How To Darken Leather Boots? Best 8 Techniques To Do That.

Do your leather boots lose their color and become more paled with time?

No need to worry; you can make them shine one more time. This article will provide you with eight techniques about how to darken leather boots.

Leather begins to pale over time; this makes the leather items appear differently from the first time we use them.

To darken leather products like boots, shoes, jackets, and more, you first have to clean the leather product. and then follow one of these techniques provided below 

8 best techniques to use for leather boots darkening

1- leather boots dye method

2-Blends and Synthetics

3- Use a Polish To Darken Leather boots

4-Using Walnut Hulls To Darken Leather boots

5-Using Oils To Darken the Leather

6-The Tea Bag Method

7-Using Leather Dressing

8-Using Coffee To Darken Leather boots

Before you move on with one of these methods, you should know

How to prepare the leather boots for the darkening process?

Leather boots preparation process

Generally, many kinds of leather products will fade out over time, which affects their general shape. 

There are many methods to avoid that. But first, you need to prepare and clean the leather before applying any of them on it. 

 Dust or Vacuum The Leather boots

First, you have to dust off or vacuum clean any ashes or specks of dirt found on the leather product’s surface. 

This process to avoid them from trapping in the leather pores during the darkening process.  Use a brush or a vacuum during this step.

Clean The Leather 

  • In this step, you will need a clean rag, mild soap, and water. Put the fabric in the water to get wet enough, and then put a few drops of the soap
  • Grab out all the water, make sure that the cloth is just damp, not wet, and start cleaning the leather surface. Clean in a circular motion and cover the entire area, so you do not miss any spot 
  • Bring a new damp piece of cloth and remove any remaining mild soap on the leather surface
  • Leave the leather boots to dry in a place with good airflow. Do not let the leather be exposed directly to the sunlight, resulting in leather cracks. 
  • Now your leather is ready, you can follow one of these methods to darken your leather boots, shoes, and other leather items.

How To Darken Leather Boots? Best 8 Techniques To Do That

1-Leather boots dye method

leather boot dye method- how to darken leather boots

You must use dyes meant for leather products. Generally, alcohol-based dyes increase leather stiffness, and water-based stains make it softer. 

Your work area must be with adequate ventilation, and you may want to cover it with plastic sheets as the chemical materials cause spots that are impossible to remove.

It can cause health issues if you inhale it for a long time, so you must wear safety precautions.

Dyes mostly come with instructions. Follow them, but in general, they will be like this:

  • Put the leather preparer on the leather boots or any product using a soft rag. You do this step to take off the finish from the leather.
  • Since you have removed the whole finish, then with a spray bottle, make the leather a little damp.
  • With a paintbrush and sponge, apply the dye to the leather surface. The paintbrush is for spots that are hard to reach. start rubbing it in a circular motion and try to cover all the surface
  • When you finish the first layer, wait for a few minutes to dry, then add the second coat. You might apply as many as three to six thin dye layers to get the best result.
  • Finally, please leave it in a place with adequate ventilation for 24 hours. You can leave it more time if necessary. 
  • Get a rag to take off the extra leather dye. Apply a leather conditioner to avoid cracks or leather destructions

2-Blends and Synthetics

Use Blends and Synthetics to darken leather boots

Many leather boot care products blend oils like vegetable oils, animal oils, oil mink, coconut oil, tree resin, and several different waxes. These blends can be used as a leather darkening material.

Some of these blends are mixed with natural materials like honey to provide a pleasing scent feature. They also give the leather waterproof and shining properties. 

If you use a high-quality blend, it will last for a lengthy time. This method has no risks because if you do not apply them correctly, this will not cause leather damage. Follow the steps precisely to achieve the best results, that are all.

 Blends and Synthetics method will cost more than the other methods as you need to apply many coats if you need a great result. on the other hand, leather shining will last for a long time  

It has a pleasant smell and prevents bacteria build-up. At the same time, it helps to soften the challenging areas and provide a waterproof feature.

