How to Fix Leather Shoes That Are Two Different Shades

New dye needed
New dye needed (Image: shoes image by Einar Bog from

Leather shoes can end up being different shades if one is exposed to humidity or bright light and the other is stored in a dark, dry place. To fix discolored leather shoes, look for spray leather dye, in a darker shade than the original shoe leather. Using a shade that is darker than the original color is the only way to ensure the shoes will end up the same color, because discoloration can bleed through when using a lighter dye.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft bristled brush
  • Liquid leather cleaner
  • Soft cloth
  • Container shoe leather dye
  • Sponge paint brush, 1-inch-wide (optional)

Remove dirt and dust from the shoes by scrubbing the leather surface with the soft bristled brush.

Pour a 1 inch drop of leather cleaner onto the soft cloth. Wipe the leather surface, using small circles and firm pressure to clean the leather pores. Add more cleaner when the spot starts to feel dry. Let the clean shoes dry completely.

Apply the leather dye.

For dye with a sponge-top, shake the jar, and turn it upside down until the dye shows on the sponge. Apply the dye using small straight strokes. Work from the toe of the shoe toward the heel.

If your shoe leather dye does not have a sponge tip, shake the dye, and dip the paintbrush into the dye. Apply the dye using short, straight brush strokes, working from the toe back.

If your leather dye is in a spray can, shake the can, and hold it upright, 8 inches away from the shoe. Apply the dye in an even coat by depressing the nozzle and moving your hand with a smooth, controlled, side-to-side motion.

Tips & Warnings

  • Shoe dye can be purchased in shoe stores, shoe repair shops, large department stores or on the Internet.

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