Can You Dye Suede Shoes? (Tips to Change the Color of Suede)

Shoes don't come in every color. That is why dye was invented. If you can’t find the pair of shoes in a color you want, you can always change it after you buy it. Changing shoe colors is not hard if you follow the directions. The trick is not wearing the shoes too soon after dyeing them.

Can you dye suede shoes? Yes, it is possible to dye suede shoes. If you want a different color on your shoes, make sure to pick a dye that works with suede. Also, suede is very porous care is needed not to stain any fabrics you are wearing or your skin.

To learn all about dyeing suede shoes just continue to read our article. It is filled with the hints, tips, and instructions you need to do a good job. Make sure to follow the instructions on the box in order not to ruin your nice suede shoes

Can You Change the Color of Suede?

A little bit about suede first. This fabric is made from leather that comes from cow, pig, deer, and other animals’ hides. Once the hide is ready it is then treated to create a softer leather version and the fabric is called suede.

Suede is very porous so it takes new colors very easily. That porous nature is why suede gets so many water stains on it. But that porous nature also makes it very easy to dye your suede shoes to any color you want to have on them.

There is basically no limit to the colors you can dye your suede shoes. Your shoes can match any number of outfits and keep looking new just by giving them a new look. The process is not difficult and you can do it yourself with a little free time.

Can You Dye Suede?


Yes, you can and as we mentioned earlier, the process is not that difficult. You should be able to do it on a Saturday morning with no interruption to your weekend schedule. The key is to use a dye made specifically for suede.

Also, you need to b careful as you dye your shoes as it is very easy to stain any fabrics you may be wearing. It is also possible to make a mess. When you do the task make sure your surrounding area and yourself are fully protected by newspapers, old clothes, and so on.

Then once you have completed the task and the new color looks great don’t forget to seal the suede so the color remains. You will want to use a waterproofing spray to protect your work and not waste your effort. After you are done you can be proud of the job you did.

Why Dye Suede?

There are several reasons why you should dye your suede shoes. The most important one is your budget. Dyes do not cost as much as new suede shoes so you can save some money and still look fashionable.

Another reason would be to brighten the look of the shoes. They may have gotten dirty or received some water stains and you would be embarrassed to wear those shoes in public. So you dye them and keep yourself looking great when you are outside of your home.

A third reason is you probably invested a lot of money in those shoes and do not want to waste that money by throwing out old shoes that are still comfortable and wearable. A good dye job rejuvenates the shoes and pumps new life into them.

Dyeing your suede shoes gives you a good reputation as well.

What to Dye Suede With?


Not just any dye will do. You need a dye that is specifically made for changing the color on suede products. It does not have to be made especially for shoes, just for suede in general.

The important part of buying the right dye is that dyes made for other fabrics usually roll off of suede and doe snot penetrate the leather. The suede dye will penetrate so you get a deep color and your whole shoe is treated without unevenness or blotchy patches.

There are a lot of top brands that make this dye so you should not have any trouble finding the right kind for your purpose.

Is Suede Dye Waterproof?

No, it is not. It is more to do with the porous nature of suede than it is with the dye. Suede lets a lot of moisture get into and through it. That is the reason the material comes up with a lot of water and other stains.

Once the shoes have dried you need to spray some sealer on to the shoes. This should be a waterproof sealer that makes sure no water gets into your shoes and ruins your hard work

Follow the instructions on the spray to make sure you cover every inch of your shoes and leave no weak spots for moisture to take advantage of.

How Long Does Suede Dye Take To Dry


You can apply more than one coat to your suede shoes and in between each coat, you should allow for one to two hours for the dye to dry. One of the biggest concerns you will have is that if you apply too many coats, the leather may dry out and ruin.

This also applies to the application of each coat. You do not want to over saturate the shoes with dye. Use only as much dye needed not more. When you sit the shoes down for drying place them in a well-ventilated area so they dry quickly without overwhelming you with any fumes or odors.

Also, if you do this job outdoors, then place the shoes where they can dry without getting wet or dirty.

