How To Dye Suede Shoes With 5 Powerful Hacks

Dye Suede Shoes

Suede shoes are extremely classy and can certainly elevate any look. But if you leave your suede shoes exposed to the sun, the damage can result in a discolored-looking shoe or boot.

A quick and simple fix for this issue is to learn how to dye suede shoes at home.

The method of dying suede boots can come in handy not only when you are looking to fix discoloration but also, simply if you want to change up your old boots and give them a fresh feel.

Dying suede a different color, whether it is darker or lighter, can give you a new pair of amazing-looking boots.

Dying suede shoes is not very difficult, provided you follow the right steps and take the necessary precautions. This is why I have created this easy-to-follow guide for you on how to dye suede shoes the right way.


  • Suede Dye
  • Suede Brush/Soft Bristled Shoe Brush
  • Stippling Brush/Spare Toothbrush
  • Suede Waterproofing Spray
  • Masking Tape
  • Newspapers

Step 1: Cleaning the Shoes

The first thing you need to do is to make sure the shoes that you want to dye are clean. If there are any stains on them, try to get those out first.

If your shoes look clean, just use a suede brush or a soft-bristled shoe brush to scrub away any residue from your shoes.

This step will help get the suede to absorb dye in a better way.

Step 2: Purchase a Suede Dye

You can get a good quality suede dye from a local shoe store or better yet, choose from a variety of brands available online.

Be careful when deciding which shade of dye you want to purchase for your shoes. If you have white shoes, you can get lighter or darker colors to dye them.

Once you have dyed your shoes in a dark shade, it will not be possible to go to a lighter color later. This is why I recommend that you choose from a range of pastels, tans and nudes.

Step 3: Preparing the Shoes

Take some precautionary measures before starting to dye your suede shoes so you get a clean and polished result.

Stuff some newspapers inside your shoes to prevent any stray dye from getting on the inside by mistake. Also use a painter’s tape or masking tape to cover any areas you don’t want to dye such as elastic bands, zippers or the sole.

Even if you get some dye on the sole during the process, just use a paper towel to clean it off and it will not leave a stain since suede dye only clings permanently to fabric.

However, it is always good to take precautions beforehand. Make sure you remove any accessories such as laces that you do not wish to dye.

Step 4: Dyeing the Suede Shoes

Most suede dyes come with an applicator but it is not very effective in my experience. I prefer using my stippling brush since it helps me get the dye to absorb well in the suede.

You can use any hard-bristled brush to achieve the same results. A quick and affordable fix is to use a clean, spare toothbrush for this.

Dip your brush into the dye and using circular motions, carefully rub the dye into the surface of the shoe. Start from larger areas and then move on to smaller ones.

Be sure to not use a lot of dye to oversaturate the shoe. If a dark spot of dye forms in an area, it would be very difficult to lighten.

This is why it’s always better to start with a small amount of dye and then work your way up if you require a darker shade.

Step 5: Drying the Shoes & Sealing in the Color

After you are done coloring the whole shoe, let it dry overnight.

Use the shoe brush to scrub away any excess residue and dye. If you are not happy with the results and want a darker shade, you can repeat the process once more. 

If you are happy with the shade, just seal in the color using a silicon or acrylic waterproof spray.

Although this spray will prevent your shoes from bleeding any color when exposed to moisture, try to avoid taking your dyed shoes out in the rain or in any situations that might risk the dye coming off.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you change the color of suede shoes?

It is not very difficult to dye your suede shoes to another color. All you need is a good quality suede dye, a toothbrush, some masking tape to save the areas you don’t want to dye, and a waterproofing spray to lock in the color.

What is the best dye for suede shoes?

There are several different brands of dyes available for suede shoes. Some notable ones that I personally prefer are Moneyworth & Best, Angelus, Tarrago, Simple Shine and Fiebing’s.

Can I use fabric dye on suede shoes?

I would recommend you use specialized suede dye to color your suede shoes. Suede dye is a type of fabric dye but it allows for better results.

Can you spray suede shoes a different color?

I would definitely not recommend it! It is much better to use a brush to dye your suede shoes with a suede dye. The brush allows for precise movements and strokes and would give you a much cleaner result.


In conclusion, can you dye suede shoes at home? Absolutely! Now you know how easy it is to achieve that perfect new shade for your trendy suede shoes.

I hope you found this guide helpful! If you have any more questions on this topic, feel free to drop them in the comments below and I’ll be sure to answer them.

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