How to Darken Leather Boots




How to darken leather boots

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Leather maintenance is simple only if you know how to take good care of it; leather boots are fragile band need to darken most of the time and to do so, you will have to use the right products.

So if you have these leather boots and wondering how you can darken them, this article will help you a lot. It consists of the type of products to use and the procedure to follow.

If you are planning to buy them, just go for it; there is nothing hard about it. Most people have owned them for so. Long because they are long-lasting. Leather lasts longer, whether shoes or clothes, but they just need proper care.

How to darken leather boots

How to Darken Leather Boots

Leather boots need to be darkened after some time, but with the right products, everything made of leather needs to be taken good care of, so before buying leather boots, you should have an idea of the best products to darken them and how to apply it correctly. Below are some of the best products you need to use when darkening the boots.

Vegetable oil

You can use vegetable oil to darken boots, especially if you don’t have any other product; they are not perfect but can least help. Just know the amount of oil you need to use and the correct method to use it.

Materials needed

  • Vegetable oil
  • A clean piece of cloth


  1. Pour two drops of oil into the piece of cloth
  2. Brush the cloth on your boots and in a circular motion
  3. Repeat the step until the entire boot is completely covered in oil
  4. The oil should not be too much to sleep in pores
  5. Let it sit for 24 hours
  6. Wipe the boot with a clean cloth to get rid of excess oil

Pros of Using Vegetable Oil to Darken Boots

  • It gives the leather a natural shine
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
  • Product is easily available

Cons of Using Vegetable Oil to Darken Boots

  • Bacteria might be developed if the oil is too much
  • Too much oil might stain some parts of your boots
  • Does not 100% darken them as other products do
  • Any oil that remains in boots might cause a bad smell

Boot Polish

This is what most people use; it simply used to darken boots, nothing else. Just make sure you have the right shade of polish and a good brush, and you are good to go.

Synthetic Boot Blends

It’s a mixture of various products such as waxes, animal oils, resins, Vegetable oils, and so many others. They are the best for boot darkening, and apart from that, they provide shine and good at waterproofing.


  1. Apply some of the product on a cloth wrapped on your fingers
  2. Apply it on the outer surface of the boot
  3. Let it sit on the boot for 10 minutes

Pros of Using Boot Polish to Darken Boots

  • Softens leather
  • Provides leather with conditioning and nutrition
  • Has no bad smell
  • No bacteria is created

Cons of Using Boot Polish to Darken Boots

  • It’s pricey

How Do You Darken Leather Naturally?

There are various ways of darkening leather, but mostly, the methods are not naturally. So if you don’t want to use dyes anymore, then you shouldn’t worry because the following products are able to naturally darken leather.

Sunlight exposure

Ultraviolet rats from the sun darken leather; very simple, just take your boots and leave them out in the sun for a few hours; certain research shows that cheaper or low-quality leather darkens faster in sunlight than high-quality ones. So to be sure of it, test various pieces of leather that you buy so as to be sure.

Neatsfoot oil

This is another way of naturally darkening leather; apply little amounts of oil on leather if you want great results. Don’t use too much of it at once because you might not like the end result.

After one or two applications, you will realize that the boots are darkened; using an excess of it causes leather to soak up and lead to poor results, and after that, you might not be able to lighten it up ever again.

To add to that, don’t use thick, heavy layers because it will only attract dust and dirt and might also change the original color of your boots.

Application steps

  • Apply a few drops of the oil on a piece of cloth
  • Rub it on your leather and make sure it covers all areas
  • Apply tiny drops on areas not covered
  • When done, rub the leather with a soft clean cloth to get rid of excess oil

How do you darken leather naturally

Can I Darken Leather Shoes With Polish?

Yes, shoe polish is a great option for faded leather boots and shoes. When the polish is used, darkening occurs, and color changes; this is because polish consists of wax which then penetrates, thus causing leather darkening.

It’s good to use cream polish since it penetrates well into the leather, thus leading to color change. Apart from that, it provides a coating for leather, thus protecting it and thus leading to a high shine.

Using polish to darken leather is cheap, simple and effective, but you need to do it in a correct manner; if you don’t apply it carefully, you won’t get the desired results.

Darkening leather shoots and boots should not give you trouble because there are various ways of doing it. You can do it naturally or use dyes, but it’s always good to go with natural ways because they do more good than harm.

The good news about leather is you don’t need to throw them away when worn out, you just need to darken them, and they will look awesome. Take time to know how leather is darkened and use the right procedures, and you will have no trouble.

Can You Dye Leather with Coffee?

