Can You Dye Suede Shoes? Can You Restore Faded Suede?

Suede is a type of leather and shoes made of the same look incredible when they are new. However, when they are bashed by time and the elements, they tend to look really beat. It is at such a time that you want to give them another leash of life.

So can you dye suede shoes? The answer is yes and you will need minimal items for the job at hand. Get a good, high quality suede dye, a brush with stiff bristles and time because you will need to give the boots time after dyeing them for the color to settle in and set.

As you can see here, it is really not a question of whether you can do it. Rather, it is a question of the best type of dye to use. Continue reading to see more information about how to change the look of your boots and giving them a new leash of life.

Can you use fabric dye on suede?

Absolutely. You can use fabric dye and it will have the best effect on the boots. However, you need to give it the right time to set. When looking for information about changing the look of your boots, you will find that many sources say you can use fabric dye.

In a simple, 3-step process, you can change the look of your boots. First, you will need to gather the following things:

  • Dye
  • Spray
  • A stiff brush
  • Rubber gloves
  • Old newspaper

Step 1: Clean the boots of superficial dirt

The first thing that you need to do is to clean the boots. Whenever you are repairing, brushing or dyeing footwear, the first thing that you should always do is clean them up. In this case, you will need to use a brush to remove any grit that may be stuck inside the suede. Unless you have been using the boots in the mud, you do not need to soak them with water.

Step 2: Stuff them to straighten them

You can stuff the boots with old newspapers. Just crumple them and stuff them inside the boots so that they retain their original shape. You can use as much newspaper as you like.

Step 3: Applying the dye

You may use the fabric or leather dye. When you buy yours, it will come with an applicator. Read the instructions for use either on a paper or on the dye container itself.

Apply the dye onto the boots slowly and thoroughly, making sure the shoes are completely covered. Check them to see whether you have missed any spots and touch them up again.

Image of Can you use fabric dye on suede?

Before you start applying the dye, make sure that the boots are completely dry. Moisture will dilute the dye and you do not want that to happen.

It is recommended that you leave the boots to dry up for at least 24 hours. That way, the dye soaks in slowly and naturally and it sets properly.

Step 4: Spray with Suede protector

After 24 hours, spray the boots with your suede protector. This product is going to lock in the dye so that it never runs. Let the protector dry up for about an hour. Take a suede brush and scuff the boots before you wear them. You are done! The boots will look all fresh and new.

How can I naturally darken suede?

Indeed you can. In fact, this is one of the main reasons why people dye their suede boots afresh. Maybe yours are a brighter color such as gray or white and you have noticed that dirt is showing on them too much. Therefore, you want to turn them a lovely dark blue, brown or even black color. It is perfectly possible to do that.

The process is similar to the one that we have described above. In fact, it is the same thing, only that you will need a darker dye, or one that is the hue that you want.

Start by brushing the boots so that you can lift the fibers and then apply the dye using the provided dye brush. Manufacturers usually sell these brushes/applicators with their products. You can then let the boots stay for 24 hours so that the dye dries up completely.

You may need to apply a few coats for the dye to soak through completely. After it is dry, apply a suede protector, just a thin coat and you are done. Once it is dry, scuff it up and wear your boots.

Can I use leather dye on suede shoes?

You should not. It is not necessary because there are many dyes made specifically for suede material.

It is not recommended to use leather dye for suede shoes. Fabric dyes work best. However, when buying the color, describe to the sellers what you are looking for. Perhaps they will have a special kind of leather dye that you can use on suede boots. After all, suede is itself a form of natural leather just as full grain and nubuck leather is.

While you should not use leather ink on suede, you can certainly use suede dye on leather. But you don’t even have to do that because there are dyes for leather, suede, textile boots and others. In that case, there is no need for guesswork. Just order suede dye if you want to change the color of your suede boots.

Some of the best suede dyes include Angela Suede, Fiebing’s Black Suede and Tarrago Nubuck and Suede dyes, which are easy to apply, and they have no effect on the breathability of your boots.

How much does it cost to dye suede shoes?

It will cost you about $25 to have your boots dyed professionally. However, you can do it yourself and save the money. Besides, when you buy the required dye, you can use it a couple of times before it runs out.

Finally, can you restore faded suede? You just need to give it a fresh touch of dye and it will attain some freshness. If it was too faded, you can apply two or more coats of dye until the leather is thoroughly coated.