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Dyed My $1k Shell Cordovan Boots - Turned Out OK

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
First some background. The hole in my shoe collection has been black shell. I like black shell but it doesn't excite me like the other colors. As such, I've avoided buying new. Somewhat related, my collection spans many shoemakers but when it comes to burgendy, IMO, no one does color 8 like Alden. These 2 issues are related because they led me to a potentially dangerous decision to recolor my Ron Rider alpine grain shell boots from burgendy to black. These boots are easily one of my 3 favorite pair of footwear but I consistently found myself reaching for my Alden color 8 footwear whenever I was looking for a burgendy boot. Which meant my RR's weren't getting much wear. A shame, because they are an amazing boot. By dyeing them black, it would feel a hole in my collection and I was confident that if I could pull it off, the design and last of these boots would make them look great in black. Recoloring to black is the easiest of all colors. This gave me confidence that if I took my time, I could pull it off. With all of that, man was it scary. Before I was introduced to shell cordovan (never even heard of it until I stumbled on this site for some shoe care advice) I dyed my calfskin shoes quite regularly. Since then I have dyed a couple pair of 'beater' shells I picked up on eBay but nothing anywhere near as nice or valuable as the RR's.

I was very meticulous, even to the point of using painters tape on the inside and soles of the shoes. The lining is this gorgeous tan and I didn't want to get any dye on them. I made sure I started with a high-quality deglazer, used vegatible oil dye, and finished up with my favorite, Angelus Acrylic Finisher. Here is both a before an after pic..........







I have no particular reason for starting this thread other than to let people know that dyeing shell doesn't have to be daunting and is certainly doable if you're willing to invest the time.
post #2 of 3

Excellent work Shawn and they look almost brand new.  Gorgeous boots!  So kind of you to share the experience with us as well! 

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by evereds View Post

Excellent work Shawn and they look almost brand new.  Gorgeous boots!  So kind of you to share the experience with us as well! 

Very pleased with them Gary but i always appreciate the positive feedback. Thanks.
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