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Dyeing shoes

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by CBDB, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. Francisco D'Anconia

    Francisco D'Anconia Senior member

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    I dyed some shoes from brown to black, no fancy antiquing. I started by experimenting with beater J&M's first and now I'm doing AE's.

    ^ very good advice. If you haven't dyed or antiqued shoes before, don't start on a pair that you'll miss. [​IMG] I'm sure it took Ron a long time and a lot of practice to become RIDER.
     
  2. RIDER

    RIDER Senior member

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    A long term update would take a while since I wear these a couple of times a month but here's a short term update.

    When I conditioned the shoes with Lexol the next morning the dye was rubbing out exposing streaks of brown leather. I thought it wasn't taking because the shoe wasn't deglazed enough. RIDER has recommend deglazer (which is partly acetone) because pure acetone is harsh so I was confused why my pure acetone treatment didn't work. I wonder if there's something else in deglazer that helps the process. The shoes initally had a very glossy smooth finish to them so maybe these just needed more aggressive deglazing.

    I stripped them pretty hard again and this was the result. I can see how you could antique this way if you were inclined but I needed some black captoes.

    [​IMG]

    I redyed, allowed to dry half a day, rubbed, redyed, allowed to dry half a day, rubbed, and finally did a third coat for good measure. The next day I conditioned with Lexol a number of times and the dyejob seems durable. Interestingly, when I first dyed the shoes, they were ink black. As the dye dried, the shoes became more metallic looking with hints of pewter. That freaked me out a little bit but it turned flat black when I conditioned with Lexol.

    If I were to do this again, I'd wait for the shop to get some deglazer in stock, and be more patient in between coats.

    [​IMG]



    Nice job HomerJ. Actually, looks like the method was fine....A/E are not so easy to work on these days. They are spraying the finish on with compression sprayers, it appears, so they really get coated and you have to get all that out or you get a spotty finish. If I can offer a suggestion, combine the Lexol and the dye and do in one step, use more cream polish and do both very lightly.

    I really like that brown/black [​IMG] ! Would have been a cool look. BTW, what model is that? Never have seen that before.....curious.

    Ron
     
  3. HomerJ

    HomerJ Senior member

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    Nice job HomerJ. Actually, looks like the method was fine....A/E are not so easy to work on these days. They are spraying the finish on with compression sprayers, it appears, so they really get coated and you have to get all that out or you get a spotty finish. If I can offer a suggestion, combine the Lexol and the dye and do in one step, use more cream polish and do both very lightly. I really like that brown/black [​IMG] ! Would have been a cool look. BTW, what model is that? Never have seen that before.....curious. Ron
    Hey Ron, Interesting info about the AE finishing. I liked the brown/black too. When I saw it I thought hmm with practice I could develop a decent antique. Thanks for your comments and the tip. Your previous threads were a helpful resource. The shoe is the Niles by the way.
     
  4. Cas Ruffin

    Cas Ruffin Senior member

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    All these actually look amazing.
     
  5. RIDER

    RIDER Senior member

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    Hey Ron,

    Interesting info about the AE finishing.

    I liked the brown/black too. When I saw it I thought hmm with practice I could develop a decent antique.

    Thanks for your comments and the tip. Your previous threads were a helpful resource. The shoe is the Niles by the way.


    Oh, the Niles.....don't remember seeing that before. Wonder why it didn't stay in the line - good looking shoe. I wonder if the base of the eyestay is supposed to be squared off like that. Nice little detail, but then, I am a shoe dork, so probably nobody else notices.......

    No problems...my pleasure. Do you have Renoveteur? I give myself a plug here and suggest you get some [​IMG] .

    Ron
     
  6. Wes Bourne

    Wes Bourne Senior member

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    The shoe is the Niles by the way.

    Took me a while to figure it out; I finally recognized it because of the faux (?) stitching that runs along the vamp and curves downwards, replacing the actual piece of leather that usually overlaps that section. Good looking shoe, both before and after your dye job! Would you happen to know what last # it's on?
     
  7. HomerJ

    HomerJ Senior member

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    Took me a while to figure it out; I finally recognized it because of the faux (?) stitching that runs along the vamp and curves downwards, replacing the actual piece of leather that usually overlaps that section. Good looking shoe, both before and after your dye job! Would you happen to know what last # it's on?
    I think it's on the #8. "Modeled after the 4 last, but with more depth to accommodate the casual orthotic."
     
