Master the Art of Polishing Your Boots for a Flawless Military Shine
Learn how to achieve a mirror-like shine on your boots through the British military's method of "bulling." It takes a great deal of practice to master this classic technique, which involves polishing shoes and boots to perfection.
The military requires its personnel to have highly polished footwear, especially during parades, ceremonial events, and state funerals. Bulling entails packing boots with sand before heating them to a high temperature using a heat gun or paint stripper. Afterwards, beeswax is melted into the leather to bring out the shine.
Next, prepare the leather for bulling by using a firm bristled brush to remove excess wax or sand. The process of building multiple layers of polish on the leather can be achieved by using a Selvyt polishing cloth. However, before each use, clean it with soap and a nail-brush to eliminate all dirt or debris.
The final step is to apply the right amount of pressure to the boots using the correct amount of moisture in the cloth while polishing with black Kiwi shoe polish. It can take weeks of work and up to two tins of polish per pair of boots to achieve a mirror-like finish.
Although guardsmen have their preferred brands for polish, black Kiwi shoe polish remains the go-to for a superior shine. While some personnel may find bulling therapeutic, others may despise the process and opt to pay a colleague or professional.
Remember that all the hard work can be undone in moments. Heat and excess moisture may lead to a quick undoing of your bulling job. This is especially true when standing outside in the blistering summer sun, which can cause your boots to begin melting.
It's a gut-wrenching feeling, knowing that you'll likely spend the entire night meticulously polishing your boots to perfection, in order to ensure they meet the exacting standards required for your next parade as a member of the Household Cavalry. The tears may remain unshed, but the frustration and anxiety are palpable as you undertake this arduous task."
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