How to Fix Peeling Patent Leather Shoes

Are you tired of seeing your once shiny patent leather shoes ruined by unsightly peeling? Don’t lose hope just yet!

Discover effective solutions for enhancing the longevity of your favorite patent leather shoes with our guide on how to fix peeling patent leather shoes. Explore DIY techniques, professional repair options, and preventive measures to address and prevent peeling.

Can peeling patent leather shoes be repaired?

The repairability of peeling patent leather shoes depends on the severity of the peeling and your desired outcome. Here’s a breakdown:

DIY Techniques: 

For small peels and cracks, you can try DIY methods like sandpaper, nail polish, magic eraser, etc. The article provides detailed explanations of these methods.

Professional Repair: 

In more extensive cases, consider seeking professional shoe repair services. They might offer options like:

  1. Leather patching: Replacing large peeled areas with matching leather patches.
  1. Resurfacing: Applying a new layer of patent leather coating to the entire shoe.
  1. Dyeing and refinishing: Completely changing the color of the shoes to disguise the peeling.

Important Considerations

  • Durability: DIY repairs may not be as durable as professional fixes and might require touch-ups over time.
  • Aesthetics: Extensive peeling or repairs might leave visible marks, affecting the shoes’ original appearance.
  • Cost: DIY methods are budget-friendly, but professional repairs can be expensive, especially for resurfacing or complete refinishing.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to repair peeling patent leather shoes depends on your specific needs and preferences. Consider the severity of the damage, desired outcome, and budget before making a choice.

If you’re still unsure, consult a professional shoe repairer for assessment and advice. They can recommend the best option for your situation.

How to Fix Peeling Patent Leather Shoes

Step 1: Initial Cleaning

To begin cleaning, take a damp cloth and gently wipe down the patent leather shoes. You can use a mild soap or a leather cleaner specifically designed for patent leather to remove any dirt or residue on the surface.

Step 2: Trim and Sanding

Now carefully trim away any loose or peeling sections. After that, use fine-grit sandpaper to lightly sand the affected areas. This will help smooth the edges and prepare the surface for repair.

Step 3: Color Matching with Permanent Marker

Next, grab a permanent marker that closely matches the color of your shoe and fill in the cracks. This will help hide the damage and give your shoe a more uniform appearance.

Step 4: Shoe Polish Application

Once that’s done, apply a layer of shoe polish over the repaired sections. Make sure to choose a polish that complements the color of your shoe and follow the instructions on the product.

Allow the polish to dry completely so that it can restore shine and enhance the overall look.

Step 5: Drying Time

Lastly, be patient and allow the repaired and polished areas to dry completely. This is crucial for achieving the best results.

Related Article: How to Fix Patent Leather Shoes

How to Fix Peeling Patent Leather Shoes

Other Methods to Fix Peeling Leather Shoes

1. Polish and Heat Fusion:

  1. To address torn patent leather, generously apply matching shoe polish to the affected areas. 
  1. Then, using a gentle heat source like a hair dryer, carefully warm the polish until it becomes pliable. This will help the polish fuse with the torn sections. 
  1. Once heated, use a soft cloth to buff the area, aiming to create a smoother and more unified surface.

2. Magic Eraser and Nail Polish Method:

Another option involves using a Magic Eraser, matching nail polish, and a topcoat to clean and repair patent leather pumps. Follow these steps:

Clean with Magic Eraser:

Gently rub a Magic Eraser over the torn or scuffed areas to clean the surface and remove any loose particles. This will help improve the overall appearance.

Apply Matching Nail Polish:

Choose a nail polish that closely matches the color of the patent leather. Apply it evenly to the torn or damaged sections, covering them as best as you can. Allow the nail polish to dry completely.

Topcoat for Protection:

Once the nail polish has dried, apply a clear topcoat over the entire shoe. This not only provides a protective layer but also helps create a smoother finish. Allow the topcoat to dry thoroughly.

While these tricks may offer a temporary improvement, it’s important to keep in mind that they may not provide a permanent solution, and the results may vary. The key is to manage your expectations and view these methods as creative approaches to make torn patent leather look less noticeable.

How to Fix Peeling Patent Leather Shoes

What are some Common Causes of Peeling Patent Leather Shoes?

Here are some common factors that can contribute to the peeling of patent leather shoes:

1. Issues with Finish or Sealant:

Peeling or cracking of patent leather is often caused by problems with the finish or sealant on the surface. Using cleaning products with solvents or harsh chemicals can damage the finish, leading to peeling.

2. Quality of Leather:

The quality of the leather used in the shoes is an important factor. Poor-quality leather, especially bonded leather, is more prone to peeling and cracking. On the other hand, high-quality leather, with proper care, should not peel under normal circumstances.

Fun Fact: Real leather typically doesn’t peel; therefore, if your shoes are exhibiting peeling, they are likely made of faux leather.

3. Faux Leather Composition:

Shoes made from faux leather are more susceptible to peeling, especially after a few months of use. The synthetic nature of faux leather can cause it to crack and peel over time, affecting the durability of the shoes.

4. Exposure to Heat and Light:

Prolonged exposure to heat and light can cause shoes to warp and peel. It’s important to store your shoes away from direct light and heat sources to prevent damage. Proper storage helps maintain the structure and appearance of patent leather.

5. Moisture Levels:

Real leather requires regular maintenance and moisturization. When leather becomes dry, it is more likely to crack and peel. To keep your shoes moisturized, it’s important to use suitable leather cleaners and conditioners.

Additionally, maintaining proper humidity levels in the storage environment helps prevent drying and subsequent peeling.

How to Prevent Patent Leather Shoes from Peeling

Here are some steps you can take to prevent patent leather shoes from peeling:

1. Store your patent leather shoes in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Excessive heat and humidity can cause the patent finish to deteriorate.

2. Apply a small amount of petroleum jelly or a patent leather conditioner to keep the material moisturized. This helps prevent the patent leather from becoming dry and prone to peeling.

3. Consider using a shoe tree, which is a device inserted into the shoe to help maintain its shape.

This not only prevents creases but also reduces the risk of patent leather peeling, as creases can contribute to the deterioration of the material.


By understanding the causes and choosing appropriate remedies, individuals can restore and maintain the integrity of their footwear.

Remember, patent leather can be quite tricky to refinish once it begins to peel, and the outcomes may differ. 

Although using DIY methods, achieving perfection is not guaranteed, and the repair might still be noticeable. If you desire a more professional outcome, it’s advisable to seek advice from a skilled cobbler or shoe repair service.

You may also like to read: Can You Use Coconut Oil on Leather Shoes?

Leave a Comment