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How To Lighten The Color Of Cowboy Boots?

How To Lighten The Color Of Cowboy Boots?

Using leather conditioners or oils to maintain and moisturize cowboy boots is one of the very important steps to care for cowboy boots. It guarantees cowboy boots last longer and keeps their original condition very well.

The problem is that products like mink oil or leather conditioner often darken cowboy boots, which some people may accept or like, while others may not. And people who don’t like it often find a way to fix or avoid this problem, i.e. lighten cowboy boots.

In fact, there are some methods to do that, we will guide you in detail below. However, these methods will have some risks, which we will clarify more in the article!

Key takeaways

  • There are many methods to make cowboy boots lighten, including changing their color such as dyeing, spray paint, or making them fade like using approx salts, acetone, or oxalic acid.
  • As for the color change method, make sure you choose the right color and test it first. Meanwhile, if you want to make the color of cowboy boots fade, go slow and steady to make sure they fade to the color you want.
  • Make sure your cowboy boots are clean before you start. You can repeat the process until you find the right color.

Cowboy boots on the floor

How To Lighten The Color Of Cowboy Boots?

Normally, if you use cowboy boots for a long time without conditioning them, cowboy boots will also fade and be brighter. However, that also means cowboy boots can be dry and lack moisture, leading to cracking.

There are many methods to lighten cowboy boots. Some effective and safe methods include using polish, spray paint, or even dyeing them.

Or, you can use nail polish remover or oxalic acid with acetone, but you should be more careful when using these chemicals.

Above all, the first thing that you need to do is to make sure cowboy boots are clean. This allows you to lighten the color of boots easily, efficiently, and conveniently. Use a leather cleaner and a horsehair brush to clean your boots.

And now, let’s get started!

1. Use polish to lighten the color of cowboy boots

man is polishing cowboy boots with stitching

After cleaning cowboy boots, apply shoe polish with a lighter color than the original color of the boots. Apply it on cowboy boots, and use a cloth or horsehair brush to buff 2 or 3 coats to get brighter colors.

You can see more ways to polish cowboy boots here!

Besides polishing the boots right, the most important thing is to choose the right type of polish with a suitable color to help lighten cowboy boots.

Nowadays, there are so many polish colors on the market that you can easily find them. However, before actually applying a large amount of polish, test a small amount to make sure the color you choose is just right.

2. Dye cowboy boots or use spray paint

dye cowboy boots with other colors

There are 2 ways that are quite extreme to change the color of cowboy boots. Using the dyes on the market or using spray paint are those ways.

The important thing here is still how you choose the color to dye or spray on cowboy boots, choose a brighter color than the old one. And you need to note that these 2 ways will completely change the color of cowboy boots.

If you want to see the process step by step, you can go to these 2 articles, one on how to dye boots and the other on how to spray paint on boots!

3. Use olive oil for a long time

olive oil

One trick to make your cowboy boots shine in a short time is to apply olive oil to your cowboy boots, which is quite similar to polishing.

However, there is one feature that you need to keep in mind, cowboy boots polished with olive oil show signs of fading over time. And maybe that’s what you want: to have a brighter color on your boots.

The method is also very simple, it is to apply olive oil to the horsehair brush or cloth then buff it thoroughly on cowboy boots.

However, this method takes a long time to get the best effect. Even so, this is a fairly safe method and you can control how much “light” your boots have.

4. Use oxalic acid in combination with acetone

acetone and oxalic acid

This is the common method that can produce the earliest results. However, with this method, you need to take it slow to monitor the results and stop at the right time.

Also, don’t forget to put on gloves so as not to be affected by chemicals.

Oxalic acid and acetone both have the ability to change leather color and lighten them, they are especially effective for dark cowboy boots, what you need to do is create a mixture properly.

First, use a towel and dip it in the acetone solution, wring it out, and then rub it on the surface of cowboy boots. Over time, you will see the finish color of cowboy boots gradually fade away.

After cowboy boots have gradually lost their original color and faded, let them dry for 10 minutes and observe the results, you can stop once you are satisfied.

But if you are not satisfied, continue to dip the cloth in a solution that includes oxalic acid with water (in a ratio of 1:1) and then rub it on the surface of cowboy boots. Rub evenly and evenly over cowboy boots.

In the process, observe the results! Stop when you are satisfied with the color that is completely lightened.

Once done, you should use the leather cleaner and horsehair brush to clean cowboy boots thoroughly again.

This ensures that no chemicals are left on the surface of cowboy boots and their color won’t lighten further over time.

5. Distress your cowboy boots

If you love the wild and distressed style with faded colors of old cowboy boots, then this is the method for you.

Use sandpaper, a wire brush, steel wool, or even a rock to scrub the surface of cowboy boots. They will make sure to make the color of your boots lighter.

However, this method should only be used for old cowboy boots. It is quite risky and you can damage your boots if not careful.

distressing cowboy boots with a rock

6. Use warm water and saddle soap

Usually, manufacturers of leather cleaners for cowboy boots often try to develop and create products that do not affect the original color of the boots like fading them, but it tends to make them darker.

Therefore, using warm water and saddle soap instead of leather cleaner is a good way for you to avoid this. Saddle soap not only makes your cowboy boots clean, but it also gives your boots a light color.

saddle soap and horsehair brush

Although the results won’t be as quick as using acetone or oxalic acid, it’s a safe way to do it. This way, you don’t have to worry about your cowboy boots fading too much.

What you need to do is soak the horsehair brush in warm water, then scrub it on saddle soap and clean cowboy boots. Results will be displayed over time.

7. Use mineral salts to lighten cowboy boots

mineral salts

The last way that I want to introduce to you is the use of mineral salts. This will remove the dark colors of cowboy boots and lighten them.

Now, create a mixture of mineral salts and water. About 1 tablespoon of salt roughly equals 250 to 300 milliliters of water. Keep the mixture warm, about 30 degrees Celsius (somewhere 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, I guess).

Do not use too hot water, as it will damage the surface of cowboy boots and you will get burned!

Then, soak the solution in a dry cloth and wipe it over the clean surface of your boots.

Try scrubbing until you feel fine, make sure you rub the surface evenly! You can repeat this process when you are satisfied with the results.

Finally, you can use a clean and damp cloth to clean the entire surface.

Before you leave

In general, there is more than one way to lighten the color of cowboy boots. However, please note that:

  • If you do choose to change colors, make sure you test the color first on a different leather surface, or a small amount in your boots. This ensures that you choose the desired color.
  • If you want to make cowboy boots lightened through color removal methods, try to do it slowly. Don’t rush things and observe closely when doing it. Don’t let the color get too pale!

That’s all you need to know!