Now let’s come to the practical part. if you want to darken your leather boots using this technique, follow these steps

  • Take a small quantity of the blend with your fingers; take as little like a grape size.
  • Put the mixture on the leather surface; try to cover the whole area with your fingers.
  • Massage the blend on the surface, especially the more problematic places and that needs repairing
  • Let your leather boots dry for ten minutes.
  • You add coats as you need, but wait ten minutes after each layer. Be more economical; do not use all the blend at one sitting.

3- Use a Polish To Darken Leather boots

Use a Polish To Darken Leather boots

Using shoe polish for darkening leather boots is an excellent choice for boot care. It provides a means solution for faded leather. You can apply this technique to all leather products.

When the color changes, it is attributed to the polish wax. The wax penetrates through the layers, which makes the leather boot darker with each extra coat added. Do this that way.

  • Get a clean rag. Put a very little quantity of polish on it.
  • Begin rubbing the polish into the leather boot and try to cover the whole area. You may want to keep moving in small circles to achieve the best result.
  • You will notice that the leather boots’ color begins to change. Keep working until you cover the entire surface with a polish layer.
  • Usually, two layers of polish are enough to give the leather a nice dark color, but you can add extra layers until you reach the desired darkness level. 
  • After you finish, remove an extra polish with a clean piece of cloth. 
  • Let the leather dry for one night.

4-Using Walnut Hulls To Darken your Leather boots

Walnut Hulls for leather boots darkening

Black walnut has a natural rich brown color; you may want to use it in darkening your leather boots or any other leather items.

So if you can get some walnut hulls from your area, you can use them to make your leather shoes much darker. Here is how you can do this.

  • Start by wearing your gloves and an apron because this will stain as a permanent tattoo and can not be removed.
  • Fill up half of the container with the walnut hulls 
  • Use water to fill up the container completely.
  • Let the mix for 1-2 weeks. The long time you leave it, the darker it will be.
  • By the use of a strainer, separate the walnut hulls juice. you can leave the walnut hulls to dry to use them again
  • You can use the walnut hulls juice in two ways. The first one is by soaking the leather into the solution, whether the second one is by rubbing the solution over the full leather.
  • Let enough time for each one of these two ways for the solution to work and penetrate through the leather.
  • After you reach the desired darkness level, you can take the leather out of the solution if you use the first method. But if you use the second one, you can wipe the surface with a damp cloth.
  • let the leather boots to dry.
  • After you are done, use a leather conditioner

5-Using Oils To Darken your Leather boots

Using Oils for Leather boots darkening

Leather oils such as Mink oil, Coconut oil, and canola oil are mainly used to darken and condition your leather boots. They are used for darkening any leather type.

There are many oil brands, whether vegetable oils or animal oils; you can choose the one you prefer and apply this method. Use the following step by step procedure to get this done.

  • Get a soft piece of cloth and put a teaspoonful of leather oil on it. You will use a small quantity of oil and apply it to a small leather surface area. 
  • You will do it many times until you cover the whole surface. You will follow this process as excess oil can cause over-saturation 
  • Start to rub the leather oil over the leather boot surface as much as you can. You do this step to achieve one symmetrical coat.
  • You have to rub it in only small sections in a back-and-forth movement until you cover the whole surface.
  • If you find out that the oil on the rag has finished, add two drops or one more teaspoonful according to the size of the leather product you are working on it.
  • After applying the first coat, let the leather dry for 10-12 hours or a night if necessary. You should notice that the leather becomes 2-3 darker than its original color. 
  • If you want to reach to much darker color level, you can add extra layers until you get the desired one. Always remember to let it dry after each layer is added.

6-The Tea Bag Method

Using tea bags To Darken your Leather boots

How to darken leather boots using the tea that we use every?

You just asked your self this question; the answer is straightforward. The natural tannins in black tea can prevent foot odor, but at the same time, they can dye your leather boots and provide it with a darker color. 

This method is cheap and easy, but it takes a long time. You can naturally be darkening your leather boots or other items and avoid direct contact with dangerous chemicals. 

The Tea Bag Method not only takes a long time; it also does not provide a solid color. You need to oil and finish the leather to improve the color strength. 

It will only convert your white leather boots to tan and your tan to sepia, so you will not reach the other methods’ darkness degree. To apply this method, follow these steps.

