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**The Official Shoe Care Thread: Tutorials, Photos, etc.**

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mr. Moo, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. nutcracker

    nutcracker Well-Known Member

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    Taipei
    

    Correct. The cap is slightly on the big side for this pair. The toe puff only goes half a way (of the cap)
     
  2. cdmcallister

    cdmcallister Well-Known Member

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    Feb 12, 2013
    Well, it took me a good, long time to get through all 280 pages but very entertaining, informative, and motivating. As a former Marine, I like spit shines and will hopefully be able to add my two cents here and there. You guys are motivating me do some before and afters of the eBay'd Merlot PA's I picked up last week. I'll try to start that project this week but I had a question regarding the experience with stripping off old wax. I've only done a re-dye job on combat boots before and to get to bare leather I used saddle soap. I'm thinking of taking the PA's down to the original finish (no re-dye) using alcohol, lighter fluid, or acetone. I'm not squeamish in this regard. Which method is the fastest to get all the old wax off these shoes. I can tell the shoes are fairly old with dirty/darkened polish that needs to go.
     
  3. TheSizzle

    TheSizzle Well-Known Member

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    North Carolina
    Well, since Crat cleared the way, I guess refinishing shoes falls under the category of "shoe care," and, on that note, I have a project to share.

    Backstory: I had a spare pair of Brooks Brothers (by AE) linen and calf leather wingtips (spectators). I thought it might be fun to strip them down and die them a slightly darker brown.

    The Plot:

    I started out by cutting the stitching on the tassels because I needed to remove the laces, and I thought I might want to, at some point, return to those laces. There was no way around it since they wouldn't fit through the eyelets.

    Then, I stuffed them full of newspaper before I went about deglazing the leather sections and taping off the sole edges (using Fiebing's deglazer) .

    I considered covering the linen portions, but I had concerns about my ability to tape it off cleanly, in a manner that would not allow the dye to bleed through, but that would not tear up or leave marks on the linen. In the end, I decided to just be careful in my application of dye.

    I applied two relatively hefty coats of dye (Fiebings light brown leather dye), using wool daubers and allowing the dye a bit of time to dry between coats.

    Then, I used a cloth to wipe off the excess dye, removed the tape and allowed them to dry a bit more.

    Once I felt they'd dried a enough, I put two coats of mahogany Saphir creme surfine and gave it a decent semi-gloss shine before I threw in some laces that I had around.

    Afterthoughts:
    I didn't expect a perfect finish, especially since I was only risking factory seconds. Going in, I actually thought I wanted some variation to give them a slight antique feel. I only had two small mistakes (one tiny spot of linen that will not be noticed and a drip onto the sole from the placing them on the rag i was using). I'm happy with that. The only thing I'll probably change is returning the laces to their original state, but for now, I'm actually going to use the green ones in the final picture. It was my first time dying anything, and I probably should have practiced a bit, but I'm pleased with the result, at least enough to wear them.

    Pictures:
    I know everyone just wants to see some pictures to throw stones, or wonder why someone would mess with some brand new shoes. So, here they are (in order from start, through deglazing, into dying, and after polishing).


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    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  4. dddrees

    dddrees Well-Known Member

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    I'm not a fan of the darker brown, however I think you did a marvelous job.
     
  5. TheSizzle

    TheSizzle Well-Known Member

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    I bought one pair to keep the tan color, but I bought a pair of seconds to take a stab at dyeing. This is that pair.

    Thank you by the way.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013
  6. Crat

    Crat Well-Known Member

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    Excellent job! Well done :)
     
  7. donjuan17

    donjuan17 Well-Known Member

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    Incredibly well done.
     
  8. dddrees

    dddrees Well-Known Member

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    I do wish they had made it so you could take the laces out without messing up the tassels.
     
  9. TheSizzle

    TheSizzle Well-Known Member

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    Thank you both.


    So do I. I was careful to just cut the stitching and only one one end so that I could reattach it. Actually, I could probably reattach it myself, but right now, I'm not.
     
