Ever had a pair of shoes that you loved but wished were a different colour? We've all been there. Fortunately there is a way to dye your shoes and today we're going to show you how. Please note that you will achieve the best results dying a light shoe dark. Attempting to dye a dark shoe a lighter colour won't work.
Before you start, there are a couple of things you will need:
- Leather dye in the colour of your choice (we use Fiebings - available at most cobblers)
- acetone (nail polish remover does the job nicely)
- Shoe polish (neutral or same colour as the dye)
- clean rag
- An old towel to protect your work surface
- A pair of rubber gloves to keep your hands clean
- green painters tape (if you want to keep the sole the same colour)
- your shoes - cleaned of all excess dirt.
Place shoes on your work surface and remove the laces. Next pour a bit of nail polish remover on the rag and completely wipe down the shoes. This step removes the finish from the leather so the dye will absorbed.
This step is optional, but if you want to keep the soles the original colour use green painters tape to protect them. There is a slight gap between the outsole and the upper so ideally fold the tape into that space. If don't have green painters tape handy, regular old masking tape will do. Other types of tape, such as duct tape, won't stick and you will end of dying your soles.
Using the applicator included with the dye, carefully apply the first coat to shoe's upper. For best results apply to one panel at a time (ie. dye the entire toe at the same time).
Give the dye about 15 minutes to dry and apply the second coat. Repeat as many times as necessary, but usually 2 coats is sufficient.
You will notice the dye leaves a copperish finish when dry. Give your shoes a polish (shoe cream works well, but a wax based polish leaves a nicer finish). If you dyed your soles (as we did), apply the polish to them as well. After you buff the shoes, they will look like you bought them this way.
If you want your laces to match, dip them in the leftover dye for about 30 seconds. Definitely wear gloves when removing the laces from the dye as this easily the messiest step of the process.
Show them off! Send us a picture and we'll post your handiwork.