Painting Your Shoes for the Perfect Color Every Time

Here’s another post for DIY July, Bibliotheca’s theme of the month! Be sure to see what I’ve written about this month and sign up for the Bibliotheca’s newsletter for all the blogger’s entries for the theme.

I’ve written before about how much I like purchasing leather goods for my lolita wardrobe They last a long time and cobblers can make repairs on them. This means that you’ll have these goods for longer, which means you’re buying less. Brands like Clarkes, American Duchess, and Fluevog make great shoes for classic and gothic. But what if you’re a sweet lolita, or you’re looking for a specific color? When you run into this situation, just paint your shoes.

(Don’t) Got the Blues

I’ve done this twice before with excellent results. The first time, I was looking for a pair of sturdy leather navy shoes for work and lolita. I kept coming up short. I finally found a pair of “Tic Tac Toe” dance shoes on ebay in what I thought was navy. When I received them, however, the color was dark turquoise color not suited to my purposes. So instead of returning them or selling them again, I purchased Angelus leather paint and got to work. These shoes are now at least 4 years old and still look great. Even if the paint does begin to show wear in the creases, it’s easy enough for me to do a touch up with more paint and sealer.

painted shoes
Coordinate with an Innocent World cutsew one piece, featuring the newly blue shoes

All that Glitters

The second time I painted my shoes was when I wanted a pair of gold shoes. I’ll tell you a secret: I hate the look of tea party shoes. While the look of the rounded toe shoe is extremely common in lolita, I love the look of pointier toe shoes in classic and gothic. Unfortunately, tea parties come in all the lolita colors, including silver and gold, which most western brands don’t make.

Ready to paint these shoes
Sorry this is a picture for ants, it’s the only “before” pic I have.

To get this project started, I dug out an old pair of character dance shoes I didn’t wear anymore and ordered some Angelus leather paint in gold. Though the paint is pretty luminous on it’s own, I added in some powdered sparkle I had from another project to give it some extra shine.

Because these shoes started out black, it did take some patience to get them looking completely even. Only about a year later, I can see where the paint is starting to wear in the creases.


Both of these project cost me less than $20 each. I got exactly the shoes I wanted and reused items I had that weren’t useful to me anymore.

Coordinate with a Victorian Maiden JSK, Miss Danger Boudoir Overdress, and new gold shoes!

I hope this inspires you to paint your own shoes and make use of the items you have before you buy new!


  1. Lizzy says:

    I never would’ve guessed from the photos that these shoes had been painted gold! Incredible!!

    1. Jenna S says:

      Thanks! Definitely took some persistence but the leather paint really worked it’s magic.

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