  • Get thirty to forty tea bags and remove all tags and strings. Add them to a large amount of boiled water and leave them to brew for fifteen minutes.
  • When the tea is cool enough, and you can deal with it, take the tea bags out and put the leather boots in the liquid. 
  • Keep it down until it is fully submerged. Use something to keep it at the bottom as it has to be in the solution for a day and a half. 
  • Let the leather boots dry; after that, use the conditioner.

7-Using Leather boots Dressing

The leather boots dressing is composed of Neatsfoot oil and beeswax mixture. You can apply this method for darkening leather products.

Using this method, you will get a clean golden tan with waterproof features due to the beeswax material. You can apply this method by following these step by step procedure.

  • Get an equal quantity of Neatsfoot oil and beeswax, then melt them with low heat.
  • Leave the mixture to cool down and to be converted to a creamy paste.
  • Use a soft and clean piece of cloth to rub the Neatsfoot oil and beeswax mixture to the leather surface.
  • Let the leather for one hour.
  • Use a clean rag to shine your leather boot surface.

8-Using Coffee for Darkening Leather

Using Coffee for Darkening Leather boots

Using coffee for darkening leather boot is a natural chemical-free method and easy for home use as coffee is nearly found in each home. 

When you use coffee at dying, there is no need to buy the expensive one. A cheap coffee bean will be enough. Now, I will tell you how to do this:

  • When the coffee reaches its boiling point, let it on the burner for two minutes. Remember to stir the coffee from time to time to prevent that in the bottom from getting burned
  • Coffee boiling helps to achieve a high concentration 
  • Take the coffee from the burner and let it settle down for 5 to 10 minutes. 
  • Apply a layer of the coffee to the leather boot surface and leave it to dry. you can continue doing this until you reach the desired darkness level
  • One other way is to pour the coffee into a bowl and soak the item in it. you need to leave it for 12-24 hours 
  • You can take the leather from the liquid and wipe the surface with a damp clean rag.
  • Let the leather to dry 
  • Use the leather conditioner. This step is crucial as it can restore the natural leather oils which are lost during the cleaning process

Frequently asked questions about how to darken leather boots. 

1-Why does leather boots fade?

Leather is a sensitive material for PH change. Any factors that will affect PH scales will cause leather fading and cracking. Some of these factors are sunlight, artificial lights, body oils, and temperature.

2-Should I oil my new leather shoes?

If you love the color of your new shoes, oiling them will not be the right choice. However, if you are only looking to add waterproof features and leather conditioning, it will be an excellent way for leather protection.

3-Can olive oil darken leather boots?

Olive oil is one of the vegetable oils that result in a darkened leather, but you will not want to use it as a conditioner.

Olive oil is rancid quickly. If you use it, the leather will have a sour smell for two weeks.

4- Will darkening damage the leather?

​ No, it won’t, if you are following the right steps.

5-​How long will it take to darken leather boots?

​ It depends on your leather color. You can apply the leather darken technique steps in a few minutes, but it might require two hours for the liquid to penetrate through and dry.

 6-Does darkening gives the same result for all leather kinds? 

​ No, the leather type can cause a difference. Some leathers can absorb the solution faster than others, and some of them will stain more easily.  

7-Which one is more effective natural or commercial leather darkeners.?

​ Both of them are effective. The natural one is cheaper; however, commercial dyes are more convenient.

8- Will the leather darkening last forever?

​ It will last for some time. But you have to redo this process to maintain your leather items’ appearance.

​9- Can I polish and condition the leather boots after the darkening process?

Yes, it would be better to do this from time to time as the leather tends to be cracked when it loses flexibility. 

The leather conditioner will keep it more flexible and protect it from cracking. so it will be the right decision for boot care

Final verdict

Now you have all these different leather darkening methods. You can restore your items’ color and make them shine again without the need to buy a new one. These methods are simple and easy, that you can use them at home.

This guide provides you with eight techniques about how to darken leather boots. You can pick what you would like to use and follow the procedure written above to get the best results.

If you have any inquiries about How to darken leather boots methods or you have a new technique you want to share, you can contact us through the comments.

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