November 17, 2015
How to waterproof leather without changing its color
These are new pair of boots that I got and as you can see, they’re not dark brown, they’re not black, they’re kind of a lighter brown, almost a grayish looking color.
And the problem that many of you have come to realize, I’m sure, is that if you use many of the commercial waterproofing products on the market, you’re going to destroy your leather. You’re either going to make them white and crusty or really, really, really dark black. Particularly, if you use something like NeverWet. We’ve all heard stories about NeverWet. I even created an entire video talking about how horrible NeverWet is.
But there are many other products that you can use to waterproof leather that will actually destroy them. So I set out to try and find something that’s going to at least make this water resistant, that doesn’t destroy them and I believe I found it. What I’d like to use is the Kiwi Boot Protector. Now, it’s not foolproof, but it does make your boots water repellent as long as you put it on correctly. So I’m going to show you really quickly how to put it on correctly.
1) Clean Leather of Debris
Once you’ve cleaned your leather with a horsehair brush, be sure to take off the shoelaces, because you don’t want to get this product on the shoelaces.
2) First Coat – Apply Thin Coat of Spray
Once your shoes are free from the shoelaces, make sure that you stand back between seven and ten inches or so, and then lightly spray one coating all over the boots. In my opinion, I’ve found better success by going in one direction whenever possible. Try not to put my fingers on the boots while this substance is being coated on to it because you don’t want to leave fingerprints.
Now you are going to notice that while you’re coating your leather boots, they will look noticeably darker and it will scare you. It scared me. I thought I had ruined these boots because I didn’t test it beforehand as I probably should have, but it happened to dry fine. So don’t worry about them looking too dark just yet.
3) Second Coat – One Thin Coat
Apply the first coat. Then you’re going to want to wait four hours, bring them back, and apply another thin coating.
I think the success to using this spray is to not put it on too thick. One thin coat, once. Then let it dry for four hours, then one other thick coat on top of that, and you’re going to get the best results.
4) Let dry for 48 hours (2 days)
Then you’re going to want to wait 48 hours. Yes, that’s two whole days. I know it’s a long time to wait, but trust me, it’s worth it. You really don’t have to use these tomorrow or the next day.
So once you apply it, wait two whole days. After I let my boots dry for two whole days, I tested the waterproof functionality of it, and as you can see from this video (above), it worked remarkably well. Now, there’s some leather cladding on the bottom of my shoes that I didn’t spray with it, and it did absorb some of the moisture and stained them. However, everywhere where I applied this spray, left my boots completely unmarked. It made my boots extremely hydrophobic, and it literally repelled water droplets, just like you see in the NeverWet videos. Well, maybe not just like you see but nearly enough.
The nice thing is that by using the Kiwi Boot Protector, I didn’t damage the color of my boots. Here’s a before shot before I applied the boot protector, and here’s an after shot (below). Now, there is a slight difference. It’s a little bit glossier, and maybe just a tiny bit darker, but it’s so small and minor that you really can’t tell. Certainly, no one who could ever see the before shot would know that these boots have changed in any way. It’s extremely small, the change, if any, at all.
So there you have it ladies and gentlemen–the product that I’ve finally found to make my boots water repellent without ruining them. The Kiwi Boot Protector for leather happened to work really well. It didn’t change the color of my boots, and I now have a pair of nice-looking chukka boots that I can use in the fall and weather without worrying about ruining them.