Leather boots can turn an otherwise boring outfit into a trendy statement, but leather requires special care. Some high-quality leathers are stiff and light in color until they are worn in. Older leather may fade, showing signs of wear and lose some of its color. Darkening leather using olive oil is a simple and inexpensive way to alter the leather’s color as well as condition and soften it.
Things You'll Need
Test an inconspicuous part of the boots such as the inside or the heel. Some leathers react poorly to darkening and you might find that the olive oil darkens the boots more than you’d like. Simply apply a dab of olive oil to the test area and allow to dry for 24 hours. If you’re happy with the results, you can darken the rest of your boots using olive oil.
Pour a tablespoon of olive oil on a washcloth and rub into your boots, starting at the toes and working upward. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the washcloth when the effect begins to lessen. Too much olive oil can darken the boots too quickly or leave the leather sticky.
Allow the olive oil 24 hours to dry. If the result is not dark enough, reapply until you get the desired effect. Your boots require no additional care to retain the darkened effect, but treating them with a leather conditioner will ensure they stay in good condition and do not crack.
References and ResourcesConservation of Leather and Related Materials; Marion Kite, et al.
Making Leather Purses and Totes; Lisa Galvin, et al.