Suede — absolutely lovely stuff but once you paint it (which you can do), all that softness and subtle, variagated response to light disappears. Now, this can be a good thing if you suede shoes or purse are old and worn.
But what if you just want to change the color? I have found n excellent answer to that question and it’s called Angelus Suede Dye.(You can find it online — I buy mine from a site called www.turtlefeathers.net.) I have used it before and written about it here, and last week I tried a new project, a pair of ultra-discounted Ugg boots.
I got these awhile back for $39.99 from Decker’s Factory Outlet Store in Ventura, CA, which also carrys Teva and Simple brands. (They don’t have a website, but if you Google “Deckers Ventura” you’ll find info and maps.) You can probably find other Uggs bargains online, if you’re interested, since this is the time of year when no one else is buying warm fuzzy boots!
Anyway, these boots were a perfectly decent color, but since my last pair of Uggs (which I wore to a frazzle — it isn’t as warm here on the central California coast as you might think…) was purple, I couldn’t very well switch to a plain “sand” color.
I decided to aim for a dusty rose and looked through the Angelus colors. No dusty rose. But there was a shade called Wine and advice on using their Neutral dye to lighten other colors. So I bought two bottles of Wine and one of Neutral to mix together.
Here are two VITAL tips about dying suede. First, wear latex gloves! Unlike the Lumiere paint I work with all the time, suede dye does not wash off with a little soap and scrubbing! It lasts and lasts and alarms your friends and family when they see the scary splotches of colors on your hands.
Second tip: Be prepared to do three coats. The reason for this is that it’s hard to get the dye to absorb evenly, but three coats seems to be the key. I let each coat dry overnight. For these boots, after the first coat, I didn’t think the color was rose-like enough, so I poured in a bottle of Lilac suede dye that I had leftover from a previous project. Two coats later, I had a pair of crushed-raspberry Uggs to die for, pun intended.
As you can see, I also applied the dye to the rubber sole. It seemed to work pretty well, but I’ll have to let you know how it wears over time. I have these boots on right now and I love them! The color makes my feet happy!
Now, another key factor in dying suede — as in dying fabric — is taking into account the existing color. Dye penetrates the leather (or fabric), unlike paint, which creates a layer over it. So whatever color you start with needs either to be factored into the color you want to get, or be overwhelmed by it.
I factored the slight sand color of my Uggs into my color choice; Destiny chose the overwhelm method and dyed the suede areas on this purse a deep purple, which she got by adding a little black suede dye to a bottle of Lilac.
By the way, she did the top section with Neopaque Black topped with Royal Purple Glitter It! The lower panel is done in several shades of Lumiere. (She has this one for sale in her Etsy shop, which will be back up as soon as she unpacks from vacation!)