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Shining/polishing boots....Help!

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  • Shining/polishing boots....Help!

    Right now I use fiebings boot creme to polish up my tall boots and it's alright but it doesn't make my tall boots even close to "shining". What do all you COTHers use to get your boots in gleaming condition? Thanks
    “A horse is the projection of peoples' dreams about themselves - strong, powerful, beautiful - and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence.”

  • #2
    I use the same polish. After you put it on, and it dries: first use a rag to rub off as much polish as you can. They should be shiny at this point. To get them mirror shiny you then rub them with pantyhose (put your hand through a pair of knee highs and rub). This process takes me close to an hour from very start to very finish, and my arms are usually sore

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    • #3
      Google spit shine or military spit shine. There are some great how tos out there. When I was kid my dad, a retired Marine, used to polish mine. They were absolutely mirror like. And you only have to do it full out every once in a while with some maintenance polishings in between.

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      • #4
        Do you have Kiwi Parade Gloss over there? the secret to super shiny boots is it fill the pores of the leather just enough to fill it, not so much that it gunks up.

        Parade Gloss + Elbow Grease + Hair Dryer.
        I have instructions somewhere i could dig up if you're interested!

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        • #5
          Lots of layers of the polish (I just use Kiwi), and run a cold damp cloth over them in between layers... then buff and finish with the pantyhose. (:
          "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

          Graphite/Pastel Portraits

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          • #6
            After the polish is dried I have a soft brush that I put a pair of nylons over and buff my boots with.

            It works like magic!

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            • #7
              It seems that the common denominator is the nylon hosiery! I also use parade gloss, but have never found the right cloth to really buff them up... will try the nylons!

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              • #8
                I used to have to polish my fathers many different pairs of riding boots when I was a kid, and being a military man they had to blind you or hey got done again.

                Use the old wax paste, the kind that dries up if you leave the little tin open too long. You can usually tell these kinf by the shallow tin and the bow-tie opener they have ( little metal part that looks something like a bow-tie and when you turn it, it forces the lid off)

                Melt the wax a little with a lighter to help it flow smoother as it is applied.

                I use a rag to apply the paste.

                Apply to both boots, by the time you have the paste on the second boot, the first will have set up a enough.

                I generally use two types of brush a course brush and a soft brush, buff both boots with both brushes, course one first, then soft brush.

                Then buff with a cotton towel. I like a cheaper towel, again that is courser, for the first buffing. You are trying to heat the wax again through friction, so really get some speed going when you do it.

                Finally take a super soft rag or cloth made specifically for buffing and buff again with moderate speed.

                It is really getting the wax to flow evenly into all the minuscule pits in the leather that gives you that smooth as glass look and shine, ergo the elbow grease, and the progressive steps.

                While others were getting paid for braiding, I was getting paid for polishing boots, and cleaning tack at the shows.

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                • #9
                  My husband (ex-army) does mine with regular Kiwi. I am not 100% sure of the process but I think he:

                  Uses a rag to work in the polish on the boot and a toothbrush to get into the crevices

                  Lets it dry while working the other boot

                  Goes over with a soft brush to get a shine

                  Uses a spray bottle of water (although he has spit in a pinch ) on the boot and uses a cloth to get a real gloss

                  I think he repeats some part of this process when I have decided to wear my field boots to the barn for lessons and they come to him in a pretty crappy state...at which point he tells me I need another pair of boots that I can keep show ready at all times. Hey....if he's offering I might take him up on it!

                  Otherwise as mentioned above, he only has to do a quicker shine to maintain between a big full out polishing.

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                  • #10
                    I don't like that super shine look. I use Meltonian polish only, let it dry before you brush/polish, finish with panty hose for the final buffing. It gives a beautiful soft luster to good quality leather.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Hauwse View Post
                      I used to have to polish my fathers many different pairs of riding boots when I was a kid, and being a military man they had to blind you or hey got done again.

                      Use the old wax paste, the kind that dries up if you leave the little tin open too long. You can usually tell these kinf by the shallow tin and the bow-tie opener they have ( little metal part that looks something like a bow-tie and when you turn it, it forces the lid off)

                      Melt the wax a little with a lighter to help it flow smoother as it is applied.

                      I use a rag to apply the paste.

                      Apply to both boots, by the time you have the paste on the second boot, the first will have set up a enough.

                      I generally use two types of brush a course brush and a soft brush, buff both boots with both brushes, course one first, then soft brush.

                      Then buff with a cotton towel. I like a cheaper towel, again that is courser, for the first buffing. You are trying to heat the wax again through friction, so really get some speed going when you do it.

                      Finally take a super soft rag or cloth made specifically for buffing and buff again with moderate speed.

                      It is really getting the wax to flow evenly into all the minuscule pits in the leather that gives you that smooth as glass look and shine, ergo the elbow grease, and the progressive steps.

