- Feb 1, 2016
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Hi,I have tried the water and wax dab thing. I’ve not tried letting it set for 30 minutes before. I’ll give it a shot.
How long does it take to build a high shine? Is it something you do over several applications like across days or weeks?
Ok your diagnosis is absolutely right. And I really appreciate the detailed guide. I’ve watched so many tutorials and tried different application methods and still having issues. I think I will practice on plain toes vs medallions. This one shoe you saw keeps accumulating dull wax around the medallion punches on the center particularly and I end up with a literal bump on the surface.Hi,
I can see from your pictures that the surface looks really dull and matte black, and, perhaps more importantly, that all the brogue holes are being filled. This tells me that you are using way too much wax. How are you currently applying wax from the tin to the shoe? I typically use my fingers directly, as that gives me the most tactile sensation and control. Just a small wipe with two fingers (index + middle) onto the surface of the wax in the tin and then gently gliding the fingers over the shoe. The warmth of your fingers will help soften it a bit and allow you to put down a thin uniform layer. From there, I wrap the cloth tightly around two fingers and buff with very light pressure. Buff until the surface feels uniformly smooth against this light pressure. The first few layers will feel a bit draggy or squeaky, since you're rubbing mostly against the leather itself, but each subsequent layer should feel easier. The time it takes to do one shoe is enough for the other one to dry. No need to drag this out for weeks and weeks. (After a while you can go from new shoe to a mirror shine in 45-60 minutes) Avoid using any liquid for the first few layers since you don't have enough wax to work with anyway. Plus, the water will end up seeping into the leather itself and possibly delaminate your wax from underneath, which is a huge pain because you'll probably have to start over..
After several layers of this you will notice a soft shine, which means that the leather itself is uniformly covered with wax. It's now time to essentially polish the wax itself with more wax until the mirror effect appears. For this step, keep doing what you've been doing, except you will now use a bit of water too. The purpose of the water is to lubricate the cloth as it buffs the wax and reduce friction, which will smudge your mirror shine. The water is NOT to soak the wax, so use juuuuust enough to reduce the drag of the cloth. A solution of 30% alcohol in water will work even better, as this will soften the wax slightly and help you buff it to a shine.
At this point you can also make life easier for yourself by using the Saphir mirror gloss. Saphir is overpriced in general (like you said, "all these expensive products" haha) but the mirror gloss is worth every penny as it is almost like cheating. Once you have a close to mirror shine, switch to the mirror gloss (again, small amounts and applied with your warm fingertips, buffed with cloth + drop of alcohol/water), and you will be done shortly.
TLDR: The logic behind what you are doing is:
1. Covering the leather, which is inherently dull due to microscopic pores, with wax and making sure each layer is thin. Too much and it will cake/crumble on you.
2. Polish the wax until you get the mirror effect.
3. For the first stage, avoid using water. Just put down thin layers of wax with your fingers and then buff gently with cloth.
4. For the second stage, you are polishing the wax itself. Put down increasingly thin layers of wax, buff gently until you feel the cloth drag, and then use a bit of water to lubricate the cloth until all the wax is evenly buffed.
In your currrent situation, your shoes are covered in a lot of wax, and possibly dried too. It's a bit off a mess. I'd suggest using a cloth + a bit of alcohol/water to try to smooth it all out, and ideally transfer some from the shoe to your cloth. See how it looks when it's no longer caked together and take it from there at step 2 or so.
Hope this is clear? Let me know if anything doesn't make sense. Mirror shining is like meditation to me, and I thoroughly enjoy discussing it.
Two days of wearing the shell Randolph’s making sure I want a natty pair.
Black circa 2008 yesterday
View attachment 1692347
And burgundy circa 2018 today
View attachment 1692348
The black pair is certainly a tad tighter in the toe box than the newer pair. My fat feet are grateful for the extra room!
Both of these AE boots list the same leather on the description. Premium Repello weatherproof suede . Is the freeport waxed as well?
I see these two options from the Stead site.
Was waiting for your followup post, thanks. Dang, so would you say they are indeed lightly waxed? I had my doubtsI just wanted brown/snuff suede HMs, not these mangy hides. If the website had accurate descriptions instead of the Kudu, then the Premium Repello weatherproof suede (still on the site) I would have ordered something else on deal day.
I do have this exact leather in a pair of liverpools but I knew what I was getting.