I am definitely no bootblacking expert, and I am in no way an “Official Bootblack”, but I have been blacking (and pinking) boots for a little over a year. Do I have a lot to learn? Hell yeah, but I also have learned a lot! This post is just a random conglomeration of things I have learned, which bug me, or just random things I’ve been wanting to get out of my head for a while.
- Blacking boots is incredibly rewarding, soothing, and wonderful. I didn’t think I would love it as much as I have grown to. In fact, on our last little “vacation,” I was so stressed out at times, that I thought fleetingly of picking up some cheap black polish and a rag to polish Master Pravus’s wedding shoes and relax a little. I didn’t, but I kept thinking about it.
- There are so many little bootblack accessories! The initial box I bought doesn’t fit all my blacking supplies, and I need to upgrade soon!
- Mistakes happen. Mistakes happen more the less experience you have, but they also happen to people who have a lot of experience. It sucks, but you learn from it and move on. That’s normal with any hobby though, and it would be ridiculous for anyone to expect perfection going into any hobby. Shrug.
- Not all boots or shoes can shine enough to “see your face in them.” When I first started posting pictures of the blacking I had done, I was bummed when I got messages saying things like “You’re really not that good at this, you can’t even see your face in the shine!” Amateur judgment, people. Some shoes and boots have a matte finish, and no matter what you do (unless you refinish the boot itself) it will never, ever come to a “mirror finish.” And, it is hard to keep boots really, really shiny. In fact, speaking with military people I know, they all have two pairs of boots “One to wear everyday, and one for inspection.” I’m not saying you can’t keep boots looking good, I’m simply saying that just because you polished your boots a week ago doesn’t mean they will necessarily retain that shine. It all depends on what you are doing in those boots.
- I had wrongly thought that everyone who blacked boots was submissive. This is not true. It is true for me, but not for everyone, not by a long shot.
- Now that I have had time to really learn about polish, I wouldn’t flame my polish unless it was for a very special reason, and even then, I have a special container of polish set aside for that. Burning the polish does diminish the quality of the polish somewhat, so you can’t use the polish until it is gone, like you usually can.
- SHINE SPONGES ARE THE DEVIL AND WILL DESTROY YOUR BOOTS! AVOID! AVOID! (Luckily, I learned this from chatting with other people who have more experience than me at this, not by making a mistake. Though, I have made a couple mistakes. Two that I can think of.
- I. Hate. Working with shoe “cream”. Solid polish for me only, please.
I look forward to continuing to learn and grow in my ability to care for boots and leather products. =^^=