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Shoe Antiquing

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by RIDER, Oct 1, 2007.

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  1. adagio

    adagio Senior member

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    Adagio, great color on your BB's

    Thanks but I can't take any credit other than having the sense to get Ron to do the job!
     
  2. MiniW

    MiniW Senior member

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    Let me start off with saying that Ron saved my ass. Not that he did anything to help me personally, but using this thread as a reference really led me to save my shoes. I dyed a pair of brown boots black a few months ago and thought it was cake. Of course it was a flat color and I wasn't into antiquing or anything of that sort. The pair of shoes I just did over the weekend was a completely different story. Let 's start...

    So the shoes are a pair of Dior Homme boots in a beige/tan color. I sort of liked the color when I got them but after wearing them out a few times, I thought they were too light and I wanted something darker. Here are two pictures of them when they were new.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I thought it would be badass to color them grey, since I've seen other Dior boots in a grey color that I really liked. So in the last week or so, I bought Fiebing's grey dye and dye reducer (VERY CRITICAL) and waited for a time when I could have 2 hours to dye my boots grey.

    Friday night (4/10/09) - I decided to dye my shoes at this time. I repeated my process last time which was to strip the shoes with deglazer which I bought at a local cobbler. This time, I made a mixture of the grey dye and reducer (which as it turned out was still too thick) and just used the dabber that came with the grey dye to literally "paint" my shoes.

    The results (pictures taken the morning after):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    If you were thinking like me, you would be thinking that "oh no, I just F--ked up a pair of Dior boots!"
    Before I started, my plan would be to coat the shoes heavy with dye, then wipe off the excess and get a good finish with black shoe polish. But after seeing how they looked, like caked in dye, I was sure that I would get nowhere with just polish. Where do I go from here?!?
     
  3. MiniW

    MiniW Senior member

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    So I had to step away from the shoes after I was finished with them Friday night. I did a search on the internet and through a link on AAAC, I was brought back to this thread on SF with the inside info by Ron Rider on antiquing. Though I did not want to, I knew I had to pretty much start over if I wanted to save these shoes. The funny thing is that Ron specifically said "The last thing you want to do is coat the shoe in 1 or 2 levels of dye and then try to polish it out...you end up with highly contrasted streaks, taky build-up of dye and a non-durable finish." - Basically exactly what I did in the beginning. By the time I went to bed Friday, I had a plan and was eager to work on the shoes again the next day.

    So Sat night (4/11/09) I sat down and started my new plan. The first 4 steps were:

    1) Strip off the dye with deglazer.
    2) Condition with Lexol.
    3) Strip off the dye with deglazer.
    4) Condition with Lexol.

    At this point the shoes looked pretty unfinished. There was basically a grey haze over the original tan color. But the color was much milder and I regained hope that I can re-finish them properly.

    5) Moving on, I made mix of Fiebing's grey dye, black dye, and a lot of dye reducer. Using a paint brush, I tested the mixture on the back of the shoes and saw that I was getting thin coats, like the pictures Ron posted. And with some brush strokes, I was able to blend in the dye to get different gradients of color on the shoe. I must be getting somewhere.

    After an hour and a half of stripping down last night's work, and almost finishing one shoe. I took a two pictures here:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, the toe is not completed on either shoe, but the one with the new dye is starting to look more finished. This is definitely taking longer than expected.

    For the next 2-3 hours, this is what I did:

    6) I finished painting both shoes with the diluted dye mixture (making the toes and heels darker).
    7) I conditioned the shoes with Lexol (and noticed that some of the dye rubbed off)
    8) I polished the shoes with a Ecru colored shoe creme that to me looked like somewhere between the original color and grey (a transition of sorts). Again I noticed that some of the dye rubbed off)
    9) I polished the toes, heels and near the welt with black wax polish.

    Since some of the dye rubbed off, I had to apply more. I know that Ron does 6 or more coats per shoe, but these were pretty dark already and I've been breathing in fumes all day from the chemicals so I didn't want to work on them that much longer. With that being said, I proceeded to

    10) Apply diluted dye to the areas I wanted darker, by this time I gave up on the grey dye and just used black with lots of reducer.
    11) Polish with black wax polish.

    At this point I figured that I was pretty much done. I had been working on these for 4 hours and I think they look good, but it is dark in my apartment in the city so I can't really tell. I must also mention that everytime I applied the diluted dye mixture, it helped blend in any obvious streaks from my first blotched dye job. So by the time I was finished with the second dye application. They didn't look like they were caked in dye at all.

    Sunday morning (4/12/09): Nice bright light coming in the windows. The shoes look better than I expected.

