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Shoe experts - how much can polish influence colour?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I have a pair of medium brown shoes that are a bit flat and boring in colour. I would much prefer them to be closer to my chilli pair. I've tried polishing with chilli polish and leaving unbuffed overnight for it to soak in but it doesn't seem to change much after buffing. A fella at the Shoe Hospital said that colour is determined in the tanning process and there's not much you can do after that, and that their dyeing process is just like painting on top of the leather and will ruin any likelihood of obtaining a patina overtime.

Similarly I have a pair of dark burgundy shells which I try to 'redden up' using oxblood polish as they look almost black in dim light, but again, to little or no avail.

Am I wasting my time here and should I just accept them as they are? Or are there some tips that can influence colour?
post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ianiceman View Post

I have a pair of medium brown shoes that are a bit flat and boring in colour. I would much prefer them to be closer to my chilli pair. I've tried polishing with chilli polish and leaving unbuffed overnight for it to soak in but it doesn't seem to change much after buffing. A fella at the Shoe Hospital said that colour is determined in the tanning process and there's not much you can do after that, and that their dyeing process is just like painting on top of the leather and will ruin any likelihood of obtaining a patina overtime.
Similarly I have a pair of dark burgundy shells which I try to 'redden up' using oxblood polish as they look almost black in dim light, but again, to little or no avail.
Am I wasting my time here and should I just accept them as they are? Or are there some tips that can influence colour?

Use some black on the brown shoes. For more info google "antiquing shoes" and use the SF search.

Below are shoes that were re-colored after market (after the tanning process)

http://lespatinesseptiemelargeur.tumblr.com/archive
post #3 of 6

this may not be the solution you are looking for, but im from the north so it works great for me... I use a winterproofing wax (sorry I cant remember the name of it, its at my other house..) that bakes into the leather and provides year round protection while also allowing me to two-tone the leather how i want... but it also can be applied to the entire shoe and darken the color up a bit.  Another benefit is that the shoes are virtually unscratchable with a layer of winterproofing wax on them.  

 

 

700

before the two toning these were entirely the lighter color, it made them a completely different shoe.

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr monty View Post

Use some black on the brown shoes. For more info google "antiquing shoes" and use the SF search.
Below are shoes that were re-colored after market (after the tanning process)
http://lespatinesseptiemelargeur.tumblr.com/archive

Wow - what kind of shoes are those - they look incredible to begin with - and can I get that done via mail???
post #5 of 6
OP - you 'influence' the color of a medium brown pair of shoes towards a redder color - but the one thing you can't really do effectively with polishes is lighten whatever color is existing.

Going darker is more possible.

You probably should try cream polish as it contains more pigment than paste wax polishes.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gdot View Post

OP - you 'influence' the color of a medium brown pair of shoes towards a redder color - but the one thing you can't really do effectively with polishes is lighten whatever color is existing.
Going darker is more possible.
You probably should try cream polish as it contains more pigment than paste wax polishes.

Thanks - I've tried with polish out of a tube like toothpaste, and meltonian out of a glass jar. The colour and consistency is about the same on each, but my results were negligible.

Those photos are impressive but look to be a costly conversion.
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