From Black To Burgundy

From Black To Burgundy

7
SHARE
how to change the color of shoe soles

Admittedly, I realize that this post will appeal to an alarmingly small number of you that will read this (the .1% perhaps).  But to my knowledge there are not any other bloggers (and perhaps even shoe makers/repairers) talking about this on this internetwebthingy so I figure I might as well.  Anyway, today were going to change the soles of a pair of shoes from black to burgundy.  If you remember, a few months back I wrote on darkening a sole from tan to dark brown (which I have since changed to navy blue to match the upper), which is an easier and less time consuming operation.  The key difference in this operation is sanding off the black paint.  This is a crucial step because we are going from a darker color to a lighter one.

If you will also remember I reviewed a pair of burgundy suede wingtips from Scarosso.  One of my main complaints for the shoes was that the sole was black.  Which limits their wearability and to my eyes provided too much contrast between sole and upper.  Because of this, I rarely wore the shoes.  However, I was resolved to work them into my wardrobe more frequently and the best way to do this was to change the sole color from black to burgundy.

The supplies you will need are pretty straightforward.  Sandpaper (200 grit or less), Fiebing’s Leather Dye, a small paintbrush, clear wax polish, a polishing rag and lots of newspaper and paper towels.  It is imperative that you keep in mind that the leather dye stains EVERYTHING it touches; skin, leather, wood, clothes etc.  So please, take necessary precautions to protect whatever surface you are working on.  Anyway, let’s get down to it.

how to paint shoe soles
Before
how to paint shoe soles
Before
how to paint shoe soles
Before
how to paint shoe soles
Before
burgundy suede wingtip shoes
After wiping down the sole to remove excess dust and dirt the first step is to sand off the black color. I used 200 grit sand paper but I feel that I could’ve used something more aggressive.
burgundy suede wingtip shoes
And keep sanding. It took me at least 15 minutes per shoe to get to this point. You want as clean of a sole and as you can get, this includes the stitching on top of the sole.
burgundy suede wingtip shoes
The inner parts of the welt were particularly hard to get at. I could only do so much here, the outside edge is most important, as that is what you see the most when looking down on the shoes.
how to change the color of shoe soles
Clean and ready for dye application.
burgundy suede wingtip shoes
Apply the dye with the included dobber.  I used, and recommend you use, Fiebings leather dye.  A small paintbrush will be essential for the more detailed parts.
how to change the color of shoe soles
Once you are done painting the sole apply clear wax polish. This will help give a little shine. And for purple and blue dyes it helps clean up the color, as a weird metallic discoloration occurs, as seen to the right of the cloth.
how to change the color of shoe soles
The final product. The only thing left to do is to change out the laces to burgundy ones.

how to change the color of shoe soles how to change the color of shoe soles how to change the color of shoe soles

Done.
Done.

When all is said and done, this operation cost about $12 and took about an hour of time.  Which is not bad considering the utility of the shoes has at least tripled.  Although the result is not perfect, it is something that I can live with.  I may in the future get some type of stain or lacquer that will add a bit more shine to the sole.  But for now I am more than happy with the state of the shoes.  If you have any questions on the process feel free to post them in the comments.

-JLJ

7 COMMENTS

  1. Thank goodness you decided to write this. “Admittedly, I realize that this post will appeal to an alarmingly small number of you that will read this (the .1% perhaps). ” Good read. I live in Central Wisconsin-best damn .1% in the Nation!

  2. Hi, I have almost the same shoes but in beige. I was wondering what kind of belt do i wear with them?

  3. Hi, I have almost the same pair of shoes but in beige. I was wondering what belt should i wear with them?

  4. Hi Sir,

    Thank you for this post 🙂

    I want to try to paint a patina effect from dark blue to black color on my shoes (vegetable tanned leather). Finally I found a store in my country who sell Fiebing’s products.

    But I’m confuse, please can you give me a suggestion?
    1. Which one is better:
    – Fiebing’s Leather dye
    – Fiebing’s Oil Dye
    – Fiebing’s Leather dye color : Antique finish

    2. Those leather dye are water resist?
    If not water resist, do I need a finishing coat before waxing? or waxing is enough to prevent color fading?

    Thanks 🙂

LEAVE A REPLY