Dyeing Suede Shoes

One of the great things about most fabrics is that they can change their colors. Suede is one of those fabrics that allow you to change its color on a whim. Nothing is holding you back from changing the color every month.

That way you can make your friends think you are richer than you are and can afford a new pair of suede shoes every paycheck. Suede is not a hard fabric to dye. The process is simple and should not take up a lot of time.

The key is to protect the new color with a waterproof sealer. That protection stops the dye color from running and ruining the look of your shoes as well as your stockings or other fabrics you are wearing.

What to Use to Dye Suede Shoes

Do not be tempted to use any other dye brand or version that is not made for suede. These dyes may be a bit cheaper but they are not going to do a good job on your suede shoes.

You just have to bite the bullet and buy the dye brand that is made only to be used on suede fabrics. This dye will soak in and it should coat your shoes evenly. Plus, it is easy to touch up spots that you think you missed so you get a very even look.

Also, before you apply the dye, you should use a suede restorer spray. This product helps restore the quality of the leather so it can accept the dye without any hassle. Just make sure to apply the dye in a well-ventilated area.

How to Dye Suede Shoes With Rit Dye

According to the Rit Dye website the company doe snot recommend dying any leather shoe with their dyes. The one exception is the Uggs Sheepskin boots but it is only a recommendation and not hard fact.

If you decide to ignore the advice of Rit Dye then make sure you use a darker color than what is already on the shoes. If you want a lighter color then you need to use Rit’s color remover before adding any new color to the shoes. Here are some instructions to handle this task:

  • 1. Wash the shoes to get the dirt and water stains off the shoes.
  • 2. Remove the laces, insoles and other accessories you do not want to change the color.
  • 3. cover the soles with electrical tape to keep the dye off of them.
  • 4. Heat 3 gallons of water to 140 degrees F and pour it into a bucket or the sink.
  • 5. Add 1/2 of Rit dye to the water and mix well. Test the mixture with a paper towel. If the color is too light add more dye and if it is too dark add more water.
  • 6. Wet the shoes and place them into the mixture for 10 to 60 minutes depending on how deep you want the color​.
  • 7 pull the shoes out and let dry.

How to Dye Faux Suede Shoes

Some faux leather materials will not accept dyes. When your shoes fall into this category it is recommended that you use upholstery paint to change their color. These paints are not that expensive.

If the shoes can accept dyes then do not use cloth or paper towels to apply the dye. Use the applicator that comes with the bottle. But before you do this, you should apply some deglazer to help the faux leather fabric to accept the dye.

Just make sure to use the right colors to either match the current look or cover the old color.

Can You Dye a Suede Jacket?


Yes, you can but you should be very careful when you do it. Suede is seen by some as a very delicate fabric that can ruin easily. Make sure you really want to do this before you start as once you start you cannot stop until the job is done.

For best results, you should go with a similar or darker color that is on your suede jacket already. But it is possible to try for a lighter color if you dare. The results may not be that good when you are done and you may have to redo your work.

One of the keys to doing a good dye job is to make sure the fabric is nice and clean first. Dirt has a way of keeping the dye from adhering to the fabric fibers.

How to Dye Suede Jacket

This process may take a few hours depending on how large a jacket you are dyeing. So make sure to block out a large portion of time to do the job without having to hurry. Here are the steps involved:

  • 1. Prepare your work area first. Gather your supplies and cover everything you do not want stained. Also, make sure the work area is nice and flat.
  • 2. Next, clean your suede jacket. You can do this by first brushing the fabric to get the dirt off and raise the nap. After that use a suede cleaner to get any leftover dirt and grime
  • 3. Open the windows and doors because you will need to spray some suede restorer on the jacket. This spray helps bring back the original color and prepares the leather to receive the dye. You never know the restorer may make the jacket look so good you will stop thinking about dyeing it.
  • 4. Apply the dye. Use the applicator that comes with the dye and be wary. Some spots may soak up more dye than others so you will have to go over those areas a second time. It is possible that you may need to apply more than one coat so allow a couple of hours for the first one to dry.
  • 5. Stretch the jacket as it dries as this action will prevent the suede from becoming stiff. Once dry spray on a waterproof sealer to make sure your work is not wasted. You may want to brush the sued between the end of drying and the spraying of the sealer as this will raise the nap and make the jacket look better

How to Dye Suede Couch


Reupholstering a sofa can be fairly expensive and when it is made of suede, you might be looking at an even higher cost. Dyeing your sofa may be a better way to make the couch look like new again.

