How can I paint my shoes?

Written by freddie silver
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How can I paint my shoes?
It's important to have matching shoes for special occasions. (Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Shoes are available in a wide variety of styles and colours but sometimes there is a need for a pair of shoes in a colour that is difficult to find. This might be for a wedding or costume party. Fortunately, most shoe repair stores sell shoe dyes or paints. The dyes are usually sold in bottles with an applicator attached to the lid. Paints, preferred for metallic colours such as gold or silver, are available in spray cans which may be tricky to work with, but with a little care, the shoes can be transformed in under an hour.

Things you need

  • Nail polish remover or acetone
  • Old rags or cotton balls
  • Q-tips
  • Old newspapers or large garbage bags
  • Masking tape

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  1. 1

    Spread you work surface with several layers of newspaper or a large garbage bag to protect it. Soak a piece of rag or cotton ball in the acetone and rub all outer surfaces of the shoes. Rub more vigorously for natural leathers than on synthetics. Soak a Q-tip in the acetone to reach into crevices where the upper attaches to the sole.

  2. 2

    Attach the masking tape to the shoe along the sole line where it is attached to the upper part of the shoe to protect the sole from becoming painted. Stuff newspaper or plastic bags into the shoe to protect the insole from the paint.

  3. 3

    Gently shake the paint can 4 or 5 times to mix the paint without creating air bubbles. Remove the lid from the spray can and hold the can at least 10 - 12 inches from the shoe to avoid drips. Spray in short bursts, always in the same direction. Cover the whole shoe with paint. Repeat with the other shoe.

  4. 4

    Allow the shoes to dry until tacky to the touch, usually 30 minutes to 1 hour. Check the directions on the spray can for recommended drying time. Spray a second coat on both shoes and allow them to dry completely overnight before touching them.

  5. 5

    Lift the shoes from the paper or plastic when they are thoroughly dry. Remove the stuffing inside the shoes. Slowly remove the masking tape. Spray some paint onto a scrap piece of plastic and dip the Q-tip into it to absorb some paint. Use this to touch up any painted areas around the sole line that might have come off with the tape.

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