I get a lot of pleasure from refurbishing old things, bringing them back to life and making them usable again. When Gaie told me she was considering throwing away her old white leather boots I wasn’t sure what I could do but wanted to have a go.
These boots are 1970s vintage. 40 years of life, including the final few spent in that rock-and-roll lifestyle of a fantasy writer, have taken their toll. The white leather was stained and faded, so were the soles, and the black flashing had faded to grey.
The biggest problem was a detached heel on the right boot. Strong latex glue is perfect for leather, but I’d not tried a shoe repair before. A good application, 24 hours to dry with some weight in the boot, and I had a strong repair that survived a short walk.
After cleaning and de-greasing with a leather dye-prep I made a dilute wash of Titanium White acrylic paint, and gave the boots three coats. The sole of the boot in the second picture gives a good idea of how faded and yellowed the boots had become.
The lovely white boot leather showed up the black leather flashing on the leg, and the trim on the sole, so that needed re-dying and painting too – both with oil-based black leather dye. In the picture the top stripe is redyed, the bottom one is not.
And here’s the finished article – spick and span, and gleaming white again. All ready for a few more years wear.