How to Re-Dye Leather Shoes

Updated February 21, 2017

If you have leather shoes that are still in good shape, but you wish they were a different colour, dyeing your shoes is one solution to the problem. It is easier than you might think to re-dye leather shoes. You will need speciality leather dye and cleaner, but you can dye leather shoes, bags or other garments to nearly any colour you prefer. Choose a smooth leather shoe to re-dye, prepare well and enjoy your new to you shoes.

Use Fiebing's Dye-Prep to clean all residues, dirt and finishes off of your leather shoes. Apply the Dye-Prep with a sponge or rag. The finish should be removed from the leather and some of the colour may as well. If the leather has been lacquered, you will need to use a solvent based cleaner before the Dye-Prep.

Soak a clean, lint free rag in the intermediate shade of leather dye. You can also opt for a dauber sold for shoe polish or a wool cloth for this purpose.

Apply the first coat of leather dye. If you are changing from a very light to a very dark colour, use an in between shade first. Apply the leather dye evenly and rub away excess with a soft cloth. You can add a second coat if needed.

Soak a clean cloth in the final shoe dye colour. Apply evenly, being careful to get into any detailing and seams. Wipe away excess. Repeat this process.

Use shoe polish in an appropriate shade to polish your newly dyed leather shoes.

Things You'll Need

  • Fiebing's Leather dye prep
  • Solvent
  • Fiebing's Pigment Leather dye in intermediate and final shades
  • Damp sponge and lint free rags
  • Newspaper or other cover for your work surface
  • Shoe polish and buffing rag
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About the Author

With a master's degree in art history from the University of Missouri-Columbia, Michelle Powell-Smith has been writing professionally for more than a decade. An avid knitter and mother of four, she has written extensively on a wide variety of subjects, including education, test preparation, parenting, crafts and fashion.