Monday, February 14, 2011

How to Dye Leather Boots

It's been awhile since I've done something creative, and it's making me feel too structured.

Remember my post about my lists? I make "Short Term" and "Long Term" lists. When my Short Term List is close to being completed, I usually start working on a couple of my Long Term goals. One item on my Long Term List is to buy a pair of Cognac Riding Boots. I've been searching for the perfect pair since last year.  A pair that's not too expensive, but still made of real leather. I have yet to find boots that meets both these requirements. A couple of months ago I picked up a pair of leather riding boots from Target $29. They fit great, but the color is.....well, kind of blah.

 Another negative is that the first week I had them I got white paint on them that hasn't come off. So now they look really blah and aren't the perfect Cognac color that I want. Just when I was beginning to think I'd be stuck with these blah boots and never find that perfect pair I discovered this:

It's leather dye, in the most perfect Cognac color! I watched a video from Lucky Magazine on how to dye leather shoes, so I thought I would give it a try. I bought this brand from Hobby Lobby for $4.99. Bonus: It's Eco Friendly!

Ok, so here is step by step what I did. I tried to follow the video the best I could.

Step 1. Clean the boots with a leather cleaner.
I bought this brand from Bucheits. It didn't remove any of the paint though! It cost $3.99. I rubbed the leather cleaner onto the boots with a scotch brand sponge, using the "green" rough side. I applied the cleaner directly to the sponge, and rubbed it onto the boots in a circular motion.

I let the cleaner dry for 30 minutes on the boots. The boots didn't look any different than before. Kind of a waste of money if you ask me. I could have just cleaned them with soap and water and probably gotten the same effect.

Step 2. Carefully apply the dye.
I first laid the boots onto an old towel. The leather dye stains so I also wore an old apron. I used a sponge again to apply the dye. I tried to keep the dye just on the leather, but a little got on the sole of the shoe. I used a Q-tip and dipped it into the leather cleaner and rubbed it onto the sole, and the dye came right off. Here's a pic of the first coat of dye after I applied it to the boots.

The dye didn't cover up the white paint sploches though. Kind of a bummer.

I thought the boots might need another coat, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. Here they are, in all their Cognac Glory.

Happy Dyeing Friends.


  1. That's awesome Les! They look really good! I love the color. Hope you had a Happy Valentines Day.

  2. I LOVE this idea! You have inspired me to dye a tan scarf I got for Christmas. It was also very "blah".

  3. Thanks Ladies! Shaelyne, check out that Lucky Mag website I was talking about. They have a video on How to Dye Fabric items too!

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  5. You could try a colored pencil or marker to tint the white paint spots. Thanks for sharing. I have the same boots . The color looks almost pink. So I was looking for some ideas for color. I like the desert tan.

  6. Hi, Did you used inly 1 bottle of dye?