How to Dye White Leather Shoes Black

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Transform your white leather shoes to black in no time with leather dye.

If your white leather shoes are beginning to look dirty or dingy, or perhaps you just want a new look for them, consider dyeing them black. Dyeing white leather shoes black is an inexpensive way to spruce up the shoes. Special dyes are available for dyeing leather. Leather dye penetrates deep into the fibers of the leather, making the dye long-lasting and durable. It can be applied quickly and effectively if the proper technique is used. Your white leather shoes will be transformed to black in no time.

Things You'll Need

  • Leather stripper

  • Sponge

  • Green leather dye

  • Dauber brush or soft cloth

  • Black leather dye

  • Cotton cloth

Step 1

Strip the leather shoe of its finish. This is important in ensuring that the dye adheres. Dampen a sponge with leather stripper and rub it briskly over the shoes. This will not only remove the finish, but also dirt and other substance on the shoes. Dip an old toothbrush into the stripper to remove the finish from hard-to-reach areas. Wait about 10 minutes after remove the finish for the stripper to evaporate from the shoes.

Step 2

Dye the leather green before dyeing it black. This will neutralize the colors, resulting in a better finished product.

Step 3

Shake the bottle of green dye to thoroughly mix it up. The leather dye will typically come with a dauber brush. If a brush is not included, use a soft cloth.

Step 4

Dip the brush or cloth into the green dye, absorbing a moderate amount. Spread the green dye onto the white shoes.

Step 5

Brush on the dye in long, even strokes. Overlap your strokes to ensure that no areas are missed. Avoid letting the dye puddle or drip in any areas. Smooth out drips promptly with the brush or cloth to avoid having them dry on the shoes.

Step 6

Allow the coat of green dye to dry completely according to the manufacturer's instructions. This generally takes about 30 minutes.

Step 7

Apply the first coat of black dye to the shoes. Use the same method that was used for applying the green dye.

Step 8

Allow the first coat of black dye to dry completely. Apply subsequent coats, as necessary, until the desired shade of black has been achieved. Allow the dye to dry in between coats.

Step 9

Buff the shoes with a cotton cloth after the final coat of dye has dried for at least one hour. Use a shoe polish if you desire a glossy finish on the shoes.


Wear rubber gloves when dyeing your shoes to prevent the dye from staining your hands. Use a small eye makeup brush to apply the dye to hard-to-reach areas of the shoes. Lay down newspapers or old towels for your work area to keep the dye contained. Stuff newspaper inside of the shoes prior to dyeing them. This will create a smooth surface for applying the dye.