Try-it Tuesday: How to Spray Paint Shoes

Once upon a time, I hated spray paint. Of course, I don’t think I’d practically ever used it. But it intimidated me. And there you have perhaps the most shameful admission of this entire blog:

I was cowed by a can of paint.

I just had a hard time wrapping my brain around how you got your layers all nice and even and non-drippy without sanding between coats…or something like that (clearly I had no clue about spray paint’s true properties). And I really dislike sanding between coats.

And then I tried it. And, honestly, it was just as bewildering as I feared. And there you have Shameful Admission #2:

I was flummoxed by a can of paint.

But I kept at it until I got the hang of it, at which point I became obsessed. Nothing in my house was safe. Everything from the obvious stuff like picture frames to the less obvious like cabinet knobs to the really-you-spray-painted-that land of…

Shoes.

Yes, I did.

And while I know I’m not the first, it was a first for me. So, today I’m showing how I took a pair of thrift store shoes from this:

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to this:

spray painted shoes

Here’s what you’ll need to achieve a similar transformation with a pair of your own:

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    • Shoes (duh)
    • Spray paint (I used Rustoleum’s Ultra Cover so I didn’t have to prime first)
    • Painter’s Tape
    • Scissors
    • Newspaper
    • Hot glue gun
    • Fabric (optional)
    • Heat ‘n Bond adhesive (optional)

::STEP 1::

Cover all surfaces of your shoes that you don’t want to be spray-painted with newspaper + painter’s tape.

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::STEP 2::

Give your shoes at least two light coats of paint, waiting a couple of minutes between coats (my shoes were all manmade materials, by the way, so it was essentially like painting plastic; I wouldn’t recommend this for leather unless it’s just so far gone that you don’t care whether it turns out well or not).

Allow the shoes to dry for at least an hour, preferably longer.

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:STEP 3::

You could stop there, but I wanted to add a little something special, so I peeled off the insert with the brand name printed on it and traced the outline of it on some pretty fabric from my stash, then cut it out to make a custom-patterned insert.

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::STEP 4::

Then I followed the directions on my Heat ‘n Bond adhesive strips to attach the fabric cutout to the original insert.

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::STEP 5::

I put my new custom inserts back in, securing them to the bottom of the shoes with hot glue.

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At which point, I had this:

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Anybody else getting a totally Anthro vibe from these little beauties? Because I’m thinking I’ve seen this exact teal + cognac combo several times before while I was drooling over researching things on their site.

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I don’t know about you guys, but I’m thinking that these shoes alone make my journey to spray paint acceptance worthwhile.

And the best part of all?

I already had all of my supplies, so I transformed  my $3 Goodwill shoes without a single trip to a craft store or a single extra cent spent on them.

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I can’t wait to wear them!

So, what’s your position on spray paint? Best friend, worst enemy, or indifferent?

Would you spray-paint a pair of shoes that needed a little pick-me-up?

Oh! And, do tell, what’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever spray-painted?

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30 thoughts on “Try-it Tuesday: How to Spray Paint Shoes

  1. Hey!

    So how did these turn out afterwards? They’re so cute and you did an amazing job (especially with the painters tape) but what were they like to wear? Did the paint job hold up? Did they crease weird? Did the paint job outlast the shoes themselves? Did they chip? Could you repair them if they chipped? I have my eye on a pair of shoes but as second hand goes, they need some TLC. These shoes happen to have a plastic heel/underside they aren’t faux/real leather and they’re chipped and worn out in some spots so I’m curious to try this out but want to know about the end results/wear. Thanks so much!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this idea and your process–very generous of you. If I try it, I’ll also try to show you the outcome. :) Oh, and I love the way these turned out, well done!

  3. Thank you so much for this post! I have been in search for the perfect shoes for my bridesmaids that wont cost them an arm and a leg because my vision is to have them in Olive green heels. this solves ALL of my problems. I can’t wait to get the girls together to do this!

  4. Super cute!! You’re so crafty. And fit. And have lots of kids. And other stuff I don’t. ;-)

    Curious, though, if the spray paint stays stuck on the shoes! If so, I might have to try that sometime.

  5. Amazing Job Abbie! I would never thought I could spray a shoes, this is awesome, in my case it would be like having new shoes!!! I love this idea! It would be so cool if you would like to join my Link Party on Sundays =D you are totally invited!!!

    Hope you are having a lovely weekend

    Hugs
    Cami @ TitiCrafty by Camila

  6. Your shoes are adorable. Makes me want to go to Goodwill & look for some shoes to paint. Paint can make anything look new & make you love it again.

  7. They turned out so very cute! And yes, definitely Anthro-esque!! I’d love to hear how they hold up :)
    About 10 yrs ago, I spray painted a ceiling fan. It isn’t that strange, but back then….my whole fam thought I was crazy. It was brass with faux wood blades. I painted the brass silver and the blades black. It turned out great! In fact, with all of the stencil inspiration floating around now I could really go to town w/ some stencils on the blades. Back then, I was pretty proud of it though! I didn’t have much to lose, we were gonna replace it if it didn’t work out ;) Now, I love spray paint! The transformations are always so fun!

    1. If you do it outside or in a well ventilated area it doesnt do a whole lot of damage. In fact after you spray it. It is just like regular paint in the house.

  8. I am so happy I found this post – honestly I was just thinking about painting my shoes. They need a fresh up and I have worn a hole in the inside on the heel – I need to do this! Now I think I have the confidence! Thanks! Yours look adorable!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  9. LOVE IT! I have got to start looking at things with a new eye when I’m thrifting. I’m curious how many potentially awesome things I’ve passed up on because they are the wrong color! Spray paint to the rescue! jules

  10. I love spray paint almost as much as I love chalkboard paint. I put chalkboard paint on anything that’s holding still ;)

    I am in the process of spray painting a wall clock. It has the black iron swirly frame thing going on and I’m painting it the same aqua as your shoes. If I hate it, I can just spray paint it back to black!

  11. OH MY WORD! So darling! I’m curious to know how these hold up for you. I tried painting a pair of flats and the paint peeled right off at the stress points when I walked. Not so darling. Bummer.

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