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UPDATED: Fixable Shoe? - Mess-up during Bulling/Spit-Shining

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Gentlemen, I need your advice:

After seeing some photos of the nice shines from bulling, I decided to try them on my cap-toes, just the frontal part to give them a nice shine. After reading up on it and watching videos, I decided to try it. After completing it, I noticed a section of the cap toe is not "smooth" and is dull...

I think this may be the cause of using too much water (although I was very careful to not use much). What's the cause and is there a fix?
I can add polish, which will make it the shoe duller and make the area blend in...

I currently have them in trees and letting them dry out...

I have conditioner, creams, and polish ready.

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Edited by plei89 - 5/2/12 at 4:40pm
post #2 of 21
Thread Starter 
Bump
post #3 of 21
I am not a shoe expert, but I'd let the shoes dry and reapply a few normal coats of conditioner and polish.
post #4 of 21
I am not an expert but have been given a few lessons by my good friend ethandesu and the gentleman that taught Ethan how to polish shoes.

First let the shoes dry out and then using a brush try to brush off any excess wax on the shoes. Using a piece of fine cotton or fine silk from a old tie
start applying wax in small circles the size of a coin. The trick is to use dabbles of wax to put up layers, do not use too much water, I actually use a small ice cube with a drop of scotch instead of water, your cloth should not be wet at all. Proceed to build up thin layers you'll need 5-10 thin layers. It takes hours to get the right finish so grab yourself a drink. I actually find the process very relaxing. Good luck! Do post a photo when you finish.


When it's done right it should look like this.
6887191556_403e7b2141_b.jpg
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tchoy View Post

I am not an expert but have been given a few lessons by my good friend ethandesu and the gentleman that taught Ethan how to polish shoes.
First let the shoes dry out and then using a brush try to brush off any excess wax on the shoes. Using a piece of fine cotton or fine silk from a old tie
start applying wax in small circles the size of a coin. The trick is to use dabbles of wax to put up layers, do not use too much water, I actually use a small ice cube with a drop of scotch instead of water, your cloth should not be wet at all. Proceed to build up thin layers you'll need 5-10 thin layers. It takes hours to get the right finish so grab yourself a drink. I actually find the process very relaxing. Good luck! Do post a photo when you finish.
When it's done right it should look like this.
6887191556_403e7b2141_b.jpg

Man, that looks great. I don't have any wax currently, do you recommend a certain brand?
post #6 of 21
Thanks! That's my friend's handy work it took him hours. I normally use Saphir that is the best but Kiwi works fine. I didn't mentioned to apply conditioner on your shoes before the wax. I presumed you would have done it already.
post #7 of 21
+1 on not using too much water and building up the layers very gradually. Also, cloth needs to be very fine and lint free (I use an old tie). Otherwise, it will not create a mirror finish as easily. Take your time and you will feel it "slip" once it's starting to happen.
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Is wax preferred over polish and cream?

I have brown Kiwi Polish and Allen Edmonds Cream.
post #9 of 21
You'll need both they do a different job. The cream is for conditioning and restoring the leather wax gives you the shine.

Th Kiwi and AE should be fine.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
I think I'm a little confused over the difference between wax & polish. Or are they the same and used interchangeably.

I have Allen Edmonds Conditioner, which I use prior to applying my Polish:
350

I use this Polish:
263

But also have this:
350


Do I need to purchase wax? I can't seem to find one by Kiwi.
post #11 of 21

As implied by all posting above me, you can't spit shine cream, but you can do so with wax.  A quick look at the ingredients on the tin will tell you if it contains wax.

 

You can either add some form of water [hence "spit"] a drop at a time to the wax that has been applied to and then brushed smooth on the shoe, or pre-mix the drop of moisture with a small amount of wax in the lid of the tin before applying the emulsion to the shoe in very thin layers while taking care to polish each layer before applying another.

 

No doubt, some excellent lad has posted a primer on youtube for your review and approval.

 

Personal experience has demonstrated that shoe creams are perfect for a beautiful matte finish, as you have discovered, while wax is the best choice for a very high sheen. I do like both looks individually and when combined on the same shoe as has been demonstrated by some of the pictures above where the toe of the shoe has a spit shine in contrast to the balance of the shoe which appears to sport a more subdued finish.

post #12 of 21

I agree with fellow Sydney inhabitant, Tchoy. Do what he says. 

post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by plei89 View Post

I think I'm a little confused over the difference between wax & polish. Or are they the same and used interchangeably.

I use this Polish:
263

Do I need to purchase wax? I can't seem to find one by Kiwi.

That's wax. There are two types of polish, cream and wax. Both include cleaning solvents, oils to condition the leather, and waxes to polish and protect, just in different proportions. Cream is heavier on the oils, but the lower wax content means you won't get as much surface protection or shine. Waxes give you more surface protection (offer some barrier against rain and snow penetrating the leather), but less conditioning.

Some people alternate or just use paste to keep their shoes conditioned, I just use wax for polishing but hit the shoes with lexol (a conditioner) every couple of polishings. If you do the former, you wouldn't really need to worry about conditioner.
post #14 of 21
I'm not as good as Ethan, but I enjoy spit shining a few of my shoes, and do it every so often.

I don't know what condition or state your shoes are in, but I would advise stripping them down and really cleaning them off before you try again. If there is too much cream on them, it might be hard to build a good wax polish. Remember what you're doing is essentially filling the pores with wax polish, and in the process of pushing that wax into the pores, you're smoothing out the leather and building an even layer of wax. This is what creates the shiny appearance. Stripping everything off (You can use Lexol cleaner, in the orange bottle) will give you a nice surface to start with.

I second everything tchoy said, but would note that while your rag should never be really wet, I think you should let your own intuition guide you on how much water you need. It can be difficult to figure this out on your first time, but after a few pairs, you'll start to get a sense of when your rag needs more water or wax. You definitely never want the actual leather to get wet. This is why I start with very, very little water in the beginning (often none) just to build the first or second layer. After I have a good base, I use a little more water, and after that, a bit more water still. I find that by doing this, the first layer or two protects the leather from actually getting wet, and towards the end, having slightly more water allows me to get a creamier wax (which is then applied more smoothly and evenly). If you're not sure how much water to use at any given point, know that less is always better.

I also recommend that you experiment a bit with the directions that you rub the polish on. I always start with small circles, but towards the end, sometimes I find that swipes are more effective.

Additionally, you may want to polish the heel cup and a bit of the hindquarters. I find that it's usually a more balanced look. Just don't go crazy and spit shine the whole shoe - effectively encasing it wax. If you do, they'll crack and look terrible when the leather creases.

Finally, remember to strip off old layers of wax every once in a while so that you can give your shoes some good leather conditioner.

Have fun and post photos when you're done!

(As an aside, if I may give a friendly suggestion, I think your oxfords would look better with a straight lace. Here's a video by Will on how to do the European Method).
post #15 of 21
Some good advice here already.

It is a good idea to leave the shoes alone overnight. Then give them a good buff with a horsehair brush or if you don't have one a cotton cloth will suffice. You then need to get yourself some wax polish - this will come in a tin, not a jar. Apply the wax polish in concentric circles using a cloth tightly wrapped around your fingers, with the odd dab of water....

Good luck.
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