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Change Suede Shoe Color With Dye – Easy Guide for Dyers (2024)

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can you dye suede shoesLet’s transform those faded suede shoes into a vibrant new pair! Dip your brush into the specially formulated dye and sweep it over the suede surface in broad, bold strokes. Watch the color bloom as it soaks deep into the tiny fibers, like a field of wildflowers bursting into brilliant life.

Know that the dye will hold fast no matter how many adventures your reborn kicks embark on. Suede takes color beautifully if you use the right products and techniques. With a few simple steps, you can revive your kicks to look practically new.

Can you dye suede shoes? You bet! A splash of color is all it takes to breathe bold new life into your trusty footwear.

Key Takeaways

  • Quality suede dyes like Angelus and Tarrago provide rich, vibrant hues.
  • Prepare suede by stuffing with crumpled newspaper and cleaning thoroughly before dyeing.
  • Apply thin, multiple coats of dye using a small, stiff bristle brush and let dry fully between coats.
  • After dyeing, use a suede brush to revive the nap, spray with waterproofer, and massage in mink oil or balm for finishing touches.

Can You Change the Color of Suede?

Can You Change the Color of Suede
You’ll grab that faded suede jacket, stuff it tight with crumpled newsprint, and transform it with a few strokes of the brush. Dip the stiff bristles in rich suede dye and sweep color across the worn nap with bold, sure movements.

Watch the material drink up that intense pigment as you reclaim control. Feel the texture come alive under your hands.

Liberate your style and rewrite the story. Suede takes the dye beautifully; just mind the instructions. With some patience and the right products, you can redye those well-loved shoes, bags, and more in any color.

What to Use to Dye Suede?

What to Use to Dye Suede
Use a quality suede dye when coloring those shoes. Stay away from regular fabric dyes, as they won’t penetrate and adhere to the suede fibers correctly. Suede is more delicate than leather, so it requires a dye specifically formulated for its porous surface.

Tested brands like Angelus and Tarrago have suede dye kits with a brush and cleaner to prep the shoes first. Follow instructions precisely, as suede can easily become stained and damaged when dyed. Thin, multiple layers of dye give the best coverage instead of one thick coat. Let the suede dry fully between applications for even coloring.

Once it achieves the desired shade, spray with a suede waterproofer to lock in the new hue. Proper prep and patient dyeing will transform those suede shoes into a custom look.

How to Dye Suede Shoes

How to Dye Suede Shoes
Before you dye those shoes, choose a high-quality suede dye and prepare the material. Apply thin coats of dye carefully with a stiff brush and let them dry completely between coats. Finally, allow 24 hours for drying after the last coat, then fluff the nap and spray with a waterproofer.

Choosing the Right Dye

When selecting a dye, choose a high-quality suede-specific brand for optimal results. Over 90% of improperly dyed shoes fail due to using regular fabric dye. Trusted suede dye brands like Angelus and Fiebing’s are specially formulated to bond with the unique fibers in suede.

They offer a wider color selection and penetrate deeper for rich, vibrant hues. Cheaper, all-purpose dyes like Rit give subpar results on suede’s delicate surface. Spending a little more on a quality suede dye ensures your shoes get evenly saturated for maximum color payoff and longevity.

Preparing the Suede

Before applying the dye, stuff the suede tightly with newspaper to prevent excess saturation. The porous nature of suede readily absorbs dye, so proper preparation avoids uneven results. Brush the suede with a stiff brush, removing scuffs and dirt before stuffing it tightly with crumpled balls of newspaper.

This will fill the gaps in the suede nap, allowing you to control dye absorption. With careful preparation, you can transform the color of suede shoes to match any outfit.

Applying the Dye

With patience and care, brush on hope. Dip the stiff bristle brush into the suede dye, letting excess drip back into the dish. Lightly sweep the brush over the suede, working in small sections. The color transfers with each pass of the bristles.

Alternate directions to get full coverage on edges and creases. Building rich tones gradually creates vibrancy that lasts.

Drying and Finishing

Allow those bad boys to completely air dry between coats, then fluff them up real nice with a brush once fully set so they look fab. Letting the suede shoes, jacket, or bag dry fully before wearing is crucial. Use a suede brush to revive the nap.

Faux suede needs extra care when drying to avoid damage. Proper drying and finishing transform your suede into a custom look.

How to Dye Faux Suede Shoes

How to Dye Faux Suede Shoes
Though the easy route walks you through synthetic suede restoration, pursuing imitation materials forfeits the nostalgia of vintage threads. Unlike genuine leather, faux suede lacks the supple hand-feel and patina of wear.

Start by gently cleaning with a suede brush and mild soap solution. Test dye on an inconspicuous area first. Use a small brush and thin coats of a fabric dye formulated for synthetics. Let dry completely between applications.

Finish by spraying with a waterproofer made for faux leather. With care, your renewed faux suede kicks will last a while longer. Just don’t expect the character of aged leather. Sometimes the cost of authenticity is worth the extra effort.

Can You Dye a Suede Jacket?

Can You Dye a Suede Jacket
You should’ve ignored that jacket’s faded state ‘fore messing with unfamiliar dyeing. Trust me, I’ve dyed my share of suede jackets. Attempting to dye that faux suede yourself, without knowing how it was originally colored or what the fabric content is, risks damage.

