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Grensons: from cognac to antique dark brown

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by montecristo#4, Oct 16, 2004.

  1. montecristo#4

    montecristo#4 Well-Known Member

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    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: [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] 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. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] 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. [​IMG] In any case, I'd love to hear questions or comments. Regards, Montecristo
     
  2. AlanC

    AlanC Well-Known Member

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    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*
     
  3. montecristo#4

    montecristo#4 Well-Known Member

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    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
     
  4. Renault78law

    Renault78law Well-Known Member

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  5. keys

    keys Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful. Nicely done. Wish I had the courage to try this... [​IMG]
     
  6. AlanC

    AlanC Well-Known Member

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    Well, that emboldens me somewhat. Did you use Meltonian cream?
     
  7. MilanoStyle

    MilanoStyle Well-Known Member

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  8. nightowl6261a

    nightowl6261a Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  9. shqiptar

    shqiptar Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  10. montecristo#4

    montecristo#4 Well-Known Member

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    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
     
  11. sirgarnetwolseley

    sirgarnetwolseley Well-Known Member

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    montecristo#4; Sir, Fantastic. You are like a rocket surgeon, but for shoes.
     
  12. A Harris

    A Harris Well-Known Member

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    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 [​IMG]
     
  13. Thracozaag

    Thracozaag Well-Known Member

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    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
     
  14. AlanC

    AlanC Well-Known Member

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    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?
     
  15. TimelessRider

    TimelessRider Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  16. montecristo#4

    montecristo#4 Well-Known Member

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    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
     
  17. drljva

    drljva Well-Known Member

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    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
     
  18. montecristo#4

    montecristo#4 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  19. A Harris

    A Harris Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  20. FCS

    FCS Well-Known Member

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    A. Harris, got any pics of such?
     

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