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Grensons: from cognac to antique dark brown - Page 2

post #16 of 36
Thread Starter 
I haven't worn them yet. I plan on taking A Harris' advice and holding off a couple weeks before I do wear them. I don't think any finish is every really permanent, though. With a little bit of polish, cream, and elbow grease, one can add or remove antiquing. Montecristo
post #17 of 36
Quote:
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
Awesome job... I got the same shoe from Bennies and I'm tempted to give it a go. You mentioned that, in the future, you might use some blue creme. What effect will this have on the results you've already achieved? Do you think you should have used blue creme instead of black to start with? JV
post #18 of 36
Thread Starter 
I think what A Harris suggests in his "Best of" post is probably on target. He recommends primarily black, with brown and blue mixed in. I used primarily black and brown, with a touch of cordovan. This may be somewhat responsible for the slightly reddish look of my shoes under some light (which actually looks pretty cool, even though it's not what I intended). I think maybe using blue instead of cordovan would have given me a purer brown in the final product. Of course, if I add blue now, I could end up wih green shoes.
post #19 of 36
Quote:
Of course, if I add blue now, I could end up wih green shoes.
Actually, green highlights can look great. I know it sounds weird, but those of you who have seen the Lattanzi store will know what I mean. IMO, the best looking shoe color, period, is a maple hue with green highlights.
post #20 of 36
Quote:
IMO, the best looking shoe color, period, is a maple hue with green highlights.
A. Harris, got any pics of such?
post #21 of 36
Quote:
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
So its like jazz...there are no misplayed notes, only new opportunities. I was considering trying this on an old pair of Florsheims. They are wingtips, though, with a lot of "broguing" (I guess that's the term, lots of the little holes punched everywhere). Pretty similar in color to those pictured here. Would this be a good idea? They are already difficult enough to polish as it is, but I thought if I antiqued them, I might need to polish them less frequently. And if the result turns out as good as MC#4's so much the better. Perhaps that is wishful thinking.
post #22 of 36
Now that it's been a few weeks, can I ask how the finish has held up? And how do you polish the shoes if, as I understand your post, neutral shoe cream removes the antiquing? I'm considering doing this on a pair of Grensons that I have. Regards, dan
post #23 of 36
Thread Starter 
Well, right now they are somewhere in between the before and after pictures in terms of color. What happened was that after some where, the finish started to turn into dried waxy powder. So I ended up stripping the excess wax off using a combination of neutral, dark blue, and brown shoe cream. I also liberally applied Coach's leather conditioner because I think the leather on these Grensons is very dry to begin with. In any case, the flaking has stopped. The shoes look great. Final results -- not quite as shiny and definitely lighter than I was going for. But the resultant antiquing is outstanding. Montecristo
post #24 of 36
Quote:
Well, right now they are somewhere in between the before and after pictures in terms of color. What happened was that after some where, the finish started to turn into dried waxy powder. So I ended up stripping the excess wax off using a combination of neutral, dark blue, and brown shoe cream. I also liberally applied Coach's leather conditioner because I think the leather on these Grensons is very dry to begin with. In any case, the flaking has stopped. The shoes look great. Final results -- not quite as shiny and definitely lighter than I was going for. But the resultant antiquing is outstanding. Montecristo
Pictures please.
post #25 of 36
Thanks for the response. So can you polish them with a neutral or dark brown polish without marring the finish? dan
post #26 of 36
So about those green Borrelli shoes on Ebay -- I guess this is a solution. Pile on a bunch of black, brown and blue shoe cream. Seriously though, the results look great to those Grensons.
post #27 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Thanks for the response.  So can you polish them with a neutral or dark brown polish without marring the finish?
Yes. Although if you were to really rub it in hard you remove antiquing. As you would on any antiqued shoe.
post #28 of 36
Monte...update please... I'm thinking about another experiment.
post #29 of 36
Thread Starter 
The shoes are at work right now. I am pretty happy with them. They are holding up pretty well under regular wear and polishings. They are not as dark as say, a C&J Audley. But they are a nice medium/dark brown color. I'll try to get some photos this week. I need to bring them home for a polish. They are actually my workhorse shoes in the office right now. I wear them almost every other day. One other thing on the Grensons--the soles are the best wearing soles I've had on any shoe.
post #30 of 36
Glad you revived this post, as I joined the formum earlier this year and was unaware of what could be done. Spectacular job on the shoes, MC#4.. I'll keep this in mind for whenever I see a great pair of bargain shoes whose color is not quite what I want. BTW, thanks for giving me the kick I needed to visit the "Best of" post. However, I can't access the StyleForum links from that page. Are StyleForum links still broken, or is the problem on my end?
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