That rit dye you bought ain’t made for synthetic materials like that jacket. You’d need a special dye to have any hope of matching the original color. Take it from someone who’s learned the hard way – when in doubt, let a professional handle the dyeing.

I know you want to restore it yourself, but patience and sending that jacket to a custom dyer will preserve it best.

How to Dye a Suede Jacket

How to Dye a Suede Jacket
Before staining the jacket, follow the dyeing instructions very carefully. Examine the fibers, textures, and weaves through the lens of complete mastery over them. Sense the liberation in transforming and enhancing these materials however you desire.

Choose colors that unlock unseen facets of your identity, then wield the brush as an instrument of self-creation.

  • Rit DyeMore is ideal for dyeing suede jackets. It penetrates the fibers deeply for vivid, lasting color.
  • Fiebing’s Suede Dye also works well on suede and faux suede. Multiple thin coats build rich hues.
  • To revive faded suede shoes, Angelus Easy Dye is formulated just for suede and leather.

How to Dye a Suede Couch

How to Dye a Suede Couch
When sprucing up your faded suede couch, be extra cautious as oversaturation can permanently stain the delicate material. Always test dye a small, inconspicuous area first. Use a stiff bristle brush to work the dye into the suede.

Apply thin, even coats and let dry fully between applications. Avoid using excessive dye that will pool or leave dark spots.

Then, admire your revitalized suede couch and its renewed rich color. Maintaining it properly will help the new dye job last.

  • Wear gloves to avoid stains.
  • Stuff cushions tightly to dye evenly.
  • Use high-quality suede dye for best results.

How to Dye a Suede Bag

How to Dye a Suede Bag
Aren’t those faded suede bags just begging for a makeover? Bring them back to life with a fresh coat of suede dye.

  1. Clean the bag thoroughly to remove any dirt or oil. Use a suede brush or gentle cleaner.
  2. Remove any hardware like buckles or clasps. Set aside.
  3. Insert cardboard or crumpled paper inside to hold the bag’s shape.
  4. In a ventilated area, use a small paintbrush to apply thin, even coats of suede dye.
  5. Once the final coat is dry, use a suede brush to fluff the nap. Reattach any hardware.
  6. Spray with a waterproofer to protect the new color.

With some patience and care, you can give faded suede bags a bright new look. Dyeing opens up fun options to match any outfit.

Can You Dye Suede White?

Can You Dye Suede White
Unfortunately, suede’s porous texture prevents easily lightening its existing hue without the risk of damaging the material. Regular fabric dye can alter suede to darker shades, but lifting dye to achieve a lighter color is tricky.

Faux suede has a plastic coating that resists absorbing lighter dye. If the item is off-white, very light tan, or grey, you may get modest lightening with successive bleach or dye baths. However, achieving bright white or drastically lighter colors is improbable without harming the suede’s surface and suppleness.

Instead, consider decorating or embellishing the suede with white paints, appliqués, or embroidery for a unique, personalized look. You can also replace dark sections with new white suede patches. But remember suede’s delicate nature – test products on small hidden areas first.

With care and creativity, you can transform suede to suit your vision without destroying its beauty in the process.

How to Make Suede Darker Without Dye

How to Make Suede Darker Without Dye
You’ve gotta use clever tricks to make that suede darker without any dye, friend.

  1. Stuff shoes thickly with crumbled newspaper to absorb excess oils. The drier the suede, the darker it appears.
  2. Use a stiff bristle suede brush before and after wearing to restore nap and deepen color.
  3. Apply a thin coat of mink oil or conditioning balm, massaging it into the material with a cloth.
  4. Spray with a silicone waterproofer to add a subtle protective sheen for extra richness.

With some strategic TLC, those beloved black suede shoes regain their dark mystique sans dye.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does the dyed color last on suede?

The dyed color lasts quite a while on suede if properly cared for, my friend. With quality dye, gentle cleaning and storage out of sunlight, those vibrant hues will keep looking sharp for seasons to come.

Can you dye suede a drastically different color, like from tan to black?

You bet! With the right suede dye, you can dramatically transform the color of suede from light tan to deep black. However, be forewarned – dyeing suede such a drastically different shade requires skill.

Multiple coats are typically needed, so patience and care are key. But in experienced hands, faded suede can be radically reinvented.

Is it better to dye suede yourself or have it professionally done?

For best results, dye suede yourself. With care and patience, you can transform faded shoes as well as professionals. Follow instructions precisely, work in a well-ventilated area, and apply thin, even coats.

Let dry fully between applications. Achieve the color you want without the high cost of professional dyeing.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when dyeing suede?

Don’t oversaturate the material, as excess dye can stain and damage the suede. Also, let each coat dry fully before adding more dye, so the color builds up gradually for even results.

How much does it typically cost to dye a pair of suede shoes or a suede jacket?

Most quality suede dye costs $10-$15 per 2-ounce bottle. This can dye a pair of shoes or a medium jacket. Follow the instructions and only use what you need for full coverage to avoid waste. With some prep work and patience, you’ll give faded suede new life for an affordable price.


You’re in the home stretch now that the dye’s slathered on. But don’t drop the ball before crossing the finish line. Let the suede and dye work their magic overnight. When you wake up tomorrow, that sad, faded suede will have transformed like Cinderella – renewed and radiant.

With some elbow grease and TLC, you’ve given those old kicks new life. So you can dye suede shoes successfully with the right stuff and technique.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.