I've been searching for a pair of red cowboy boots for several months. How cute would they be with summer dresses?! I had a hard time finding exactly what I wanted, plus I didn't want to spend $100 or more on a pair. I really wanted a used pair...nice and worn in already, but with a lot of life left in them. I finally decided to bid on a light brown pair on Ebay and take a chance on dyeing them red. I read a blog where someone had dyed a handbag with Fiebing's Dye, so I figured what the heck...I'm crafty, right?
I won the Ebay auction and got the boots for $26 and they fit like they were made for me. Bonus! I ordered the dye and deglazer (removes any old finish and dirt from the leather) from an Ebay seller also (STECKSTORE) The handbag blogger said a whole bottle of dye was used for the bag, so I bought 2 bottles of red dye for the boots. I only used part of one bottle of the red dye and only about an inch and a half of the deglazer, so this puts my total cost at less than $35.
I got some old rags and went outside. The deglazer SMELLS... you're gonna need more than a "well ventilated area", trust me! I cleaned one boot first and a fair amount of dirt came off. You're supposed to put the dye on while the leather is still damp from the deglazer. The dye comes with a dabber thingy and the dye is DRIPPY! A bit thicker than water, but not much. It reminded me of the mercurochrome my mom used to put on my boos-boos when I was little. (Whatever happened to mecurochrome? They probably discovered it's cancer causing or something, right?)I just rubbed the dye soaked dabber all over the boot until it was covered completely. Then I did the second boot and after about 10 minutes (not long) followed with a second coat of red dye. Then, per the instructions on the bottle, I rubbed briskly with soft cloth to remove excess dye. Not a lot came off. And that was it! Total time, maybe 20 minutes. Seriously. I wore them the next day and a bit of dye did rub off on my shin, but not much. I think I may have forgotten to briskly rub the inside of the boot where the pull up strap is, so that would explain the dye rub-off.
So...if you're feeling adventurous, I highly recommend giving this a try! Maybe test it on some thrift store shoes first or something, but it was REALLY easy and it turned out exactly as I wanted, so GO FOR IT!