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Black polish

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by houston, Feb 17, 2005.

  1. houston

    houston Well-Known Member

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    This month's Esquire has a list of 50 "New Laws of Style." One is "Polish your mid- and dark-brown shoes with black shoe polish. This will create darker shades near the seams and gradually deepen the patina all over." I'm a bit hestitant to do this to my new Aldens. Anyone tried this? Good idea?
     


  2. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    I've used darker polish on a pair of tan AEs. It won't really hurt them, because if you want to take the polish off you can use neutral polish to do it. It might be a bit of a problem to get it out of broguing and seams, though. I used a cheap electric toothbrush to do this, which worked pretty well.

    Mainly, it depends on whether you want them to get blackened in the seams and broguing. I like the look, personally. Try it out on an old pair or thrift store pair first before attacking your new shoes.
     


  3. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Distinguished Member

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    I've done it. You should be careful. The problem is that the black wax really sinks in quickly to the shoes -- unless it is really viscous, you'll find that where you initially put the wax will get more dark than the places to which you spread the wax. Cream would be less risky on this score, and I've mixed navy blue, brown, and red cream together for a nice look.

    However, if you go with wax, a good thing is to apply it in small amounts to the toe and the seam areas (basically anywhere where antiquing is easy and natural to apply). Err, maybe not a "good thing," but certainly something that won't be at all ruinous to the shoe and will give it a nice touch.

    I'd try Meltonian cream if I were you.
     


  4. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    I thought cream was more for coloring the shoe and the color of polish was less permanent.
     


  5. Horace

    Horace Distinguished Member

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    I've done this on a pair of C&J Polo wingtips. They look pretty good.
     


  6. Vintage Gent

    Vintage Gent Distinguished Member

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    I do something similar but a bit less severe. Instead of applying black polish directly to dark brown shoes, I buff the brown shoes with the same brush I use for their black counterparts.
     


  7. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    Shoe geeks (you know who you are) correct me if I'm wrong, but the main purpose of cream is to moisturize the leather, not color it.
     


  8. dah328

    dah328 Distinguished Member

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    Don't you end up with brown highlights on your black shoes, then?

    I've used black shoe cream to add some highlights to a pair of burgundy AE Park Aves.  It definitely added some character to the shoes but no one will mistake it for EG antiquing.  I'll probably try to strip them and reapply it in a slightly different manner.

    dan
     


  9. Vintage Gent

    Vintage Gent Distinguished Member

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    (Vintage Gent @ Feb. 17 2005,08:51) I do something similar but a bit less severe. Instead of applying black polish directly to dark brown shoes, I buff the brown shoes with the same brush I use for their black counterparts.
    Don't you end up with brown highlights on your black shoes, then? I've used black shoe cream to add some highlights to a pair of burgundy AE Park Aves. It definitely added some character to the shoes but no one will mistake it for EG antiquing. I'll probably try to strip them and reapply it in a slightly different manner. dan
    I always shine my brown shoes after the black, which gives the polish a chance to dry on the bristles in the few days between polishing (in my experience, this is sufficient to avoid transfer of brown polish to the black shoes).
     


  10. JLibourel

    JLibourel Distinguished Member

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    Wouldn't it just be simpler to have two brushes--one for black and one for the brown tones? That's what I use. I note that Synovia makes brushes with black bristles and gray bristles for these respective purposes. Given that a decent brush is about $12 (if memory serves), this is a pretty negligible outlay.
     


  11. retronotmetro

    retronotmetro Distinguished Member

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    Cream is both for nourishing the leather and for coloration. It generally has a higher pigment content than wax polishes which makes it ideal for masking defects or changing the overall color of the shoe. Wax polish imparts a higher shine and protects the leather.

    I have three shoe brushes--one for black shoes, one for darker brown shoes, and one for tan shoes. They came as a set (along with daubers and shoe cream) in a wooden box. I prefer to use separate brushes depending on color range.
     


  12. duffer67

    duffer67 New Member

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    i've heard the opposite.

    an army type told me that when polishing his black parade shoes, he would polish 3-4 times with black but do the final polish with brown. said it gave the shoes a sharper look.
     


  13. gorgekko

    gorgekko Distinguished Member

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    Can't say that I ever tried that...of course it was hard enough pleasing my master corporals and sergeants with just using black polish [​IMG]
     


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