Guest post by Jo Poole
These men’s suede shoes were looking rather tired, and unlike their leather counterparts, couldn’t be revived with spit, polish and elbow grease. As their soles and stitching are dark brown and unlikely to take colour, I decided to dye the suede uppers a dark navy which looks jolly smart with the new brown shoe laces I added to complete the look!
Here’s how you can try rejuvenating a pair for yourself:
You will need:
- Latex gloves
- Masking tape
- Suede brush (wire bristles)
- Shoe dye suitable for suede, I used this one from Dylon suitable for nubuck. For leather, use the inky rather than acrylic kind of leather dye.
- Brush (should come with dye)
- New shoelaces
- Suede or leather shoes
1. Wipe soles clean with a damp cloth. Allow to dry. (For leather, wipe entire shoe with a damp cloth. Allow to dry.) [Fig. 1]
2. Brush shoes with a wire suede brush, especially around seams, to remove loose dirt. Remove laces. (For leather, wipe shoe with white spirit to remove any finishes.) [Fig. 2]
3. Stuff shoes with newspaper or shoe trees. Mask off the soles with tape, ensuring it is well pushed into the groove where they meet the upper. Mask inside shoe and under eyelets.
4. Wearing the latex gloves, paint the dye onto the shoes. Apply it liberally over seams and perforations in the leather first. [Fig. 3] Then paint the rest of the shoe. Repeat as necessary until a solid colour is obtained.
5. Leave shoes to dry.
6. Remove masking tape.
7. Steam shoes with a kettle and brush the suede vigorously to restore the nap. [Fig. 4] (For leather simply polish shoes, possibly finishing with a leather care cream depending on colour.)
TIP: Any dye splashes on surfaces may come off with ordinary, household bleach, however hair bleach is your only hope to shift it from skin. Best to wear gloves and old clothes.