon (along with natural sugars and carbon dioxide) that counteract the harmful effects?
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the advice. Also for what Madame Berluti recommends I seem to remember that Beau Brummell used to polish using champagne also. But then he left his Lobbs in the shop window for a year to achieve that particular aged look.
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