Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Old Watch Band? Kiwi Shoe Polish to the Rescue!

My wife thought I was nuts. You know...again.

I couldn't argue with her when I looked at the old leather watch strap I pulled out of my nightstand drawer. It was old and dry. Leather dust came off when I rubbed my thumb over the faded tan leather. Sure, I could have gone down the street to the jewelry store and spent $15 on a decent new one.

I didn't want to do that. I wanted to see if I could breathe new life into that old piece of leather with some shoe polish, some determination, an old t-shirt, and some time.

Shoe polish brought back the shine.
Look at this! Hats off to service personnel who manage to keep their boots and shoes shined and glossy. I shine my own shoes on a regular basis, and I'm glad I took the time to polish that old watch strap. Not only is it supple and strong, it's already shaped to my wrist.

I won't kid you. It took half a tin of Kiwi Shoe Polish to make it look like it does now. Hours of buffing with  piece of an old t-shirt. I sat at my writing desk, watching TV, and buffing the strap. The color is darker than the original, but it has a nice patina.

I was tempted to cheat and apply a coat of polyurethane. That would have given a better shine and added some water protection. It also would have stopped the aging process in its tracks. I didn't want to do that. I have some watch straps that are coated in polyurethane, and I don't care for it. Eventually the poly starts to peel off, like sunburned skin.

Now I'm eying my old leather jacket. It could use a little sprucing up... Maybe I'll buy another tin or two of shoe polish and go at it. On the other hand, maybe I'm better off finishing the last Sexton Chronicle. More people care about that than care whether my jacket shines or not.