Can I sand my leather shoes to remove scratches?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by thecentennial, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. thecentennial

    thecentennial Senior member

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    [​IMG]

    Ok, so I was sold a lemon on the 'bay, and it aint worth my while to return the shoes.

    Bought a pair of calf leather monks which unfortunately have 4 quite deep cuts to the toe area on one of the shoes. Bollocks, I thought.

    Now I know people on SF tout the amazing properties of many layers of wax, which I have no dount are true for certain types of leather damage, but in this case I am positive it would not address the damage.

    So, as I only paid $70 for them, I thought I may aswell have a go and give them a light sanding using fine grit wet and dry, to smooth down the edges and bumps, trying to level out the wider area around the cuts. Then blather with polish once the area is levelled off.

    Anyone tried this at home? Am I a mental?
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  2. jrd617

    jrd617 Senior member

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    Yes, but only if you use a belt sander. It will give the shoes a more consistent finish.

















































































































    [​IMG]

    is the new:

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    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  3. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    I suspect that you will damage the surrounding surface and make something which is irritating unacceptable. Either wear them as they are , few if anyone will notice or even be concerned or throw them away if you find this mark intolerable.
     
  4. thecentennial

    thecentennial Senior member

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    No doubt I'll damage the surrounding area, the thought process being if I smooth off the area, then the polish will do the job of restoring colour.

    My daughters school shoes are massively scuffed at the toes, but smooth - lost all colour - a few coats of polish has them looking good as new, at least for a week.

    At the price I paid, I can afford to experiment I guess, just wondering if anyone has done something similar - would be interested in the results.
     
  5. Blackhood

    Blackhood Senior member

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    Give them to your cobbler. If anyone can do something it would be him, but sandpaper is never the answer.
     
  6. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    +1
    Verbatim.
     
  7. fritzl

    fritzl Senior member

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    excellent idea. you can sell them on the sw&d subforum for a fortune.
     
  8. thecentennial

    thecentennial Senior member

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    ..are you a psychic?
     
  9. fritzl

    fritzl Senior member

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    well, being on sf for a while trains your senses.

    seriously, as sombody already mentioned:

    - take them your cobbler.
    - have a look in the shoe care string. these guys are extremly helpful.

    your issue has been covered so many times. use the search function and you are set.

    good luck
     
  10. thecentennial

    thecentennial Senior member

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    Yeah, searched for a while, nothing specifically on sanding..and seriously, there are no cobblers where I live. Well, maybe a few camel skin sandal makers. I'm going to sand the bastards and post pics.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  11. Mark Seitelman

    Mark Seitelman Senior member

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    Keep them overnight in a vat of sulfuric acid. :stirpot:

    Seriously, sanding will make things worse. A good cobbler can shine them and try to cover-up the scratches.

    You have to accept scratches in leather shoes. Even house shoes get scratches.

    Good luck.
     
  12. sportin_life

    sportin_life Senior member

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    Not wax, but shoe cream here might hide some of the damage.
     
  13. NewYorkBuck

    NewYorkBuck Senior member

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    At 70 bones w damage, if they were mine they would be now demarcated for snow/rain.
     
  14. gladhands

    gladhands Senior member

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    I have never done this with good shoes, but I have had success sanding combat boots back in my army days. I would only advise it in the case of major gouges, and polish is not enough. You need to treat the sanded area with leather dye because it won't be black enough. Once they've dried, give them a good once-over with wax polish to smooth out the surface.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  15. Mandres

    Mandres Well-Known Member

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    I don't think sanding is a very good choice here. The only way to make the scratches disappear would be to sand away all the surrounding material down to the level of the deepest scratch, and even if you could do that and get a smooth finish you'd be left with a very thin piece of leather.

    I think the better choice would be to fill in the gouges with something to bring the surface up to the same level as the good leather, then lightly sand to make it all uniform. I don't know what material would work well for this but there must be some kind leather "filler" out there.
     

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