Question (with a bit of an instructional included, from @nbj08 ): I've recently acquired a pair of shell cordovan AE Dalton boots secondhand, and it seems the previous owner used some sort of polish or cream. The effects were as expected - the beautiful shell luster was replaced with a thick, cloudy, and tacky residue. Here are how they looked upon receipt:

After cleaning with a damp rag and giving an initial brush, I went after the boots with some Saphir Renovateur. Two and a half gunked-filled rags and a few hours of brushing later, they are markedly improved. But there is still a long ways to go:

As you can see, the beautiful luster is still covered by waxy, hazy, cloudy, and tacky to the touch residue. To demonstrate even further, here are two more pictures. The first is a side shot immediately after some vigorous brushing:

Now, the same side, after merely brushing my fingers from top to bottom:

The cloudy residue of whatever it is that the previous owner put on these boots is clearly seen.

So now, I come here looking for advice on what to do next. Are there any other similar experiences by fellow members? Does anyone have any suggested product (perhaps less expensive and more effective than Renovateur)?

Answer 1 (from @Fred G. Unn ): First off, I'm not sure you should even be using Renovateur on shell. If you need to strip off whatever the previous owner did to them you should use Renomat, which is a cleaner, rather than Renovateur, which is primarily a conditioner. "Two and a half gunked-filled rags" sounds like you are using waaayy too much product anyway, unless that's all product from the previous owner being removed.

Answer 2 (from @peppercorn78 ) : Personally, I would just start wearing regularly with normal brush/buff regimen after wearing. After a while, they'll start to come around.

They already look much better as is. I think others may have a point about the leather not being dry yet. My color 8 Bradley's looked like that immediately after getting a lexol treatment.

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