Dyeing Suede with Excellent Results

October 23, 2012Allison Murray


First of all, so sorry for the delayed Shoesday. I’ve had some fellas on my roof this morning and if I feel weird taking pictures of my feet in front of the neighbors it is ten times worse in front of total strangers looking down on me. Literally. So, I had to wait until they finished their business and departed before I could snap my feet and get them sent out into cyberspace.I do believe that I have mentioned a time or two that I really dig oxfords. I liked them before they were in and I’m going to be crazy about them long after. This beat up suede pair found its way into my cart at the thrift store for less than 5 bucks. Normally I don’t buy things unless I get a half off or $1 discount because I’m weird like that, but for these, I refused to wait for the right color tag to make it up to the sale board.They looked pretty good in store but when I got them  home I noticed that they were really well worn and that they were missing an insole and laces. It is amazing how I didn’t notice these things when I first fell in love with them but I guess that is the way when you fall in with anything really. The flaws start to come out only after you’ve had possession for a bit. So these bad boys didn’t go into my closet but in my Shoesday stash instead.

I researched how to dye suede and while I have tons and tons of liquid RIT dye I found that it wasn’t the best idea unless I was willing to experiment. Instead I  hopped on Ebay and found what they had for sale and did some internet research to select the dye that I inevitably wound up purchasing and using. What I got was Fiebing’s Suede and Roughout Dye and with free shipping it cost me under $7. I used half of the bottle for this one project so I could conceivably use it two dye two pairs of shoes or a matching purse!

Learn how to dye suede - Dream a Little BiggerThe obligatory BEFORE pic. Ew.

For this project you will need:

Learn how to dye suede - Dream a Little BiggerTake your stuffing and fill in your shoes. I stuffed mine a bit too much and the opening is stretched out, so take care.

Learn how to dye suede - Dream a Little Bigger

Take your brush, I used a toothbrush, and knock away any loose dirt, etc.

Learn how to dye suede - Dream a Little Bigger

I went ahead and dyed the sole of my shoe also, mostly because I wasn’t sure if I would like the original red against my orangey British tan suede. If you don’t want to dye your sole, it would be wise to tape off as this stuff is pretty runny and unruly.

I used the toothbrush to rub the dye into deep seams as the first step of dyeing. You’ll also notice that I didn’t wear gloves. BIG mistake. HUGE. Learn from my mistake and wear gloves. This stuff is serious!

Learn how to dye suede - Dream a Little Bigger

For the rest of the suede I used the puff ball on a stick that came in the dye packaging. It worked really well for the big expanses. It isn’t crazy absorbent so be careful as it will drip dye all over the place.

Learn how to dye suede - Dream a Little Bigger

One down, one to go. Isn’t the difference staggering? It didn’t do as well covering the stained areas, but perhaps I should have used a darker stain if I was overly interested in that. And to be honest they look awesome in daylight so whatevs.


Overall, I am really, really happy with the results. For less than $15 I have a pair of awesome shoes that are going to start hitting my regular rotation. And that British tan is a bright neutral that I absolutely adore. Happy Shoesday shoe lovers!

Comments (99)

  • Anonymous

    February 2, 2013 at 4:01 AM

    Hi Allison, those are delightful!!! If I may ask, what make/brand shoes are those? I first read this about three weeks ago when I was researching how to dye suede, and your fab results gave me courage to do it myself. Worked out great!!! (And you sure weren't lying when you said gloves are a great idea.) So thank you, and again — those oxfords look great! I'd be proud to wear them anytime, anywhere. Ya done good. :)

  • Allison Murray

    February 2, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    Hey Anon, these shoes are actually men's from American Eagle. I'm so glad that you dyed up some suede, too!

  • Anonymous

    February 2, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    Hi Allison! Thanks for your reply. I kind of got into the whole suede dyeing thing sideways: I have a pair of Birkenstocks that I need for my feet support-wise, but man they are UGLY! So as I sat staring at them one day, I wondered… could I dye them? Add some cheap bling? Your blog among others really spurred me on, and now — dark red dye with some copper metal charms to cover and match the buckles — even **I** like 'em! And my feets are very happy too. I'm here a second time because I was looking for all my links to forward to a friend to demonstrate how easy and cheap it is to rehab your own footwear, and I couldn't visit a second time without leaving a note. :)

    Thanks again!!!

