Black alligator strap "restoration"

Thread: Black alligator strap "restoration"

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016

    Black alligator strap "restoration"

    I recently bought a used JCL MC that came with a black OEM alligator strap. The strap is about 6 years old and is in good structural shape but the top surface of the light gloss finish had worn in areas, leaving much of the 6pm side of the band looking dull, probably owing to day-in and day-out rubbing on a shirt cuff. So I spent more time than I should trying to figure out how to address this, even using some high-end Saphir products that I use on my dress shoes, only to make it worse. Now instead of a dull black, it was drying out and looking grey/white in splotches. Polish wouldn't stick (cream or paste) and I was getting ready to chalk it up to a total loss. Then I tried something I thought might result in disaster but actually worked well.

    I took a container of Kiwi Heel & Edge, black, and squeezed it onto a QTip and then painted the top surface of both ends of the strap (noon and 6pm) and voila, my strap has been restored to beauty. I carefully painted and it soaked in, leaving an even surface allowing the grain to show through. I have done this before to repair a scuff on the right heel on a pair of black dress shoes and it lasted for a few months and then I needed to re-apply. I know this is probably not ideal but I wanted to share it as it really did work and I couldn't find any other solution on this forum or anywhere else on the interweb.

  2. #2
    Member Nokie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Marin County, CA

    Re: Black alligator strap "restoration"

    "Either he's dead or my watch has stopped"
    Groucho Marx

    "The only reason for time is so that everything does not happen at once..."
    Albert Einstein

  3. #3
    Member CastorTroy3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015

    Re: Black alligator strap "restoration"

    I just restored a black gator (black stitching) with shoe polish and a tooth brush. I put a very small amount of polish onto the brush and lightly applied to the most damaged parts. I then used a terry cloth to remove the polish. The terry cloth had just enough polish on it to rub the remainder on the strap to bring back the shine. I let the strap sit for two days and then applied leather conditioner to a cloth and rubbed it in. The strap darkened but it does look better.

    This is of course doesn't work with light stitching.

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