Shining shoes

Discussion in 'The Quarterdeck' started by ollie123, Oct 1, 2007.

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  1. I have bought a pair of standard leather shoes.

    How can I get a shine a 1950s drill sergent from a Carry-On film would be proud of?

    Any secrets except elbow grease?
  2. How about patent leather, or is that cheating?
  3. Kiwi polish, spit and polish in very small circle with a soft cloth wrapped round the finger, takes a while but it comes in the end (Ive heard that expression relating to something else)
  4. Kiwi polish,lighted candle,soft cloth,spit and small circular motions until polish melts into the leather.Breathe on them whilst polishing as well to prevent it from drying out.
    Ganges forever!!!
  5. I'm still trying to work out what the lighted candle was for.... or were you there during the power cuts? :crazy:
  6. lol heats the polish wax up
  7. I've used that method, but...

    ...I assumed that friction alone achieved the same result in the Gnages hotspot! :twisted: :roll: :slow:
  8. I prefer Kiwi Parade Gloss and believe it or not, about once every 10 layers use a tiny little bit of BROWN, yes brown Kiwi polish - seems to be a deeper shine.

    No idea why - I didn't believe it when I was told it either.

    Good luck - as sad as I am I actually find bulling shoes quite theraputic!
  9. Hope you don't mind an old ex-crab and STAB putting in his' twopenn'orth.

    Best thing in my experience is Kiwi polish (must be Kiwi, or Kiwi Parade Gloss, nothing else will do), yellow duster wrapped round first two fingers (not a magic number, just quicker than one) and water in the lid of the polish tin (if you use spit after a meal there is a danger of grease from the food ruining the finish). Build up layer by layer and work the polish in completely before adding more. Circular strokes. As you go on, use less polish and more water. Work on both shoes at the same time ( i.e. alternate) or you will end up with one looking much better than the other.

    Don't let the water dry on the surface, or you will get marks (I always used to finish off by running under a tap and then shaking off any remaining drops.)

    Do not use any sort of flame unless you know what you are doing: the number of people I've seen who have ruined their boots/shoes by using too much heat....

    Oh, and sometimes I have been known to add that extra sparkle for a parade by going over one last time with a coat of BROWN Kiwi polish.

    There is no single correct method for bulling shoes/boots. Try any suggestions that people post and stick with the one that works best for you. The key thing is patience and effort - this is not the sort of thing for a quick fix if you intend to do it properly.

    Very therapeutic while sat in front of the TV, I find.

    Hope this is of some help.

    Edited to add: Just like the man above said (beat me to it)... glad I'm not the only sad
  10. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Spray on some PCB lacquer... :twisted: :thumbright:
  11. Cardisoma and KLNA-Cessna-Jockey; spot on. Parade Gloss is amazing stuff. I would only add, use water not spit. Spit contains enzymes that try to eat the leather. A part of our meat digestion process.

    I didn't know about the brown layer. Thanks shippers.
  12. Heard about the coat of brown from a chum in the Lifeguards, but have never used it myself. ALWAYS used Kiwi, - Cherry blossom etc. never seemed to work, and they didn't produce parade gloss in the sixties as far as I know. I too have always found bulling boots to be therapeutic. I was probably the only L/CK to have "spit and polished" galley boots!
    Once sat up with my sixteen year old grandaughter till about 0300, ensuring that she appeared as the smartest cadet on the next day's Remembrance Parade. She had applied too much polish, not enough "spit", but a little WARM (not hot) water, interspersed with polish, and breathing as previously suggested, soon put things right.
    I still have a pair of (1973) issue pussers steaming boots that take a lovely polish, which I keep for wearing with my "funeral rig" and for occasions such as Remembrance Day.
    However, a word of warning to Ollie - I recently bought a pair of "Hush Puppies" plain black shoes. Extremely comfortable, but too soft to carry a coat of polish. Several hours work, and a good walk to bring out the cracks, followed by more work, produced a beautiful shine - but one day's wear and I had to strip them off and start again.
    You do need a good hard leather to start with.

  13. personally i found that cotton wool balls work far better than a yellow duster. and rather than using spit hot/warm water is better. also parade gloss dulls quicker in the sun than normal and cracks.
    in my not very vast experience
  14. hmm, all good gen on the proper method, but I have to report that the GIs would sit in their shack with a tin of a certain black gloss paint that they sneakily applied on a Tues night before divs. Several greenies discovered a particular spray gloss that did the job as well, and hard as hell, could even step on it and it wouldn't crack. Several bandies (RM) also swear by it. I do also know one guy who used the wrong kind of PCB lacquer for shine, and it rained on divs, turning his toecaps a cloudy white. His excuse was he used too much turps with his parade gloss, but the Gunney was on to him (good ol' shovs)
  15. a friend of a friend on the lusty apparently paid some crabs £40 to do his shoes around 2 years ago. and they still look as good now. apparently just a dit i was told. some kind of harrier paint was apparently used.
    i say apparently as its just a dit i heard
  16. ME7 use to work a treat.
  17. I'm with you on that one! Your method of polishing at very least.
    And NEVER (for those tempted to do so) use furniture polish or anything else other than KIWI on good leather shoes, you will ruin them.
  18. Danny has got it right, I currently work at a Crab station and they use nose cone paint to bring the shoes up -- it lasts longer than the shoes!

    I still bull my shoes and must say that the shine is deeper and looks better the nose cone paint, it makes them look like patent leather whilst the real thing gives a deep shine. I used to swear by bulling shoes after a couple of pints of beer, something in the beer when you spit -- I use water now as my old lady didn't believe I had to go to the pub every night so that I could polish my shoes properly -- had to try!
  19. I fully support Cardisomas recomendation.
    I have also tried applying a layer of polish (Kiwi) and then burning it. Two problems there though, one don't let the polish burn too long, two the layer must be even or you will get lumps in the finished coat. If done correctly gives a very good finish.
  20. Seen it used, but I was always a conformist, Kiwi for me. Surely you get no where by doing things the easy way? There was some other floor polish I've seen used that if you applied too many coats would peel off like the skin on custard. (Custard made with milk that is not the milk free Pussers article).

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