In an earlier post I stated that not all bad purchases need be discarded and that some can be saved with a little creativity.  This is the process I followed to dye my suede shoes.

Dyeing suede is remarkably easy.  There is a ton of great information available online and I found these two guides to be most useful: 1, 2.  Here is the process I followed:

Supplies:

  • Horsehair and/or suede brush
  • Latex gloves - Suede dye will dye your hands
  • Newspaper to protect the surface of your table (I found the long-staple paper fiber of a Cucinelli bag to be perfect for the task)
  • Masking tape
  • Fiebing’s Suede Dye
  • Cotton applicator (should come with the dye)
  • Toothbrush
  • Edge dressing
  • Suede water proofer

  1. Prepare your work area by laying out the newspaper.
  2. Lightly brush the shoes with the suede brush to remove any dirt and freshen the nap.
  3. Mask the interior of the shoe with the masking tape to shield it from the dye.
  4. Prior to applying the dye put on your latex gloves as suede dye is very hard to wash off skin.
  5. Evenly apply the dye to the surface of the shoe.  Use the toothbrush to work the dye into the tough spots.
  6. Let dry over night and freshen the nap again with the suede brush.
  7. Apply as many coats of dye as necessary.  Allow the shoes to dry completely between coats.  I applied two coats.
  8. Apply the edge dressing as necessary.
  9. Once the dye is dry and you’re happy with the color brush them with the suede brush and apply the water proofing spray.  I recommend a silicon-free spray.  This not only protects the suede but also serves to lock in the dye.