How to Make Suede Shiny (Wax and Polish on Suede)

Spit and polish. That is the term to tell someone to clean up their shoes and make them look nice. Nice shiny shoes are great accessories when you want to stand out. Plus, it is one way to have the law ignore you when you are walking down the street.

How to make suede shiny: It is not hard to put wax on suede. There is a 12 step process that starts with cleaning the fabric, apply the wax evenly, then melting the wax so the pores open up and accept it inside. Finally, use a blunt wood tool to remove excess wax.

To learn more about applying wax to your suede shoes just continue to read our article. It has the information so you know how to do this process without ruining the shoes or other suede items you want to make shiny.

Can You Make Suede Shiny?

Yes, it is possible but as one person has stated, it may not be possible to call it suede anymore. Sometimes when you use shoe polish and buff that up on suede will do the trick but unfortunately, that effort does not last long and you may have to repeat the process many times over.

Wax is another option you can use. In this instance, you would need to use a wax that was made for fabric. Its finish should last longer than using polish but it is a long process that takes a lot of elbow grease to get the wax where it needs to be.

The question you have to answer is, ‘is the process worth it when you can easily buy leather shoes that are already shiny?’ Sometimes people overthink fashion and choose the hardest possible option when a simple purchase would save them a lot of time and frustration.

Why Does Suede Get Shiny?


One of the main reasons suede gets shiny is that the surface layer starts to wear thin and the suede finish loses its characteristics. Then a shiny look appears which can be brushed away if you have the time.

Others may be that the material gets dirty or wet. Once that happens and you do not take the time to clean your suede shoes, the material is damaged and can become shiny. Proper care is needed to protect your shoes or other suede items from losing its characteristics.

Sometimes all you need to do is brush the suede regularly. That way you get rid of any harmful elements that may do its damage at a later date. One bad thing you can never let happen is to allow mold to grow on your suede shoes. Once that happens you need to toss them out. That problem can’t be fixed.

How to Make Suede Shiny

This process is almost as easy as polishing your regular shoes or boots. The first step is to make sure the suede is clean. You do this by using a pencil eraser and erase any marks you find on the suede material.

Next, you take a clean cloth and dampen it with some vinegar. It is said that vinegar doe snot harm this fabric. After you have cleaned the material using circular motions, you are ready to apply the polish.

Putting the polish on is simple. Just apply it carefully and do not go too thick. Let the polish dry for a day then take a suede brush and buff the shoe or jacket, etc., with the brush.

After that, you are ready to go to your next event or appointment. Make sure not to brush or wipe too hard as you still have to protect the material from any damage that could ruin them.

Restoring Shiny Suede


Restoring suede is also not hard but it can get a little time-consuming. The first step is always the same as any other suede process. Clean the material first before doing anything else. You can clean by brushing the dirt and grime off the shoe, etc.

Next, wipe the suede with vinegar and this liquid is said not to harm the fabric. After the odor has evaporated, hold the shoes, etc., over a steaming hot kettle for a couple of minutes. Then brush after the material dries.

Once all that is done use an eraser to get some of the harder stains out but be careful of the color you use. If the stain persists use an old toothbrush to scrub them away. If the suede has faded a little bit, you can always use a marker to fill in the spots then rub the suede till the new color blends in with the old.

Can You Polish Suede?

It is possible to polish suede the only thing stopping you is why would you do that? You buy suede for a particular reason and turning them into regular type shoes doesn’t always make sense.

Even if they are older suede shoes, and you want to restore their luster through polish it may still take a lot of thinking to justify the decision. Sometimes just restoring older suede through one of the many cleaning processes is a better option than putting polish on the suede shoes.

We described earlier how you can do this task and it is not that hard. You just have to convince yourself and others that it was a good decision to make. If you are going to turn your suede shoes into regular shoes, just buy a pair of regular shoes and save yourself the hassle and the possibility of ruining your suede items.

What Happens if You Polish Suede Shoes?


Nothing spectacular or earth-shattering will take place. You will still be in your home and not off fighting warriors in a different dimension. The first thing you will see take place is that your suede shoes will get shiny.

