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How to Dye Leather Shoes Perfectly

Sheetal Mandora Oct 21, 2018
Tired of those brown or black leather shoes? Want to change those leather shoes but don't really want to spend a fortune? Then why not dye them. Read on to know about how to dye leather shoes.
Leather shoes can require special care and maintenance if you wish to keep them in the best of condition. Not just men, but even women have built their affinity with leather shoes over time. They have long been a utilitarian accessory to people all across the world who admire and accept the works of fashion.
Needless to say, if you own a pair of real leather shoes, you too have been an admirer. However, over the years, you're reduced the frequency of wearing these shoes as they may or may not be the 'right' style for you. But this doesn't mean you should pick them up and toss them in garbage.
Even if you're not too fond of your white or black leather shoes anymore, you can still make use of them. Wondering how? By dyeing them. The task isn't all that difficult and can be done right at your home. Your old leather shoes will look new with a touch of new color; and that too with very little expense. Here are ways to know how the process takes place.

Dye Leather Shoes at Home

Before you can actually alter and/or experiment with new color(s), there are certain steps that have to be taken care of. In order to dye your leather shoes, the entire process can be divided into 3 important sections...
  1. Clean the leather shoes
  2. Apply the new color on the shoes
  3. Apply a top coat on the shoes
To carry out all these sections, there are certain items you'll be requiring. Gather a commercial leather cleaner (Dye-Prep), soft cotton cloth, small wooden stick, soft sponge, leather shoe dye, masking tape, and a leather top coat.
Bring out your old shoes out of the closet and set them in front of you. And now, we will begin dyeing your leather shoes and give them a new light of life.

Clean the Leather Shoes

Over time, your shoes must've weathered, has dirt stuck on the edges of the stitches, and could also have lost its original polish and color. Due to which, applying a fresh dye on them, without cleaning and prepping them first will be a waste of time.
In order to make the shoes accept the new dye, we need to clean the surface so that we can assure the dye would work. You can use a sponge or a clean rag to do the job. Soak the sponge and squeeze excess water out. With the damp sponge, wipe the shoes clean. After that, you will need a Dye-Prep to remove the tanning finish from the shoes.
Many a time, leather shoes have lacquer coating. If that is the case with your shoes, use a lacquer solvent to prepare the shoes for dyeing.

Apply the New Color on the Shoes

In out next step, we will begin preparing the new dye. As there are tons of colors available for leather shoes, you can purchase leather dye depending on what color you desire. You will find that leather dyes are available in pigment and solvent based.
The difference here is that solvent based leather dyes require a top coat, whereas the pigment based dyes can do without it.
For selecting the right color, you should be aware of how the color changes or alters on leather. You can't take white leather shoes and apply black leather dye and expect it to change drastically. There is a specific color path that has to be followed. When buying the dye of your choice, speak to the salesperson working at the store to help you out.
When you select which type of leather dye you need, place masking tape on your shoes that don't require dyeing. The heals, soles, and any embellishments like leather patches and/or stitches will require a masking tape.
Next you will shake the dye bottle to mix the color well. Take a wooden stick to stir the dye and shake the bottle once more. To apply the dye, use a clean sponge and gently rub it over the shoes; move in one direction. If extra dye is applied, rub it off with a clean cloth. Apply one coat and wait for it to dry completely.
The second coat will go over the shoes in the similar manner so that the color stays and is even; let the second coat dry as well. If you wish, you can apply another coat after this to get the right color for the shoes.

Apply the Top Coat on the Shoes

If you have used a solvent based coat, apply the top coat once the dye is completely dry. Follow the instructions given on the top coat you purchased. After the top coat is applied, leave your shoes to dry in a cool area, avoid direct sunlight. When the shoes are dried properly, give it about 12 to 24 hours, now, you can wear your newly dyed leather shoes.
Knowing how leather shoes are dyed by yourself is not that difficult, certain instructions need to be followed and you'll be just fine. If you're skeptical about how the shoes will turn out, experiment on a old pair of leather shoes that you don't mind spoiling. This way, you will not only learn the entire procedure but also save your favorite pair.