The first thing you need to do is buy enough dye to cover the whole couch. Also double-check to make sure the dye is made to be used on suede. It is possible to dye your cushion covers in your washing machine.

Just add the dye to water and put the covers in and let the machine do the work. Follow the instructions on the box to have your covers come looking like you expected.

For the rest of the couch, you can use an old or new sponge and wipe the dye onto the sofa. Wear rubber gloves and make sure to cover everything that you do not want to be stained.

How to Dye Suede Bag

Dyeing a suede bag is not too much different from dyeing a suede jacket. First, you have to clean the bag to make sure it is ready to accept the dye. Of course, you need to make sure your bag is not made of faux leather or suede before attempting this project.

Next, spray on some leather restorer to help prepare the fabric to accept the dye. You may want to brush the bag first to raise the nap some. Then, after spraying apply the dye using the applicator. Watch for those spots that do not soak up as much dye as other spots and reapply the dye.

When dry, spray on a waterproof sealer. No matter the leather product you need to spray on this sealer if you want the dye to remain.

How do You Dye a Suede Skirt?


The process for this is similar to other processes and one of the keys for this option and all the other options is to follow the instructions on the box. They will give you the correct procedure to follow.

The first thing you need to do is prepare your area and make sure everything is covered that should be covered. Next, you need to clean the skirt and brush any dirt off of it.

Then use the applicator to apply the dye, making sure you are using smooth strokes. It is okay to give the skirt more than one coat, just make sure to let the skirt dry first. Also, do this in a well-ventilated area to make sure you are not overcome by any fumes.

After letting the skirt dry, just spray on the waterproof sealer to protect your work. The whole process may take a few hours so do it when you have enough time.

Can You Dye Suede White?

Yes, you can and the process is as simple as dyeing suede any other color. First, you will need a white suede dye and a deglazer. After cleaning the garment, wipe the deglazer over the leather and then wipe it off.

After that moisten the suede with a spray bottle and then apply the dye. You can apply as many coats as you need till you get the right white color. Just let each coat dry first.

Don’t forget to flex the item as that will stop the suede from becoming stiff. Just so you know, you cannot dye black, dark brown or other dark colors white.

Dye Suede Black


You can dye a suede item black. It may be one of the easiest colors to use as it covers just about any color. Like other dye colors, you need to use a dye that is specifically made for suede.

Follow the same processes described in previous sections to do the job right. The thing to remember is that you cannot dye a black suede item a lighter color. It just won’t work.

The best you can hope or is tinting the black color a little bit. If you do not like your black suede item, just buy another one in a different color and save yourself hours of wasted work.

How to Make Suede Darker Without Dye

It may be possible to do this but suede can be a bit finicky and the results you get may not be that pleasing. One suggestion was to coat your leather item with Vaseline Petroleum Jelly and set it in the sun for a few hours.

After that, you can wipe off as much of the Vaseline as possible. This should darken your suede item one shade. But Vaseline is known to stain leather so you need to be careful when following this suggestion.

Who Sells Suede Dye?

One of the best places to try would be a leather goods store. They should have all the correct products that are designed to work with suede. It is the easiest place to shop as you will not be inundated with a variety of dyes that are meant for non-suede items.

Or you can shop at Amazon and see what suede dyes they have available. Their prices may be a bit cheaper than the department stores. The latter option is another place to shop for suede dye.

It may also be [possible to buy the leather dye in your favorite craft or clothing store but you would have to go and look to see if any are in stock.

Some Final Words

Dyeing suede is not difficult. If you have the time you should be able to get the task done correctly. Just make sure to follow the instructions that come with the dye and buy dyes that are made for suede only.

The dyeing process takes a little patience and some cleaning. Assemble all your supplies first and make sure to cover the area you are working in so you do not have a mess to deal with once you are done.

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