That is due to the wax that is inside some shoe polishes. The next thing you should see take place is that the fibers will settle down. After that, you may see that the shoes are a lot cleaner than they were before.

But, and it is a big but, if you take this route with suede shoes, do not expect to be able to reverse the process. Once you have polished suede they do not return to their original colors or textures.

Make sure you really want to do this action before you start. Polish also does not stay on for very long and you will have to repeat the polishing time and again to maintain that look.

How do You Polish Suede Shoes?

Once you have decided to do this irreversible act, the process is simple and very easy. The key is to make sure you clean the suede material very thoroughly. Dirt and grime do not allow the polish to adhere to the material very well and you may lose some polish if you are not careful.

After cleaning let the suede dry before adding the polish. Do not go too thick or the polish may not dry very well and you will accidentally remove clumps and need to start over with the polish.

When you have applied the polish evenly all over your shoes, let the shoes and the polish dry for about 24 hours. Then buff the polish with a good suede brush. The problem with this process is that it may damage your shoes. What you are left with is a pair of shiny yet ruined suede shoes.

Keep in mind you cannot go back once you start and finish this process.

Can You Use Liquid Shoe Polish On Suede?


The consensus is that you should not use liquid shoe polish on suede shoes or suede in general. The material is very porous and will soak up the liquid quite quickly. Also, the suede will adhere very strongly with the liquid and that is not a good thing.

Once that bond is achieved it is almost impossible to use the shoes. They will be stained if not damaged further. With the irreversible nature of this process, you have gone down a road you cannot return from.

If you still want to use liquid shoe polish on your suede shoes knowing the risks, always go with a darker color over a lighter one. You really can’t do the opposite as light colors do not cover darker ones that well. Even if you use a primer coat.

If you want to refurbish your suede shoes, just do the cleaning and other hard work involved or go and buy a new pair of shoes that match what you want to see.

Fix Shiny Suede

This may not be so easy to do as you have to match the color and the glossy shine to a T for the suede to look natural and good. To get the shine back you can add a little more polish and re-polish your shoes so that the color and the look are even.

If you want to get rid of the shine that has appeared on your suede, you can start by cleaning them. Getting rid of the dirt will help. There are several cleaning processes you can use depending on the type of stain that is on the suede.

Also, get a permanent marker that matches the color of your suede item and put ink on the area lacking in shine and color. Rub the ink in with the dye so you can get an even look. You need a good blend of colors so you may have to rub for some time.

What is Waxed Suede?


This is when the wax material has been infused into the suede or leather hide used to make the suede shoes. This process is done to protect the suede material from the weather. Waxed suede should repel moisture helping them to be long-living.

The wax used is not a solid material that needs to be melted to cover the suede. Instead, it is already an oil texture that is used to finish the material and is apart of the suede.

The drawback to this blend is that the finish is not shiny and cannot be made to be shiny through regular wax polishes or cremes. To try and get it to be shiny, you will have to go to something like saddle soap to get the job done right.

The waxed suede is intended to have a longer life span and a better ability to keep moisture from ruining the suede.

Can You Wax Suede Shoes?

Yes, you can wax suede shoes and there is a long 12 part process to get the job done right. Steps 1,2 & 3 involve removing the laces, stuffing paper inside the shoes, and then brushing the shoes clean before you get started.

Step 4 means you get a wax bar that is made to be used on fabric and start rubbing your shoes with it. Do this step in small chunks as the next step has you stopping for a while and smoothing the wax out with your fingers.

Steps 6 & 7 have you using the corners of the wax bar to get the tough spots and the seams. Make sure to coat the seams completely. Steps 8,9 & 10 have you warming the wax bar for better application and melting any clumps of wax that have gathered on your shoes.

Once all that is done Step 11 & 12 have you removing excess solid wax and driving the other wax deeper into the material.

Some Final Words

It is going to be a tough decision to choose to make your suede shiny. Outside of regular cleaning, the processes are very risky and irreversible. You will have to think long and hard if you want to use polish or wax on suede as once you do it, you're stuck with it.

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