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How to paint horseshoes

Updated April 17, 2017

Painted horseshoes are a good luck token. They are traditionally given as wedding gifts to hang in the bride and groom's new home. When fastened in the letter "U" position, it is believed luck will continue for the household, as it will not "run out" of the metal shoe opening. Personalise a horseshoe with detailed painting to reflect the celebrated occasion and fashion your own symbol of continuing good fortune.

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  1. Sand the horseshoe with progressively finer sandpapers; start with 60-grit and proceed to 150-grit. Remove all loose rust, because this will limit paint adhesion.

  2. Wash the horseshoe with a clean rag so it is free of dust and grease. Let it dry completely.

  3. Apply primer paint with the 2.5 cm (1 inch) paintbrush. Primer creates a smooth and durable surface for detail painting. It will also inhibit rust.

  4. Apply an acrylic top coat of paint and details of your choosing. Personalisation with names or dates is often included in painted horseshoe designs.

  5. Warning

    If the horseshoe was previously painted, make certain this paint is lead-free before you proceed with sanding.

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Things You'll Need

  • 60-grit to 150-grit sand paper
  • Rag
  • Paint primer
  • 2.5 cm (1 inch) brush
  • Acrylic paints
  • Small paintbrushes

About the Author

Patti Perry

Patti Perry is currently attending West Virginia University and expanding her knowledge base. She has worked as a freelance visual artist for 30 years, with specialties in watercolor and scherenschnitte. Originality of creation is her motivation and she continues to pursue this avenue in her writing. Perry is currently contributing articles to eHow.

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