    P.S. I loved your chichi pillow too… :D

  • Anonymous

    February 2, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    Oh, and P.S. How do your oxfords feel on your feet? Is the arch support in the right place for you as a woman? Because I gotta tell you, they look like they'd be as comfy as old slippers. Did they make it into your daily wear?


  • Allison Murray

    February 2, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    Hello, again, Anon. Glad to see you back so soon!! I don't know that I would be a good judge on arch support as I have crazy flat feet but these shoes are so amazingly comfy. Especially after I put in new sole inserts!! I am glad you love your Birks now. :)

  • booby q

    April 5, 2013 at 3:49 AM

    very nice job.

  • Samantha

    June 27, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    Hi I loved your post! I have one question, I'm going dye a pair of booties black that are bright fire engine red now. I'm worried about if I sweat in them (because I live in Arizona) that the dye will come off and stain my feet or stockings. Will they if I put scotch guard on them?

  • Allison Murray

    June 30, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    Samantha – My feet get really sweaty but I've not had the least bit of a problem wearing my oxfords even barefooted. I'd give them a few days for the stain to fully set, but you should have no problems at all!

  • Richie B Dointhings

    August 19, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    Allison, first I’d like to say that I love your write-up on the use of dye on suede leather. Very informative! Your choice of British Tan is perfect. In fact I think that will be the color that I am going to dye my Wesco burlap colored (natural, not dyed) roughout engineer’s boots. Although the boots were expensive, but not so expensive even at the “seconds” price I paid when compared to a custom fitted perfect boot, I figured I would buy them and maybe dye them a color of my liking. So far either Fiebing’s Burgundy, Rust or British Tan. I’m partial to the British Tan. Your shoes look perfect. As for my boots, I’ll probably have to apply the dye with a spray bottle or airbrush because of the large surface area that way there will not be any bark areas… I’ll figure it out.
    One of your other commenters mentioned a problem with sweating feet. I have been wearing some form of boot or another since I was seventeen years old (I’m a lot older now), I’m what you might call a bootman. My feet sweat too. I have found that the moisture absorbing charcoal insoles (Dr. Scholl’s Oder-X or CVS, other’s too) work best for me. They are inexpensive and very thin. The Scholl’s brand is about 1/8″ thick and the CVS Parmacy brand is a smidge thinner. They can be cut to fit. Just my two cents. – Rich

    1. Allison

      August 19, 2013 at 12:35 PM

      Thanks so much for your compliments as well as the excellent tips! I’d never heard of the charcoal inserts and I already know a few people I’ll be recommending them to. I appreciate that you took the time to compose such a great comment for my blog. Hoping you have fantastic luck with your newly dyed boots!

      1. Richie B Dointhings

        August 21, 2013 at 12:27 PM

        Thanks, Allison. I am looking forward to the dyeing project. As far as the charcoal insole inserts, the charcoal is for odor elimination but, the inserts are moisture absorbant also. In my experience, I still get salt stains on my work boots. Especially the lace-up boots. Mostly in the warmer weather when I sweat a lot (I’m a mechanic by trade). On dark leather, the stains are not really “stains” as you would see on cloth (think under arms) but, look like jagged white lines where the salt percipitates on the leather, usually adjacent to the laces. And this is after it has dried. I surmise that this is because laced boots – shoes included, can be tightened in such a way that there is little “breathing room”. The inserts do not help if you have staining high on the boot/shoe. But then then I also have the problem of sweat running down my legs only to be absorbed by my socks.
        I know this all sounds pretty yucky, but it is a fact of life.
        I find the best solution to the salt stains is to wear good quality thick socks ( I use cotton/man made fibre mix socks) and if possible have a loose “summer setting” for the tightness of the laces. To clean the salt, I just use a simple damp cloth.
        Lastly, your friends and readers may also be interested in cedar wood insole inserts. While expensive, they are much thinner than the other inserts I mentioned, at only .030″ – that’s about 1/32″… real thin. They are flexible, trimmable to size, moisture absorbant and best of all have that wonderful cedar smell.
        I don’t mean to steer the discussion of the beautiful dyeing job you did on your shoes. It has been an inspiration for me to dye my boots as I like. – Thanks, Rich