Yes, you can use dark roasted coffee, but the kind of color you’ll get is unpredictable. To get roared coffee, you should brew it.

What you need for a brew

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Water
  • Dark roast coffee
  • A piece of iron

After the application of the coffee in your leather, you will also need beeswax and olive oil. When applying, just stick your leather in the brew and make sure it’s all covered; level it there overnight.

It might take longer depending on your brew; keep checking on it; darkening will also depend on how long it’s kept in the brew. After that, rinse off using clean water, then place it in a warm place for it to dry.

So yes, if you are wondering whether you can use coffee on leather, then you have the answer. Just know how to do it right. It’s a natural way, easy and simple to use.

Darkening leather can be done in so many ways, and this one being one of them, so it’s up to you to choose a method that works best for you.

Can I Darken Leather With Olive Oil?

Yes, leather can be darkened with olive oil, and in fact, it’s among the top best and easiest ways. You just need to follow the correct procedure, which is so simple. Here is how you are supposed to use olive oil.

Some leather doesn’t darken easily, and the only way to make them darken faster is by using olive oil. Before using the oil on leather, first, test it on a small area and let it dry for a day or two. If the results impress you, then darken the rest of the shoe with olive oil.

Pour a tablespoon of it on a cloth and rub it on your leather boots or shoes; in case you need more, just add another tablespoon; be careful not to use excess because it might darken too quickly or cause your leather to be sticky.

Give the olive oil time to try. 24 hours is enough. If the results are not what you expected, you can as well repeat them until you get the desired results.

You should not use any other product to retain the darkening, but you can use a leather conditioner. It helps leather shoes stay in good condition and prevents them from cracking.

Is Vaseline good for leather boots?

Yes, it’s a good solid product that is good for your boots. It softens leather boots and also protects them from cracking. It also makes them waterproof.

Everyone knows about Vaseline; it’s a famous product and known to be the best product for protection and miniaturization. It’s also good for our skin as well as our leather boots.

Pros of Using Vaseline on Leather Boots

Makes leather soft and supple

Vaseline consists of natural oils, which are known to help in fiber lubrication, but when it’s too much used, the essential oils are lost. But still, Vaseline is amazing as it restores softness because of whatever oils in it.

Removes scratches

Petroleum jelly is known to remove scuffs and scratches, amongst many other things. It reaches leather fibers and rejuvenates them, thus enhancing your leather boots appearance.

Has cleaning properties

Vaseline components consist of cleaning properties that help in removing stubborn stains. Some of its other components remove tough stains like oil and grease.

Enhances the color of the leather

If you don’t want your leather shoes to change color, consider using Vaseline. When leather is exposed, it tends to lose its original color but using Vaseline brings back the color.

Cons of Using Vaseline on Leather Boots

Requires constant application

It’s advisable that you condition your leather boots twice a year, but if you are using Vaseline, then you have to do the application constantly and this is because it melts when hot and doesn’t stay for long within fibers.

Breaks down the tensile strength of leather

When too much of it is applied, fibers might swell or expand. Your boots will then start losing their tensile and start cracking.

Causes leather to rot

It doesn’t necessarily affect all kinds of leather, but most people have experienced this. Apart from that, the jelly can also break the stitching of leather boots.

Is Mink Oil Bad for Leather Boots?

Mink oil is not bad leather, but it might oxidize and harden your leather, but it depends on the kind of leather you have; if your leather is low quality, and then expect this to happen.

If you want your leather boots to last long, use mink oil, it’s a leather conditioner that works best, but when used in the long term, it could damage your boots.

When leather is worn continuously, it cracks, and that is when you are supposed to use mink oil, it softens the natural leather oils and also helps in the lubrication of fiber.

Does Mink Oil Permanently Darken Leather?

No, mink oil darkens leather but not permanently, it’s thick in nature, and when it penetrates in pores, it tends to make leather dark. It should not be used for long because it might damage your leather with time.

You should never use mink oil in excess, thinking that you will darken boots permanently; just use enough amount because even if you use an excess of it, it won’t change the fact that nothing will change about the color is permanent.

Mink oil is good because it makes leather boots flexible and resistant to water; it also makes them last longer and has a lot in common with natural oils in leather shoots or boots.

When you have leather shoes or maybe want to purchase them, some of the things you need to know are how to darken leather with olive oil, ways of darkening them, if you can dye leather with coffee, whether Vaseline is good for leather boots, if you can darken them with polish and if mink oil darkens leather permanently.

Knowing this thing helps you know how to take care of your new leather boots; for everything to last longer, it just needs proper care and use of the right products. Maintenance of leather is a bit easier compared to other materials, but that is only if you do the right thing.

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