  10. cdmcallister

    cdmcallister Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Feb 12, 2013
    TheSizzle -

    Excellent post man. Great job not only doing the project but also documenting it for the rest of us.

    I just eBay'd my 1st pair of AE (Merlot PA's) with a pair of Bourbon Strand seconds shipped out by Adam at the WI store stuck in the snow in Chicago (expecting them Wednesday)...

    Thanks to all the great tips on this thread, I decided to strip down the shoes because the layers of polish were old, dirty, and cracking.

    They are drying right now from the alcohol and rough cloth rub down they got tonight.

    I'm going to document this project too and hopefully they turn out well so others with little to no shoe "refinishing" experience can feel confident in doing it themselves as well.

    Crat broke the seal, TheSizzle followed up with an excellent project, and I hope I am able to do justice to their excellent examples with my foray into refinishing.

    Here's an initial before picture.


    [​IMG]
     
  11. cdmcallister

    cdmcallister Well-Known Member

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  12. cdmcallister

    cdmcallister Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    E Park Avenue Refinishing

    TheSizzle -

    Excellent post man. Great job not only doing the project but also documenting it for the rest of us.

    I just eBay'd my 1st pair of AE (Merlot PA's) with a pair of Bourbon Strand seconds shipped out by Adam at the WI store stuck in the snow in Chicago (expecting them Wednesday)...

    Thanks to all the great tips on this thread, I decided to strip down the shoes because the layers of polish were old, dirty, and cracking.

    They are drying right now from the alcohol and rough cloth rub down they got tonight.

    I'm going to document this project too and hopefully they turn out well so others with little to no shoe "refinishing" experience can feel confident in doing it themselves as well.

    Crat broke the seal, TheSizzle followed up with an excellent project, and I hope I am able to do justice to their excellent examples with my foray into refinishing.

    Here's an initial before picture.


    [​IMG]
     
  13. TheSizzle

    TheSizzle Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    North Carolina
    It was a fun little project.

    Now, I've usually thought it best to be descriptive enough to give an idea of your process without getting too bogged down in the details. Some people don't plan on copying it and will be satisfied. Some people only need a nudge to go their own way. Anyone who needs a more involved guide can ask questions. When I'm on the other side, I usually just like the nudge. Then, I just work up the confidence to just go for it.

    (I learned that I need to spend more time on picture setup/lighting if I plan on sharing them in the future.)

    I can't wait to see how yours turn out. Do you have a specific direction in mind? Are you just trying to restore, or are you looking to refinish?
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013
  14. cdmcallister

    cdmcallister Well-Known Member

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    I'm thinking on what I want to do. Part of me wants to try to mimic Gdot's "Italian Polish" he shared a hundred or so pages ago and part of me just wants to go classic Merlot PA's. Either way they'll have mirror finish toe caps.

    Any thoughts on the direction to go?
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013
  15. TheSizzle

    TheSizzle Well-Known Member

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    What do you think of throwing some antiquing/patina in there?
     
  16. cdmcallister

    cdmcallister Well-Known Member

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    Sounds fun. You give me some guidance and I'll wax on wax off. I was thinking some darker brown to add some depth mixed in with some merlot. Maybe even some navy. Do you do a patina/antiquing treatment with dye, cream, or wax? If left to my own devices, I'd try some cream and wax in different colors but I'm open to advice/suggestions.
     
  17. goodlensboy

    goodlensboy Well-Known Member

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    I see, thanks. Nice shine
     
  18. Gerry Nelson

    Gerry Nelson Well-Known Member

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    Now that's what I call a shine! Nice job!
     
  19. filcol

    filcol Well-Known Member

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    Mar 18, 2011
    Hi everyone, I really need help. My sidezips look horrible atm, I don't know why. I didn't wear them for like 3 months, I cleaned them some weeks ago, I think I may have done something wrong - not sure tho. They were distressed before but now they just look very horrible, totally distressed and dry. Please tell me what I can do to make them look good again :/
    I always used shoe trees!

    [​IMG]
     
  20. cbfn

    cbfn Well-Known Member

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    Looks like poor quality leather might be a reason.
     

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