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bottom stain

Guest mizen12

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Guest mizen12

I don't know if it's been covered before, but what do you guys use for staining leather soles? I personally use F.Ball 406 bottom stain which does the job fine but I am always ready to hear other ideas, :smt031

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I dont like Bottom Stain, it shows through on yer Pants :lol:


Seriously, I hate the stuff, I think it makes the job look cheap and false.

Leather is not that colour so why use that stain?


Imagine using a stain on J.Rendenbach soles, sacray blurrrrr as they say in Poland.


Just a natural (solvent based, not water)polish will beat any stained job.

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My dad always used household ammonia, which gave a nice rich colour. Not sure if you can still buy it today!


I used this in the 50/60s for competition work and yes you can still buy it.

also used to use milk mixed with some form of bottom stain to make it lighter but cant remember how we did it or how we used the ammonia.

Too blooming long ago.

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whaddya recommend hugh? i've used bottom stain since year dot but i've never liked it and other methods i've tried have failed.


Experimentation is the solution, start with all different natural shoe or furniture polishes, rub it in let it stand for 30 mins before buffing, Glo Fake used to be the one commonly used.(trade product from your wholesaler).


Get a load of scrap bits of Leather and write on them what you used (before using)then compare results, who knows you may end up with a finish that no-one else can obtain.


If I was trying to find a new product to do this job I would start with the waxes used for Pine or Light Oak furniture, some good ones about now.

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brown leather dye, and buff up with natural yankee wax on a clean mop/brush.

Good finish on some leathers, but not all 8)


Dont like theidea of the brown dye coming off on carpets, buty, how does Yankee wax natural on its own finish like. Never used it on soles as I dont like the stuff, too gritty and dull for my taste although it does cover well and could be used without ink in some situations (I aint condoning this just mentioning it).

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A lot of people use cobblers cream cos its there and easy but personlly I hate it. It stays sticky too long it also highlights any blemishes in the leather, and if you do manage to get a good shine it will disappear within a couple of days even if kept in a bag

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It's a clear soft wax that comes in a tin.

Just put it on with a lint free cloth and rub it in and it leaves a high gloss finish on soles. It can be used to enhance bottom finish although I prefer to leave the original colour in place.

For a mirror finish, use carna wax on the machine brushes afterwards and it looks like it's been gloss sprayed!


It's also brilliant for removing yankee wax from uppers. :)

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Here’s my sole finishing kit! It consists of



Caswell Coat-A-Sole Natural stain

Ball/Caswell Glo-Fake white polish

An Empty sponge shoe care applicator (for applying stain)

A washing up sponge for applying polish

A pen & template for waist pattern

And a good old duster for a brilliant shine!


Here’s my method!


1. Use the waist template to draw an accurate line on both shoes and ink and polish soles edges in the usual way.




2. Apply coat a sole using the sponge shoe care applicator




3. Whilst this is still wet apply Glo-fake using sponge. You can use the green “scouringâ€

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