How to Dye Leather Boots

Written by charlie gaston
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How to Dye Leather Boots

Leather boots can be tricky to dye. Because the application process is exact, it is important to treat the leather properly before applying any dye or top coat to the boots. Most of the things you'll need can be found online or at a local leather shoe store. With a little attention to detail and a steady hand, you can be on your way to newly dyed leather boots in minutes.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Top coat
  • Dye
  • Sponge
  • Spray bottle
  • Cloth

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  1. 1

    Prepare the leather boots. Using a damp cloth, apply a deglazer to remove any dirt, conditioners or other protectors that have accumulated on the boots. Even if the leather boots are new, various finishes were used in the manufacturing process, and must be removed prior to applying any dye.

  2. 2

    Begin the application process. Using a cloth, sponge brush or spray bottle, apply a water-based pigment dye to the leather boots. To loosen dye that may have accumulated at the bottom of the bottle, stir or shake it. This will release the dye and allow for a smooth application. Apply the first coat and then allow it to dry. Drying times will vary, but a second or third coat should not be applied until the first and second coats have dried.

  3. 3

    For a lighter shade, apply a white dye to the leather boots first. To darken the leather boots, apply a black dye and then mix with similar dark shades.

  4. 4

    Determine intensity and richness of the colour. Water-based dyes can be mixed easily and manipulated to provide varying shades, from opaque to darker tones. Test a small area for best results. Adhere to rules of colour mixing. For example, when applying white to dark brown leather boots, the boots will appear tan.

  5. 5

    Apply a top coat to the leather shoes. Apply a leather top coat. Choose from matt finish, satin finish or gloss finish. This step may be followed by a mink oil cream to seal in the dye and waterproof the boots.

Tips and warnings

  • Experiment with colours on an old pair of leather boots before applying actual dye to a newer or favourite pair.

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