    Here are a few pictures:

    with flash:
    [​IMG]

    no flash:
    [​IMG]

    sides:
    [​IMG]

    detail:
    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. MiniW

    MiniW Senior member

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    And very lastly, here are some pictures after I removed the painter's tape from the midsoles.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Overall I am happy with them. I do notice that they have a blue tint (likely from the Fiebing's grey dye) so that the final color is dark blue-grey. Right now they look like art but I'm eager to wear them out and see how they handle scuffs and scrapes. Hope you enjoyed the pictures.

    Comments are welcome!
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. DuMont

    DuMont Member

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    Location:
    Illinois
    Very cool! I like the antiqued black look, especially the toes. I think they came out great, and am glad you were able to correct the errors and get them where you wanted them. I can't wait to try this myself.
     
  6. benoing

    benoing New Member

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    Jul 3, 2004
    Very cool! I like the antiqued black look, especially the toes. I think they came out great, and am glad you were able to correct the errors and get them where you wanted them. I can't wait to try this myself.

    Me too - this is a great thread and a great site - my shoes are going to start looking really great now as I've always wanted to learn how to antique shoes.
     
  7. lasbar

    lasbar Senior member

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    I knew a guy like us in Paris who is now doing antiquing as a pay job...
    He uesd to come on a similar forum and started doing it for himself...The result was so great that some people started paying him to do it on their shoes..
    You're doing a great job guy...
     
  8. wetnose

    wetnose Senior member

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    Anyhow, my first attempt (shoe w/o the laces):

    [​IMG]


    Marvellous, absolutely marvellous. [​IMG] The shoe looks good enough to eat!!! Do you have pre-treatment pictures?
     
  9. R-H

    R-H Senior member

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    My attempt with an unloved pair of AE Drydens:

    Before:
    [[​IMG]

    After:
    [​IMG]

    In reality, the burgundy is darker and less red. The flash lightened the picture somewhat.
     
  10. anon

    anon Senior member

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    Houston
    My attempt with an unloved pair of AE Drydens:

    Before:
    [[​IMG]

    After:
    [​IMG]

    In reality, the burgundy is darker and less red. The flash lightened the picture somewhat.

    nice! what did you use as the dye?
     
  11. R-H

    R-H Senior member

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    nice! what did you use as the dye?

    Thank you. Hopefully they don't turn the sidewalk red during the next rain.

    For the first shoe I used a mix of Fiebings medium brown and red dyes.

    For the next shoe I applied the red first then the medium brown afterwards to darken it up. Better result that way I think. The first shoe came out a bit too dark along the outer side of the upper.
     
  12. anon

    anon Senior member

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    Thank you. Hopefully they don't turn the sidewalk red during the next rain.

    For the first shoe I used a mix of Fiebings medium brown and red dyes.

    For the next shoe I applied the red first then the medium brown afterwards to darken it up. Better result that way I think. The first shoe came out a bit too dark along the outer side of the upper.

    sounds good, I was thinking of using that Fiebings medium brown as well. you liked the color? how many coats did you use?
     
  13. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    What are you all doing to your shoes?!
     
  14. R-H

    R-H Senior member

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    sounds good, I was thinking of using that Fiebings medium brown as well. you liked the color? how many coats did you use?

    I only used the medium brown to darken the red dye. I couldn't really tell you how it looks on its own, unfortunately.

    I used about 10 coats total.
     
  15. anon

    anon Senior member

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    I only used the medium brown to darken the red dye. I couldn't really tell you how it looks on its own, unfortunately.

    I used about 10 coats total.

    you put the medium brown on straight up, right? didn't cut it with a dye reducer or anything? I just placed my order for some med. brown Fiebings, looking forward to changing the color up
     
  16. R-H

    R-H Senior member

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    What are you all doing to your shoes?!

    It is the pauper's version of the One Shoe Wardrobe. I'm going to dye all my unloved AE shoes, in their various forms of baby poo brown, burgundy.
     
  17. R-H

    R-H Senior member

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    you put the medium brown on straight up, right? didn't cut it with a dye reducer or anything?
    I just placed my order for some med. brown Fiebings, looking forward to changing the color up


    I applied the dyes straight up. No reducer. I did rub a couple of spots on the shoes with a deglazer because they were getting too dark (almost black).

    It was actually a pretty half-assed job on my part. I didn't even bother taping the soles or testing the dye on the leather first. I'm lucky it came out OK.
     
  18. Nexus6

    Nexus6 Senior member

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    [​IMG]
    Hope you enjoyed the pictures.

    Comments are welcome!



    Absolutely beautiful work. Well done.
     
  19. Ich_Dien

    Ich_Dien Senior member

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    What are you all doing to your shoes?!

    [​IMG] I was thinking the same perhaps.
     
  20. alliswell

    alliswell Senior member

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    Anyone with experience with antiquing / dyeing black cherry leather? I'm looking to turn my Gentleman Travelers (here) to medium/dark brown, and I'm wondering whether deglazer / acetone will be enough to take the color off initially before dyeing.
     

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