Can You Dye Leather Shoes a Darker Color?

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Trends change faster than a supermodel at fashion week, which is why the leather shoes that were so stylish only a few years ago are already walking the plank to an unfashionable doom. Don't be slave to fashion by tossing out your old leather shoes. Light-colored leather shoes are easily dyed darker with classic colors such as navy, black and brown. Take a few hours on your day off to give your dated leather footwear a new look. Your shoes will thank you.

Step 1

Select a well-ventilated space to do work in and cover it with old newspapers or with plastic trash bags as a guard against spills. Avoid working on carpeted floors, which are easily stained, and in rooms that have poor air circulation.

Step 2

Cover your hands with plastic gloves before you begin the dyeing process and arrange all of the necessary materials within easy reach.

Step 3

Cover the soles of the shoes with masking tape to protect them from dye spills.

Step 4

Dampen a clean cotton cloth with leather stripper or deglazer and vigorously scrub the leather portions of the shoes to remove dirt, oils and residual polish.

Step 5

Use a small brush dipped in the stripper for areas that you can't reach with the cloth and give the shoes 5 to 10 minutes to dry.

Step 6

Dip a small sponge brush into the bottle of dye, or apply the dye directly to the brush if the bottle is too small.

Step 7

Brush the shoes with smooth even strokes until both shoes have a single layer of dye. If the dye manufacturer provided a brush with your purchase, use it for best results. Allow the shoes to dry for 1 hour.

Step 8

Apply a second coat using smooth even strokes and allow the shoes to dry for another hour.

Step 9

Apply a third, final coat of dye. Allow shoes to dry completely, about 2 hours.

Step 10

Using short rapid motions, buff the shoes with a buffing cloth until desired finish.