        1. Allison

          August 21, 2013 at 4:40 PM

          We all sweat, Rich – fact of life :) But I have some nice, expensive shoes I hardly wear because I have to wear them sockless and I worry they’ll get funky – so they are special occasion only shoes! I’m so looking into those cedar ones! Thanks again!

  • Danielle

    October 2, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    Thanks for the tutorial, I’m going to dye a light lavender suede coach bag that I received a few years ago and ruined in the rain a dark purple using the shoe dye. Its been sitting in my closet for a few years now, its so spacious and sturdy that I haven’t had the heart to get rid of it but it really looks awful. I just ordered the dye — I’ve been contemplating it for a while now because I figure, hey, dying it probably won’t make it look *worse*. I’m a little concerned about the dye rubbing off onto my clothes because its a bag, will update when I actually get it to work.

    And, will now explore the rest of your blog. I love projects!!

    1. Allison

      October 3, 2013 at 10:29 AM

      Oh, I hate when something good is ruined. I do the same thing, hold on to it hoping I can someday fix it. I’m glad that your purse has a shot at a new life! I don’t think the dye should rub off, but let me know if it does!

  • Tya

    October 7, 2013 at 7:25 AM

    I think you just saved my beautiful suede combat boots. I spilled foundation on them at work (almost died). Was thinking to have them professionally re-dyed, but now I will do myself. WISH ME luck!!!

    1. Allison

      October 7, 2013 at 8:10 AM

      Definitely the best of luck! I’m so glad that you have the opportunity to save some beautiful boots!

  • sarah

    October 29, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    so great! I was researching how to dye my boots and came across your website. Great tips – I wouldn’t use gloves either (until I read your advice).

    …and I love on top of everything else, that you say “whatevs” too

    1. Allison

      October 30, 2013 at 8:36 AM

      Yeah, the gloves are pretty darn necessary! I’m one of those that reads “must wear protective eyewear” and says “we’ll just see how it goes without this time” :) Glad the tutorial helped you out!

  • jamie

    November 11, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    Hi great dye job!! I researched bc I have a colored pair of “bone” heels I’d like to dye a chocolate brown. Do u think ur method will work? I’m going light to dark? Thanks Jamie

    1. Allison

      November 11, 2013 at 1:12 PM

      Hey, Jamie – I think that on suede you’ll get great results!

  • Jeff

    November 21, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    Is this dye good for man made leather or only for natural leather?
    Your shoes look almost brand new and I have to agree the new color looks great. Thanks for the informative blog.

    1. Allison

      November 22, 2013 at 11:40 AM

      Hey, Jeff – this particular dye is just for suede, but they do have leather dye that works for both natural and man-made leather. Here are two different posts with some options – leather spray paint and leather dye liquid and acrylic.

  • renee

    November 23, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    Could I use these tips to dye a light tan color suede skirt a dark brown? Any differences to pay attention to? Same products? Thanks for any advisement. Your shoes look great!

    1. Allison

      November 24, 2013 at 8:38 AM

      To be honest, Renee it should work very well but you’ll have to accept that it might not. I’ve dyed lots and lots of suede since and going a few shades darker has only caused me a problem once, but that one time was enough to ruin a cute pair of shoes (they looked streaky and I couldn’t even the color out). So I’d say that if you’re okay with it potentially not going right, even if that risk is slight, then go for it. Hopefully not too much of a downer response but want to be truthful :)

  • Raine

    December 2, 2013 at 9:45 PM

    Hello I was wondering if I got a pair of tan timberland boots would it work if I was too dye them red?

