Military Gear & Army Surplus Gear Blog

How to Strip Mirror Shine Polish Off Shoes | Kirby Allison

How to Strip Mirror Shine Polish Off Shoes | Kirby Allison


Hi, I’m Kirby Allison, and we love to help the well-dressed take care of their wardrobes. In today’s video I’m going to show you what to do whenever your mirror
shine reaches the point at which it can be
no longer maintained and you just need to strip
everything off and start over. If you have any questions or comments during this section, please ask them in the comments
section below. I look forward to getting back to
all those questions personally. In the first polish video on these
Dimitri Gomez shoes, you’ll remember that I
produced a beautiful mirror shine on that toe and heel, but you can see over several weeks, actually probably even several
months of wear, it is beyond the point of recoverability. Specifically, you can see extensive cracking along the side but even more so than the
cracking, are just total areas where those
hard waxes have been completely worn off of the shoe itself. At this point, there is little you can do to
maintain or recover this mirror shine like what we showed in our other video on
this series on how to maintain mirror
shines. You really just have to pull
everything off and start over. It’s really easy to tell whenever
your mirror shine just needs to start over. What you’re looking for is pervasive
cracking but also areas where those hard waxes have just either fallen off or worn off the leather. At that point there is little you
can do and you just need to pull everything
off and start over. The Saphir Reno’Mat is a smooth
leather cleaner that does a great job at pulling off any hard waxes, any resins, anything that’s really been placed
on top of the original leather, and it’s safe to use on even the finest leathers. The Reno’Mat is incredibly easy to
use. You just need a clean cotton chamois. Here you’ll see I’m not
using my High Shine Chamois because I want
a really hardy plus chamois that is able to absorb the Reno’Mat and pull as much of that wax off. First, always make sure you shake
the Reno’Mat and then I’m going to just put a little bit of Reno’Mat onto my chamois here and using medium to firm pressure and honestly, a little bit of elbow grease, you’re just going to use small circular motions until you pull as much or all of that wax polish off as possible. You know that you’re pulling these
hard waxes off whenever you’re able to see the pore structure of the leather. Those small dots that just let you know that it’s a really high
quality, full grain, open pore leather, you’re able to see those small dots, and it’s very easy to tell that the wax has been removed. So here we are. On the right shoe, you can see that I’ve removed the Mirror Gloss using the Saphir
Reno’Mat and then the left shoe, I haven’t done anything at all. You can see this still has some smooth areas where you have that
hard wax finish, but here on the right, I’ve completely removed all those
waxes, revealing the original leather. Stripping your mirrors shine off of
your shoes, is just part of the process of creating and maintaining a mirror
shine. It’s inevitable, it’s unfortunate, but you just have to do it every
once in a while to pull that off and start over from scratch. You might take this moment for an
even more thorough shoeshine routine, like the one we outlined in our Presidential Shoeshine, where you’re thoroughly conditioning and nourishing the leather. So next I would condition with the Saphir Renovateur and then polish the entire shoe with a few coats of the Pommadier Cream Polish and then polish with one coat of the Wax Polish. At that point, you can decide whether or not to
shine the shoes again with a proper mirror shine. If you have any questions or
comments about this video, please ask them in the comments
section below. I get back to all those questions
personally. If you’d like to learn more about
how to produce and maintain a mirror shine, take a look at our entire mirror
shine series here on our YouTube channel. If you like this video give us the
thumbs up, and don’t forget to subscribe to our
channel and turn on your notifications by
clicking the bell on the top right corner so that you can know whenever we
release new videos. And of course, please visit hangerproject.com where we have the largest most
comprehensive collection of luxury garment care and shoe care accessories in
the world as well as other products for the well dressed. And while you’re at
hangerproject.com please take a moment to subscribe to
our newsletter to receive notification of new product launches, promotions, as well as a weekly digest of all the videos we publish here on our YouTube channel. I’m Kirby Allison, and we love to help the well-dressed
take care of the wardrobes. Thanks for joining me.


Reader Comments

  1. I allways have the problem that some polish gets into the broguing holes of my shoes, it just looks bad on my black shoes, do you know a solution ?

  2. Great information Kirby, as always i really value your input in maintaining a mans wardrobe. thank you sir.

  3. Kirby, another great video. If the rest of the shoe is okay, should only the toe box be stripped with Renomat? I have not tried putting Dubbin on shoes not stripped down. Would you know if that would work okay, or should I Renomat then Dubbin? Thanks! I don't know if anyone else has problem, but I only get cracking on one shoe.

  4. What exactly is it on the tip of the sole? A piece of metal I suppose. Was it placed there from the maker or is it aftermarket?

  5. Thanks on the tip! I have had crackings on my shoes before and went through this process described by you here.

  6. Almost cried when I saw you were stripping the Dmitry Gomez Cap Toe Oxfords. They are my favorites
    Still would like to know if any time soon those leather squares you use to polish your shoes will be available to your customers

  7. Hi kirby.
    Thanks for another great video. I have been told that applying a coat of blue polish on top of a black mirror shined shoe can produce a really beautiful shine. Have you ever done this or do you know it to be true or false?

