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In an earlier post on How to: Care for Patent Leather Kris asked me to do a follow up post on caring for soft leather. Here is the question:

Hi Jodie,

Can you write an entry on how to care for leather shoes (like fix scuffs)? I always sit crossing my ankles and my shoes rub against each other, scuffing it in the middle, and I don't know how to fix it!


And here is my answer...

A deep and dark scuff can't be totally repaired, but you can save your shoes so that the look of it is not too dramatic. The firstly, you'll need to make sure you have all the tools you'll need. They are:

And here are the steps:

Step 1: buying the products

When you buy the leather cleaner, check that it is appropriate for the leather your shoes are made out of. I would recommend doing a patch test on a discreet part of the shoes to ensure that it won't damage your shoes. When you buy the finishing spray make sure you take your shoes with you because you will need to match it to the colour of your shoes. Again, I would recommend a very small patch test on a discreet part of the shoes before using the finishing spray.

Step 2: setting up your workspace

When you get home, set up the area you are going to work in, making sure that you have a sort of drop-sheet to catch any of the colour that may drip.

Step 3: cleaning and preparing the shoes

Following the instructions on the leather cleaner you have purchased, clean the pair of shoes. Then apply the leather preparer as per the instructions and let them dry.

Step 4: applying the refinishing spray

Once they are completely dry, masking tape the shoes except for the areas that are scuffed. Evenly spray the area with the refinishing spray. You may need more than one layer, in which case let the first layer dry, then apply the next. Once you've finished and the refinishing spray is completely dry, remove the masking tape from the shoes and polish the shoes.

A shortcut...

If the scuff is just on the surface and you need a quicker solution, you can try simply using some shoe polish or cream leather conditioner.

Some general care tips.

In terms of more general care for soft leather, I'd mentioned in my post about How to: waterproof your shoes that generally speaking, creams, oils, beeswax (that you rub into shoes with a clean, dry, soft white cloth) are great for conditioning and waterproofing soft leather - so visit your local cobbler or department store to pick up some of these products to keep your heels looking fabulous.

I hope that helps, Kris!

And, whew! what a long post! thanks for reading if you made it here to the end! I hope it helps keep your shoes looking fabulous :)

Jodie x

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Posted by on 02 May 2011.