                      While others were getting paid for braiding, I was getting paid for polishing boots, and cleaning tack at the shows.
                      That's exactly how my dad taught me. I even got his boot shine kit as a gift when I began showing more :-) it had the polish (kiwi), four brushes, and six rags. The reason for twice the amount of brushes and rags was to be certain to never used the black boot items for polishing brown boots. Each color had one scrap of tshirt for applying polish, one stiff brush and one soft one, one regular-soft rag for buffing and one super-mega-soft rag for the final buff.
                      The kit also had the all important sole-black (liquid with a daubber) for doing the heel, too.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BAC View Post
                        I don't like that super shine look. I use Meltonian polish only, let it dry before you brush/polish, finish with panty hose for the final buffing. It gives a beautiful soft luster to good quality leather.
                        Thanks for mentioning that! My newer boots came with a matte look to them, not shiny like my last pair. I really like that matte finish for these boots, or a soft luster at most. I've just been using Neatsfoot oil after a light light cleaning with saddle soap if they're badly dirty. I may try your recommendation, too. Thanks!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          never EVER put oil on your boots if you plan to ever put even a minimal shine on them.

                          i use cavalier boot creme to clean my boots. i apply it with a old rag that has no lint..... but just a little "nap" left to it. cavalier has a neutral polish in it and is half the price as any of the above mentioned. you can buy it at any cobbler shop ( and good luck finding one these days). when i see it i generally buy 3-4 bottles.

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                          • #14
                            First - did you clean them w/ saddle soap or anything you clean your tack with ? If so it'll be hard to bring that polish back... Now use KIWI as that has a harder polish, then buff w/ brush, final touch buff w/ an old pair of stockings or knee highs ( you could use new but why waste new if you have an old pair)

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                            • #15
                              I use the regular kiwi polish. I'd clean the boots first with a touch of glycerine soap if they were really dirty (their usual state...). Then apply the polish with medium brush (minimal on calf side!), let dry, then buff buff buff with the kiwi polish rag.
                              This gives a really nice soft luster to it, not a super shiny one. I've never really like the 'see my face in it!' shine, but to each their own! As long as they're clean
                              All that is gold does not glitter;
                              Not all those who wander are lost.
                              ~J.R.R. Tolkien
                              http://theimperfectperfecthorse.blogspot.com/

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                              • #16
                                Wipe down boots with water only, then kiwi polish. Let sit for a few minutes and then use the horsehair brush to buff. Then meltonian cream polish over the top and let that sit for a few more minutes. Finish buffing with pantyhose and you will have boots so shiny you can see yourself in them! And you can touch up with a little more cream polish or just the pantyhose (IMO this is nearly as good as a spit shine with wayyyyy less effort).
                                -JustWorld International-

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                                • #17
                                  Here's the way i do mine - i didnt write this up, it's off another Australian horse forum - credits to Claire! I've been doing it this way for a number of years and the result is SUPER shiny boots - better than my Army OH can do even!


                                  Step One. Take a tin of Parade Gloss, a bowl of boiling water and a piece of old towel. Get yourself plenty of polish on the end of the towel, dip in to the hot water and then work in to your boot. Finish one boot and then start on the other.
                                  Step Two. Go back to the first boot and using the rest of the old towel (it has been washed with a rinse of fabric softener and run through the tumble dryer hasn't it?) polish until your arms drop off.
                                  Step Three. Boot two.
                                  Step Four.Repeat Step One.
                                  Step Five. Don't polish your boots. Take your hair dryer. Click on highest heat and lowest speed. Apply heat to your boot so that the polish 'melts' in to the pores. It is interesting to watch. The polish where the heat is applied becomes very shiny and you see it melting over the surface. You can repair scuffs that have burred the leather or the dull bit that is marked by the stirrup leather by adding a little extra Parade Gloss and being careful how you melt it.
                                  Step Six. Boot two.
                                  Step Seven. Repeat step Two.
                                  Step Eight. Your boots are now so shiny you just wan't to look at them, not wear them.

                                  Now for Pete's sake go and ride in your boots. They may flake off a little polish at the crease over the ball of your foot and maybe around the ankle but just buff with a soft cloth.

                                  First time will have taken you all afternoon. The next time that you do them will take around 30 mins - 60 mins. First step this time will be to clean then with methylated spirits. They will look milky and foggy looking but this is needed. Repeat steps one to eight.

                                  You thought the boots looked fantastic the first time that you did them? Not nearly as good as this time!

                                  About the only ready made shine that I would use at a pinch is the Effax one but you have to be so careful that you have buffed it once it has dried and you never apply another coat without stripping it completely with the metho.

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                                  • #18
                                    ouch!! I just read that I should not have used the Effax more than once!! Would amonia work to get it off the leather. Or warm soapy water?
                                    "Over the Hill?? What Hill, Where?? I don't remember any hill!!!" Favorite Tee Shirt

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                                    • #19
                                      You people are all working too hard.

                                      Clean boots with saddle soap...just a tiny bit.

                                      Apply Kiwi shoe polish with the brush that comes in the little kit.

                                      Put boots on. This is key.

                                      Grab an old pair of pantyhose, fold them in half toe-to-waist, hold each end with one hand, then buff across your boots.

                                      This method takes me about 10 minutes and I've routinely gotten compliments from BNTs at clinics on my shiny boots.
                                      ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I just use ordinary black polish then buff it with a soft(ish) brush and then use either pantyhose or and old tall boot sock. I always get asked how my boots are so shiny! Pantyhose/boot socks are the trick!

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