How To Lighten Leather Boots

How To Lighten Leather Boots? [5 Ways]

Do you own a pair of leather boots whose color has darkened over time? You must be thinking “Is there a way to lighten leather boots? Or should I get a new pair?”

Well, buying a new pair isn’t the best option. You can easily lighten the color of your old leather boots yourself. Let’s find a few options on how to lighten dark leather boots in this article. Before we get started if you’re thinking of bleaching black leather boots and changing their color, forget about it. Because you cannot dye the black color to lighter color unless you paint them.

Step 1: Clean Your Boots

Regardless of what method you choose to lighten the color of your leather boots, the first thing you need to do is clean them. Because if you try to apply any leather lightning product on dirty boots it will leave a lot of patches and uneven color on your boots.

Remove Protective Coating of cowboy boot
  1. After removing the shoelaces, brush the boot with a soft-bristled toothbrush until no dirt particle is left.
  2. Now take a wet rag, pour a few drops of leather cleaner, and rub it in a circular motion on the boot. Don’t stop until all the dirt is removed from the boot.
  3. Clean the boots with a towel and let them dry for twenty minutes.

Step 2: Choose a Method

Now that the boot has been cleaned, let’s discuss five different methods to lighten leather boots. Before we move forward, the pro tip is that before you apply any product to your boot directly, apply it to some unnoticeable part. This will enable you to check whether it provides the desired result or not. If it provides the desired result, keep working with that product or move to another product.

1- Oxalic Acid With Acetone

Oxalic acid is the most efficient way to lighten your dark leather boots. A lot of you ask “will acetone lighten leather?” I want to tell you that yes, it is indeed the most reliable option as compared to all of the other methods mentioned here. Oxalic acid when applied with Acetone provides the best results and is very easy to apply.

  1. Before starting, make sure to wear gloves to protect your hands from any possible reaction.
  2. Take a clean piece of cloth, dip it in the acetone, and apply it to your leather boot in a circular motion.
  3. Apply the solution gently to the boot until the top layer of the color, a protective coating, starts to peel off.
  4. Let the boot dry for five minutes.
  5. Take a bowl and mix equal amounts of oxalic acid and water in it.
  6. Now, take a clean cloth, dip it in the solution, and apply it to your boot with a stiff hand. You should notice the color of your boot lighting.
  7. Keep doing the process until you get the desired result.

2- Re-dye The Boot

Re-coloring your boots with leather dye is the most effective option to change the color of your leather boots. You can also use this method to darken your leather boots. Re-dying your boots may take some extra time but it will give your boot a new life in addition to changing its color.

Steps to Dye Cowboy Boots
  1. After cleaning the boot, you need to remove the top layer/ protective coating using acetone by following the steps mentioned in method one.
  2. Once the layer is removed, take a rag, dip it in the dye and apply it to your boot.
  3. Move the rag on the boot in either a vertical or horizontal direction. Keep the direction the same on both the boots otherwise the dye will leave an uneven color.
  4. Allow it to dry for six hours or overnight if possible. One coat should provide your desired color, if not you can apply another coat.

Read Also: How To Dye Cowboy Boots?

3- Saddle Soap

This method is not as effective as all the other methods mentioned here but it can do a good job of lighting the color of your leather boots.

Applying Saddle Soap
  1. Pour a few drops of warm water into your saddle soap to create lather.
  2. Take a brush, dip it in the soap, and rub it on your leather boots.
  3. Move the brush in a circular motion and keep doing the process until you get the desired color of your leather boot.
  4. Once you get the desired color on your boot, let it dry for at least two hours.

Related: Mink Oil vs Saddle Soap

4- Sandpaper

Using sandpaper to lighten the color of your leather boots is an easy and very effective method. Choosing the right grit of sandpaper is the most important consideration when using this method. Because if you choose the wrong grit of sandpaper, it can damage your leather boots.

Watch this video to learn the selection of sandpaper:

So higher the grit, the better the finishing you get.

  1. After selecting the sandpaper, attach it to the hand sander or the sanding block.
  2. Start sanding your leather using even strokes. Rub it with a soft hand and don’t exert too much pressure.
  3. Be patient and take your time to rub sandpaper on the whole leather boot. You should notice the top layer coming off and the color of your leather boots lightening.
  4. Once you’re done, take a clean piece of cloth and wipe down the leather to remove the dust from your boots.

5- Leather Cleaner

It may sound unusual but a leather cleaner can do a thorough job of cleaning your leather boots. It is a quick and easy solution.

  1. Take a clean piece of cloth, dip it in the acetone, and apply it to your leather boot in a circular motion.
  2. Yes, you’ll need acetone in this method to remove the top layer. The process is the same as described earlier.
  3. After applying acetone and letting it dry for five minutes, take the leather cleaner and start spreading it on your boot.
  4. Spread it on your whole boot and let it dry for at least twenty minutes.
  5. You don’t need to do anything else, just spray the cleaner and allow it to dry.
  6. Keep doing the process until you get the desired color.

Read Also: How To Waterproof Leather Boots?

Step 3: Apply Conditioner

After you have lightened your leather boots, they may appear a bit dull once they have dried. You don’t need to worry, you just need a moisturizing conditioner to provide moisture to your boots. Mink oil is the best available option that works perfectly as a conditioner. After you have the conditioner in your hand follow these steps to get the maximum results.

Related: How To Apply Mink Oil To Boots Properly?

Applying Mink Oil
  1. Take a rag, dip it in the mink oil, and apply it to your leather boot in a circular motion.
  2. Apply it to the whole boot with a rough hand.
  3. Let your boot dry for twenty minutes.
  4. Now, take your regular shoe polish and polish your boot using your regular shoe brush or you can use a rag for this job.
  5. You can also skip applying the mink oil and directly apply the polish, as a good shoe polish also works as a conditioner.
  6. After that, leave your boot in a dry place for at least two hours.

Related: Mink Oil vs Neatsfoot Oil

Frequently Asked Questions

How To Make Leather Lighter?

You can make leather lighter by using many methods and things like Oxalic Acid, Acetone, Sandpaper, Dyes, Saddle Soap, and Leather Cleaner. It is an easy process and takes just a little of your time.

How To Lighten Leather Dye?

You can lighten leather dye by mixing it with paint. However, the basic rule of mixing colors applies here. So, you can add as much as the paint you want to get a lighter color.

How To Lighten Brown Leather?

The best way to light brown leather is by applying a mixture of oxalic acid and acetone. Oxalic acid when applied with acetone works really well to lighten the color of brown leather.

How To Lighten Faux Leather?

The most effective way to lighten faux leather is to re-color it using leather dye. Re-coloring not only changes the color of your faux leather but also gives it a new life and your old leather after re-dyeing looks like new.

How To Lighten Suede?

Apart from using Oxalic Acid with Acetone, you can lighten suede by using any of the methods presented above. They are useful and easy.

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