Spray Painting Shoes

I like weird color shoes because they break up the seriousness of any outfit. I bought some white shoes a long time ago and they made everyone look, but then white shoes started to come into fashion (that’s right, I alone started the whole trend) ;-)

After a few years some of these shoes still fit and feel great, but look quite worn. They are past the stage of a simple cleaning due to years of heavy use.

I still wear them from time to time, but they don’t have the same “weird-looking shoes” effect they used to have. It’s also hard to tell by the pictures, but they look pretty dirty in person. So in trying to incorporate them back into the wardrobe I tried some experimental shoe cosmetic surgery using plain old spray paint.

Patient 1 was a pair of very comfortable Aldo shoes I’ve had for years. I still wear them when I need to do a lot of walking, but don’t want to wear tennis shoes. They’ve become pretty worn and dirty especially around the sides, backs and stitching seams. The brown spot top-right is a test-spray I did with the spray paint to see if it would bind correctly:

I bought some gold spray paint from Wal-Mart and gave them a quick spray paint coat. I covered the entire shoe, even the bottoms. They came out quite well!

They actually look like a new pair of shoes now! I was very satisfied with how well this pair turned out:

Patient 2 is also an old pair of Aldo shoes I’ve had for years, and are starting to look dirty although this picture doesn’t show that too well. I’ve tried using “shoe touch-up paint” to clean them, but it’s no longer cutting it. These shoes are made out of some hard leather-like material, and I wasn’t sure how well the spray paint would bind to the shoes, especially in the crevasses and cracks of the shoes:

When I was buying spray paint at Wal-Mart I saw “Outdoor Reflective Spray Paint” that’s used for marking trees or painting road stripes. I THOUGHT this would look pretty cool, but it didn’t exactly turn out so well:

It’s not captured by the picture very well, but they actually look like someone sprayed over the original shoe. You could kind of “see through” the paint, and I wasn’t exactly crazy about how these turned out, you can still see all the scuff marks on the shoes:

This was kind of a fail in my opinion, so I bought some metallic blue spray paint and gave them a once over. A weird thing happened, the yellow and blue mixed to turn the shoes GREEN! I didn’t expect that to happen as I thought the blue would paint OVER the yellow, but this mistake ended up looking pretty interesting (and shiny):

So far these shoes have held up with their spray painted outer coats. The hard leather shoes lose a small amount of paint in the crevasse areas when I wear them a lot, but it’s so small an amount no one would notice. So now I have two “new” pairs of shoes for the cost of $2.99 cans of spray paint:

…and the “mistake” pair:

I like both of them, but the gold ones came out looking the best. The green ones are nice in my opinion, but I either get “those look awesome” or “those are the worst shoes I’ve ever seen” remarks about them. If everyone thinks it looks horrible, I generally like it more.

The coolest part is when someone asks me where I got them, I can say, “I made them!”

Blog posted on: December 3, 2009

22 comments on “Spray Painting Shoes

  1. Len Penzo

    I think they are absolutely awesome. Well done! Can I borrow the gold ones – I'm a size 9.5 LOL

    Come to think of it, I've got a leather couch that needs some freshening up. Do you think 25 cans will be enough? ;-)

    All the best,

    Len Penzo dot Com

  2. MrsCasanova

    Im sorry I dont like them. I can appreciate your creativeness however I personally would not wear them. Sorry :(

  3. Anonymous

    What brand of spraypaint did you use? I've been looking for gold ankle boots for ages, this might be the solution.

  4. Sarge

    I must say with so many things to write about this is very unique. I guess I’ll have to say my favorite one are the green. Do you thing that this could be a cool statement for the prom this year? always looking for some new ideas to start a new fashion trend.

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  6. memyself&eye

    You are something else with the shoes. You Go Boy! I was looking for an idea of what to do with some PAYLESS(don’t laugh) shoes that I want to wear for another summer. Thanks

  7. JJ

    That is really cool that regular spraypaint worked. I always used the shoe paint from the shoe repair store. I have actually been getting it in gold from the dance supply place. My little dancers like gold and silver ballet slippers!

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  9. Skinty

    Those shoes are cool! I’m sorry but I do love the green ones ;)

    I’m currently recovering from bunion surgery and have to wear some seriously ugly black Velcro shoes so I found your blog while researching how to paint them to make them less ugh.

    My first instinct had been spray paint and now I’m convinced! Your shoes look amazing. I’m so gonna do mine now.



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