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Shoe Polish as Stain and Finish


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After much thought I have begun using shoe polish to stain wood where appropriate.

 

The advantages are that it looks good. It is not messy. The final sheen is perfect in my opinion.

 

I needed yellow ochre. This color and hue varies a lot. In period paintings it ranges from orange-ish, pumpkin, to yellow-ish.

 

I use Kiwi Brown and Kiwi Tan and mix them to get the desired color, tint, and hue. This is mixing in progress.

 

The black wood on the cross section is Kiwi Black applied over an initial Kiwi Black leather Dye.  Once the polish is applied and dried, I rub it with cloth, paper, or q-tip and a certain level of soft, smooth, luster emerges, much like that on polished shoes.

 

 

20181107_065226.jpg

Edited by Serapis1779
Autocorrect mispelling
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It can work well in some instances, depending upon the wood species. Some species aren't as amenable to absorbing wax as others. The color selection is somewhat limited, as well. The result is about the same as waxing after staining, but shoe polish is probably a lot less costly than "model" paints and stains. Similar wax-based colors can be sourced from fine cabinetmaking and furniture restoration catalogs. There is also a selection of wax-based filller (slightly creamier than Shinola and in every color of the rainbow) sold for covering nail holes and gaps in the miter joints in picture frames.

 

https://www.dickblick.com/products/amaco-nail-hole-and-corner-filler/

 

http://www.framingsupplies.com/PuttyFillers_amaco.htm

 

18974-8540-1-2ww-m.jpg

 

s-l1000.jpg

 

NailFiller%20IC.jpg

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Just as a side note, I've been to many third world (developing) countries where they make furniture etc and I've seen them use what looked like shoe polish on the furniture they were polishing, touching up or staining etc.  So it doesnt suprise me that it works here too.  I'll have to give it a try.

 

 

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We used to live in Marietta, Ohio that had once been home to a high quality furniture manufacturer and there were still a couple of guys alive that had worked there. My wife put a plastic doily on a nicely polished mahogany end table and it left some marks.  One of these old employees came by with a can of Kiwi wax shoe polish and in a few minutes the marks had disappeared.  45 years later the table still looks great.

 

Roger

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On 11/8/2018 at 6:25 AM, Canute said:

How aare you blending them? melting or manual stirring?

I manually mixed them with my fingers. A little goes quite a ways.

 

I also use Meltonian shoe cream. It is available in many colors.  Light brown for example makes a good ochre color that trends towards yellow on light colored wood.

20181109_175138_001.jpg

Edited by Serapis1779
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6 hours ago, JerseyCity Frankie said:

I saw a fantastic plank on frame model at Joint Clubs in Connecticut one year, jet black whales which I thought were mahogany but the builder told me it was black shoe polish. Looked better than paint. Absolutely convincing, a deep measureless black with no brushmarks.

I had painted another full sized model of this same ship, airbrushing, brushing, and mixing paint. It looks "just" ok to me.

 

On this model, I bought some stain (Minwax) and tested it on some scraps. Not good, and messy. I also tried a black sharpie (not too bad), and then I began opening my mind to unorthodox and unusual.  I used to seek shoes and got familiar with polishes, which are a mixture of wax and oil. The key thing is the stain penetrates. So my first test was on a little square of basswood sanded smooth. The black needed the assist of Kiwi black leather dye to penetrate as a base, then black polish. After it dried, I rubbed it with a paper towel, then cloth. It took just one more coat of polish the same way, and the when I rubbed it I got this effect. The area below the wale has had leather dye applied but not the shoe polish. That will come next.

20181109_175138_001.jpg

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24 minutes ago, Serapis1779 said:

I had painted another full sized model of this same ship, airbrushing, brushing, and mixing paint. It looks "just" ok to me. See picture below of the painted hull

 

On this model, a scratch built mid-section, I first bought some stain (Minwax) and tested it on some scraps. Not good, and messy. I also tried a black sharpie (not too bad), but then I began opening my mind to creative, unorthodox,  and unusual.  I used to sell shoes and got familiar with polishes, which are a mixture of wax and oil. The key thing is the stain penetrates. So my first test was on a little square of basswood sanded smooth. The black needed the assist of Kiwi black leather dye to penetrate as a base, then black polish application. After it dried, I rubbed it with a paper towel, then cloth. It took just one more coat of polish, applied in the same way, and when I rubbed it I got this effect. The area below the wale has had Kiwi black leather dye applied but not the shoe polish. That will come next.

This technique which I am going to continue experimenting with seems promising. And the color "stains" are easy and inexpensive to acquire.

24 minutes ago, Serapis1779 said:

20181109_175138_001.jpg

 

20180826_102955.jpg

Edited by Serapis1779
Improvement and elaboration
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