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How to Make Suede Shiny With Wax Polish Full Guide of 2023

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how to make suede shiny wax polishSpit and polish, like a soldier preparing for inspection. You want shoes shining like new money so you stand tall.

Waxing suede keeps water out and gives a rustic look to set yourself apart. Just grab a wax bar and breathe new life into suede.

Care and patience restore pride in your stride.

To learn proper techniques for applying wax on suede, continue reading this guide from a master cobbler.

Why Does Suede Get Shiny?

Why Does Suede Get Shiny
Since suede is a type of leather with a soft nap, it can become shiny when the nap wears down over time or is damaged by dirt, moisture, and improper care.

As an expert cobbler and suede restoration pro, I’ve seen many shiny suede shoes in my day.

When the delicate suede fibers get mashed down and flattened from use, the material loses its signature soft texture and takes on more of a polished finish.

Overexposure to rain, snow, and dirt erodes the nap over time too.

To keep suede looking its best, be sure to clean gently, allow it to fully dry, and use protective sprays.

With some TLC and avoidance of damage, your suede can maintain its luxurious matte texture for years.

Though with wear some shine is inevitable, proper care maximizes the life of the material.

Even then, skilled restoration can often renew dull, flattened suede.

With a practiced hand and quality products, the supple look of fresh suede can be restored.

Can You Polish Suede?

Can You Polish Suede
You can polish suede shoes, but it can alter their natural look and feel. As a master cobbler and leather restoration specialist, I understand the desire to experiment with different styles and techniques.

However, when it comes to polishing suede, there are factors you should consider: cost vs.

Polishing suede may temporarily give it a shiny appearance but at the expense of its original texture and color preservation. While some people take pride in transforming their suede shoes into something new and shiny through experimentation with polishes or waxes, others might judge such alteration as unnecessary.

Ultimately though, it’s important to weigh the pros against cons before deciding whether or not this process is worth your time and effort—considering that purchasing new shiny leather shoes could be more practical than altering your beloved pair of suedes!

How to Make Suede Shiny

How to Make Suede Shiny
Use a nap brush to buff the wax-polished suede after letting it dry to gently raise the nap for a subtle shine.

Here are four steps you can follow to make your suede shiny:

  1. Apply wax polish: Choose a high-quality wax polish that matches the color of your suede shoes.
  2. Let it dry: Allow the wax polish to fully dry before proceeding with any further steps. This usually takes around 20-30 minutes, but be sure to check the instructions on your chosen product.
  3. Buff with a nap brush: Once dried, use gentle strokes with a nap brush in one direction over the entire surface of your shoes or other suede items.
  4. Repeat if necessary: If you desire more shine, repeat these steps until you achieve your desired level of shininess.

By following these simple yet effective techniques, you can transform dull and worn-out suede into something eye-catching and luxurious-looking.

Restoring Shiny Suede

Restoring Shiny Suede
To restore shiny suede, begin by thoroughly cleaning the material.

Wipe the suede with vinegar to clean it and remove any stains or dirt.

Steam it over a kettle to refresh the material and bring back its original texture.

If there are stubborn stains, use an eraser or an old toothbrush to gently remove them without damaging the suede.

In case your suede has faded over time, you can touch up the color by using a matching marker to blend it with the old color seamlessly.

Restoring shiny suede requires patience and attention to detail but is definitely possible with proper care and maintenance.

By following these steps, you can revitalize your worn-out suedes and bring back their lustrous shine.

Step Action
1 Clean Suede With Vinegar
2 Steam Suede Over A Kettle
3 Remove Stains Using Eraser

Remember that restoring shiny suede may alter its original texture permanently so proceed carefully when attempting this process on valuable items.

What is Waxed Suede?

What is Waxed Suede
Having waxed your suede, the material now has a protective water-resistant coating that alters the finish and feel.

Ideal for outdoor elements like rain and snow, the waxed suede withstands moisture while retaining suppleness.

The wax strengthens the fibers, preventing wear and tear. While traditional suede shows marks easily, waxed suede camouflages scuffs.

Styling options expand with waxed suede – everything from rugged boots to sleek jackets.

Allow 24 hours drying after wax application before wearing. Regularly brush waxed suede using a soft brush.

Use wax sparingly on seams and edges. With some care, waxed suede keeps its protective seal and stylish appearance.

