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You're A Bootman

 
 
Boot Polishing Tips
By Mark Stubbings


Mark is ex British Army and has spent many many hours polishing ( bulling ) boots. He offers these helpful tips.

Tip 1
Use either very well washed and old Terylene Cotton nappies or a jewellers polishing cloth. The British Army lived for years on 'yellow Cotton Dusters'. They work fine, but fibres can come off the cheaper ones.

Tip 2
Tiny circles of polish with a piece of wet cotton wool works wonders for building up the layers.

Tip 3
Black boots, Brown polish! Ever seen anything so black it looks blue? It takes layers and layers of black polish to build up that real six inch deep mirror shine so that the sergeant can see his face reflected in it, but all those layers of black wax from your 'Kiwi' polish start to get a bit too black. Just one layer of brown Parade Gloss, or other high wax brown polish, for every five layers of black applied actually makes the boot look darker, and less 'blue'.

Tip 4
Beeswaxing: To even out the knobbled / kibbled look on some boots, a few layers of melted in beeswax over well nourished leather will smooth out most inperfections. Its a load of hard work, but after totally stripping a boot down, you can apply layers of beeswax. Use pure beeswax, not dyed. The dye has impurities, because most dyed beeswax is designed for furniture renovation. Make sure you've 'moisturised' and blacked out any scratches with your favourite black shoe polish first. Kiwi Parade Gloss black is good for this. It has a high wax content.

Tip 5
Finally, when you've spent hours and hours on a boot to get a shine like black glass, you really don't want to repeat the exercise unnecessarily. Soooo if you don't mind a 'cheat' thats been used successfully by the British Army for years, and don't mind stripping the boot each time, use Johnson's Clear Floor Polish. It takes 20 minutes to dry and it puts a glass like cover over the boot, as long as its dead black to start with. Just dab some of the polish on a cotton cloth and wipe over the boot until you've got an even wet surface with no bubbles, and allow to dry.

I hope the tips are useful.

Mark



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