This instructable will teach you how to get dress shoes to have a near mirror shine and what you will need to do so. It takes a little time and a little practice but will give you amazing looking dress shoes. The last photo above shows the difference between a brush shine and a spit shine.
Step 1: What You Will Need
To do this job properly you will need: -A boot brush - used for applying base coats of shoe polish Other wise known as a brush shine. -Black shoe polish- as long as your shoes are black. -A polishing cloth- this is for the spit shining part. I have only ever used Kiwi brand. -A tooth brush- this is for blackening hard to reach spots. All of these things are sold at Walmart.
Step 2: Brush Shining
Brush shining is an easy way to make your shoes look great, fast. It's also a very important step to spit shining. If you don't want your shoes to have a glassy shine and just want them to have a nice dull shine and look clean this is your final step. Start by cleaning any dirt off of your shoes with a wet cloth then dry them with another cloth. Dip the end of your boot brush into your polish and dab it onto your shoes all over so there's is patches of polish covering areas of the shoes. Now use your boot brush and sweep over your shoes lightly and fast to shine them and move the polish evenly over shoes. If your going for the dull shine your done, wear your shoes and look proud. If you want a spit shine you want to do this step about 10 times letting the polish dry between coats for about 30 minutes. This is called your base coat and only needs to be done once if your shoes have never been polished.
Step 3: Blackening Hard to Reach Areas
There's a few places on dress shoes that get a grayish look from dust and dirt getting caught in grooves and in materials. The most evident one is is where the shoes sides connect to the side of the sole and the sides of the sole itself. Dip your tooth brush into your polish and apply polish evenly into the groove where the leather of the shoe is braided to the top of the sole and to the side if the sole. Use your boot brush to even the polish out and get it to have a nice clean look. Try not to get any polish on the bottoms of the shoes because it can be slippery and cause a mess when wear the shoes next.
Step 4: Spit Shine
This is where your shoes get that glassy look. There actually is no spitting required here. What you'll need is your kiwi cloth, tin of polish and a small bowl of water or just put water in the lid of your tin of polish. Hold your kiwi cloth by putting it onto your middle and index finger covering most of the finger then draping over to the back of your hand and twisting it so its snug around your fingers. Take all the extra material and rap it around so it can be held in the palm of your polishing hand. You do this so there's no extra material swinging and hitting the already polished parts of your shoe causing scratches. Look at the pictures to see how this should look. Now rub your fingers over the polish as if you were just tying to smooth out the surface. Once there's a coating of polish on your clothed fingers dip your finger into the water. You don't want your cloth to be soaked just slightly damp. Apply the polish over the area of the shoe you want to shine in section. Start with the heel for practice. Once it's evenly coated keep moving your fingers in small circles barely pushing, basically just the weight of your fingers is how much pressure to use. When it starts feeling dry breath on the part your shining like your trying to fog up a window, that's about All the moisture you will need. Keep doing this until you can't see swirl marks, slowly using less pressure near the end. One problem people have is they use to much water on there clothed fingers so when they are done you can see water spots.
Step 5: Fixing Grooves or Gouges on You Shoes
The last formal event I went to had a few kids there that loved to stand on your toes. One of the kids shoes left a deep gouge on the toe of my shoe. To fix this use your kiwi cloth and scoop a chunk of polish out. Gently fill the groove with this polish as best you can kind of like filling a hole in dry wall. Slightly smooth out the polish with your kiwi cloth so it's not clumpy but don't try to polish it. Let it dry for about an hour then repeat until the groove has gone. It's hard to make bad groove disappear but can be done with patients. Try not to leave heavy polish lumps when doing this because they are hard to get rid of. Then once the hole is filled your shoes are ready to be re-shined.