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How to dye white leather shoes

Dyeing white leather shoes is a quick and easy way to give your shoes a makeover. Whether the colour on the shoes is beginning to look dingy or you simply want to give them a new look, dyeing them will do the trick. Applying dye to white leather shoes can be done in no time and for little cost. Don't throw out your old white leather shoes just yet. Spruce them up by dyeing them a new colour.

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  1. Dampen a rag with leather stripper and rub it briskly over the shoes. Use an old toothbrush to strip hard-to-reach places on the shoes. Stripping will remove polish, oils and tanning finishes from the shoes. Removing such substances will ensure that the dye adheres properly to the leather. Wait about ten minutes after stripping to proceed with dyeing.

  2. Set up your work area. Lay plastic sheeting down on a flat surface to be used for dyeing. This will eliminate the need for extensive cleanup and protect your surface from the dye.

  3. Pour some leather dye into a disposable bowl. Some dyes are equipped with a dauber for applying the dye. If your dye does not include a dauber, use a soft cloth for application.

  4. Dip the cloth or dauber into the bowl of dye to absorb a moderate amount. Rub the dye over the shoes with long, smooth strokes. Avoid applying too much dye; brush away drips and puddles promptly. Use a small make-up brush to get the dye into hard to reach spots on the shoes. If you get dye on places of the shoes that were unintended to be dyed, wipe it off promptly with a damp rag.

  5. Allow the dye to dry completely according to the manufacturer's instructions. This generally takes about 30 minutes.

  6. Apply a second coat of dye, if necessary. Apply subsequent coats of dye to the leather, as necessary, until the desired colour has been achieved. Allow the dye to dry between each coat.

  7. Allow the shoes to dry for at least two hours after the final coat of dye has been applied. Wipe down the shoes with a soft cloth to buff. Apply a leather polish to the shoes, if desired, to provide shine.

  8. Tip

    Stuff the shoes with newspaper prior to dyeing. This will make the surface smooth and even during the dyeing process. Follow the link in the "Resources" section for a colour chart for dyeing your white leather shoes. Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from the dye.

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Things You'll Need

  • Leather stripper
  • Rags
  • Old toothbrush
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Leather dye
  • Disposable bowl
  • Soft cloth or dauber
  • Small make-up brush
  • Buffing cloth
  • Leather polish (optional)

About the Author

Kimbry Parker

Kimbry Parker has been writing since 1998 and has published content on various websites. Parker has experience writing on a variety of topics such as health, parenting, home improvement and decorating. She is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Arts in organizational communication.

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