October 20


How to Dye Suede Shoes Like a Pro

By Teddy

October 20, 2022

If you’re anything like me, your closet is probably brimming with shoes of all shapes, sizes, and colors. But even the most well-rounded shoe collection can start to feel a little boring after a while. That’s why I’m always on the lookout for new ways to spice up my favorite pairs—and one of my favorite methods is dying them! Thanks to this little DIY project, I can turn even the most mundane pair of shoes into a work of art. Plus, it’s really not as difficult as it sounds. Keep reading to find out how to dye suede shoes like a pro!

What You Can Use to Dye Suede Shoes

The great thing about suede is that it’s very receptive to color. That means that you can use just about any type of dye on your shoes, as long as it’s safe for leather. I’ve had the best results with liquid shoe dyes, but you can also use gel dyes, spray dyes, or even fabric markers. For the best result, however, you should use a Fabric dye.

What You’ll Need

Before you start dying your shoes, you’ll need to gather a few supplies. You’ll need some leather or suede dye, a sponge or brush, some masking tape, and some newspaper or plastic bags. Once you have all of your supplies, you’re ready to get started.

Method 1: Brushing the Dye On

Step One: Choose Your Color 

The first step in dyeing your suede shoes is choosing the right color. If you’re unsure about which color to choose, consider what look you’re going for and what will pair well with the rest of your wardrobe. Once you’ve decided on a color, it’s time to move on to the next step.

Step Two: Prep Your Shoes 

Before you start dyeing your suede shoes, it’s important to prep them first. This will help ensure that the color takes evenly and that you don’t end up with any unwanted streaks or spots. To prep your shoes, start by giving them a good cleaning with a suede brush. This will help remove any dirt or debris that could prevent the dye from taking evenly. Once your shoes are clean, gently rub them down with a white vinegar solution (1 part vinegar to 2 parts water). This will help open up the pores of the leather and allow the dye to better penetrate the surface.

Step Three: Apply The Dye 

Now it’s time for the fun part: applying the dye! Before you start, it’s important to have all of your supplies ready and within reach. You’ll need a small paintbrush or foam applicator, rubber gloves, and plenty of old newspapers or rags—trust us, things are going to get messy. Once you have everything gathered, put on your rubber gloves and get started. 

Start by “painting” a small section of your shoe with the dye using your brush or applicator. Work in small sections and be sure to evenly coat the entire surface—you don’t want any missed spots! Once you’ve covered the entire shoe, set it aside and let the dye dry for at least 24 hours. 

Step Four: Seal The Deal 

After the dye has had time to dry completely, it’s time to seal it in with a layer of moisture-resistant sealant. This will help protect your newly dyed shoes from water damage and keep them looking their best for longer. To apply the sealant, simply follow the instructions on the product packaging—most can be applied with a simple brush-on application. Once you’ve applied the sealant, let it dry completely before moving on to step five.

Step Five: Enjoy Your New Shoes! 

There you have it! Your newly dyed suede shoes are now ready to be shown off to the world. We hope this comprehensive guide has given you everything you need to know about how to successfully dye your own suede shoes at home. Happy Crafting!

Method 2: Submerging in Dye

Before You Begin

There are a few things you’ll need before you start dying your shoes:

– Rubber gloves

– A large container (a bucket or tub will work)

– Fabric dye in the color of your choice 

– A wooden spoon or chopstick for stirring 

– Suede dye (optional) 

– Shoe polish (optional) 

– A soft cloth 

Once you have all of your supplies, you’re ready to get started.

1. Prepare the Dye Solution

The first step is to mix your fabric dye with water according to the instructions on the package. Then, add in the suede dye (if using) and stir until the two are combined.    

2. Dye the Shoes

Next, submerge your shoes in the dye mixture making sure each shoe is evenly saturated. Allow them to soak for the recommended amount of time listed on the fabric dye package—usually around 30 minutes.    

3. Rinse and Dry the Shoes

Once the allotted time has passed, remove your shoes from the dye and rinse them thoroughly under cool water until the water runs clear. Then, stuff them with paper towels or newspapers and let them air dry completely in a well-ventilated area. 

 4. Apply Shoe Polish (Optional) 

Once your shoes are dry, you may want to apply shoe polish to help protect them and keep them looking shiny and new. To do this, simply rub a small amount of polish onto a soft cloth and then rub it into the shoes in small circles until evenly coverage is achieved. Allow the polish to dry completely before wearing your shoes.

Method 3: Using a to Sponge Dye

Step One: Prepare Your Shoes

The first step is to prepare your shoes for dying. If your shoes have laces, remove them and set them aside. Then, use the masking tape to cover any areas of the shoe that you don’t want to get dyed. This might include the soles or any exposed stitching. Once your shoes are prepped and ready to go, it’s time for the fun part—dyeing!

Step Two: Dye Your Shoes

  1. Now comes the fun part—dyeing your shoes! To start, put on some old clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty.
  2. Then, mix together your dye according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Once your dye is mixed, apply it evenly to your shoes using a sponge. Make sure that you get good coverage so that the color is nice and even. 
  4. Once you’ve applied the dye, let it sit for the amount of time recommended by the manufacturer. This will usually be somewhere between 15 minutes and an hour.
  5. After the allotted time has passed, use a clean cloth to wipes off any excess dye. 
  6. And there you have it! Your shoes are now dyed and ready for another night on the town. Just be sure to avoid puddles—suede doesn’t play well with water! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you darken suede?

Yes, you can darken suede by applying a darker color of dye to the shoes. Just be sure to follow the instructions on the fabric dye package, and avoid getting the shoes wet once they’re dyed.

Can you restore faded suede shoes?

Yes, you can restore faded suede shoes by dying them a darker color. Just be sure to follow the instructions on the fabric dye package, and avoid getting the shoes wet once they’re dyed.

Is it better to hand wash or machine wash suede?

It is better to hand wash suede so that you don’t damage the material. Just be sure to use a mild soap and avoid getting the shoes too wet. Once they’re clean, stuff them with paper towels or newspapers and let them air dry in a well-ventilated area.


Dying suede shoes is an easy way to give new life to an old pair of shoes. Just be sure to gather all of your supplies before getting started, and avoid getting them wet once they’re dyed! With just a little bit of effort, you can have a brand new pair of shoes that are sure to turn heads next time you hit the dance floor.

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