I buy a lot of shitty clothes and don't generally treat them with the most respect (I live pretty hard, ya'll. I also live in a perpetual state of weather, so). The other day I brought a pair of boots back to life, again, and I realized that I've been keeping my old lady secrets for clothing revival to myself.
First you clean up your boots with a little water, making sure to remove dust and mud. Let them dry and squish on the leather dye. This is where things get messy, so you need to protect your hands and surroundings. Let the dye dry (it says 24 hours, but honestly you can just give 'em an hour or so and they look fine...) and then start polishing. This is really similar to putting on makeup, I think. You swirl your rag around in the pot of dye (which will soften up with the warmth of your hand) until you have a little polish on it, then start rubbing it into the leather, paying special attention to nicks, scuffs and shoe owies. Make sure you're thorough in areas that have embellishments, stitching, and where the leather meets the sole. Once you're all polished up, let it set a bit and then use your brush to shine. Then you have to wait a whole 24 hours to wear them, and it will be a difficult 24 hours because they will be so shiny and beautiful that you just can't wait. Do not skimp on time because you can seriously ruin a pair of tights/jeans/your skin with the dye transferring. But it is so worth it to put on your old, comfy boots when they look positively new again.