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Can I sand my leather shoes to remove scratches?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by thecentennial, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. Poindexter

    Poindexter Well-Known Member

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    I've fixed this sort of damage. The one on the left there, where there's a little flap of leather lifted up, glue back down with Titebond 3. It's water soluble until it dries, so you can make sure with a slightly damp rag that there's no glue left on the surface. Then, as the above savants have opined, fill the scuffs with wax polish, using fairly heavy applications and buffing off, repeat repeat. The trick is in how you buff. After three or four tries (by the time you have the scuffs filled) you'll have the lick right; how to buff off the surface without pulling the wax out of the scuffs. Lightly and quickly, after letting the polish dry quite a while.

    I've taken a fairly cut up pair of shoes and disappeared the scuffs so that you have to hold the shoe right up to yer schnozz to see the thing. Down at foot level, it's good.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  2. gladhands

    gladhands Well-Known Member

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    Nah, just sand them and post pics. I'm only slightly trolling here.

    You will not turn the leather to suede, but more of a nubuck. Once you apply wax polish, it will be inistinguishable from calf. I've done it...but never on a good shoe, and not in over a decade. Were I to purchase a pair of black, plain-toed beaters with significant toe damage (unlikely) I might be inclined to try it again. YOLO.
     
  3. thecentennial

    thecentennial Well-Known Member

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    Slapped on some renovateur, saphir creme followed by a damn good waxing...and I mean dayamm good; mo'fuckers look the bees knees.

    :slayer:

    Disclaimer: I've just got back from a right bender, so apologies for swearing like a fuckin fish wife.

    Mods, feel free to mod.
     
  4. jrd617

    jrd617 Well-Known Member

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    Pussy
     
  5. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Well-Known Member

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  6. Fishball

    Fishball Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I try it before.
    use very fine sand paper.
    then put on Saphir renovating cream. (not renovator!)
    [​IMG]
    you may need three or more layer.
    Then polish as usual.
    Black shoe is easy to fix.
     
  7. thecentennial

    thecentennial Well-Known Member

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    [VIDEO][/VIDEO]

    Yep, had some of that too.
     
  8. thecentennial

    thecentennial Well-Known Member

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    Will try this, but alas this is the end of the story until the saphir is delivered. I WILL post photos, we need closure.
     
  9. jrd617

    jrd617 Well-Known Member

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    Quoted for truth. This thread is a letdown.
     
  10. cbbuff

    cbbuff Well-Known Member

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    Pics or GTFO.
     
  11. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    People are pushing for the OP to do something that makes no sense. An odd sense of humour, no doubt.

    It is a shame when a shoe is cut or scuffed....so how does it make sense to increase or add to the damage?

    The suggestion to glue down any loose flaps of leather is a reasonable one. If the damage is cuts, you can use a bone or a spoon to push the edges of the cut back together, sometimes making the cut almost disappear right then and there.

    If it is a scuff, moistening the scuffed area and then burnishing it with a bone or the back of a spoon will re-create a smooth surface, albeit not a perfect "full-grain" surface. Let dry.

    Then use the Saphir to fill in the gaps or cover the scuff.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  12. F. Corbera

    F. Corbera Well-Known Member

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    DW, can't OP just sand the entire shoe, then brush with a wire brush to bring up the nap, ending up with "suede" shoes?

    I think that Iroh is experimenting with this technique.
     
  13. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    You would think that, wouldn't you? But a closer look at the structure of full grain leather suggests that it is not so easy.

    Tanned cattle hides, in particular, are thicker than we suspect when looking at a piece of shoe leather or even the shoe itself. The same hide that makes a 12 iron (1/4") thick) leather outsole can be the basis for a 2 ounce full grain calf. The grain surface is the densest part of the hide and the strongest.

    Suede is often a split taken off the flesh side of the hide, leaving the full grain to be sold as an additional, full grain hide (a twofer). But in that splitting process, the fleshside layer (technically a "split") loses a lot of its strength and coherence.

    The best suede, however (at least in my opinion), is a full grain leather dyed and finished such that the fleshside is intended to be visible...and, functionally, the exposed surface.

    Sanding through the grainside of a full grain leather comes closer to creating a nu-buck than a suede...unless you sand so deeply that you completely eliminate the grain surface.

    At which point, you will have destroyed better than 50% of the strength that was inherent in the leather.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  14. Sanguis Mortuum

    Sanguis Mortuum Well-Known Member

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    I don't know what could possibly make the OP think this would be a good idea. Its like asking if a torn pant leg can be repaired by cutting off the leg.
     
  15. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    True dat.
     
  16. NORE

    NORE Well-Known Member

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    There's so much win in this post I don't know where to begin.

    Thank you, sir.
     
  17. rikod

    rikod Well-Known Member

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    I had a big gash in one of my shoes, a deep cut much bigger than the OP's. I think I was drunk because I didn't even remember how it happened the next day, I took the shoe to my cobbler and he put some kind of cement on it and I think he sanded a little bit very softly and he cleaned and polished. It came out surprisingly well, you can still see a thin "scar" there but it's much better.
     
  18. NORE

    NORE Well-Known Member

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    Crap. When I saw "rikod" I read "Iroh" and got all excited. :confused:
     
  19. Crane's

    Crane's Well-Known Member

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    Ummm seriously? A brand new pair of boots of mine would look worse than the pic in the OP after one day of wearing.
     
  20. rikod

    rikod Well-Known Member

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    it's a similar kind of post though
     

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