Painted Shoes

Because I’m too poor for real Louboutins and don’t really wear that much red anyways.

The trick is to find shoes with a) leather soles (as opposed to rubber or some other synthetic) and b) the right shape. The bottom needs to have a distinct edge, so you can paint just the sole.


Small amount of paint (I bought 2 colors but only used the blue for these shoes), cute but sort of boring pair of shoes (these Hollywould for Target, bought on clearance years ago but only worn once or twice), sandpaper, trim roller, small brush, acrylic sealant (meant for wood, found near the stain at the hardware store).

A note about the paint: You could probably use any paint you happened to have – this is from the hardware store, the kind you get mixed at the counter, but you could probably use craft store acrylics too. The important part is sealing it.

1. Wash off the bottoms really really well.
2. Sand the whole surface down so the paint sticks better.
3. Use a trim roller to get good, even coverage without any brush marks. The roller also lets you get right to all the edges without accidentally painting the side of your shoe too. Use a small brush to do the heel and along any of the spots you can’t reach with the roller.  I used 2 coats of paint and felt like that was enough coverage. Wait at least a few hours for it to be totally dry – I waited overnight.
4. With a wide brush, give the soles a coat of polycrylic sealant. The directions call for 3 coats, so I did all three, with a light sanding in between. Wait for them to dry completely. Sand it just a little more so it’s not too slippery – you don’t want to fall on your face.

5. Wear your cute new shoes.

Remember, you’re using paint, not magic dirt-repelling fairy dust. They’re still going to scuff and get less pretty if you wear them outside. The good news is you can sand off some of the crud pretty easily or repaint them for a special occasion.

My plan was to wear my adorable new shoes for BlogHer, but all the advice I’ve read recommends comfort over style. So if you see a girl limping around barefoot and CARRYING her patent leather heels with bright blue bottoms, come say “Hi”. And also “Wow, you sure are dumb.”


Thirty Hand Made Days

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13 Responses to “Painted Shoes”

  1. Amanda says:

    I LOVE this idea! I don’t own any heels any more but I still LOVE the idea!

  2. Suz B says:

    Those look awesome! I say bring ’em along with a pair of flip flops tucked in your purse.

  3. Audrey says:

    That’s pretty snazzy, Suzanne! You sure are full of lots of great creative ideas. :)

  4. Krista says:

    Oh, aren’t you snazzy! I love it.

  5. Biz says:

    They came out amazing, and I love that color. Almost Tiffany blue. I’ve wondered about doing this before but wasn’t sure how it’d look {also, admittably, was a little worried I’d be judged or called a wannabe} but now that I’ve seen you do it I think I’ll totally give it a shot. I picture some royal blue or purple bottoms on a pair of boots for the fall.

    Thanks for sharing :)

  6. raincheckmom says:

    Cute! I remember your feet hurt at the creative women’s conference you attended. Target sells little slipper type shoes in the foot care aisle (pharmacy) that you can stick in your purse and pull out when you take your painful heels off…

  7. Miranda says:

    Awesome idea!! Love it!

  8. Cole says:

    Those. are. awesome.

    If Mommy still wore heels – or had any craft-ability at all – she’d be all over this. You could probably get paid for painting people’s shoes!

  9. molly says:

    You must bring those to blogher. I order it. Heels are just a must in my book. Bring some foot cushions for those bad boys and get ready to rock this conference, mama =)

  10. This is so darn clever. And I’m digging the color blue you chose. I actually have some work heels that are dying for this makeover. They are good quality but could use some TLC.

  11. Mique says:

    I promise I will not say “Wow you are so dumb.” We have to meet!! :)

  12. Mique says:

    P.s. Such a FUN idea Suzanne!

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