Have I ruined my boots by using Lexol conditioner on them? Is this how they're supposed to look/feel? Or have I done something wrong?
I’m potentially having a problem with boots that I have just applied Lexol conditioner to. Help!
I finally splurged on a pair of Naya’s Saffron boots
. Since they were so far beyond my grad student budget, and since I'm allergic to chrome-tanned leather so there's a very narrow range of boots I can buy, I thought I’d go all out with these and take care of them properly (usually I just waterproof spray and be done with it!). Since I’ve never done cared for leather properly before, I did some poking around on the internet, and saw that it’s recommended to clean and condition leather. I figured I’d forgo the cleaning, since they’re new (they also have a lining which I didn’t want to faff with trying to wash). I bought Lexol
to condition it, since it seems to have gotten good reviews on Amazon and also got the Metafilter thumbs up
I applied this Lexol this afternoon, and to put it charitably, I’m ambivalent about the result. The boots used to be a glossy leather that had various brown/grey tones in the color (before pictures: 1
). The color was sort of purposefully splotchy and antiqued looking (you can sort of see it on the close-up of the store pic, as well as in my close-up). The boots were sleek and glossy in texture. Post-Lexol, everything is much different (after pictures: 1
). The texture feels more velvety rather than sleek, almost like nubuck or edging towards suede. The gloss is gone and they look more matte. And the color is much different. It's darker - almost a wet look - and it doesn’t have all the beautiful nuances it had before: it looks uniform, and flat. You can see the difference especially in the close-up pics. I’m trying to get used to the overall difference in aspect, like a bad haircut, but am having trouble. I miss the way they looked before! I’m wondering whether this is what’s supposed to happen, or whether I did something wrong.
Here is what I did, in case the cause is my own methodological incompetence. I sprayed a generous amount of Lexol on a microfiber cleaning cloth. I took the boots, which are new so presumably reasonably clean, and massaged them with the cloth, trying to get the Lexol into the leather rather than just a thin wipe on the surface. After letting them sit for a few minutes, I then took a clean microfiber cloth and rubbed them over, absorbing any excess moisture in the new cloth (the instructions said to “buff”, and I’m assuming that’s what they meant). I then stuffed the with newspaper, put them in a warm room, and have let them dry all afternoon/early evening, so about 7 hours. I thought maybe in the process of drying they’re regain their old color and texture, but no cigar.
Did I use too much Lexol, and that’s why the color/texture changed? If so, is this permanent? Does it simply take a while for all of it to absorb and for the boots to return to normal, and I just haven't waited long enough? Or will it return to normal with wear, after a few months? Or will it never return to normal? Or maybe the antiqued-look of the boots was actually bad for the boot and the Lexol fixed it? Do the boots actually look much better now, post-conditioning, and I'm just being delusional? Maybe I simply have no idea what properly-conditioned boots should look/feel like? Should I in fact be pleased? Help!?!