Dyeing Leather Shoes?

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Don't toss your worn or outdated leather shoes, consider dyeing them. This is a page about dyeing leather shoes.


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I have a question about dyeing or spray painting leather sandals. They are cream colored leather, Naturalizer brand. I want to make them bronze or brown. Can I use the new spray paints that are on the market for plastics? They seem like they would be "flexible" which is what I need.

I called the shoe repair shop and he stated that the new leathers can't be dyed, but there has to be a way. These are the only comfortable dress sandals I have but the color is wrong for the dresses I'm planning to take on my cruise. Has anyone done this process without ruining the shoes?

Sandy from Pittsburgh, PA


October 11, 20080 found this helpful

Why no trust for the shoe repair guy who's business it is to know leather? He's right. Your sandal leather is treated, and thus, unsuitable for dying.


If you need a second opinion, check phone listings in and around your city's area for a Tanner. They would carry a (expensive) product that can prepare untreated leather for dying, but it still likely wouldn't work for your shoes. :(

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By (Guest Post)
October 13, 20080 found this helpful

I am surprised he didn't have the product that you spray on shoes to change their color. We have used that numerous times at our house. Our shoe repairman sells it in his shop.

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October 13, 20080 found this helpful

Is the sandal really leather, or synthetic? Look at any exposed edges you can find. Plastic leather is plastic bonded onto a fabric, like fake suede, for the underside.


Look for that fabric layer. Worst came to worst, I would just do the experiment, and if it flopped it flopped.

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By (Guest Post)
October 14, 20080 found this helpful

I guess it is "fake" leather because it does have the fabric layer underside. You would think Naturalizer would use the real thing. I'm disapointed, but then this means I can color it, correct? I'm going to try it. I will visit the shoe repair shop for his advice in person just to see. Thank you all for the advice.

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