    1. Allison

      December 3, 2013 at 7:51 AM

      In theory it should work brilliantly but sometimes things don’t go exactly right when dyeing things. If they are brand new boots, you might want to practice on some cheapie shoes you find at a thrift store to be sure you’re confident that you can apply the dye well enough to not ruin them. There’s so much dye in those little bottles you’d have more than enough to practice!

  • Yvette

    December 6, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    I came across your site searching for tips because I have a Michael Kors suede purse that I want to dye. But I did not think about the lining. Now I’m beginning to reconsider. Right now its any orange-like color. I wanted to go Black. But maybe I should do British Tan. Any thoughts Allison?

    1. Allison

      December 9, 2013 at 12:19 PM

      The British tan is pretty orange-y itself. If you do go black (and I do think that is a pretty good idea) just know that your liner will not be full on black, more gray. Good luck!

  • Leevi59

    December 19, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    Hi! I am dying my tan boots into black, following your orders and advice. Ordered the Fiebing’s Suede and Roughout Dye 5 minutes ago. Copied your pictures into Pinterest. I am so thankful for seeing your pictures! Happy Holidays!

  • clholandez

    January 9, 2014 at 2:55 AM

    Hey do you think the leather dye from Fiebings will work on suede? Theres a color thats available in the leather dye (oxblood) but not available for the suede dye version. Thanks in advanced!

    1. Allison

      January 9, 2014 at 12:48 PM

      It should work just fine. Check out this post at Transient Expression. She used leather dye on both the suede and leather on a pair of boots and they look great! http://transientexpression.com/leather-and-suede-dyeing-tips/

  • Alex Cardo

    February 4, 2014 at 4:10 AM

    When I saw the first picture, I would never have thought that this old shoes! Great idea. I am surprised by your imagination. You even managed to find a use for the old toothbrush :-)

  • Gabriella K.

    February 17, 2014 at 10:15 AM

    Would this dye work on faux suede? I’ve been coveting a pair of red suede d’orsay flats, but they are WAY too expensive. I was thinking about buying a cheaper pair in nude “suede” and dying them red.

    1. Allison

      February 17, 2014 at 12:31 PM

      I’ve not tried faux suede but I don’t see why not. Their leather dye works really well on faux leather. I’m going to say go for it :)

      1. Gabriella K.

        February 19, 2014 at 12:41 PM

        Thanks, I think I’ll try it!

  • Ryan

    February 22, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    Regarding the comment on bark marks, the overlap of the dye, any tips to prevent this so the color is even? Thanks!

    1. Allison

      February 22, 2014 at 6:26 PM

      Hey, Ryan! Unfortunately I didn’t do enough experimenting to really get the knack of it. I’m so sorry to not be more help!

      1. jay

        March 31, 2014 at 10:47 AM

        Hi Allison I wonder if Its possible to re dye black suede shoes back to black.

        1. Allison

          March 31, 2014 at 12:58 PM

          Hello, there, Jay. I think that redyeing to the same color should be an absolute breeze!

  • Tiffany

    April 15, 2014 at 11:54 PM

    Hi! This is really great info. If I am dying a pair of light grey heels black, do you think i will have streaks? And will I get a true, rich black? I know black clothing dye doesn’t always make clothes as black as you’d expect

    Also, not sure if it matters, but I am not 100% sure if the shoes are real suede or imitation… does that matter?

    1. Allison

      April 16, 2014 at 8:40 AM

      I think that you will get a true, rich black. As for the streaks I think that you might be better off by covering a larger area at a go, maybe using a rag? It will use up more dye that way but I would think you would have much better results. I’d start at the toe, trying to get it fully in one pass. Then I’d go along the areas where if it does streak (from overlap of dye) it won’t be as noticeable. But the toe, is definitely the most important, I’d think so that they look good. Lastly the dye should work well on faux suede, too. Good luck!


    April 24, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    Hello! I was told by a person at a shoe repair that with suede, the dye colour rubs off onto other clothing/furniture. Did you find that happened in your case?

