Renovate: Refinish new Italian leather boots

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Now I love a project, I won’t deny! Sometimes that’s a good thing and sometimes… not so good.  
But this time it was fantastic!

I recently noticed these boots on sale for $80 reduced from $700!
This needed closer inspection!

Now I’m a firm advocate of investing in high quality footwear. Well constructed, on a well designed last for comfort and style, and made of quality materials. Carefully selected footwear like this will most often last you many more years as well as give you greater pleasure, than cheap footwear.

BUT… For many people anything above $300 can be hard to get their head around particularly for the first pair. Which is in itself is quite understandable and reasonable. After all money only stretches so far and management of your budget is just as important.

So that’s why I am showing you this little project of mine to perhaps inspire you to get brave and creative and grab a bargain when you can. But when you can’t, save your pennies and buy quality.

So this is what I started with again:

Brand: William
Made in Italy of leather upper, leather lining and leather sole.
A full leather sole gives you a lot more scope for repairing the shoe over time than a moulded plastic sole.)
A classic upper design, with a modern twist on a classic pointed almond toe.
The leather treatment is a very fashion forward, modern distressed look. The raw leather has been deliberately incorrectly prepared for the application of the paint so that it will fall off in places giving a distressed look.
This results in a mix of pink beige and very dark brown.

Now some of you will say “I know why they didn’t sell for $700!” but that’s not the case. This store caters to people who want the very latest in European fashion, and will pay for it. So most of the range had been sold and there were only two pair left. For me however, although I love extreme fashion for it’s novelty, at my height and weight these boots would make me look ridiculous.

So I decided to go for a two tone, brown and very dark brown look. Still keeping a bit of interest and texture with the original  painted top coat.

Now when doing this please be advised to carefully follow the safety instructions on the label, protect yourself with good ventilation (preferably outside under cover and protected from strong wind), rubber gloves and a chemical face mask. It’s not worth taking any chances with your health.

1. Not necessary for most jobs but for mine, give the boots a good brush with a stiff bristled brush to remove any loose paint.
2. With a good paint brush thoroughly wet the surface of the leather with stripper.
3. If wanting to fully remove the existing surface, vigorously rub the surface with a cloth heavily impregnated with stripper. In my case, I skipped this step as I wanted to keep the existing paint finish. I just rubbed it down with a clean, dry cloth.
4. Carefully apply your leather dye aiming to achieve as even a finish as possible. Allow to dry.
5. If you like the look of your shoes at this point you can just seal the leather with a clear sealant or give them a light spray mist of colour change paint. If you spray too heavily though your good quality shoes will start to look cheap. Allow to dry.
6. Give the shoes a polish with a good quality polish. In my case I gave them a thorough coat of dark brown and then worked a little black into the decorative work and wrinkles to increase the patina of the leather.
7. Worth noting is that the more raw the state of the leather you start off with then the more successful this process will be.

Ta daaaa! A new pair of aged look all leather comfy flat boots for me to hotfoot it around town in.

Hope you feel inspired,

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