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How to Distress Leather Boots without Completely Destroying Them

By Abby,
30th April 2020 | Updated: 5th May 2020

How to Distress Leather Boots without Completely Destroying Them

There is something about boots that makes one feel excited and confident about themselves. The power to take on the whole world at your feet. With each step taken in those boots. Nothing is impossible with a nice pair of leather boots. You can even take back the hands of time. Such is the confidence that comes with boots.

On the other hand, distressed boots are a different bargain. A kind of all-weather wear to sustain you throughout the seasons without any problems whatsoever and still come out on top. A different ball game altogether. It seems that these types of boots are the in thing nowadays. Most people prefer them for several reasons. Key among these reasons is due to convenience and comfort.  Additionally, there are lots of ways on how to distress leather boots and still leave them unscathed. Here is how:

Making Them Wet

This is a good method of making your boots waterproof. However, you should do it with absolute caution not to spoil them. This is because they may end up absorbing too much moisture, which might bring lots of damage than necessary.

This might hinder them from performing their functions as they should. Once you are through with your outdoor activities, do not leave the boots unattended to. Just like any other favorite wear, your distressed boots need some tender loving care always. That is why it is important to clean them regularly if they are to last a bit longer.

Getting the Boots a Bit Dirtier

This is to ensure that they maintain their battered outlook. Furthermore, such processes ensure that these boots are still up to the task of taking in more battering in the whole process.

Stuffing Them

Have you been wondering where to take that old newspaper? This is where it comes in handy. You can fill the boots with it so that they do not lose shape.

Hard Hitting

Now that you have placed the boots on a very hard surface, take that old baseball bat, which has been idle, cover it with old socks, then proceed to hit the boots continuously for a considerable period. However, it should be done in a manner in which they do not get damaged. The main aim of this process is not to damage the boots.

Hammering Process

With the use of rubber bands, take an old rag, cover it on a hammer, and tie the rubber bands around it. Before hammering the sides of the shoes, including the heels and toe-caps for some time. This will end up softening your leather just the way you want it.

Spraying and Rubbing with Alcohol

Take a bottle used for spraying and half fill it up with some water, which is lukewarm. Thereafter, mix the other half with alcohol before shaking the spray bottle thoroughly until the two have mixed well. Proceed to mist the boots then let them dry out for a considerable amount of time before repeating the process once more.

Sanding the Leather Boots

Now that the alcohol has dried up, the next thing that will follow is sanding your leather boots. What you should also bear in mind is that the sandpaper is not just any other but one, which has a fine texture. Take the sandpaper and use it to sand on a lighter note the heels, toe-caps, and at the seams also.

These are very critical areas that should be emphasized. This process is only meant for those who want lighter distress on their boots. Nonetheless, suppose you want somewhat heavier distress, then you will have to repeat the whole process once more.

Spraying More Alcohol

Just like you used alcohol to get lighter distress, repeat the same for the whole process. Only that this time around, you will use a brush with wire bristles for rubbing the heels, toe-caps, and seams to get the desired results.

Polishing the Boots

After repeating the process and now that you are through, the next step is to apply a dark-colored polish on the boots using a rag that is neat and clean. Remember that when wiping the shoes with the rug, do it circularly to clean them.

Make sure that all the areas have been adequately covered. Furthermore, to get a darker finish, apply the polish some more. If you want an even darker appeal, apply more polish. However, if you feel that you have used too much of it, then sprinkle some water for a lighter appeal.

Once you feel that the outcome is satisfactory, you have the option of apply wax for protecting the boots against weathering. Note that once you have applied the protector wax on your boots, then there will be no need of applying polish. The reason is that if you apply polish on the surfaces, the boots might end up getting darker or damaged as a result.

Further Tips to Help You Through

If the leather is a bit tougher or sensitive, you can add some more alcohol and put it at a minimum for the latter.

Suppose your boots have been made of pure and long-lasting leather, then you can subject them to any distressing process without them getting damaged. However, you should proceed with extreme caution so as not to damage or bring stubborn stains on them, even if they are durable.

Alcohol also tends to discolor the leather a little bit. Therefore, if you want to bring back the shine, then you will polish it. But if you were looking for a faded appeal, then this will be your thing.

During the sanding process, ensure that you have adequately covered the boots. Furthermore, this process is highly dependent on the outcome that you are looking for. For a more rugged appeal, you can sand the boots too hard. But if you are only looking for a lighter and softer outlook, then you can do it with a softer touch. Remember to sue only polish, which as the same color as your boots. You will only switch to another color if you want your boots to look different than before.

If you want the polish not to spill over on other surfaces, then you could spread some towels n your working areas or some clothes, which are lint-free for precaution. Moreover, any excess polish on the leather should be removed with the help of a brush.

Just like before, your leather boots just like any other shoes in your possession should be given utmost care against the vagaries of wear and tear, which will eventually arise and will need your undivided attention for that matter. Thus, you might want to use water and proof elements for maximum protection against such effects. In this case, you may need to do it once or twice.

Observe extreme caution during the hammering and batting process lest you hit something unwarranted around you. This is just to avoid causing any damage to yourself or anything inside the room.

How to Distress Leather Boots Guide

Brush Leather Boots Regularly

After wearing them, always brush them clean. This process will in a big way help prevent dust from accumulating on the surface. Such build-up if left unattended to overtime might end up damage the shoes and you do not want it to happen.

Always Stick to The Laid Down Rules

No matter your geographical location, the processes of distressing leather boots have always been the same. However, some boots may have very specific directions on how to maintain them using a special kind of polish. This is what you should adhere to if you want your leather boots to last long. The moment you use other methods than the one already prescribed for you, then you might end up having undesired effects and your leather boots might end up getting damaged irreversibly over time.

Furthermore, like previously put, your distressed leather shoes need absolute care just like any other leather shoes in your wardrobe. Probably much more than the rest of your collection. Especially when they are not being worn. Besides, you need to store the shoes in a cool and dry place free of any dampness, dust, or humidity to avoid any further damage on the leather.

Unlike other types of shoes, leather needs extreme care if you want it to last long. They must be kept in their storage places at all times if you are not wearing them. The storage places and vessels should also be kept clean and dry now and then.

These places should also have very minimal temperature conditions to prevent your shoes from either being too damp or hot. Any of the two conditions might end up accelerating the wear and tear, which you want to avoid in the first place. There are so many ways on How to Distress Leather Boots, these are just one of these many ways.

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