    1. Allison

      April 24, 2014 at 1:59 PM

      I haven’t had that problem at all, but my shoes don’t really rub against anything except maybe my jeans hems. But I still haven’t noticed anything on my jeans.

      But if the shoe repair people told you would and it’s something that you’re worried about because your dyed suede is going to be touching something else often, I’d definitely give that a lot of thought!

  • Ellie

    May 5, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    Thanks for your efficient post.I’ve an expensive Chanel bag the same colour with your boots before dying.I’m not sure if Ishould go to buy tan or medium brown for it.do you have any idea?
    Also wanted to know The bag after dying is safe to wear as I’m worry maybe it ruins my cloths by its colour?

    1. Allison

      May 5, 2014 at 8:36 PM

      Hi, Ellie. I didn’t have any problems with color rubbing off but I have heard that some others have. From what I’ve heard, some shoe repair shops will professionally dye things. It might be worth it… especially for a Chanel bag!

  • Jesse

    May 6, 2014 at 2:42 PM

    Hey, nice job. Those came out awesome. You inspired me to dye this brand new pair of suede shoes I bought – they don’t have the color I want, so I figured why the hell not make it myself?

    My only problem is I’m not sure what the colors are going to look like on the shoe. I want a nice brown – not too light or anything, but not too dark either. On one of the color charts I saw, the Fiebing’s British Tan looks way different than it actually looks on your shoe, which concerns me. I don’t want to go through all of this trouble and come out with a color I didn’t expect, and at the same time I don’t want to test out 5 different browns. Sometimes being picky with clothing bites you in the ass.

    Do you have any advice?

    1. Allison

      May 9, 2014 at 6:52 PM

      To find the color that I liked I googled for the color and “results” but just in Google images. I was able to see some great results that helped me pick what I wanted. You might also be able to go into a shoe repair shop if you can find one locally and see if they have any examples!

  • Emma

    May 17, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    Hey Allison!

    Just wanted to stop by and say your blog really helped me out. My favorite suede boots got ruined at work a month ago via tattoo ink. I tried every ink remover I could get my hands on and nothing worked, then I ran into this and thought ‘Hey, would it be so bad if I just dyed them black?’ So, that’s what I did.

    They came out perfect, although I have a horrid confession to make. Since the tattoo ink had dyed it so permanent and it was still very soft… I just used that to dye them. Turned out great, no splotching or such. But, yeah. My confession of the day! haha

  • jorge

    July 16, 2014 at 7:38 PM

    hi Allison

    do you know by any chance what color would come out if my sneakers are purple and i dye them navy blue?
    i want them to look navy blue, I don’t like the purple color anymore at all.

    do you think i would get the navy blue color, or perhaps the original purple with the navy blue would come out with a new different mix??

    any thoughts?



    1. Allison Murray

      July 17, 2014 at 8:49 AM

      Hey, Jorge – I think that they should turn navy blue, perhaps a really dark navy if you keep dyeing until the purple is completely gone. You just have to know that it may turn navy and it may just turn a darker purple. If you’re cool with the possibility that it may not work perfectly, I’d say go for it and hope for the best (though I do think the results would be awesome :)

  • Saundra Gross

    July 30, 2014 at 8:07 AM

    Good morning..I’ve been reading all of these comments and am wondering if anyone has tried to dye a suede saddle. Also concerned about the rub off effect on my jeans..anyone out there have experience with this??

    1. Allison Murray

      July 31, 2014 at 10:35 AM

      I haven’t had my suede color rub off on my clothes but I mostly wear dresses with my oxfords. I’m sure you could dye a saddle, but I’d really consider practicing on a piece of suede before tackling such an expensive item. You can get something from the thrift store or small pieces of suede from the craft store.

      1. Saundra Gross

        August 1, 2014 at 6:03 PM

        Thank you Allison..I was worried about the rubbing off on clothing but I’ve done my research and have found that if you spray your suede with scotch guard after the dye is dry you should get no rub off. Will try this as I didn’t pay that much for the saddle..I’ve already dyed the leather and it is beautiful. Very anxious to start the suede but am waiting for the dye to be delivered. Thank you again for your quick reply, I’ll let you know how this works.


