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JFWR

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I did it the hard way. In a nutshell:
- sand off all the factory finish from sole edge and heel;
- stain them with alcohol based tint;
- wet the leather and let it dry until moist;
- burnish hard with the appropriate shoemaker's tools until dry and nice and smooth;
- liberally apply wax of the same colour;
- burnish again with said tools, heated to almost 100 C°, to melt and push wax into the leather;
- buff with a woollen rag until shiny.
Quite a job, but rewarding as now my sole edges and heels are permanently stained in depth. If a little scuff occurs I just apply some more wax and burnish.

I am in debt with @DWFII as I used as a guide a shoemaking manual, wich he took the chore to scan and publish on "The Honorable Cordwainer Company" website some years ago.
That sounds like a great method, albeit involved. Still, sounds quite fun!
 

Goofy

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Thank you very much. I'll invest eventually.

Oh wait, is this the same renovating cream as the one used to fill scratches? Because if so, I have that already in brown.
Yes it is.
 

JFWR

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Yes please, do report back.
Reporting back, sir.

Here are my Allen Edmonds Jefferson 2.0 brogues in oxblood before:

IMG_20201028_1940218.jpg

And after:

IMG_20201028_2210284.jpg

It is hard to tell, as the lighting conditions were different in each photograph, but I would say the navy polish contributed a nice deepning of the purple tones of the oxblood. It looks way darker here, but contrast with outdoor lighting (at night) in this picture:

IMG_20201029_0015023.jpg

The darkening is not as severe.

Honestly, I'd say the difference is somewhat marginal, but noticable on close inspection. Should I continue with the blue, I'd imagine I'd see a continuous deepening of the purple tones, so that the shoes would darken substantially over time.

This was after one coat of wax to the entire shoe and an extra layer on the heels and toes.

No mirror gloss was applied this time, but the pate de luxe was able to bring back a nice glacage, albeit probably slightly less than I'd want if I had extra time to gloss it up to a renewed, full mirror shine.

I'd say I am willing to use navy on oxblood shoes every so often after trying this out, but I would caution against its use if you like the lighter tones.

No cream of any sort was applied. I imagine the darkening would be MUCH more substantial with navy cream, of which I don't have any on hand.

Honestly, having compared them now to last week, I can't see much difference at all even now:


IMG_20201014_2253425 (1).jpg
 
Last edited:

CWV

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Reporting back, sir.

Here are my Allen Edmonds Jefferson 2.0 brogues in oxblood before:

View attachment 1486461

And after:

View attachment 1486462

It is hard to tell, as the lighting conditions were different in each photograph, but I would say the navy polish contributed a nice deepning of the purple tones of the oxblood. It looks way darker here, but contrast with outdoor lighting (at night) in this picture:

View attachment 1486463

The darkening is not as severe.

Honestly, I'd say the difference is somewhat marginal, but noticable on close inspection. Should I continue with the blue, I'd imagine I'd see a continuous deepening of the purple tones, so that the shoes would darken substantially over time.

This was after one coat of wax to the entire shoe and an extra layer on the heels and toes.

No mirror gloss was applied this time, but the pate de luxe was able to bring back a nice glacage, albeit probably slightly less than I'd want if I had extra time to gloss it up to a renewed, full mirror shine.

I'd say I am willing to use navy on oxblood shoes every so often after trying this out, but I would caution against its use if you like the lighter tones.

No cream of any sort was applied. I imagine the darkening would be MUCH more substantial with navy cream, of which I don't have any on hand.

Honestly, having compared them now to last week, I can't see much difference at all even now:


View attachment 1486488
Thx for shearing your results. I’ll have it in mind. Now we have to see it on brown...
 

JFWR

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Thx for shearing your results. I’ll have it in mind. Now we have to see it on brown...
I've only used black on brown. That very strongly changes the colour. Antiquing brown with black gives a nice, museum calf like look.
 

OldTown

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Reporting back, sir.

Here are my Allen Edmonds Jefferson 2.0 brogues in oxblood before:

View attachment 1486461

And after:

View attachment 1486462

It is hard to tell, as the lighting conditions were different in each photograph, but I would say the navy polish contributed a nice deepning of the purple tones of the oxblood. It looks way darker here, but contrast with outdoor lighting (at night) in this picture:

View attachment 1486463

The darkening is not as severe.

Honestly, I'd say the difference is somewhat marginal, but noticable on close inspection. Should I continue with the blue, I'd imagine I'd see a continuous deepening of the purple tones, so that the shoes would darken substantially over time.

This was after one coat of wax to the entire shoe and an extra layer on the heels and toes.

No mirror gloss was applied this time, but the pate de luxe was able to bring back a nice glacage, albeit probably slightly less than I'd want if I had extra time to gloss it up to a renewed, full mirror shine.

I'd say I am willing to use navy on oxblood shoes every so often after trying this out, but I would caution against its use if you like the lighter tones.

No cream of any sort was applied. I imagine the darkening would be MUCH more substantial with navy cream, of which I don't have any on hand.

Honestly, having compared them now to last week, I can't see much difference at all even now:


View attachment 1486488
Interesting. I'd worry about the purple you mention, though. If I wanted purple I'd buy burgundy not oxblood. I use Hermes Red on oxblood specifically to maintain the more red color of oxblood and not purple.

I do have to say that your after pictures look really good.
 

