This is the long awaited not-so-top-secret go-to file for everything HAND PAINTED.

Let’s be honest, racing fashion can be an expensive hobby. And my wallet isn’t fat. So when it comes to outfits (and perfecting them) I rely on some handy DIY skills I’ve developed over time.

Paint is one of these important skills because the dilemma of colour will hinder your quest for perfection every time.

Firstly, if you manage to find the perfect hue, it will probably cost a fortune. Secondly, buying online? Those shoes are not going to be the same colour you saw on the web page. Guaranteed. Lucky for us, most things are easily hand painted.

You can hand paint an old pair of shoes/clutch/belt just to breathe new life into them, or buy a cheap pair of heels in the style you like and paint them to suit your outfit!

My First Experience Painting Shoes

My first experience with shoes and paint was out of necessity. I couldn’t find the right pair of shoes for my Derby Day outfit. I found the right style. Wrong colour.

tan coloured witchery shoes

They were tan. And $179! So when thinking about paint I was reluctant to stuff them up.

I purchased some white acrylic paint from a paint store, a few paint brushes and some tape.

painting brush and utensils

My first mistake was using the WRONG tape- do not use regular masking tape. Instead use blue painter’s tape. Just trust me on this one.


scotch blue painter's tape

The first coat was an absolute disaster; a milky see-through yuk with every paint stroke visible. But for $179 I wasn’t giving up that easily.

hand painted shoes

I painted again. This time paint strokes were still visible, but looking a little better.

By the third coat, I’d smartened up. I ditched the brush and used my makeup sponge to dab on the paint lightly. Success!

how to paint shoes

The zipper at the back was also tan, but I wanted it black, so I taped up the entire shoe (minus the zip) in glad wrap and spray painted the zip.

painting shoe zip

tape and glad wrap for painting

It was stiff, but it still went up and down. Good enough. In fact the paint has held so well I still wear them today. Yesterday actually! You can see how I made this outfit in my outfit design guide.