  • Tiffany

    September 11, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    I’m so glad I found your tutorial…and that is the exact color I want! I hopped on Amazon and ordered it just now…Excitement! :-)

  • Alana

    September 15, 2014 at 9:06 AM

    Hi. I was wondering if anyone has tried dyeing the seat of a saddle. I bought a used saddle and the suede seat is stained. I would like to make it look better. The seat and saddle are black.

    1. Allison Murray

      September 15, 2014 at 4:14 PM

      Hi, Alana – I’ve been told by a few readers that they were able to successfully dye their saddles. I’ll tell you exactly what I told them… go into a shoe or leather shop to buy your leather dye and talk to someone about whether or not it is a good idea and if it will work with the dye you are planning on buying. They’ll be a great help to you!

      1. andy

        March 28, 2017 at 12:01 PM

        I’d wear some pants you don’t mind messing up the first few times to make sure you aren’t getting staining. I sourced some garment leather from a jacket to recover my bike saddle. While the saddle is still looking good again, I have rendered all the shorts I use for commuting no good for anything else – due to the black smudge where the heat of bottom meets the saddle .

  • johnny

    October 21, 2014 at 5:49 PM

    Hello, I was wondering what you used to strip or lighten the original color of the suede before you dyed them..? Thanks

    1. Allison Murray

      October 21, 2014 at 9:55 PM

      I’m afraid I didn’t lighten my suede. If you can find a shoe shop, you could ask for their advice on such a thing (and buy your dye while you are there!)

  • ASH

    October 27, 2014 at 8:58 AM

    Hi, I was wondering how the dye holds up to rain and other elements. I’m thinking of dying my dansko suede boots but don’t want to ruin them.

    1. Allison Murray

      October 27, 2014 at 3:39 PM

      I have had no problem with rain or sweat!

  • Lonnie

    November 4, 2014 at 5:09 AM

    GM…what’s the brand of DYE to purchase ?? I want to start dying my suede boots …thanks

    1. Allison Murray

      November 4, 2014 at 10:06 AM

      Fiebings Suede and Roughout Dye. You can click the link to purchase in the materials list above the directions of the tutorial.

  • syahrul

    November 11, 2014 at 4:24 AM

    Hi, would the original color of my nike suede sneaker (brown color) affect my new color if i choose to dye it blue or other bright colors like pink? thanks

    1. Allison Murray

      November 12, 2014 at 6:36 PM

      It definitely will impact the final color. If you’re willing for the color to be a bit different from the dye, I’d give it a go. Chances are it will still be fab!

  • Serafima

    February 3, 2015 at 11:53 AM

    Did you spray the shoes with a waterproofing treatment after you were finished? Do you think that step is necessary?

    1. Allison Murray

      February 3, 2015 at 2:31 PM

      I didn’t but I also didn’t wear them out when it was wet much, if ever. It would probably be wise to be safe rather than sorry.

  • e

    February 4, 2015 at 4:36 AM

    Hi, I was wondering if you had any tips from going dark to light! I have some boots that I’d love to get your tan color but unfortunately they are a dark brown.

    1. Allison Murray

      February 4, 2015 at 9:35 AM

      I’m so sorry. Unfortunately I have no experience going from dark to light. Best of luck though!

      1. dave

        August 10, 2015 at 11:13 AM

        Hello – take it from a “dyed-in-the-wool” hippie – you can not dye dark to light – guaranteed you can NOT !

        I took my wife’s brand new gray leather boots to a pro – they dyed them navy blue – they told me you can only go light to dark, not backwards – actually makes sense if you think about it –

        1. Miles

          May 26, 2017 at 2:38 PM

          Actually I came across this article because I took a suede jacket in to get cleaned at the dry cleaners. The jacket is part knit and part suede but it smelled horrible because it was super vintage. When I took it to the cleaner, the man said he would have to order a laser to clean the suede. I agreed however, the jacket was super clean and the suedes knap was perfect but it really lightened up a lot! Maybe even close to four shades lighter!! I was devastated. It was not ok. So YES you can go from dark to light using a laser cleaner. Not sure what the brand was the cleaners used but it was lighter. Now I can try and restore it back to the original thanks to this article!! X

  • Crown

    March 25, 2015 at 9:23 AM

    i loved this post. i shared it on my twitter. was loooking for something like this to die my shoes WHITE! maybe i will post a photograph ! ;)

    1. Allison Murray

      March 27, 2015 at 9:03 AM

      That would be amazing. Please do!

