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First wear polish

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Arethusa, May 19, 2006.

  1. Arethusa

    Arethusa Senior member

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    When polishing before wear, how do you apply cream? How much are you supposed to use and are you supposed to let it dry before waxing or not?
     
  2. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Apply shoe cream the same way you do polish. But don't let it dry for more than a few minutes. If you leave it overnight, say, it forms a hard shell that's hard to remove.
     
  3. Arethusa

    Arethusa Senior member

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    I'm a little lost as to how cream functions (and why it needs to be applied, why it needs to dry a bit, and why I can't let it dry more). I really wish the Wiki had more content on this stuff.
     
  4. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I'm a little lost as to how cream functions (and why it needs to be applied, why it needs to dry a bit, and why I can't let it dry more). I really wish the Wiki had more content on this stuff.

    Cream moisturizes more than polish does but provides less luster. It penetrates the leather, while wax polish forms a protective coating that can be buffed to a high gloss.

    You don't really need to use cream before polish. Personally, I skip the cream and apply leather conditioner first, then polish. But some folks don't see the point in the conditioner and skip that too.
     
  5. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    Cream is used for leather protection and preservation and polish is more a finishing aspect.
     
  6. Arethusa

    Arethusa Senior member

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    Why the issue with letting it dry, then?

    Also, do I need to go get some leather conditioner too? What's the difference between cream and conditioner?
     
  7. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    Why the issue with letting it dry, then? Also, do I need to go get some leather conditioner too? What's the difference between cream and conditioner?
    It needs to dry so it can "penetrate" the leather, sort of like a skin lotion. I don't use conditioner since I have the impression it's more for leather clothing.
     
  8. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    The thing with the cream is that you don't want to let an excessive amount dry on there, since it will form a hard layer you'll have to scrub off somehow. Polish does take off cream, so that is one way, but it's extra work. Basically with cream you want to rub it into the leather and not let it build up. I use an old washcloth maybe 30 seconds or so after applying it to rub off the surface. Then you wait a while to let it dry out before applying polish over it.
     
  9. Charley

    Charley Senior member

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    When using either cream or polish, you should use very, very light coats. Don't try to get any of it "heavier' for more protection. That won't work. It will simply flake off.

    First, Use a wet cloth to wipe off any mud and dirt. Leaving the shoes a bit damp is good.
    Then use a cleaner / conditioner such as Allen Eedmonds or Lexoil. Do not rub hard - just let it work in it's own way, Apply in a sloppy manner with fingers. Apply to one shoe, then the next, go back to the first shoe and wipe and brush as that is enough drying / absorption. The clean up time on the first shoe will give the second enough time to absorb.

    Then apply the shoe cream in the desired color. The water and the conditioner will have caused the pores of the leather to expand a bit - making them better able to accept the slightly liquid shoe cream. And giving you a bit better color penetration. Apply to the first shoe in a very light coat. Set that one aside while you apply the cream to the second shoe. Address the color of the sole - apply the sole dressing or the shoe cream of choice to polish that edge.

    After doing the work on the second shoe and the soles - there has been enough elapsed time for the first application to dry sufficiently for buffing. Hit it with the brush. Make sure you get the channels and brouging cbrushed out. After getting the first shoe properly buffed, the second should have dried enough to buff that one.

    Do not apply large and heavy quantities of polish to the shoes and let dry over night. The idea is to put some on and brush it off fairly quickly - before it can create an amalgam that will be a mess on your shoes.
     
  10. alflauren

    alflauren Senior member

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    Charley, apart from the 'being sloppy' part, you've nailed my first wear routine. I can vouch for those results.
     
  11. Charley

    Charley Senior member

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    Charley, apart from the 'being sloppy' part, you've nailed my first wear routine. I can vouch for those results.

    The real message in "sloppy" was to try to convey that you should apply a good quantity of the conditioner, but not rub on it. Rubbing will change your colors of the antiquing. Use your bare fingers. Just let it absorb where necessary - let the shoe leather decide - don't try to force it. Juicy conditioner.

    However, I would only use a thin application of polish - either in cream or wax. None of them is really doing anything special to "protect" your shoes. And most all of them will give some color. The "Setting time" for the polish should be fairly quick - a few minutes. I am not one of the spit shine folks. I'm looking for a good mellow glow from the leather. There will eventually be a buildup over the stiff parts of the shoe - toe box - that will finally seem to have a spitshine. Except that it is not the same at all.
     
  12. Arethusa

    Arethusa Senior member

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    Is the conditioner really necessary?
     
  13. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Is the conditioner really necessary?

    In short, no. Lots of shoes have served long lives without ever getting a dose. But I think it helps, and it's a small investment. I have a pair of very thin, unlined leather shoes that benefit enormously. That's enough empirical evidence to make me stick with it.
     
  14. Arethusa

    Arethusa Senior member

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    Is Kiwi's leather lotion a conditioner? It's the only thing even close that I could find around here.
     
  15. thinman

    thinman Senior member

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    Is Kiwi's leather lotion a conditioner? It's the only thing even close that I could find around here.

    I use Obenauf's Leather Preservative on my new shoes, then a layer of shoe cream, then wax polish. You can find Obenauf's here:

    http://www.obenaufs.com/index.php?cP...b8ddaa89888ee3

    Be forewarned that the semi-solid Leather Preservative will significantly darken brown shoes, so I use only the Leather Oil if I want to retain the existing color.

    Since I only began using the stuff a year ago, I can't provide any testimony regarding its effectiveness. I can only say that light scuffs wipe right off.
     
  16. Charley

    Charley Senior member

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    Is the conditioner really necessary?

    Probably not necessary.
    However, I believe it compliments the cleaning of the shoes. The conditioner helps to remove excess dead wax / polish when it is brushed as the conditioning process is completed.
    I can give full testimony that the shoes will develop a genuine glow after using the procedure for a few months.
     
  17. Charley

    Charley Senior member

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    Is Kiwi's leather lotion a conditioner? It's the only thing even close that I could find around here.

    I have some of the Kiwi product. I find that it seems to dry a little fast and become a bit waxy quicker than either Lexoil or the AE conditioner. A shoe store selling the AE shoes will have their conditioner. The Lexoil condtiioner will be available at almost every shoe repair shop. The Lexoil cleaner is a different product.
     
  18. Arethusa

    Arethusa Senior member

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    Is it good enough? It was all I could find, and it'll likely be a while before I can worry about tracking down some Lexoil. I'm just wondering if the Kiwi stuff is even close enough to use or if I'll be doing irreparable damage to a pair of shoes if I wear them without getting ahold of some Lexoil first.
     
  19. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Is it good enough? It was all I could find, and it'll likely be a while before I can worry about tracking down some Lexoil. I'm just wondering if the Kiwi stuff is even close enough to use or if I'll be doing irreparable damage to a pair of shoes if I wear them without getting ahold of some Lexoil first.

    I don't think you need to worry so. Conditioner might help a bit but it's far from essential. Just treat them right with trees and polish, and all will be fine.
     
  20. Siggy

    Siggy Senior member

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    I'm sure the Kiwi conditioner is fine. Where you really need a conditioner is with old shoes that have been neglected and dried out sitting in some attic somewhere. I found an old pair of brown calf wingtips that must have been sitting in my dad's closet for 20 years. They were dried, cracked, dirty and dusty. I restored them to looking fantastic.

    I use Lexol cleaner and conditioner. Most here might not know that you can get the Lexol products at any Wallmart (prob Target too) at the automotive section. Guys who like to detail their cars use Lexol for leather interiors and it works great.
     

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