Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mr. Moo, Feb 28, 2011.
Just posting my recent experience with dyeing shoes for the first time. These are a pair of cheap Blake stitched shoes which claim to be made in Italy. The only branding on it is Daytona and Modit, so no idea there. However they were discounted from S$200 to S$40, so it was a worthwhile pickup for me.
Well the build was decent for the price, but it was obvious from the start that the dye job was pretty poor. Streaky brush marks and lots of lighter patches. But I didn't know it was going to be cheap enough that a routine stripping of wax with lighter fluid would cause it to come off.
So I figured, time to remove most of it:
And on to my first go with dying leather. I initially wanted to use Fiebings dye, but couldn't get it locally and wasn't in the mood to wait for a shipment from ebay, so I got some Dylon leather dye instead. Dark brown. And after a few light coats:
This was applied thinly with the provided brush. By the time I was done with the 2nd shoe, I could go back to the 1st one and continue with the next coat. After giving the dye a full day to dry, I then gave the shoes a good brushing and surprisingly a nice glow resulted:
Finished off with a treatment of Coxy cream followed by a spitshine with Saphir wax. Both mahogany.
All in all, pretty satisfied, but now I feel I should have waited to get some more interesting dye colors as this dark brown is fairly pedestrian. Oh well, not too bad a result for my first try.
Plain ol 'brown'
Or if you like to play with colors alternate between: Navy, Mahogany, and Brown, or even an occasional coat of black. You'll be shocked at how imprecise you need to be with polish color over a dark brown shoe.
Creams, because they have more pigments in them, can be a little less forgiving. But polishes add so little color you can almost use anything over dark brown.
Have you got the 'before' pictures
The top 2 pictures in my post are before any dye application, it was right after I had finished cleaning them off with a mixture of lighter fluid and rubbing alcohol.
Not bad at all. Congratulations on your shoes.
I mean before you started cleaning them with alcohol, the original finish
Nice job to my eyes though am no expert at all
Ah OK, sorry. I managed to find an older photo I had. Here you go:
Ah sorry, misunderstood you. I found an old photo, here you go:
Can somebody tell me whether I can do something about these micro cracks and light spots on my Belgraves? Are they normal? The light makes the shoe looks lighter than it really is. It looks fine from far away, but up close you can see the cracks. I've used Renovateur and Saphir Wax on these shoes. Have not used cream. They've only been worn 1-2 a week for a few months and rested with lasted trees.
I'm no master in this field, but IMO they look a little dry. I would recommend stripping the wax from the shoe, condition them and then only use cream on the uppers and wax on the toe and heel. It may also be that the wax is creating micro cracks that are causing this effect.
On another note; I received Saphir Renomat yesterday, and God damn, that shit works! But it reeked of solvents (?) and I'm thinking about the health of the leather; how does absorbing this effect it? Instead of just using Reno after the Renomat, I cleaned them with lexol cleaner, and then just took a cloth dripping with water to them to both dilute the absorbed cleaner in the leather and remove excess of the products. I then had them dry for about two-three hours before I saturated the leather with lexol conditioner. I've done this in the past to several pair of shoes, and they all look great afterwards. Am I an idiot?
Definitely you brought life to them...
I have just tried to get rid of old cream buildup - not wax - on a pair of shoes. I used hot water and neutral shampoo, some paper towels and a dishwashing brush, and it seems to have worked fine. I don't think it will damage the shoes, and I have put trees in them and set them to dry. I would like to hear opinions or experiences though, and wonder if the same procedure can't just be used with wax buildup?
that's pretty harsh treatment for a pair of shoes. you've probably done no permanent harm. but not advisable overall. let them dry well before applying a conditioner. if they were really wet you might do well to stuff them with newspaper overnight before putting in the trees.
Next time go to the cobbler and get lexol cleaner (which is just a properly formulated detergent/water mix).
I'd apply renovatuer and buff, wait 24 hours and do again. If they don't look better after that post a pic for further evaluation.
They look either dry or overwaxed - hard to tell - but the reno will fix up either condition.
In the long run I think adding cream to your routine might help quite a bit to build up a deep and flexible finish.
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