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April 16, 2009
more on shoes

I've had some questions on the shoe painting process. You can look for advice on the web, that's what I did. And do follow the shoe link below, because they are all totally inspiring. But here's the Reader's Digest Condensed version:

1. CHOOSE SHOES: Painting canvas sneakers is like, uh, painting on canvas. Leather or pleather shoes is what we're using here. Choose shoes that are stiff, rather than soft, or work with the natural places the shoe moves. The paint WILL crack there. Smooth shoes are going to be easier to manage than those with lots of gee-gaws.

CLEAN: Remove dirt, oils, polish from shoes. Give them a wipe down with acetone (finger nail polish remover, which isn't really acetone anymore...).

2: SCUFF: Paint adheres better when the surface has some "tooth". Go over the shoes with fine grade sand paper. Then wipe them off again.

3: PRIME: I simply used watered down white paint. A couple of layers. Gesso is another possibility. Like anything else, taking time with the prep work pays off later.

4: PAINT: I used run-of-the-mill acrylic paints. Quality probably makes a difference. We'll see. Build up layers of paint rather than glopping it all on at one go.

5: DRY: If you're me, you stick them in the oven to speed things up (it's not ON).

6: SHELLAC: I used clear acrylic spray, but there may be sturdier choices. The paint's waterproof, but something to protect the surface from scuffing and such.

02:40 PM