JFWR

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Interesting. I'd worry about the purple you mention, though. If I wanted purple I'd buy burgundy not oxblood. I use Hermes Red on oxblood specifically to maintain the more red color of oxblood and not purple.

I do have to say that your after pictures look really good.
Thank you. I agree; however, I wonder if it's just a case of the shine improving the shoe as normal, as these shoes needed a touch up.

Ideally I'd want two pairs that have the same tone which I'd shine one with burgundy the other with navy and compare.
 

CWL317

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Is it possible to “over buff” shoes with detrimental effect on the leather?
 

JFWR

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Is it possible to “over buff” shoes with detrimental effect on the leather?
If you were to use something abrasive or had zero wax or cream on it. The finish would normally protect the actual leather, though.

I mean if you take sand paper to it...
 

CWL317

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If you were to use something abrasive or had zero wax or cream on it. The finish would normally protect the actual leather, though.

I mean if you take sand paper to it...
Thanks. What surface treatment do the factories do on new shoes before they are sent out to be sold? Not talking about anything less than full grain - they have a satin-like sheen to them - is it possible to over buff this?
 

JFWR

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Thanks. What surface treatment do the factories do on new shoes before they are sent out to be sold? Not talking about anything less than full grain - they have a satin-like sheen to them - is it possible to over buff this?
Every leather except crust leather is given a finish. This isn't necessarily an acrylic one like corrected grain, but the surface is treated in some way.

Usually to remove the finish you'd need alcohol or acetone.

Buffing by itself is not going to ruin leather unless you go so hard and so fast you are burning it. Presumably, you're not capable of this sort of force, as you're a man not a machine.

Generally though, one buffs when one applies cream or wax. Buffing afterwards is good, too. It'd take a lot to mess the tough exterior of leather up. But think of it like a tougher version of your skin: if you take a severely abrasive surface and rub it vigorously, it could damage the outer layer.

Leather is way tougher than living, unmanned human skin, but it's still skin, so don't go insane on completely unprotected leather.

One buffs, strictly speaking, the polish layers. Compare rubbing a nail brush over your skin lightly, but vigorously, with an application of Vaseline v. Raw skin.

A girl once asked me how many times you can polish a shoe. I was like: ??? You can't ever reach a number. But this is predicated on using a product. Presumably, buffing with nothing can, eventually, fuck it up.
 

CWL317

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Thanks so much JFWR for your considered reply. I was just wondering as I am trying to polish new shoes and I thought I had messed up one shoe by over buffing but now I think i must be using too much polish.
 

JFWR

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Thanks so much JFWR for your considered reply. I was just wondering as I am trying to polish new shoes and I thought I had messed up one shoe by over buffing but now I think i must be using too much polish.
Take a picture and show us.
 

DapperAndy

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Here is a common question I see on here, and was emailed by a customer this weekend (very common regarding many colors): "What color polish do I need for my cognac footwear?"

Well...it depends, as the industry isn’t perfectly consistent with name = color. Is it cognac or dark cognac, shell cordovan or calfskin, which tannery does it come from, is it UV faded, museum, burnished, etc.?

Here is an example of Shoe Blogger DEShellvedge's Enzo Bonafe Shell Balways (shared with his permission for this discussion) where he uses a combination of Pure Polish Neutral Cream as a light cleaner and conditioner to smooth & condition the under layers, followed by a mix of Brown & Walnut Water Resistant Cream and lots of buffing to bring out the glow.

Dark-Cognac-Shell-Cordovan-Balway-Enzo-Bonafe-Boots-Pure-Polished.jpg

For anyone stuck on selecting which color to use, I recommend looking at the color of the leather or shell itself, followed by colors of polish you have available, and select a tone that matches as nearly as possible. Keep in mind: polish is not dye, so it won’t permanently change it, if you’re slightly off. Err on the side of lighter, if you can’t find an exact match. However, if you're seeing lighter wax build-up among creases, try toning it towards a darker shade.

Hopefully that helps and answers some of your questions re:color choices.

Note: David's Balways were acquired through a Solegarb GMTO organized here on Styleforum. Hot damn, they're a sexy pair of boots!
 

JFWR

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Here is a common question I see on here, and was emailed by a customer this weekend (very common regarding many colors): "What color polish do I need for my cognac footwear?"

Well...it depends, as the industry isn’t perfectly consistent with name = color. Is it cognac or dark cognac, shell cordovan or calfskin, which tannery does it come from, is it UV faded, museum, burnished, etc.?

Here is an example of Shoe Blogger DEShellvedge's Enzo Bonafe Shell Balways (shared with his permission for this discussion) where he uses a combination of Pure Polish Neutral Cream as a light cleaner and conditioner to smooth & condition the under layers, followed by a mix of Brown & Walnut Water Resistant Cream and lots of buffing to bring out the glow.

View attachment 1489632

For anyone stuck on selecting which color to use, I recommend looking at the color of the leather or shell itself, followed by colors of polish you have available, and select a tone that matches as nearly as possible. Keep in mind: polish is not dye, so it won’t permanently change it, if you’re slightly off. Err on the side of lighter, if you can’t find an exact match. However, if you're seeing lighter wax build-up among creases, try toning it towards a darker shade.

Hopefully that helps and answers some of your questions re:color choices.

Note: David's Balways were acquired through a Solegarb GMTO organized here on Styleforum. Hot damn, they're a sexy pair of boots!
Good advice. Cognac is a strange colour, as it seems to mean a lot of different colours.
 

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