He Knows his Buffing From his Brushing

I’m a man who loves to polish his shoes and boots. Learnt it from my grandfather who was an artist when it came to brushing and buffing.

He’d lay down the daily paper, the Daily Mail, on the kitchen floor, and on one knee he’d unscrew his tin of polish, gently rub the bristles of his brush into the wax, then work it into the leather, a deep concentration on his face. Then he’d put the shoes or boots aside; let them soak up the polish while he dead-headed the geraniums. After about ten minutes, he’d kneel once more and buff the shoes with his polishing brush until they shone in his hands.

I like to sit in my favourite chair at home with my tin of Kiwi polish and brush and buff using the same two brushes my grandfather used. They are ancient now, the brush I use to apply the polish like a battered old badger with bristles missing and stained by polish. And the buffing brush has polished so much, its bristles are uniformly misshapen as if a strong gust of wind is always blowing.

And I just came across an article in the Guardian on how to get the perfect shine. Here it is:

1. Remember, you can’t cover dirt with polish. Dust and detritus should be removed using a cloth or brush, and the shoes allowed to dry naturally.

2. Apply polish using a dedicated shoe-cleaning cloth or a brush with natural bristles. Work the polish in — shoecare is as much about nourishing the leather as approving the appearance.

3. Don’t use too much polish — a little dab will do. Dampness in the cloth can help.

4. Allow 10 minutes drying time and then buff to a shine using a different cloth or brush. Wear with pride.


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