  • eddie

    July 6, 2015 at 7:13 PM

    Excellent Post and great read! I am dyeing my Yeezy Boosts red, and was wondering what after product I should use to seal the dye? I’d hate for the dye to spread due to moisture and onto the white sole. Thanks!

    1. Allison Murray

      July 7, 2015 at 9:08 AM

      Suede sealers are pretty common. Here’s one from Amazon that has a pretty good rating. If you go to a shoe repair shop to buy your dye, you might also ask for a sealer!

      1. jami

        October 22, 2016 at 2:47 PM

        Does this dye work only on real suede or can It work on synthetic suede as well?

        1. Susan

          May 1, 2017 at 8:25 AM


          I’m wondering the same thing. After reading this post and seeing the (fabulous, btw) results, I’m thinking that this dye works for suede because it doesn’t ruin the texture of the suede. It probably would stain just about anything. However, it’s also probably formulated for natural fibers. I’m thinking now that I might try the Rit dye that’s made for synthetics on my $10 sandals. That stuff will dye plastic! I have some mixed up already that I saved from another project. I can test on the inside :)

  • Kim

    August 10, 2015 at 1:38 PM

    Thanks for sharing the information, the shoes look great! Just curious if the dyeing process changed the texture of the suede at all? I have seen suede become stiff and brittle.
    Thank you

    1. Allison Murray

      August 10, 2015 at 7:17 PM

      I was surprised that it didn’t change it at all that I noticed. It wasn’t new suede though.

  • Conchetta

    November 10, 2015 at 11:13 PM

    I was wondering how long you had to wait for the dye to dry?
    The boots look amazing, I kept going back to look again!
    Inspiring, thank you for posting and sharing:)

    1. Allison Murray

      November 11, 2015 at 7:21 AM

      To be honest it’s been quite a while now since I dyed these guys but I would definitely wait at least a day. I remember you can push into the suede gently to see if any color comes back on a paper towel. Sorry I’m not more help!

  • Sharlene

    January 11, 2016 at 3:45 PM

    Love that British tan color, though on my screen it looks tangerine which is exactly what I’m looking for. Can you confirm if it is a tangerine ? Just received a new pair of ebay shoes, looked tangerine, but in fact are an insipid apricot…..grrrrrr.

    1. Allison Murray

      January 12, 2016 at 8:07 AM

      It’s definitely not tangerine. It sounds like your monitor might be doing colors wrong. I’d say it’s more of an orange-y tan that is more orange than tan but it definitely is a type of brown.

  • Chatty

    January 27, 2016 at 4:24 AM

    Hello please advice what kind of dye can i use to dye my faded navy blue sofa. The color faded from the sun exposure. Please advice. All the best and thank you

  • Hypnotic

    May 22, 2016 at 4:39 PM

    With this brand of dye are you able to mix colors or is the original container not pourable? I bought some coral shoes online that turned out to be dusty rose. I’m wondering if I mix the tan and pink or red if I could create the color I’m reaching for.

    Thank you

    1. Allison Murray

      May 23, 2016 at 7:59 PM

      Unfortunately I don’t have any experience with mixing the colors but my gut says it would probably work. I’d totally give it a go!

  • Anna

    June 22, 2016 at 7:31 PM

    Great post, Allison! really informative, and your results… Well, just WOW!!
    I received a pair of olive green suede boots as a gift, but I already have a pair of olive leather boots (go figure – that’s why subconsciously, I think, they knew I’d like their pick!)

