You may want to paint your ballet shoes for a role in a show, or because the shoes are starting to look worn and you want to prolong their existence. Painting a pair of ballet shoes will not only keep them looking like new, but it is also fairly easy to accomplish, provided you use the right paint. Only leather ballet shoes can be painted; you must change the colour of satin ballet slippers with liquid fabric dye.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Spray paint or jar paint
- Paint brush (optional)
Procure paint designed specifically for leather dance shoes, such as UltraFlex Paint or Warpoo Leather Ballet Shoe Paint, which can be found on dance supply sites and in dance supply stores. This type of paint generally comes in a spray paint can or in jar form. Such paint needs to be flexible for successful painting.
Perform a small patch test on one ballet shoe to ensure that the paint is compatible with the shoe. Allow the paint to soak in and dry; check that the paint remains on the shoe and doesn't crack or break off.
Put out newspaper before spray-painting the shoe or using a paint brush. Stuff the shoes with as much newspaper as possible, as though there was a foot inside the shoe. This will stretch the shoes for easy painting.
Apply the spray paint all over the shoes in two light applications for a smooth, even finish. Do not spray the paint on too thick, as this can potentially cause the paint to run and leave streaks.
Dip the brush in water for a paintbrush application. Wipe off the excess water with a clean rag and then dip the paintbrush in the paint. Slowly apply the paint all over the shoe. Brush the paint on the shoe in different directions so the paint gets worked into the leather. A paintbrush application can be applied thickly, with no need for an additional coat.
Tips and warnings
- One or two coats will suffice when touching up a painted shoe with the same colour paint. Several coats may be needed when painting the shoes a different colour.
- Satin ballet slippers must also be stuffed before being dyed with liquid fabric dye. Wear latex gloves and apply dye to shoes sparingly with a sponge for best results.
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