Welcome to 2317 Harlow Air Cadets


EQUIPMENT - There are not many items that are required for bulling.

●Two brushes. (One for putting on polish and one for taking off).

● A good duster or cloth. I personally don't like yellow dusters but ifyou must use one then it's a good idea to wash it first to removeexcess dye.

● Black and dark brown shoe polish. Kiwi black and dark tan isprobably the best to use. Some people use Kiwi Parade Glosshowever this is best left until near the end of the bulling processas it contains paraffin that could potentially harm the leather.

● If you are starting on a brand new pair of shoes or boots, it is agood idea to work beeswax into the leather first. This will give theleather the suppleness that it needs and will help stop thesubsequent layers of polish from cracking.


If you are using a new pair of boots or shoes it is best to start by breaking them in, (wearing them for a while), andthen working a lot of polish into the leather by brush polishing them quite a few times.

This gives you a good base layer on which to start bulling. By wearing them in first you should have no problemswith the polish cracking off.


● First, take your duster and wrap it around your first two fingers.

● Now lick the end. (If you prefer you can dip it in water but don't use too much).

● Rub the duster in the polish until you have a small circle on the end.

● Now start to gently rub the duster in small circles all over the area until you start to feel resistance andthe polish goes dull.

● At this point I personally spit on the shoe although again, you may dip the duster in a little water if youprefer. (Although spit gives a better shine - this is where the term 'Spit & Polish' comes from)

● You now carry on bulling in small circles. Keep on going until the leather starts to shine. All you do now
is apply more polish to the duster and repeat the bulling. Please note that it takes quite a few hours workto achieve the mirror shine you are after.


● In order to achieve a deep, superior shine, I like to use brown polish such as dark tan from Kiwi. This isusually applied after every five layers of black.

● Once your shoe has a smooth layer, you will notice that the surface has a slight oily sheen across it.This is just a very small layer of polish left on the leather. By taking a small amount of cotton woolsoaked in water and then bulling gently as before, this will be removed and your shoe is finished.

● Just blow any water that is left off your shoe and that's it.


Many people that I have spoken to use the method of burning a layer of polish onto the leather. Or aheated spoon to melt the polish on to the leather. Although this will give quick results, the resulting layer is more susceptible to chipping / cracking, and it is hard to get an all over smooth layer.

As with most things in life, you get what you put in and so, although bulling properly takes a lot moretime, the end result is far superior.