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Tag: polishing

Before and After

A customer recently brought us a pair of Alden color 8 Longwings to sell as part of our pre-owned program. Sometimes you have to look beyond the obvious to find the true beauty in things. This pair had some miles on them but there was still plenty of gas in the tank.

As you can see in the photo below, there was a build up of black polish on the vamp. It felt slightly gritty, not smooth the way shell normally feels.

Alden color 8 Longwings before polishing.Repeated polishing had left a buildup of black polish on the vamp.

We started by simply wiping the shoes off with a cloth, followed by a coat of Saphir Renovateur. Many of you are familiar with this product. It’s milky, gentle, and spreads well, so a little dab goes a long way. You may notice on Alden color 8 shoes the Reno removes a bit of color. That is what we were looking for. We cleaned the the entire shoe, then buffed.

We needed a stronger product to remove the polish buildup. We went with Saphir Réno’Mat, which is a strong leather cleaner with a pungent smell. We applied small amounts to a cloth and rubbed lightly over the wax buildup. You could immediately see the old polish coming off onto the rag. We repeated this step several times.

Réno’Mat can leave the leather looking a little dry. We went back to the Renovateur, and then a combination of both together. The important thing is to go little by little, using small amounts. On hard-to-clean spots we used the rounded end of a deer bone to rub away the polish.

One light shoe and one dark shoe.One shoe was darker than the other, so we used Boot Black Collections Creme to match them.

After repeating the process for the second shoe, we noticed the colors weren’t quite the same. The solution was to use Boot Black Collections Creme to darken and match the pair. Collections Creme contains very intense color pigment, so it’s best used for burnishing or adding color saturation. Take a small amount on a cloth and rub in lightly until you achieve the desired color.

Before and after polishing.The final result

Bulling Your Shoes

There are many ways to polish a shoe and no end of techniques, many very personal to the polisher. One technique that produces a very smart result is “Bulling”. This creates a high shine and is usually done on the toes. In the States it’s referred to as a Spit Shine but I think Mr. Stuart Robertson of Ede and Ravenscroft Edinburg presents the process in a much more civilized way.