Leather shoes are a classic accessory that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. However, what do you do if you get a stain on your favorite pair of brown leather shoes? Or maybe you want to switch up the color of your shoes but don’t know how? In this article, we will explore the process of changing brown leather shoes to black and provide some tips to make the process as easy as possible.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the process, it’s important to state that it is possible to change brown leather shoes to black as long as you’re able to first strip away the finish of the shoe and you have the right dye and application method.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s explore the reasons why it is possible to change brown leather shoes to black, the possible challenges, and how to change brown leather shoes to black without any issues.
Reasons You Can Change Brown Leather Shoes to Black
- Brown Is Lighter Than Brown
One of the first and most obvious reasons you can change brown leather shoes to black is that brown is actually lighter than black. This may sound counterintuitive, but it’s true!
Because brown is a lighter color, it’s easier to cover up with black dye. The opposite is also true – black leather shoes are much harder to dye brown because the darker color will show through.
- Black Dye Covers Brown Easily
In addition to brown being a lighter color, black dye also covers brown easily. This is because black is a darker color, so it will be able to fully cover the brown leather. You may still need to apply multiple coats of black dye to get the desired coverage, but it will be much easier than trying to dye black leather shoe brown.
- The Undertones of Brown Can Be Changed
In addition to being lighter than black, another reason you can change brown leather shoes to black is that the undertones of brown can be changed with dye. For example, if you have a pair of brown leather shoes with red undertones, you can use a black dye to cover up the red and create a pair of black leather shoes with blue undertones. This is a great way to change the look of your shoes without having to buy a new pair.
- Brown And Black Are Neutral Colors
The primary reason you can change brown leather shoes to black is that brown and black are both neutral colors. This means that they will accept any color of dye without any issues. In fact, many shoe manufacturers will use black dye on brown leather shoes as it provides a more consistent look and finishes.
- Dyes Penetrate Leather
Lastly, you can change brown leather shoes to black because the color of the shoe doesn’t in all instances, play a role in how the dye will adhere to the leather. The only thing that matters is that you have stripped away the finish of the shoe so that the dye can penetrate into the leather.
Possible Challenges Changing Brown Leather Shoes To Black
While it is possible to change brown leather shoes to black, there are a few challenges that you might face during the process.
Blotches or Streaks
One of the challenges you might face is that the black dye doesn’t take evenly to the leather, resulting in blotches or streaks. This is usually due to not applying enough dye or not using the right type of applicator.
To avoid this, make sure that you apply enough dye and use a soft brush or sponge to evenly distribute the dye over the surface of the shoe. Also, most leather dye or shoe dyes will come with instructions on how to apply the dye to avoid this issue.
The Dye Won’t Take To The Leather
Another potential challenge you might face is that the black dye might just not take to the leather at all. This is usually due to the fact that the leather has been treated with a water-repellent or stain-resistant treatment.
To avoid this, you will need to remove the treatment from the leather before dyeing. This can be done with a solvent-based cleaner or by sanding the leather in some extreme cases. Once the treatment has been removed, you should be able to apply the black dye without any issues.
The last possible challenge you might face when you change brown leather shoes to black is that the black dye could transfer to your clothes or other surfaces. This is usually due to not letting the dye dry completely before wearing or using the shoes or not applying a sealant or finish to lock the dyes in.
The best way to prevent this is to make sure that you let the dye dry for at least 24 hours before wearing or using the shoes. Also, you can apply a sealant or finish to the shoes after the dye has dried to help lock in the color and prevent it from transferring.
Applying a sealant or finish is especially important if you are going to be wearing the shoes in wet conditions as this will help prevent the dye from running or bleeding.
While there are some challenges that you might face when you change brown leather shoes to black, it is still possible to do it. Just make sure that you are prepared for the potential challenges and have everything you need to ensure a successful result.
How To Change Brown Leather Shoes To Black
Now that we’ve gone over the possible challenges you might face, let’s take a look at how you can actually change brown leather shoes to black.
1. Using Leather Dyes (Permanent Change)
The first and most common way to change brown leather shoes to black is by using leather dyes. This is a permanent change so it’s important that you are sure that you want black shoes before proceeding.
Leather dyes tend to be permanent because the dye creates a chemical bond with the leather fibers. This means that it’s not just sitting on top of the leather like paint or other finishes, but it actually penetrates into the leather and bonds with it.
The benefit of this is that it creates a very durable finish that is resistant to wear and tear. The downside is that it can be difficult to reverse or remove if you change your mind or want to go back to brown.
