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Electric blue shoes? Don't mind if I do!

bleachboy

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I really like the idea of a traditional shoe in an unexpected color. But I really can't stomach paying top dollar for a shoe I can only wear rarely. So..

$64.99 "discount store" Florsheim cap-toe oxfords:



(plus lots of elbow grease and some electric blue leather dye)

Electric blue cap-toe oxfords:



Hooray! What color to do next? Hmm....
 

J Simulcik

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Pics or it didn't happen
 

robasaurus

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That's pretty much awesome. But what exactly is the process for acheiving such a dramatic colour change? How did you do this?

Originally Posted by DocHolliday
If you went bright red, you could have Kool-Aid Man feet.

OOOH YEAAAH!!
 

Golf_Nerd

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Originally Posted by J Simulcik
Pics or it didn't happen

+1

pic with a suit, please
 

bleachboy

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Originally Posted by robasaurus
That's pretty much awesome. But what exactly is the process for acheiving such a dramatic colour change? How did you do this?

I bought a Tarrago color dye kit ($6.95), removed the laces, taped off the soles, applied the preparer (to strip the black finish, supposedly), and four coats of the dye. The next morning, I woke up to shine them and found that I could easily scratch off the blue.

So I stripped everything down with rubbing alcohol and a scouring pad (their "preparer" is for wimps! These cheapo Florsheim's ain't hand-raised french veal box calf) and applied four coats of blue again. This time, it worked great -- they don't crack or scratch or anything.

Four coats may sound like a lot, like the finish is being painted on, but the coats gradually build up since they are also dyeing the leather, so after one coat it might look something like this:



Tarrago offers 64 colors so at roughly $75 a pair I have the potential of going berzerk.
 

bleachboy

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Originally Posted by Golf_Nerd
pic with a suit, please

Okay, I'll post one later once my wife gets home. She's my official photographer, or something.
 

MaxJones

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Nice. I've done some stripping and dying going the other way, i.e. going from pimptastic colors to staid browns and tans.
It looks almost like they've been painted, though. Did the dye seem to be building up as you progressed?

I think they look really beautiful in the intermediate stage, also. I'd stop there on the next pair if I were you. They look more interesting and unique, in my opinion. Very artisanal.

Makes me want to do another project...
 

bleachboy

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Originally Posted by MaxJones
It looks almost like they've been painted, though. Did the dye seem to be building up as you progressed?

I agree. And, yeah, the dye seemed a little "painty". However, I've tried scuffing them and they scuff/scratch blue, so it works for me. In person, they look very neat, and are really, really bright. I'll only wear these a few times a year, anyway. I don't want to be "that guy".
 

J Simulcik

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I had my doubts, and I still want to see pics with them on, but this looks legit. whois checks out. Props on the electric blue shoes!
 

DocHolliday

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Originally Posted by bleachboy
I agree. And, yeah, the dye seemed a little "painty". However, I've tried scuffing them and they scuff/scratch blue, so it works for me. In person, they look very neat, and are really, really bright. I'll only wear these a few times a year, anyway. I don't want to be "that guy".

Have you tried wearing them since taking the pics? I wonder how the finish will hold up at the creases.
 

bleachboy

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Originally Posted by DocHolliday
Have you tried wearing them since taking the pics? I wonder how the finish will hold up at the creases.

I wore 'em for a few hours and they held up just fine. They are creasing like any other shoe. My fingers are crossed.
 

robasaurus

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Originally Posted by bleachboy
I bought a Tarrago color dye kit ($6.95), removed the laces, taped off the soles, applied the preparer (to strip the black finish, supposedly), and four coats of the dye. The next morning, I woke up to shine them and found that I could easily scratch off the blue.

So I stripped everything down with rubbing alcohol and a scouring pad (their "preparer" is for wimps! These cheapo Florsheim's ain't hand-raised french veal box calf) and applied four coats of blue again. This time, it worked great -- they don't crack or scratch or anything.

Four coats may sound like a lot, like the finish is being painted on, but the coats gradually build up since they are also dyeing the leather, so after one coat it might look something like this:

Tarrago offers 64 colors so at roughly $75 a pair I have the potential of going berzerk.


Awesome, thanks for the details. Where did you pick up this dye kit? Is there somewhere I can find it online, or a retailer that would stock it? I think I might be interested in doing this myself.
 

rach2jlc

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I don't know where in the world I'd wear such shoes, but how neat! You've got me eyeing some old pairs that I don't wear, wondering what sort of wildly interesting colors I can morph them into... I'd love a pair in dark Ochre, something in an Hermes orange, even a dark Asprey purple...

As others have said... when you wear them... snap a pic!
 

NoVaguy

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dark green, dark purple, dark red/black, and midnight/navy would be the colors I would consider....

Is it possible to do an antique effect with these materails - something more subtle than that intermediate picture above?

edit: well, I just ordered a midnight dye and polish kit; we will see how that goes.
 

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