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Shell woes, need some advice from the experts

FStyles

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I love my shell shoes but sometimes they really piss me off. About to have my cobbler conduct a massive transplant but wanted to ask the community if it would be a prudent move.


So first off, I was under the impression that shell is super non-porous and it takes a LOT of pigment in waxes, polishes over a long period of time to penetrate the leather deeply.

Well, I got my RL/CJ Darltons around the holidays, have lightly waxed them as recommended, but there are entire panels that look 3-4 shades darker and the shine hasn't been seen in months. '

Wackiest thing is I've never used dark wax on them, only "light tan" just to prevent this from happening. I've tried every fucking thing to get the 'excess' polish off from acetone to rubbing alcohol to having mr miyagi performing the neutral wax on wax off, all with no significant results.

My cobbler has a a dedicated 'dye guy" who tells me he can get my shell shoes to any color, which I would take as whiskey.

Can this be done successfully on Shell vs calf? He would strip the entire shoe of all pigment, and re dye the entire shoe to a completely new color.

At this point they look really dark , and dull, I can't achieve any kind of shine on several areas of the shoe, and I just want to regain the original nice lustre while the actual end color is not so important


Has anyone out there ever successfully (or unsuccessfully for that matter) achieved good results from re-dying their shell shoes? Is the pigment itself a product of the skin, which cannot be comp removed?


(FWIW they stated as a cross between whiskey and cigar shell, and now some parts look like a wetsuit.
)


thanks guys, help is much apprec. I dont' usually start thread here, but wasn't able to find anything relevant in my search efforts.
 

patrickBOOTH

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Ron Rider has successfully re-dyed shell shoes. You can PM RIDER for more info. Honestly I wouldn't trust anybody else doing it.

I would bet that there is a combination of things going on here. First of all shell itself is very inconsistent as far as the grain if you will. These inconsistencies will accept dyes in different ways and will reflect light in different ways. Shell does not need a lot of wax for polish as you have heard, but wax nonetheless loses it ability to shine and needs some sort of solvent to remove and renew its properties. Saphir renovateur works great in small amounts to condition shell (and the wax) and get a shine back.

Since most of the pigment in shell sort of sits on the surface and doesn't get absorbed doing anything too harsh (even hard brushing) can disrupt the finish to a certain degree. Working a small amount of renovateur into the shell, letting it dry and lightly, but quickly buffing works wonders. Over time this routine will prove effective.

Something to calm your nerves is the fact that varying colors and such in shell is looked at as character by most and adds to the beauty of the shoes. Enjoy them.
 

makewayhomer

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rebel222 has done this, but taken #8 to black. it looked good. I think what he did was different than what you're guy is describing though
 

89826

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F,

Tough luck. You made a mistake by using wax so soon. Shells rarely need waxing-- maybe once a year unless they are subjected to harsh conditions.

Don't dye them, that is crazy. The Darltons are a beautiful color. I am afraid the remedy isn't very appealing or fast acting: start buffing and brushing them like crazy. You have to get the extra wax off. It will take a while, a while measured in months.

On AAAC, there is a guy named Mcarthur who has about 50 pairs of shell shoes. He has a method for care: wipe down with a damp cloth, brush, and buff with a soft cloth. Spend 5 to 10 minutes a shoe per wearing, more if you can stand it. His shoes look spectacular. You can look for posts about his method over there.
 

Slewfoot

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We need some pics, but this doesn't sound like a great idea to me to be honest. I think it's a risk that will go one way or the other. The different colors of different pieces of shell are standard and one of the more unique things about cordovan. Just check out Moo's Darltons. Is this type of variance what you're referring to?
 

malat

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My Darltons are multi-hued as well. The upper panels near the laces are almost chocolate brown. I think that is the greatest thing about the shoes. I never use wax on them though. Every couple months I put a little Saphir conditioner on them. But mostly I just brushly them vigorously after each wear. They shine like new. I think you should just enjoy your shoes.
 

csoukoulis

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I, like others have stated, believe that those differenced give character to the shoes personally.
 

pebblegrain

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FYI i've never waxed my darltons, had them for 3-4 years already
 

TheWGP

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Originally Posted by 89826

On AAAC, there is a guy named Mcarthur who has about 50 pairs of shell shoes. He has a method for care: wipe down with a damp cloth, brush, and buff with a soft cloth. Spend 5 to 10 minutes a shoe per wearing, more if you can stand it. His shoes look spectacular. You can look for posts about his method over there.


