First, allow me to thank you again for your generosity with trade secrets I'm certain you developed through long hours of personal pursuit and experimentation. Second, allow me to thank you for reviewing my work and remarking on it.
Responding to your questions and suggestions below:
"¢\tI did not condition between dye coats. I gather that I should. Following-up on that suggestion:
o\tWhat should I use as a conditioner?
o\tHow long after I finish the dye coat should I wait to let it dry and then apply the conditioner?
o\tHow long after finishing a coat of conditioner should I wait to start the next coat of dye?
"¢\tI see what you mean about the difference between a one color dimensional finish. I'm going to have to develop more familiarity with creams. I did notice, however, that application of the dye over irregularities in the upper left by the deglazing adds a mottled and "antiqued" appearance. It was more pronounced on the first pair of Bostonians I worked on. Some is evident on these Loake semi-brogues, but not as much and not in the harsh contrasty light in these photos.
"¢\tI did not focus on deglazing the welt, side of the sole, or the heel. I'll do that on my next job.
o\tShould I dye those components along with the upper and then polish? Or should I reverse the sequence, polishing first, and then dyeing as a sealer? I'm a bit obtuse so please forgive me for being confused by that part of your suggestion #3.
"¢\tWould you suggest sources for Renoveteur and Crema Alpina? I'm sure other threads identify them but I'm succumbing to indolence.
"¢\tI wish I had meant to preserve the original color on the underlining and the interior of the perfs. This is sort of a new Coke to Coke Classis moment for me. I actually did start with those parts on each coat of dye. I should also have mentioned that I used an artists paintbrush to dye those areas in an effort to work the dye down into the underlining and perf interiors. They did not absorb the dye as thoroughly and their color is lighter than the rest of the upper. It looks even lighter under the contrast of the flash from my camera too.
"¢\tGreat suggestion on using tooth brushes for applying polish. Right now I use shoe polish brushes. But I only have two for the tow colors I usually use. One for black polish and one for brown. As I follow your instructions and broaden my polish colors and compositions, I'll use tooth brushes.
"¢\tRegarding tooth brushes, I did like using them to apply the deglazer.
o\tI have not used wax. I assume you're referring to shoe polishing wax. Any particular brands or colors you like to use frequently?
o\tHow do you heat your wax before applying it to a shoe? Place a tin over a candle? Microwave? Put it in direct summertime sunlight?
"¢\tI see your point about working during the day in good natural light. My interest in photography has certainly taught me that indirect natural light is best (like daylight that comes through a north facing window or through a layer of clouds on an overcast day). Unfortunately I have to work in my dark and cool basement at night under an incandesant that produces hard, contrasty, light and harsh shadows. That is just the only place I have available. I wish my day job allowed me to work in daylight during the week and SWMBO and my son spared me the time to do it on the weekend.
"¢\tThanks for suggesting turpentine. I'll apply it after waxing. At what other points in your workflow do you apply turpentine?
"¢\tYes, it takes a long time. I knew it would take me a long time. I took about three to four days for each pair of shoes spending 90-180 per day working on the shoes. And that is without the intense polishing regimen and other steps you suggest. This is very difficult, but very rewarding. I certainly don't recommend it for someone who does not have a lot of patience for spending their time and enduring their own ignorance and mistakes.
"¢\tDon't worry about me taking any business from you. I'm not doing this kind of work for anyone else. It's too much work. I'm a dilettante; I'll leave the for hire work to professionals like you. That's where it should go.
Originally Posted by RIDER
Someone told me I gave away too much information
Now that I see someone has started with this, a couple of points.....
1) did you condition between coats of dye?
2) this method as followed is good for a flat, one demensional finish.....they real key to antiquing is to be very judicious with dye (a highlighter) and spend more time with creams and waxes. There is a difference beween antiquing and dying and working the leather in the proper steps is that difference.
3) you should spend almost as much time on the welt and outsole edge as the upper....treat the same way - deglaze (especially the heel) and finish with polish and dye as a sealer.
4) if you used 6 coats of dye, I would have used 24 coats of polish and Renoveteur and Crema Alpina - just as a reference.
5) I like the effect of leaving the under lining the original color (under the perfs, and just delivered one in the same way), but if you want a classic effect, you must concentrate on this part as the first step....after you get into it it will be very difficult to get into the perfs and change the color without starting all over again.
6) Throw away the daubers that come with the dye.....use brushes. Badger hair brushes are the best, but you can go to any Ben Franklin and get a range of nice point and flat brushes that will do a much better job. I use sizes 5/8/10/11.
7) You can also see from the pic above that I use a TINY amount of dye.....I use old cat food tins for my work and I only cover the bottom and rarely use that much....polish and cream are the key to making a good shoe better - and that's as much the point for me than just changing the color.
8) do you use brushes to apply the polish? I don't bother with the expensive polish brushes, I just get quantities of toothbrushes and I think I do ok.....stiff bristle.
9) ALWAYS apply wax AFTER HEATING IT!!!! Important point......I never scoop wax from a tin cold and apply - always heated until very soft.
10) Always work in as hot of an environment as possible.....sounds weird, but I go out of my way to either be in the sun or I use a kerosene heater to heat the room long before I start my work. I have moved my work from my seperate workshop into my florida room (glass enclosed) for the winter for this reason...I also rarely work at night, as sunlight will give you the best view of your progress. Again, probably a weird view of mine, but that's how I work. Also, if there is a lot of humidity in the area, I won't work....makes the finishes too cloudy.
11) A point I did not make in the beginning - I use Terpentine constantly in my work.....don't know why I omitted that, sorry. After waxing, a rag soaked (damp, not wet) in terpentine is a great finisher for the polish.
Ok, I think I basically told everything I know.....now you know as much as me!
ps - takes a lot longer than you thought, no? Especially if you add these steps, as I suggest anyone to do.
pss - If I hear you taking business from me, I will demand a cut