Cowboy boots quickly develop scuffs, scratches, and unsightly nicks, but the relieving news is that the damage can be repaired. In fact, when you know how to repair cowboy boots and take care of them properly, they can last for decades. Below, we look at the different areas on a pair of boots, how to fix them, and what products to use.
To fix scuffs on your boots, brush off the dirt, apply the dye and fill in the holes with leather filler. Buff out minor scratches with a soft brush, but sand major ones. For stains, try water, alcohol, nail polish remover, and talcum powder.
How to Repair Scuffed Cowboy Boots?
Repairs to a pair of scuffed-up cowboy boots can be as simple as you want them to be. However, if your boots are severely damaged or gouged, you’ll need to make an effort to repair them. After all, the condition of the cracks will indicate how severe the damage is and, therefore, how much fixing needs to be done. In order to accomplish this feat, you need supplies by your side.
The following items can be used to clean and polish cowboy boots, depending on the extent of the damage.
Jovitec Horsehair Shoe Repair & Polish Brush Set
Jovitec Horsehair Bickmore Boot Care Kit Shoe Repair & Polish Brush Set
Stone & Clark Shoe Polish & Care Kit Kiwi Delux Shoe Shine Kit
How to Repair a Light Scuff on Your Cowboy Boots
Here are a few easy steps you can take to repair light scuffs in your boots:
Step 1: Clean the Boots
Clean the surface of the boots to remove dirt, dust, and other unwanted particles.
Step 2: Heat the Boots
Heat the leather of your cowboy boots using a hairdryer set on low. Don’t aim the dryer at the leather directly; instead, point it at the air around your boots. The heat will make the leather malleable and easier to repair.
Step 3: Massage the Boots
After heating the leather, massage it with a rag to make those scuffs disappear.
Step 4: Apply Petroleum Jelly
If the scuffs are still visible, use jelly to moisturize and rejuvenate the leather.
Step 5 Apply Color-Matched Leather Balm as an Alternative
If petroleum jelly doesn’t work, try using a color-matched leather balm to heal discolored leather. After the application, let the boots dry. Then, utilize a leather conditioner to seal in color and keep your boots looking fresh.
How to Repair an Abrasive Scuff on Your Cowboy Boots
Abrasive scuffs are annoying and hard to remove, but these steps will help you get rid of them.
Step 1: Remove the Dirt and Stain
Clean your boots so well that you could eat a meal off of them.
Step 2: Apply Leather Dye
Make sure the leather dye matches the color of your boots. Use a foam or sponge to dab a small quantity of the dye on the affected part of the boot. Don’t brush the boot with whatever you’re using to apply the dye, or else you’ll leave ugly marks on your trail. Dabbing allows the dye to air-dry slowly.
Step 3: Apply Leather Filler
The next step is to fill the gouge with leather filler. Apply just enough to cover the damage, then allow it to dry naturally, or use an air dryer to speed up the process.
Step 4: Grit with Sand Paper
When the leather filler dries, sand it down slowly and smooth out any bumps until its texture matches that of the surrounding area. Run your fingers over the surface of the boots to check for imperfections. Once satisfied with the result, wipe healed scuff with a leather cleaner.
Step 5: Re-apply Leather Dye
Since the gouge has been filled with leather filler, you can now dye the boot. Make sure that the dye matches the boot’s color. Let the boot dry at room temperature, or speed things up with a hair dryer.
Step 6: Apply Leather Sealer
Apply a sealer to give your leather a satiny, gleaming finish.
How to Repair Scuffed Leather Boots When the Leather is Exposed
Sometimes buffing off the scuffs and scratches won’t help. In those cases, you’ll need polish to conceal the blemishes.
Watch this video to learn how to repair scuffed shoes.
Step 1: Remove the Dust and Dirt
First, get rid of the dust and dirt on your boots.
Step 2: Apply Leather Dye
QThen, dab leather dye on the damaged area of the boot. The dye has to be the same shade as the boot, or at least, pretty close. To avoid color mismatch, test the dye on a small piece of leather before applying it to the boot.
You can get the test leather from most leather stores around or online.
Step 3: Polish the Boots
Now that everything is clean and conditioned, you can begin applying polish. Some brands have special polishes designed for certain types of leather, so make sure you’re using one that is safe for your boot. Apply the polish sparingly in small amounts and work on small portions of the boot at a time until it’s as stunning as you desire.
