How To Polish Cowboy Boots with Stitching

Do you want to know how to polish cowboy boots with stitching? You have come to the right place! Some of the best boots today have awesome stitching. And it might be of a color that is different from that of the boots.

If that is the case, you will wonder how you can polish the cowboy boots with stitching that is of a different color to the boots themselves.

It seems there is more to polishing cowboy boots than meets the eye. For instance, some people just love to leave their boots looking distressed so they never polish them with mink oil even once.

However, this is not right for the maintenance of the boots. Leather needs some nourishment every now and then to preserve its natural moisture. In this case, polishing it and making it waterproof helps a lot.

Keep reading for helpful tips!

What is the stitching on a cowboy boot called?

The fancy stitching on the cowboy boots is called toe bugs. It is mainly done for fun and culture. Some western boot makers just use the same signature design so that people can recognize their boots without even looking at the label.

Back to the topic of how to polish your cowboy boots with stitching, when you polish your boots, there are two main things to be mindful of:

  • How to clean the stitching or the medallions adorning the shoes
  • How to remove polish from the stitching to preserve its authentic looks

Cleaning and polishing boots with stitching is not any different from cleaning other types of boots. same preparation process to follow and so on.

How to polish cowboy boots with stitching

First, gather the things that you will need. Polishing boots is very serious business that requires you to be duly prepared with all the items. You will need the following things:

  • Boot polish – we recommend that you get Kiwi polish. Make sure it is the right shade for your boots.
  • An old but clean rag, or t-shirt or towel
  • A wax pencil or a bleach pen if your boots have white stitching
  • A chamois or buffing cloth
  • A horsehair brush
  • Painters tape

Step 1: Cleaning the boots of superficial dirt

The first thing is to remove the boot laces so that you do not polish them in the process. It is best to remove them. If you have white insoles, you might want to remove them first so that they do not get splashes of polish.

If the boots are not clean, it is best to start by cleaning them with soap and water, well, not exactly dip them in the water and soap solution.

Rather, what you need is a mild dish soap and water, even warm water. You can then dip a rag in the solution, squeeze the extra water out and then use the rag to clean out the superficial dirt.

Make sure you clean all the dust and dirt out. If there is old mud stuck in the treads, this is the time to use a blunt knife or stick to remove it.

Also, you need to clean the welt keenly because that is where most dirt and grease gets stuck. Just use a damp cloth to wipe everything clean.

Give the boots time to dry because they will definitely have some moisture from the damp cloth. You need to dry the boots completely. You can use a boot dryer or you can just air-dry them. Polish does not bond with the leather very well if there is any form of dampness.

Step 2: Cover the stitches with painters tape

Of course, the stitches might need special attention. You can use the horsehair brush to clean them. Once the stitches are clean, you should cover them with painters tape or masking tape as it is popularly called.

The importance of using the masking tape on the stitches is to prevent polish from splashing onto them. This is going to save you from too much trouble of cleaning the stitches later on after you are done polishing the western boots.

Step 3: Applying polish on your cowboy boots

Now, you are ready to start applying boot polish on the boots. To do that, you need to use two fingers, the index and the middle finger. Wrap them with a piece of clean cloth.

If you need to apply the wax over a wide area, take big amounts with your fingers and apply it on the shoes at random points. If you just want to apply the polish at specific places, you can fetch a little and apply it where you need it.

Carefully rub the polish in using small circular motions. Do it slowly so that you “force” or compel the leather to soak in the polish by continuous application.

The more you rub in, the more the leather is going to absorb. But the amount that you use will depend on how regularly you maintain your boots. If it is something that you do a few times a month, you will not need to rub in too much polish.

Step 4: Polishing the boots with a brush

After you have applied the polish in circular motions using your fingers, it is not time to give the boots their first shine. To do that, take your horsehair brush. Remember, the masking tape is still on the stitching.

Regarding the amount of time that you must use to polish the boots, take as long as it takes. I mean, brush them thoroughly and even when you think you are done, brush them again!

Just ensure that the bristles of your brush are really horsehair! You had best use a different horsehair brush than the one you used for cleaning.

The more times you can brush the boots, the glossier the shine will be. One coat of polish will not be enough. You need to apply two or three coats.

This is not only going to make the boots waterproof, but it will make them shinier and the sheen will last longer.  Three or four coats of polish will be enough.

Step 5: Rub out the excess polish

Take a piece of clean cloth and use it to rub out the excess polish from the shoes. Check the welt area, it is notorious for holding excess polish.

Step 6: Buff the boots

Buff the boots using your buffing cloth in back and forth motions. This is going to give the boots a deeper and longer-lasting shine. To give the boots a glossy finish, buff them repeatedly.

Step 7: How to remove shoe polish from stitching

This is the last step for how to polish cowboy boots with stitching. Remove the masking tape from the stitches and check them closely.

Are they still white? Did a few splashes get on the stitches? If they did, use this opportunity to spot any place that needs a few final touches here and there.

Image of How to remove shoe polish from stitching

Take a white colored pencil and use it on the stitching. If you have a bleach pen, use the nozzle side to remove any dirt/polish that is on the stitch. The good thing is that the nozzle is really narrow, so it is perfect for the thin thread line.

If you have colored stitches, you should use a wax pencil. You will use this for coloring the threads. In that case, when buying, make sure you order a wax pencil that is the same color as your boot stitches.

How To Polish Cowboy Boots With Stitching: Final Thoughts

Those are the seven steps you need to follow for how to polish cowboy boots with stitching. You have also seen how to finish off the stitches so that you retain their original color.

To make the job easier, it is important to create a regular boot cleaning and polishing schedule. Also, use the recommended brush types and cleaning tools.

Specifically, you should use a horsehair brush.You can also use Kiwi shoe polish or Saphir and follow their recommended care tips.

Remember, whether you like your boots looking rustic and unfinished, if you do not polish them, they will not be waterproof.