Tips on shoe polilishing

i currently use 5 layers of shoe polish, then 1 layer of parade gloss (a break in between the changes of polish). I just wanted to know some suggestions, The more the better

Try an occasional layer of dark tan

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what does it do?

Costs you another pound!

Some say it gives a “deeper” shine but I really don’t see the point.

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Some used to say use a layer of blue. Did it work? Who knows. It might have been an urban legend.

I’ve used dark tan with mine for years.
I am happy to state without doubt that in daylight it gives a darker “blacker” appearance.

Is it necessary? No. Not according to the dress regulations.
But if you’re looking for a blacker and less washed out shine then the occasional layer of dark tan or oxblood will do that.

If I haven’t used the dark tan for a while then I start to notice the difference, and it irritates me. To my eye at least, it doesn’t look as good as when I’ve used it.


The explanation for the use of tan is that blqck polish is actually slightly blue; the tan reflects some red light too giving an extra shine.

Suggestion? – thin layers

That is the short version. Simply as that – thin layers and lots of them.

The reason? (long version)
You want to get the smoothest finish and this will occur with multiple thin layers filling in the imperfections.
Compare a mirror and a bathroom window. Both glass but one reflects more than the other – one is smooth the other is not.

Consider two beaches – one is pure sand, the other pebbles.
Which has the smoother surface?
The sand is a smaller particle and so sits around other sand grains far closer and neater than large pebbles.

Fill a bucket with pebbles then fill to with sand. The sand fills up the gaps, and as the level goes over the top layer of pebbles you are left with a smooth surface

Apply the same principle to polish.
Any lumps and bumps need to be filled in to create a smooth finish. This will only come from using smaller particle size to fill the holes, not larger. So use thin layers. It may take time, it could take 10 layers or more before you see a difference but the more attention that is put into a smooth finish the better the reflection = the greater the shine

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I always find that starting off with thick layers and getting progressively thinner works for me - one thing that is certain about bulling is that it ends up being a very personal thing; everyone has a different way of doing it.

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completely agree

i never make out one method is better than another, be it Kewi or other polish, black, parade gloss, dark tan every nth layer, sylvette cloth, cotton wool, duster, Sister’s tights, Dad’s old pants, the application types won’t matter providing you get a smooth finish, some get “better” results others get quicker, either way smooth = reflective

I, along with everyone else on my squadron, use black kiwi shoe polish, cotton wool and water. After a few layers, you should start to build up a nice shine. Whenever my shoes are scratched, I apply the polish in a little circular motion as I usually would and melt the polish in with a hairdryer. The polish should go shiny with the heat of the hairdryer applied and go back matte when the heat is taken away. Try to make sure you melt the polish evenly if you are going to do this as you want an even shine, not a patchy one. Otherwise, I just apply the polish in a small circular motion, work it into the shoe and then buff it off with a wet cotton pad in a small circular motion similar to when applying the polish. Make sure there is no excess water on the pad/ cotton wool as this will waterstain your shoes. Hope this helps!

Honestly its just a lot of thin layers. I managed to get shoes from dull to a practical mirror shine within one netflix session😂. Slap on a movie and apply polish in thin layers and occasional drops of water as you notice friction.

I use the dark tan method on one of my shoes and not the other, I’ll post here if I notice any differences.

I’ll bet you do when you go out in the sunlight :wink:

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