You fret because you bought the wrong color of leather shoes. They just do not match the suit you will be wearing at a formal party. Or perhaps you have some leather shoes stored in the cabinets for so long that when you decided to bring them out so you can use them again for daily wear, you get dismayed to find out they have faded and discolored. Now you should not despair when confronted with these situations. In these hard times, nothing should go to waste, so to speak. Try to save whatever you have that can still be salvaged. If you have heard about leather shoes being dyed to restore them back to form, that is what you should exactly do. Here are tips on how to dye leather shoes:
- Decide which of your shoes need to be dyed. Totally worn out shoes, of course, are not worth recovering anymore and it will be a waste of time and resources to give them a dye treatment. Choose ones that are still in good condition and shape.
- Pick the color of dye you prefer to use. If you are going to dye your leather shoes with the same color, choosing the dye color should not be a problem. But if you wish to change the color of your shoes, then you are in for a more challenging task. In any case, choose the dye color that can easily blend with the leather material of your shoes. Ask the sales assistant from the store where you will buy the dye for recommendations. Surely they know which of their dye products can work best for your leather shoes.
- Use pigment based dye products for more lasting effect. Dye products, which are solvent based, have the tendency to fade faster.
- Clean your shoes thoroughly (inside and outside) before proceeding to dye them. With the use of a soft cloth, rub off the dirt and spots. You can use a leather cleaner (available in leather stores) in wiping off the dirt from your leather shoes. A damp soapy piece of cloth is also effective in cleaning dirt from leather shoes. However refrain from polishing the leather shoes with shoe polish as the polish will make the leather surface slippery, hence it will be hard to apply the dye later on.
- Cover the parts of your shoes that you do not want to be discolored by the dye. Such parts maybe the soles and buckles (if any). Cover these parts with masking tape to protect them from dye smudges.
- Mix the dye evenly and well with a stick. Once the dye is well blended, it is ready for use.
- Use a soft sponge to apply dye on your leather shoes. Wet one side with the dye mixture then apply gently on the surface of your leather shoes. Rub the sponge with even strokes all over the shoes, avoiding the taped parts. Do this procedure several times, depending on how many coats you prefer to apply. If your aim is to change the color of your shoes, you need to apply the dye several times till the original color is fully covered with the new color.
- Allow a few minutes for each coat of dye to dry before applying the next coat.
- Dry the newly dyed leather shoes for about 24 hours in a cool dry place before using them.
To make your leather shoes looking like new always, polish them with a shoe polish of the same color. This way the shoes keep their luster and color for a longer period of time.