Here's the link to Mac posting about it - it's pretty simple but time intensive. Oh, and I'm pretty sure the number is well over 50.


http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/f...941#post768941
 

FStyles

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All great advice, thanks guys bbut most of whAt you're saying I've done to the T save for 1-2 coats of light wax, right after purchase, and say last Month.

Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH
Ron Rider has successfully re-dyed shell shoes. You can PM RIDER for more info. Honestly I wouldn't trust anybody else doing it.

I would bet that there is a combination of things going on here. First of all shell itself is very inconsistent as far as the grain if you will. These inconsistencies will accept dyes in different ways and will reflect light in different ways. Shell does not need a lot of wax for polish as you have heard, but wax nonetheless loses it ability to shine and needs some sort of solvent to remove and renew its properties. Saphir renovateur works great in small amounts to condition shell (and the wax) and get a shine back.
Something to calm your nerves is the fact that varying colors and such in shell is looked at as character by most and adds to the beauty of the shoes. Enjoy them.


I used renovator like how you mentioned but switched to Venetian cream as it seems to be just as highly regarded but cheaper. No dice


Originally Posted by 89826
F,

Tough luck. You made a mistake by using wax so soon. Shells rarely need waxing-- maybe once a year unless they are subjected to harsh conditions.

Don't dye them, that is crazy. The Darltons are a beautiful color. I am afraid the remedy isn't very appealing or fast acting: start buffing and brushing them like crazy. You have to get the extra wax off. It will take a while, a while measured in months.

On AAAC, there is a guy named Mcarthur who has about 50 pairs of shell shoes. He has a method for care: wipe down with a damp cloth, brush, and buff with a soft cloth. Spend 5 to 10 minutes a shoe per wearing, more if you can stand it. His shoes look spectacular. You can look for posts about his method over there.


Yeah I've followed mcarthurs method save for two light coats of wax just for some rain repellency. Whoever says shell is water resistant has never seen mine as a drop of water will spot and remain for weeks to months. The light coat of wax does help agains blistering, but I just don't get how it couldve make my darltons shit brown.

Originally Posted by Slewfoot
We need some pics, but this doesn't sound like a great idea to me to be honest. I think it's a risk that will go one way or the other. The different colors of different pieces of shell are standard and one of the more unique things about cordovan. Just check out Moo's Darltons. Is this type of variance what you're referring to?



Pics to follow. If mine look like that I'd be framing them and creating a tutorial


Yes, they are diff colored, buy the entire shoe is MUCH darker and has all bust lost it's shell charm. Moos shoes in some lights have a whiskey tone to it with the shell gleaming in all it's glory and mine look dull shut brown.

Fwiw in the last month, not a touch of wax, just wipe down, and brush every bit of stress from the workday away 3x/week. Many areas still look like a calf wallet that just made it off splash mountain. It looks 'saturated' but I've used half a doZen sometimes strong solvents to no avail.


Will shell "take" a lighter dye? Does shell come colored natuarally as in, if I took off all the pigment, will I have a blank slate of 'natural' colored leather to start from?
 

FStyles

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Woah moo is wearing white gym socks with those?
I should clarify that it's not the diff colored sections tht are bugging me. It's that the natural color of te shoe (like in moos pic$ is no where to be found on the shoe aND on the panels that are completely diff colored, the leather is dark and dull that won't take a shine no matter what I do. My c&J shell boots And Alden ravello boots have a wonderful patina that varies in color across the diff panels and I absolutely love the charm and character. Makes me feel like throwing these in my fireplace and enjoying the sweet smell of ass.
 

pebblegrain

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stop with the waxes, dyes, strippers, acetone, and shit. just brush them. you probably have put on more wax in a year than mcarthur puts on in 2 decades
 

FStyles

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Originally Posted by pebblegrain
stop with the waxes, dyes, strippers, acetone, and shit. just brush them. you probably have put on more wax in a year than mcarthur puts on in 2 decades


Thank you for oversimplifying for me, this is ultra helpful and valuable insight. I especially liked the part when you said .... Fuck, who am I kidding, i loved it all!
 

JayJay

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Originally Posted by pebblegrain
stop with the waxes, dyes, strippers, acetone, and shit. just brush them. you probably have put on more wax in a year than mcarthur puts on in 2 decades
Good advice. Simply brush, wipe, and wear.
 

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