How to Re-Dye Leather Shoes

by Michelle Powell-Smith ; Updated September 28, 2017

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

Items you will 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

How to Re-Dye Leather Shoes

Step 1

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 color may as well. If the leather has been lacquered, you will need to use a solvent based cleaner before the Dye-Prep.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

Apply the first coat of leather dye. If you are changing from a very light to a very dark color, 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.

Step 4

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

Step 5

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

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.