I have a pair of boots that my husband bought me when we were first married.  I absolutely LOVE them! They are mostly leather, but the back section is stretch pleather.  Well, over time, the pleather has cracked, but the rest of the boot is in great shape.  I have looked for a replacement pair of boots, but I haven’t seen any as much as I like this pair.  So I have been on a mission to see how to salvage these boots!

They were mostly just cracking around the ankles, so I thought that maybe I could use some specialty glue to adhere it and keep it from cracking any further.

decoupage glue

Yeah, well that didn’t work!

decoupage ankle

I undid the buckle and applied the glue around the peeling ankle and also along the seemed edges.  Not only did it not keep the pleather from peeling, but you can see the sheen difference where I applied the glue.

decoupage seam

Since I couldn’t fight the peeling, I decided to embrace it and peel it all off!  I’m pretty sure that the glue made it difficult for me when I decided to remove all of the pleather coating on the stretch fabric.  I rubbed as much of it off as I could, but it was difficult to get it off of the seam (not sure if this would have been the case if I hadn’t put permanent glue on it!)  By the way, rubbing off pleather coating will make a big mess, so be prepared to be covered in little black stuff.

After rubbing off the pleather coating, I decided to try sharpie marker to color it in.  I didn’t like that because it left a purplish cast that also had an unappealing sheen to it.  So next I decided to try some ink that I had on hand to re-ink my ink pads..


This actually worked very well and gave a deep black color to the fabric, but it was also extremely messy.  I became concerned that it was never going to dry because it still felt damp to the touch a couple of days later.  I didn’t want ink to be rubbing off on my legs as I wore them!


So I decided to give shoe wax a try.  I rubbed on black shoe wax, which had a a great sheen that was almost a perfect match to the look of the leather.

shoe wax

For comparison, in the picture below, the boot on the right is with wax, the boot on the left is with ink.

ink and wax boot

However, when I put the boot on and the fabric stretched, the coverage of the wax wasn’t good enough and they looked streaky.


So, back to the ink!  I covered everything thoroughly with the black ink, and FINALLY it dried so that when I put it on I didn’t get black all over me!  I am not really sure how long this took to dry.  I can tell you that it was not dry after a week, and when I checked it again until after a month, it was dry.  So, some time between a week and a month!  Lesson: don’t do this right before you want to wear your boots!

back seam

In this picture you can see that I wasn’t able to get all of the pleather coating off of the back seam.  I would have really preferred to get it all off, but this is as good as I could get!

side view All in all, I think I am happy with how they turned out, and I can now wear them again come Fall!

finished boot



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