How To Dye Suede Leather Shoes

How To Dye Suede Leather Shoes

January 17, 2024

Jane Smith, Managing Director

Transform Your Old Suede Shoes & Boots To Something Vibrant & New


Dyeing suede leather shoes can be a fun and creative way to give your old footwear a new lease on life. However, it's important to approach this task with care, as suede is a delicate material that can easily be damaged or ruined by the wrong dye or application method. we'll walk you through the steps you'll need to follow to dye your suede shoes successfully.

Materials you'll need:

  • Suede leather shoes
  • Suede leather cleaner
  • Suede leather dye
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Clean cloth
  • Masking tape
  • Plastic gloves
  • Newspaper or a drip cloth


Prepare Your Work Area

Prepare your work area find a clean, well-ventilated area where you can work without worrying about getting dye on other surfaces. Cover your workspace with newspaper or a cloth to protect it from spills. Wear gloves to avoid staining your hands and use masking tape to cover any parts of the shoes that you don't want to dye.

Clean Your Suede Shoes

Clean the shoes before you start dyeing, you'll need to clean your shoes thoroughly to remove any dirt or stains that might interfere with the dyeing process. Use a soft-bristled brush to gently remove dirt and debris from the surface of the suede. If there are any stubborn stains, you can try using a suede cleaner to remove these from the surface. The shoes must be left to dry naturally and must be 100% fully dry before you begin the suede dye process.

Applying The Suede Dye

Apply the dye once your shoes are clean and dry. Follow the instructions on the suede dye bottle carefully, as different shoes may require different amounts of application. In general, you'll want to start by applying the dye to the shoes in thin, even coats using a wool dauber, soft-bristled brush, or a sponge. Be sure to work the dye into all the nooks and crannies of the shoe to ensure an even finish. Make sure when you are applying the suede leather dye to the shoes, that you brush the fibres in each direction ensuring the dye reaches each of the bottom of each suede leather fibre, just applying in one direction and leaving it will mean the shoes will not be dyed fully and when you brush up the suede shoes, they may look patchy in some areas. We always brush left to right and up and down. This ensures the suede leather dye has coated fully all of the leather fibres.

Applying More Coats Of Suede Dye

Allow the dye to dry. After you've applied the first coat of suede leather dye, allow the shoes to dry completely before applying a second and third coat. This may take several hours, depending on the amount of dye you're using and the climate in your area. Be patient and avoid touching the shoes while they're drying, as this can cause the dye to smear or smudge. Once dry fully brush the fibres in all directions before applying additional coats of suede dye.

Apply additional coats (optional) If you want a darker or more vibrant colour, you can apply additional coats of dye after the first two to three have dried. Just be sure to allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next.

Brushing the suede in all directions when dying helps to keep the suede as soft as it possibly can after new dye has been applied. The suede and nubuck brush we have found to be the best brush for this process.

Protect Your New Suede Shoes

Finish with a protective spray Once you're happy with the colour of your shoes, you can finish the process by applying a protective spray to help seal in the dye and protect the suede from future damage. Our suede spray protector is specifically designed for use on suede. Application is similar to the suede dye, apply the protection spray after the shoes have fully cured, as the dye can get deep into the suede fibres its best to wait a good 48 to 72 hours before applying the suede protection spray, spray on the protector and brush in to the suede as you did with the dye, this ensures you are protecting the fibres all the way to the base of each fibres to give them the best chance of being waterproofed and protected. Make sure you brush in every direction and spray on multiple layers brushing between each layer to fully protect.

That's it! With a little bit of patience and care, you can dye your suede shoes to your heart's content and give them a brand-new look. Just remember to take your time, follow the instructions carefully, and protect your work area and yourself from any potential mess or harm. If you get stuck, don’t be shy to ask for help, we are here to help you with your DIY leather craft projects, we know this as we have been in your shoes, over the 39 years of being involved in the leather industry we have learnt a great deal, getting the help you require is important to us so always ask for help by emailing 

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