for some reason.i cannot get my shoes very shiny, I’ve looked up loads of tutorials which haven’t helped. I have told to use kiwi shoe polish which is helpful but any extra help/advice would be appreciated!
First of all start off with a large base layer, just keep on adding layers but don’t shine it. The more polish you have on the shoe the better your shine will be. I’d say about 10 layers or how ever much you’re happy with. Then add a few layers of ‘bull’. Make sure you don’t use a yellow duster or anything like that. Use a Selvyt polishing cloth if you have one, I just use a plain cotton t-shirt cut up into squares. Carry on adding the shine then keep on adding layers. Remember to make sure the cloth is damp and not dry. Keep on repeating this until you get a decent shine. It won’t be immaculate, they will be in about a year’s time. This is the best method but it does take long! Then every now and again (I do this every month) blow a hair dryer around the shoe, it melts the polish into any dinks or scratches you may have had and also helps to shine the shoe. But like I said, this is the best method but it will take a long time to get a good deep shine! Hope this helps!
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It’s all about the technique. Once you pick it up you’ll be sorted.
The trick is getting the feel for just the right amount of polish on the cloth. What is too much, what is too little. How damp the cloth needs to be. When to add more… &c.
It needn’t take a year. Once mastered you can easily take a brand new pair of shoes to a great shine in an hour.
Get them painted by a friendly RAF painter. lol.
Seriously though it won’t happen over night. Do a it then put them away and come back again. It can take well over 3 months to get a glass like finish.
Personally I use parade gloss to fill any holes and smooth out and blemishes in the leather then kiwi black to put on some shine.
Don’t use spit. It’s rubbish. Plain old clean water. You can use cotton wool instead of a cloth but ask your mum first before you go taking it all!!
I’ve learnt to always run the shoe under a hot tap (don’t get the inside wet!) to first rinse off any specks of dirt / dust before polishing - otherwise you’re just grinding dust into the polish!
Yes, a good ‘water bull’ first is always worthwhile.
I’ve always used cold water myself.
Once you’ve got a good bull on the shoes, they don’t require fresh polish every time.
Unless they are scratched a simple water bull will often return the shine.
I would suggest investing in some dark tan parade gloss. Use it sparingly every 4 layers, and they should come out great
I’ve only ever used Kiwi Parade Gloss black and have never had a problem getting a good shine out of it. Does the ‘use red/brown every few layers’ ever been proved to actually make a difference? (I’m not talking individual perceptions but identifiable and measurable).
My work shoes were “bulled” for every day of my RAF service, just under 20 yrs (must have been mad!). And I was a pilot too, not an admin wallah! As an instructor at RAFC Cranwell DIOT, the shoes had to be top notch.
I can still take a brand new pair of shoes & get a mirror finish on the toe caps in less than one hr. Yellow dusters of good quality have been fine - make sure that it is a “thicker” material rather than a basic quality “thin” one. Never used cotton wool.
Technique is, as mentioned previously, everything. Initially, an excess of water is no big issue (always apply polish sparingly - Parade Gloss for me), but as you build up the layers, slowly reducing the amount of water & polish is vital. Personally, I would put an ice cube in the water to ensure that the polish hardened quickly. That said, the warmth of your finger tip is part of the process to blend everything in.
I was shown (& used) the full bees wax treatment by someone on QCS (my shoes had 3 layers of leather on the soles for rigidity + horseshoe heel & metal toecap), but this is probably far too much of a technique for basic cadet shoes. However, I would use a mixture of bees wax + black polish as a base layer on cadet shoes, smoothed over using the back of a heated spoon (the technique for that is a separate post in itself!). I would very carefully melt this onto the toe cap using a camping stove in order to get a smooth finish.
Red/brown polish = a load of horse poo as far as I’m concerned, never used it or knew anyone else who did. Likewise, with a reducing amount of water/polish, you won’t need a water rinse of any kind.
If the toes caps got scratched, I would brush polish them to give a good “keyed” surface for the new polish. Renewed in less than 10 mins.
This clip gives a good idea of the technique required to assess the water/polish aspects:
With regards the tan polish I’ve got to say it absolutely makes a difference.
It’s by no means a requirement, but once I tried using dark tan I far preferred the ‘deeper black’ I could get over just using black polish.
Particularly outside in the sunshine I can instantly tell if I’ve not used enough tan on one shoe because it’s notably ‘bluer’ than the other.
Shine is a result of surface finish not colour.
consider anything else that reflects.
windows, cars, lakes/water, even plastics (the difference between matt and gloss finish on plastics)
which shine more? the smoother/flatter surface.
get the surface flat (building up multiple thin layers to fill in any gaps/holes) and the shine will be evident
You can have dull black shoes just as you could have perfectly bulled red shoes.
The point of using dark tan polish is not to make the shine better but to give a deeper colour. It’s just a matter of taste.
Black polish is not truly black.
Layering = agreed.
QCS method = BLACK polish, layer upon layer upon layer (albeit on a beeswax base). All Crandtiz students - BLACK polish only. All those looking at brown polish must have a hankering to join the Army!
Found thiis LINK that gives a good description of the methodology, as attributed to 1280 Squadron, Rickmansworth.
One point that might get forgotten - have one tin of polish for brushes, a separate tin to use for your duster - to avoid grit/dirt in the tin for all the shiny work!
Just got my Oxfords up to a nice shine - not the best picture, but you get the idea!
Well, that’s a good base layer…
Someone please HELP ME
I just tried to polish my shoes but there is a big dull spot on the shoe (female) what do I do?!?!
Dull patch? Has the polish cracked, not enough polish in that spot? Can you share any pics of the dull spot? I’m sure a handful of helpful instructions will appear below like magic
I use it…makes a difference in my opinion also marine blue for outdoor stuff
It’s like the polish has completely disappeared and I have tried bull polishing it but nothing is working (I need them by tomorrow night and I have school so no time to get brown polish as suggested)
Omg thank the gods for baby oil, I applied a little to a cotton pad and rubbed it on the shoe it worked wonders. (still need to apply a little polish but wow I’m impressed)