  8. Wes Bourne

    Wes Bourne Senior member

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    Tks for the info, I see some on ebay from time to time; might be worth checking out. Btw, I always wondered how you guys go about dyeing the tongue. Once you apply a coat of dye, do you use something to prevent it from propping back in place and rubbing against the opening/underside where the eyelets are?
     
  9. HomerJ

    HomerJ Senior member

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    Tks for the info, I see some on ebay from time to time; might be worth checking out. Btw, I always wondered how you guys go about dyeing the tongue. Once you apply a coat of dye, do you use something to prevent it from propping back in place and rubbing against the opening/underside where the eyelets are?
    Umm I skipped the tongue at first [​IMG] Then jumped in, getting dye on the liner and omitting the areas that don't show [​IMG] Good thing I'm not OCD but I'm curious to know [​IMG]
     
  10. Wes Bourne

    Wes Bourne Senior member

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    Umm I skipped the tongue at first [​IMG]

    Then jumped in, getting dye on the liner and omitting the areas that don't show [​IMG]

    Good thing I'm not OCD but I'm curious to know [​IMG]


    I think that's why I haven't attempted this yet (I can be very OCD)! I guess I could apply some blue painter's tape to the liner area that comes in contact with the tongue. Paging Ron!
     
  11. Bird's One View

    Bird's One View Senior member

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    I think that's why I haven't attempted this yet (I can be very OCD)! I guess I could apply some blue painter's tape to the liner area that comes in contact with the tongue. Paging Ron!

    Sounds like it would work. You could also stuff cotton balls between the tongue and quarters.
     
  12. the_sartorialist

    the_sartorialist Senior member

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    I recently came across these pair of Starr shoes at Paul Smith, liked the fit, though not the colour as much. How easy or difficult would it be to dye that to something like this? I suppose the colour doesn't need to be exactly spot on, and I wouldn't mind some variance in between, since it's meant to be a pair of shoes worn for casual use anyway. And how much of a disaster would it be, if I were to just apply a darker shoe cream polish (in say, mahogany or dark brown) over the original off-white pair?
     
  13. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    I recently came across these pair of Starr shoes at Paul Smith, liked the fit, though not the colour as much.

    How easy or difficult would it be to dye that to something like this? I suppose the colour doesn't need to be exactly spot on, and I wouldn't mind some variance in between, since it's meant to be a pair of shoes worn for casual use anyway.

    And how much of a disaster would it be, if I were to just apply a darker shoe cream polish (in say, mahogany or dark brown) over the original off-white pair?


    This would be a job for someone with a lot of experience.
    I don't recommend attempting this at home if you've never dyed shoes before.
    It would be a very tedious job and great patience would be required.
    I would strongly not recommend this particular home project as your first, but it can be done.
     
  14. the_sartorialist

    the_sartorialist Senior member

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    This would be a job for someone with a lot of experience.
    I don't recommend attempting this at home if you've never dyed shoes before.
    It would be a very tedious job and great patience would be required.
    I would strongly not recommend this particular home project as your first, but it can be done.

    Understood. Does anyone have any recommendations for affordable and reputable cordwainers(?) in London who can do the job?
     
  15. max_r

    max_r Senior member

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    i dyed an old pair of shoes i got from my dad using advice i got from this thread. heres a before picture [​IMG] they were a lighter tan than i liked, but I like how slim they are and how thin the soles are, so i tried just rubbing them with a few coats of brown and black shoe polish, but it just took to the creases more, and made them look dirty and old. pic: [​IMG] at this point i was gonna give up and just buy a pair of slim dress shoes, but i couldn't find anything similar apart from paul smiths, which are out of my budget, and since nothing of value would really be lost if these were ruined, I decided to strip them and dye them. My dad didn't have any acetone (he thought he did, but only had lacquer thinner) so being the impatient person I am, I stripped them with lacquer thinner instead, which turned out fine. pic: (yes, one is a slightly different color than the other, dunno why) [​IMG] I decided to go black, because I didn't want them to be darker in the creases, and look older than they are (even though they're older than me, my dad bought them sometime in the mid-eighties). only dye i could find is kiwi leather dye, so thats what i used: [​IMG] I think that sponge applicator on the top was made more for touch-up rather than dyeing whole shoes, because after i got about half way through the first shoe, the dye would clog up the sponge and get foamy, so I would have to wash out the sponge. anywho, after dying pic: [​IMG] I'm gonna give them two days to dry fully, then i'm gonna put some leather cream on them (i've got a jar of beeswax leather cream, is this good to use?) edit- just realized this thread is from MC, i'm more of an SW&D guy, I dont plan on wearing these with a suit, they're just going to be my casual black shoes, so i dont really want them to be shiny.
     

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