    I have been dyeing (get it) for a pair of blue suede boots since last fall. Even bought a (really expensive) pair last winter. Haven’t worn them yet, and can actually return them within a year.

    Your post finally made up my mind to try to dye the olive suede boots blue. Bought the navy blue Fiebing’s and even did a little test on a hidden part of the tongue, using a Q-tip. Seems like it will go okay. But I have two questions:
    1) how much dye are you spreading on the suede? Sparingly with just enough to cover, or sort of saturating the suede? I was thinking of doing a light coat and then another to get it all rich and even-colored. Does that sound right?
    2) I know your great shoe buy didn’t come with laces, and the laces you bought work perfectly. But these boots are lace-up, and the laces are the same olive color as the boots. Any thought or tips on how I can dye the laces ( without creating a blue lake on my work surface)? Would you think wetting a rag and running it along the lace would work? Except on the little plastic end, of course. Well, it may even work on that, as my nail polish got dyed navy blue from a stray swipe of the Q-tip!! Gloves, check!!! :)

    Oh, and to all those asking about how to protect the dye job, I am going to use a waterproof shoe spray. I once dyed a pair of beige wool Anne Kleins – using a cherry WOOD stain! – and two coats of that waterproofing resulted in my being able to run those shoes under the faucet with no ill effect.

    1. Allison Murray

      June 23, 2016 at 9:06 AM

      1 – I found that I couldn’t manage a thin coat. It was all or nothing for me :) It just went on as heavy as it went on!
      2 – I would definitely give your rag idea a go. If not they sell TONS of laces online and you might find the perfect size/color combination!

  • Sydney

    August 21, 2016 at 4:11 AM

    Wow those turned out amazing! Such an improvement from the original look :) I was wondering, how has the dye job held up over the years? Has it rubbed or worn off anywhere?

    1. Allison Murray

      August 24, 2016 at 8:58 AM

      I wore these shoes for AGES without any problems. In the end I wound up giving them away but I even wore them sock-less and never stained my feet!

  • Gy

    September 29, 2016 at 12:36 PM

    Thanks for all the great directions and comments. Very helpful.

  • Leanne

    July 30, 2017 at 3:03 AM

    Thanks for this – I have a favourite pair of black clarks boots that are totally worn out. I also have two pairs of the same boots in a teal colour – so I thought, I’d give it a go. Well I can say that the process was just a easy as you described and although I didn’t achieve the black colour I wanted I do now have a nice pair of dark navy boots that look good as new! They’ll do for me!

  • Nancii

    November 18, 2017 at 10:15 PM

    Please can I use fabric dye on swede, I can’t get a swede dye in my area. Thanks

    1. Allison Murray

      November 22, 2017 at 2:29 PM

      You can try but I don’t know that it will turn out well. The problem is you need to add water to fabric dye and suede and water are a bad combination! You might try asking around at shoe or leather repair shops.

  • Julia

    December 8, 2017 at 5:51 PM

    Hi there! Excellent post, thank you. I’m going from light to dark on a pair of boots, and I’m concerned about ending up with a mottled look. In your photos, though, it looks so even — did you take great care to make it look so even, or was that just how it came out? (Do I need to use a special technique?)

    1. Allison Murray

      December 11, 2017 at 10:17 AM

      You definitely have to take great care to make it even.

  • TC

    February 4, 2018 at 2:56 PM

    shoes look awesome – great post, thanks :)

    1. JenaRose

      March 14, 2020 at 12:51 AM

      I didn’t read through this entire feed before jumping in and dying a pair of full-length zip up suede UGG Boots that I found for less than $10. They were teal with some snow bleached spots. I used a Navy Blue Fiebings Suede Dye. The application looks like water reflections, some teal, some navy blue, some royal blue. I attempted to brush out the suede after they were dry. Didn’t do much. I’ve applied two times. Do you have suggestions on how to make the colour even?

      1. Allison Murray

        March 15, 2020 at 12:31 PM

        The only thing I can think of is to try dyeing only the lighter spots. Once they’re dyed it’s difficult to change how they look, though. They might not be able to look much better. I’m hoping it works out for you, though!

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