  8. Thank you for addressing this topic. That looked great after using when looking at the before and after. I’m gonna have to get some of that. What does Reno mat do that saddle soap does not?

  9. Thanks Kirby for the video. I have discovered a way to remove hard wax using a horse hair brush. Instead of brushing I strike the horse hair against the shoe surface at a ninety degree angle, and the wax will fall off neatly. Since horse hair is much less abrasive than pig bristle this method is perfectly safe.

  10. Love your Dmitri shoes. Could you update information about the shoes ( how the leather transformed into your feet shape, its durable, the sole, comfort,etc ) ?

  11. Hey Kirby, great informative video as always! It would be great to see an in-depth video on recolouring shoes and how one builds up layers of dye to create an amazing patina! There aren't many instructional videos i can find on this! Thanks!! 🙂

  12. Great video, I actually did this a few days ago on a pair of newer black santonis and it seemed to pull a little of the finish off. Can I recolor with creme surfine or juvacuir (pommadier did not completely fix the issue)?

  13. I tried this the other day, the renomat was not enough to remove the coats as required, I had to use my nails to truly remove them (I know ….), I had too many coats of hard wax I believe.

  14. kirby i have a video request from you. we would love to see the inside of a proper gentlemans club in london. the whole kingsman vibe is what i picture but what is it really like inside a proper gentlemans club!

  15. Hey Kirby! Would it be advisable to build up mirror shines on my 5 pairs of shoes then just keep them in storage for when I need to use them? Of course ill re-shine it before I wear them out but I was wondering how long before the waxes break down and get dull and if the waxes/shine will keep its luster even after being stored and unused for a while as I like to keep my shoes "ready" with a shine for any occasion haha

  16. Hi Kirby, is it okay to use the renomat to remove polish lets say, every 2 weeks? Or is that too frequent and will damage the shoe?

  17. I have an old pair of cowboy boots that have been through alot and have a ton of coats of polish on em and im wondering how to strip it down to bare leather, i usually just use basic kiwi leather polish and am not sure how to remove it

  18. I find that not long into having a mirror base built up that it becomes susceptible to cracking quite easily. It seems unavoidable unless I am missing something. Any help here Kirby? I’ve been with you for right at a year now, and haven’t said much lately but your videos are getting even better all the time.

  19. Hi Kirby. Is there a quick easy way only to strip the toe caps from the mirror shine without doing it all over the shoe? unfortunately I used too dark of a a color on the toe cap with Saphir mirror shine on my Strand’s walnut – looks funny 🤭😁

  20. Kirby, could you give me some advice. I bought a pair of $ 900,00 Santoni from their premium goodyear, handpainted line. I took off the mirror shine with a miniscule amount of renomat, less then you use in the video, for the toebox. Now there are spots on the toebox that are 100% unable to take the mirrror shine once more. The shoes are a dark ocean blue and these spots stay white, they are large, about thumb size. I think the renomat was EXTREMELY agressive and took of the entire finish in some spots, and thus making them unable to be shined? Ive tried 6 coats of pommadier and 4 coats of the soft wax, before mirror shining, this does not help. What must i do? Renovateur detroyed my shoe…

  21. can this be done on a patent leather coach purse? I just got it but not a fan of the high gloss that came on it.

  22. @Kirby Allison should a factory coating be removed before polishing? I’m in the military and my black boots are chipping/flaking so I’m going to remove the polish and want to know if I should strip everything thank

  23. Kirby, I recently purchased a pair of vintage Stacy Adams kangaroo leather shoes and would like to do a full restoration to breath some new life into them. That said, would you expect the Reno'Mat to be safe to use on the kangaroo leather? Also, I am a big fan of your videos and product line; keep up the great work!

  24. Kirby so I have patent shoes that I love but I dont like the patent. Is there any way to strip the patent gloss from shoes and bring it back to the original leather ? THANKS

  25. Kirby i am a long time subscriber and love your videos. I just bought a new pair of wolf and shepherd wing tips. They are super comfortable but i have some shining issues. I used only saphir products and produced a fantastic shine on one shoe. On the other shoe, the very tip of the toe will not shine. The pores will not fill in and I can't figure out why. Do you think there is a resin of the new shoe preventing the pores from being filled? Should i start over and strip the shoe with the reno mat? Any help is appreciated and thank you for your time.

  26. Think I pulled off the factory finish on my new tan Alden’s trying this. The toe cap on the medallion gets really dark when I try to reshine. Even using saphir neutral medal dor cream. It seams like it’s soaking deep into the leather. Tried stripping it with renomat again and now the area looks lighter and rough. Is there anyway to salvage this?

  27. Mr. Kirby kindly makes a video on boxing gloves, we want leather gloves but shining gloves so we have no solution about shining gloves.

  28. I have Doctor Martin Boots that originally had a dull finish, but over time of polishing them they have taken on a mirror shine which does not look good on this style boot. It is necessary to use something such as black shoe polish to cover the scuffs and wear areas, and that causes the boots now to have a near mirror finish. I would like to get them back to the original finish that was a smooth clean but dull finish. Can you help?

  29. Hi I just got some new boots. They have a very light shine but the leather looks pretty much dull & the black is ashy looking. What can use to shine the boots & make the boot blacker?

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