Can Timberlands Be Dyed? (What About Painting Them?)

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You can dye your Timberlands to change the color of your shoes, but you’ll need to know how to dye suede and how to dye leather. Can you dye Timberlands with any kind of fabric paint? What about acrylic paint? Will acrylic paint destroy your boots or shoes?

Can Timberland boots be dyed? The short answer is yes, but there are a lot of things you have to consider before you get started.

Can Timberlands Be Dyed?

If you want a change of color for your Timberlands, try dyeing them. You can dye both leather and suede Timberlands, but the latter requires a little more care and attention.

You can purchase everything you require from a shoe store, hardware store, or discount retailer, making sure to buy the right product for your shoe style.


Fiebing's Leather Dye - Alcohol Based Permanent Leather Dye - 4 oz - Black


When dyeing suede shoes, take extra care when applying the dye to avoid damage to the texture or bleeding to the inside of the shoe. As long as you are careful, it’s relatively straightforward to dye your Timberlands to any color you want.

How Do You Get the Color Back on Timberland Boots?

To get the color back on Timberland Boots that have been lost to stains, follow these easy steps.

  1. Wipe off any staining possible with a dishcloth or washcloth.
  2. Get a bowl and combine two parts of lukewarm water with one part vinegar.
  3. Dip a cloth into the mixture and proceed to wipe the discolored areas of your boots.
  4. With a different cloth, wipe away any remaining mixture from your boots.
  5. In a non-humid, non-moist environment, leave your boots to dry.

Timberland also recommends applying a waterproofing product after cleaning to improve stain resilience.

Can I Change the Color of My Suede Boots?

It is possible to change the color of suede boots, but only to make them darker. There is no way to lighten suede without damaging it.

If you decide to dye your suede boots, make sure that you choose a dye specifically formulated for soft, porous suede. Spot test the dye on a scrap piece of suede if you can to gauge the final color before you commit to it. You should also prep your work surface to prevent transfer – cover the surface in scrap paper and wear gloves.


Fiebing's Suede Dye - Recolor, Brighten and Restore Suede and Rough-Out Leather - Black


When dying, apply the dye using a cotton dauber or Q-tips for particularly small areas. Do so in a thin, even layer starting at the edges of the shoe and working in. Wait for the dye to dry completely before wearing the shoes.

Does Leather Dye Work on Suede?

You should never use a leather dye on suede. Leather dye is highly pigmented, as it’s designed to penetrate and hold on to thick material.

Suede is significantly more delicate than regular leather, and would therefore be oversaturated by leather dye to the point of taking on a completely different color or, at worst, ruining the material completely.

When dying suede, use a suede-specific dye, which will be much lighter on pigment and designed to keep the material soft. Wear gloves to prevent staining of your hands and cover your work surface to prevent the spread of dye.

Can You Paint Timberlands with Acrylic Paint?

You can paint timberlands with acrylic paint, but the product you require will vary depending on the style of Timberlands you own. By adding acrylic paint to your shoes, you can give them a unique twist, which looks great as long as you don’t allow the paint to crack and ruin the design.


Angelus Acrylic Leather Paint, Black 4oz


For suede Timberlands, regular acrylic paint for fabrics will work well, but for leather Timberlands, you’ll need to purchase a specific paint for leather rather than using acrylics for paper, wood, or canvas.

Fabric paints work best as they’re designed to be flexible and avoid cracking. It’s also essential to bear in mind that acrylics are not waterproof, so you’ll need to add a sealant to prevent water damage to your design.

Will Acrylic Paint Ruin Shoes?

While ideally, you would want to use fabric paint to customize your shoes, you can use acrylic paint on most shoes. Most craft store acrylic paints will work as long as you are painting with the right technique.

If you opt to use acrylic paint, be sure to paint in thin layers in the direction that the shoe naturally flexes. Allow the layers to dry completely before continuing, to prevent cracking or flaking later on.

You can also improve the longevity of your acrylic paint job by using just one brand of paint and sealing it after you finish your work.

Is Acrylic Paint Permanent on Shoes?

Yes, acrylic paint is permanent on all shoes. Even if the paint cracks, the stain from the dye in the paint will remain. Acrylic paint is a great way to customize shoes, especially those made from canvas, but it isn’t temporary.

Acrylic paint may crack with time or chip off, but a stain from the dye used to make the paint will remain on the fabric of your shoes no matter what. You can avoid cracking in your acrylic paint by mixing it in a textile paint medium.

In summary, whether your boots are made from leather or suede, Timberland will fade and get dirty over time. It’s not always easy to fix yellowing boots, but you can make them look like new if you are willing to put in the effort to fix them.

Dyeing your Timberlands is an easy way to give them a new look.

You may also be interested in… When Can You Start Wearing Timberlands? and Can You Use Posca Pens on Shoes?