To use leather dyes to change brown leather shoes to black, here are the things you’ll need and the steps to follow;
- Leather Dye (Black Of course)
- Applicator (Brush or Sponge)
- Leather Deglazer or Good Leather Cleaner
Step 1: Prepare The Leather
- Scrub Leather With Deglazer or Leather Cleaner: These are liquid solutions that help to remove any finish, dirt, grease, or other contaminants from the leather.
- This ensures that the dye will be able to properly penetrate and bond with the leather.
- Sand The Leather: Where necessary, use a fine-grit sandpaper to lightly sand the surface of the leather. This helps to create a more even surface for the dye to adhere to.
Step 2: Apply The Dye
- Mix The Dye: Follow the instructions on your dye to mix the proper ratio of dye to water.
- Apply The Dye: Use a brush or sponge to apply the dye evenly to the leather surface. Make sure to get into all of the nooks and crannies.
- Let The Dye Dry: Once you have applied the dye, let it dry completely. This could take a few hours or even overnight depend on the type of dye you are using.
Step 3: Finish Up
- Apply A Sealant Or Finish: Once the dye has dried, you can apply a sealant or finish to help lock in the color and prevent it from transferring.
- Let The Sealant Or Finish Dry: Let the sealant or finish dry completely before wearing or using the shoes.
- Now you know how to change brown leather shoes to black using leather dyes. Just remember, this is a permanent change so make sure that you are absolutely sure that you want black shoes before proceeding.
- If you’re not ready for a permanent change or you want an easier way to change the color of your leather shoes, read on for the next method.
2. Using Black Shoe Polish (Temporary)
If you want a temporary change or you’re not ready for a permanent change, using black shoe polish is a good option for changing brown leather shoes to black. Shoe polish is much easier to apply and remove than dyes and it doesn’t require any special preparation of the leather.
The downside is that it’s not as durable as a dye and it can rub off on clothing or other surfaces.
To use black shoe polish to change brown leather shoes to black, here are the things you’ll need and the steps to follow;
- Black Shoe Polish
- Applicator (Brush, Cloth, Or Sponge)
- Leather Cleaner Or Dish Soap
Step 1: Clean The Leather
- Start by cleaning the leather with a leather cleaner or dish soap. This will remove any dirt, debris, or oils that could prevent the shoe polish from adhering to the leather.
- Once you’re done cleaning the leather, allow the leather to dry thoroughly.
Step 2: Apply The Shoe Polish
- Once the leather is clean, apply the black shoe polish with an applicator (brush, cloth, or sponge).
- Apply thin, even layers of shoe polish to the entire surface of the leather, buff, and allow each application to dry.
Step 3: Dry The Leather Shoe
- Once you have achieved your desired effect, allow the shoe polish to dry for the amount of time specified on the product label.
- This will usually range between 20 minutes to an hour.
- After the shoe polish has dried, you can apply a clear leather conditioner to help protect the leather.
And that’s it! You’ve successfully changed your brown leather shoes to black using black shoe polish. This method is quick, easy, and doesn’t require any special skills or materials. However, it’s not as durable as dyeing and it can rub off on clothing or other surfaces.
3. Using Black Spray Paint (For All Types Of Leather)
For both synthetic and natural leather shoes, you can use black spray paint to change the color from brown to black.
The paint that is often used for this method is often acrylic-based, which is safe for both types of leather.
The steps below will show you how to change your brown leather shoes to black using black spray paint;
- Black Spray Paint
- Painter’s Tape
- Newspaper Or Drop Cloth
- Leather Cleaner Or Dish Soap
Step 1: Prepare The Area
- First, you will need to prepare the area where you will be working. Cover your work surface with newspaper or a drop cloth to protect it from paint overspray.
- If you’re working outside, make sure to do this step in an area with good ventilation.
Step 2: Clean The Leather
- Next, you will need to clean the leather with a leather cleaner or dish soap.
- This will remove any dirt, debris, or oils that could prevent the paint from adhering to the leather.
- Once you’re done cleaning the leather, allow the leather to dry thoroughly.
Step 3: Tape Off Any Areas You Don’t Want To Paint
- Once the leather is clean and dry, you will need to tape off any areas you don’t want to paint.
- This includes the sole of the shoe, any stitching, and any other areas that you want to keep the original color.
Step 4: Apply The Spray Paint
- Now it’s time to apply the spray paint. Apply thin, even layers of paint to the entire surface of the leather.
- Be sure to hold the can about 12 inches away from the leather and use smooth, even strokes.
- Allow each layer of paint to dry completely before applying the next one.
Step 5: Remove The Tape And Allow The Paint To Dry
- Once you have achieved your desired effect, remove the tape and allow the paint to dry for the amount of time specified on the product label.
- This will usually range between 24 hours.
And that’s it! You’ve successfully changed your brown leather shoes to black using black spray paint.