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Sunday, May 17, 2015

RM Williams Chelsea Boots Glaçage & Light Patina

Sometimes I regret opening my big fat mouth. Sometimes, as part of my braggadocio that I cannot seem to shake, I find myself telling all and sundry that I know how to perform a glaçage or that I have the dyes to do patina. Especially when I am trying to ingratiate myself with someone they will then remark 'so if I give you my boots will you do one for me" and then, because you feel the need to prove that you are not all hot air, you end up plonking said boots into the back of your car and sweating it out all Saturday morning.

Every time I open up my shoe care plastic tub I get a terrible feeling of 'I wonder how long I will get lost in this process this time'. It's not always quantifiable. Each pair of shoes is different and requires special attention. Each patina is different. Each result is different. 

The boots below were an awful boring brown. They actually look okay in the top photo but in fact thy were a pooey awful brown with no character at all. The first process was to strip them with thinners and acetone. Then they were washed with Hermes saddle soap. Then dried. Then Saphir Renovateur. After the shoes were given time to soak in the mink oil I then applied using a horse hair brush the cognac pommade by Saphir. I then let this dry for some time. This was really good. To let it dry. It then allowed streaks of cognac to penetrate the leather and at this point, I wish I had stopped because the shoes looked very Mad Max rustic. However, the owner of the shoes had specifically asked for a glaçage across the toe and heel of the boot as well as a high shine on the remaining boot. 

At this point I had forgotten how hard it is and how many layers it is to get to a mirror finish. Although I didn't really get to the mirror finish that some others can achieve and which I was hoping for, it was most certainly reflecting a great deal and it was to the satisfaction of the owner of the boots.

It's all well and good if you have other work to do in between drying and resting times, but if you had to sit and wait out each process it would be half a day of your life you will never get back and you will need to change your clothes from all the sweat you make. It's a sartorial equivalent of Zumba.


The boots were a very boring brown -which you can't really see because in actual fact they photographed nicely. 

After stripping and washing the leather with Hermes saddle soap and then resting after the application of Saphir Renovateur, the boots were given a layer of cognac pommade by Saphir. 

The final shoe, which looks fairly 'wet' from studio lights, was a very beautiful marbled brown of deeper chestnuts with streaks of cognac. It was a very enjoyable result. 

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