How to Wax Suede

How to Wax Suede
Get your supplies ready, because I’m about to walk you through how to wax suede step-by-step.

The process involves applying wax and polishing the material to achieve the desired level of shine.

Pay close attention to the techniques I describe to get professional results.

First, you’ll need a suede brush, wax applicator, suede protector spray, and a suede eraser or soft cloth.

Start by clearing away any dirt or debris with the suede brush. Go against the nap in short, light strokes.

Spray a protector evenly over the entire surface. Let it dry completely before moving on, usually 20-30 minutes.

Use the applicator to spread wax smoothly and thinly over the suede. Work it into the nap using circular motions.

Let the first coat dry, then repeat the wax application for extra conditioning and sheen.

Finally, buff the suede with a soft cloth to remove any excess wax and raise the nap.

With the right products and techniques, you can give your suede items new life! Let the waxed finish dry overnight before wearing.

Supplies Needed

For waxing suede, you’ll need suede cleaner, suede wax or dubbin, a suede brush, cloth, and applicator sponge per the directions.

Test wax on an inconspicuous part of the suede first to check colorfastness.

Follow the instructions carefully, applying thin, even coats of wax and allowing proper drying time between coats.

Buff gently with a suede brush once completely dry.

Maintaining a waxed finish requires reapplying wax every few months.

Pros are added protection and shine; cons are potential color change.

Step-by-Step Process

You can wax suede by first cleaning the material thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. Make sure to gently brush the nap and use a suede eraser or gentle detergent to clean. Test any products on a small, inconspicuous area first before applying to the whole suede item.

Prepare the wax and suede cleaning supplies

Gently clean the entire surface

Apply wax in small sections

Waxing suede requires careful preparation and technique to achieve optimal shine without damage.

Can You Use Shoe Polish on Suede?

Can You Use Shoe Polish on Suede
Although suede has a signature matte finish, you can use shoe polish to give your suede shoes or accessories a subtle sheen.

Apply a thin layer of suede-specific polish using small circular motions. Let it dry completely before buffing with a horsehair brush to bring out the shine.

Too much polish or vigorous buffing can damage the delicate suede texture. Test polish on an inconspicuous area first.

Use wax-based over water-based polish for greater protection and sheen. However, repeated polishing alters suede’s soft nap.

Consider protective sprays or fabric guards instead to retain the intended nubuck look. Ultimately, balance your aesthetic preference with preserving the shoes’ original character.

Proper suede care comes down to understanding its unique qualities.

Alternatives to Waxing Suede

Alternatives to Waxing Suede
No, waxing isn’t the only way to make suede shiny. Here are 4 alternative methods to consider:

  1. Use a steam iron and damp cloth to remove dirt and revitalize the suede. The heat and moisture open up the suede’s pores and restore luster.
  2. Try commercial suede cleaners and conditioners specifically made for restoring suede. These products penetrate deep to extract dirt while replenishing oils. Follow product instructions carefully.
  3. Brush the suede vigorously with a suede brush. Regular brushing lifts dirt from the surface and aligns the suede’s texture.
  4. Apply light coats of suede protector spray. This seals the suede nap and provides some shine.

Waxing works but alters suede’s original look and feel. Try these tips first to gently clean, condition and enhance suede’s natural beauty.

Caring for Waxed Suede

Caring for Waxed Suede
Maintenance of your waxed suede helps preserve its refreshed shine and texture, so regularly brush it with a suede brush and avoid exposure to moisture that can lead to mold growth.

Caring for waxed suede requires diligence to maintain the polished look you worked to achieve. Use a stiff-bristled brush at least weekly to redistribute oils and prevent matting.

Check for early signs of mold like discoloration. Exposure to rain or spills necessitates prompt action to dry and restore.

Consider protective sprays that maintain breathability. Rotate your shoes to evenly distribute wear.

With some care, your waxed suede can retain its renewed vibrancy and character for a long stretch.

Regular maintenance makes all the difference in achieving the suede shine and texture you desire while extending the life of your favorite waxed suede items.


With care and patience, you can restore the shine to your beloved suede. Armed with a wax bar and brush, gently massage new life into the leather until it regains its supple luster.

Let the waxed suede dry thoroughly before buffing to a satiny finish.

With a light touch, you can make suede shiny with wax polish, bringing renewed pride to every stride.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

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.