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Grensons: from cognac to antique dark brown

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
I received a pair of cognac-colored Grensons from Bennie's on Monday. The shoes were in decent shape (with the exception of the interiors, which were below expectation), but I really wanted a dark brown shoe. I decided to darken and antique them myself--something I've never tried before. Here are the shoes before their makeover, fresh out of the box: As you can see from the above, the sole was kind of in odd shape.... But for $150, I can't really complain. Now, here they are after the darkening and antiquing process was complete. Overall, I'm quite happy with the result. The final product is perhaps a shade lighter and a bit more red than I was looking for, but overall quite sharp. Actually, the photos make the shoes look even more reddish than they actually are.... But I may still try to diminish the red with some blue polish in the future. Basically, to achieve this effect, I tried to follow A Harris' recipe, as posted in the Hall of Fame, with some exceptions. Over all, this too me about two solid evenings in front of the TV to accomplish. Wouldn't have been possible if the girlfriend weren't in Paris for the week. In any case, I'd love to hear questions or comments. Regards, Montecristo
post #2 of 36
I have the exact same shoes (and I think the exact same throw.), but will leave mine cognac. You certainly did a beautiful job. I have a cheap pair of brown shoes I've been thinking of doing that to. Did you actually use acetone on them? *shudder*
post #3 of 36
Thread Starter 
No, no acetone. - Started by mixing dark brown and black shoe cream (with a tiny bit of cordovan), covered the shoes with it, and left to dry overnight - The polished with brown wax polish using horsehair polishing brush, touched up dark areas with black wax polish, and stuck the shoes in the freezer for a while - After taking shoes out of the freezer, let them return to room temperature, then olished them to a high shine - Did some touchup and accents, adding and removing dark areas using more black wax polish and neutral shoe cream, respectively Montecristo
post #4 of 36
wow, great job.
post #5 of 36
Beautiful. Nicely done. Wish I had the courage to try this...
post #6 of 36
Well, that emboldens me somewhat. Did you use Meltonian cream?
post #7 of 36
Nice paint job ...
post #8 of 36
wow, want to come to work for me and make a low wage and have fun......my shine man could not have done as well.
post #9 of 36
Great job. You must be nuts to try the technique on expensive shoes. I will try this technique on a pair of shoes that are cheap. I will buy them for $40 (originally $139) and I'll do the paint job.
post #10 of 36
Thread Starter 
Yes, I did use Meltonian creams (black, cordovan, dark brown, and neutral), Kiwi wax (brown) and Alden wax (black). I don't think anyone should fear the process of antiquing. If you screw up, it is really easy to strip the color and antiquing off and start over from an even base. You can even do this in certain sections of the shoe if they get screwed up. Montecristo
post #11 of 36
montecristo#4; Sir, Fantastic. You are like a rocket surgeon, but for shoes.
post #12 of 36
Nice job. They look wonderful. And speaking from experience, it is not easy to darken shoes that much. An update (perhaps to late.) If you can bear to not wear them for a week or two, the finish will last a lot longer. I wore my Montfords immediately and the antiquing and high polish faded quite a bit in the long run. I did the Stowe's using the same method, except I didn't wear them for a couple of weeks. They still look almost exactly the same as when I finished with them. And for those less than intrepid souls (at least when it comes to painting one's shoes) - it's pretty hard to mess up an antiquing job. With a little elbow grease you can always turn a mistake into a beauty mark
post #13 of 36
Quote:
Nice job. They look wonderful. And speaking from experience, it is not easy to darken shoes that much. An update (perhaps to late.) If you can bear to not wear them for a week or two, the finish will last a lot longer. I wore my Montfords immediately and the antiquing and high polish faded quite a bit in the long run. I did the Stowe's using the same method, except I didn't wear them for a couple of weeks. They still look almost exactly the same as when I finished with them. And for those less than intrepid souls (at least when it comes to painting one's shoes) - it's pretty hard to mess up an antiquing job. With a little elbow grease you can always turn a mistake into a beauty mark  
If I ever get an extra pair of nice cognac-hued shoes, I might take a crack at it. I'm too scared and poor to try it right now, haha. koji
post #14 of 36
That brings up a question of the permanence of the procedure. I had assumed it would have something of a lasting effect. Is this not the case?
post #15 of 36
montecristo, Impressive work. The finished color looks like Dark Oak Antique from Edward Green. I'm curious to know if you've worn the pair since the paint-job and whether the cognac color shows through at the creases.
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