How to Repair Scratches On Cowboy Boots
Having scratches on your cowboy boots is frustrating, but with these simple steps, your troubles will soon be over.
Although this video isn’t about removing scratches from cowboy boots, you can recreate the process to initiate scratch elimination.
Step 1: Apply Plant-based Oil
Dab some oil derived from a plant, such as olive, castor, or sunflower, on a clean rag. Rub the rag on the afflicted part of the boot.
Step 2: Buff the Scratches
For light scratches, try buffing them from the leather with the oil-doused rag.
Step 1: Clean with Lanolin Oil
Smudge a clean rag with lanolin oil.
Step 2: Buff the Scrapes
Buff the scratches out. Repeat this process until they’re scarcely visible.
Step 1: Add Leather Pigment
Use leather dye to hide deep scratches and make them less noticeable.
Step 2 Apply Shoe Polish
Rub a matching shoe polish into the leather.
Step 3: Apply Leather Porotector
Next, apply a leather protector.
Step 4: Let it Dry
Let it dry overnight.
How to Repair a Stain on Cowboy Boots?
When cowboy boots are stained, they won’t look so hot. But don’t worry because the following guide will help you remove them and return your shoes to their former glory.
To remove the stain, scrub the area gently with a brush or soft cloth and dishwashing soap. Go back and forth vigorously until the ink disappears. If this method doesn’t work, try rubbing alcohol on the stained area.
Grease or Oil
To remove grease or oil from your cowboy boots, sprinkle them with talcum powder or baking soda and let them sit overnight. The powder will absorb the grease. Brush off the powder in the morning, or wipe your boots clean with a cloth.
To get rid of ink on your boot, you can use a number of techniques. The first is to soak a cotton ball with alcohol or acetone and dab it on the stain. That will loosen the ink and make it easier to rinse away. You can also use a cotton ball soaked in hairspray on the stain, which should do the trick. After that, wipe it down with a damp cloth, dry it with a clean rag, and voilà!
How to Improve Heels of Cowboy Boots
If you want to add height to the heels of your boots, use a heel lift. It’s made of foam or cork and slides between the body of the shoe and the heel.
How to Fix a Cut (Rip) in Cowboy Boots
Cowboy boots can be fixed in a few different ways, depending on the size of the cut. If the cut is small enough, it can be patched up quickly; however, if there are larger holes in the boots, you may want to buy a new pair or consult your local bootmaker. If you’re able to fix the damage yourself, follow these steps:
Step 1: Clean the Boots
Mix water with some laundry detergent or saddle soap. Using an old shirt or a towel dipped in the solution, clean the boots.
Step 2: Rough up the Boot Surface
Prep the leather by scuffing it with sandpaper before applying a glue stick to the cut.
Step3: Cover with Leather Strip
Choose a leather strip of the same hue as your boot and place it over the damaged area of the boot. Use the placement as a guide to slicing what portion of the strip you’ll actually need.
Step 4: Glue the Strip to the Damaged Area
Apply enough glue between the needed part of the strip and the damaged area.
Step 5: Dry and Polish the Boots
Wait for the glued section and the entire boot to dry. Then polish the boot.
How to Fix Water Damage in Cowboy Boots
Are your cowboy boots water-damaged? Check out this video to learn how to fix them. Spoiler alert: the video isn’t specifically about cowboy boots, but the host does an excellent job of demonstrating the process.
Let’s practice step by step.
Step 1: Apply Salt Stain Remover
Pour a small quantity of salt stain remover on a clean rag and use that to massage the boots.
Step 2: Clean the Boots Using Leather Soap
Swab leather soap on the outside of the boots. Brush them gently and rinse them with clean water afterward.
Step 3: Let it Dry
Once the boots are dry, brush them with a soft-bristled brush.
Step 4: Apply Cream Polish
Restoring leather is a multi-step affair. First, apply cream polish; next, rub in a circular motion; then, buff it with a soft-bristled brush.
How to repair cowboy boots: Summary
Cowboy boots can make you think of a life of leisure, but the truth is that they require careful maintenance to keep on kickin’ for years to come. Follow these steps and guidelines to repair any damage that might be done to your favorite pair of boots.
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