vwguy

Honors Member
I have a pair of trashed AEs I got at a thrift store I'm going to experiment on, changing them from burgundy to black w/ the help of Kiwi dye, any thoughts on how they'll turn out? I'm also wondering how long the dyed finish will last? Let the experiment begin!

edit: here are some tips if you're looking to do this yourself.
- Clean the shoes and go over them w/ rubbing alcohol to help the dye soak into the leather.
- Make sure the dye is totally dry before you put another coat on else it may pull up the previous coats. I'd give it at least 12 hours between applications.
- Small foam brushes work wonders for getting into those hard to reach places.
- Use edge dressing on any seams or edges that the dye won't stick to, then go over it w/ dye later for an even finish.

Brian
 
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Joe Tradly

Advanced Member
I have a pair of trashed AEs I got at a thrift store I'm going to experiment on, changing them from burgundy to black w/ the help of Kiwi dye, any thoughts on how they'll turn out? I'm also wondering how long the dyed finish will last? Let the experiment begin!

Brian
Brian, I hope you will document well with photos.

Good luck!

JB
 

vwguy

Honors Member
Oh yes, I have plenty of "before" pics and will be sure to post those along w/ the results. I can't imagine they will look as good as if they came from the factory black, but it will be interesting to see how they turn out.

Brian
 

hcivic91

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Sirs,

I visited my local cobbler about this very subject late last week and they suggested stripping the original finish using a professional product or rubbing alcohol before setting out to change the color. Doing this gives the leather some “bite” meaning giving the color something to adhere to. Using this method they said yields a very good result, not quite factory but very good. The side effects they cited include a haziness or fogginess in the color and a need to polish a little more than usual.

Like you, I wanted to go from brown to black and the shop was actually suggesting that I DIY it rather than farming it out to them, I did not want the mess in my house however. Aside from the mess my biggest worry was that I would end up with a painted on finish that others here have complained about. When I mentioned this they said there would be no worry of that with this “dying” service. For $30 they promised good results but the products they said they would use would cost about $12.

I do not remember the name of the products they suggested to do the stripping but I would be happy to obtain it if you like.


Joseph
 

vwguy

Honors Member
Here is the nasty scuff which lead me to such drastic measures:


A few coats on, some parts of the shoes are covered pretty well, some not:




So far it's not too bad of a job, just hard to get the dye in all the holes and the tongue is sewn to the upper on the inside which makes it difficult to coat. I'll update more pics once I have even coverage and can shine them up a bit.

Brian
 

Smudger

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Dyed shoes

In the Army, the old timers tell you to apply one coat of dye a day for three days then polish the devil out of them!

Bill
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
Looking great so far. The hint of burgandy, peeking through on the throat of the shoes, has a certain appeal to it...somewhat akin to the appearance of a lovingly aged pair of #8 cords.
 

vwguy

Honors Member
I put a couple coats on in the span of a few hours last night, I assumed the previous coat was dry, but I was wrong. As I was applying a new coat, the dye was pulling off all the old coats, not good! It only happened in one spot, but I stopped immediately. I'm going to wait a day or so until I put on another coat on and I hope it will "fill in" the area where the dye came off.

Brian
 

vwguy

Honors Member
A few more coats since the last pics:





Perhaps one more coat tomorrow and I am done w/ the dye, on to the polish the day after. I've found that edge dressing works very well to cover seams or edges, for whatever reason the dye doesn't seem to stick there very well.

Brian
 

WingtipTom

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Lookin' good vwguy! Now they look much newer than the "before" pics.

Have you tried using a q-tip to get the dye to cover the tongue a little better? (near where it meets the vamp of the shoe)
 

vwguy

Honors Member
Have you tried using a q-tip to get the dye to cover the tongue a little better? (near where it meets the vamp of the shoe)
Yes, that is a very tricky spot indeed. Q-tips don't work as well as you'd think so I'm going to use a very small foam brush which should be able to hold more of the dye.

...on another note, let me be the first to say congrats to paper clip on hitting 1000 posts!

Brian
 

vwguy

Honors Member
I tried a little black polish on the tips of one of the shoes and the buffing removed a bit of the dye, not good! I'll redye the area, hit it up w/ a Bass oil sponge and call it a day. Pics of the finished experiment will be forthcoming.

Brian
 

vwguy

Honors Member
Thanks Joe! And don't worry, I am working on the tongue now w/ those small, wedge shaped foam brushes, seems to do the trick for tight areas.



Brian
 
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