Breathing new life into old shoes

Sewing Projects


The Eye of a Needle, Sewing Shop Taupo, Fabric Shop, Sewing Supplies
  • May 2, 2017

A couple of years ago I broke away from always wearing black boots in the winter, and I invested in a bright teal green pair, which were super comfy and got plenty of wear. I guess they also made a colour statement, but they matched or contrasted well with the other colours I wore, and so they became part of the ‘go-to’ range in my wardrobe. I’ve had a few issues with my feet and wearing uncomfortable shoes seem to make the problem worse. These boots have always made me feel like I’m wearing slippers. They have soft rubber soles and padded lining on the inside.

Image: The original 3 year old boots with stains. >

After 3 years with plenty of wear, my poor old boots started to look a bit tired, and somewhere along the way I spilt something greasy on one of them, so they started to look rather spotty. I tried several cleaning products to remove the stain, but they always dried with the dark spot refusing to budge. And because the boots were brushed suede, when that stain gets in to the leather, it really gets in and stays.

< Image: Boots masked & ready for paint

Over the past weekend we attended an Annie Sloan Chalk Paint workshop. We are restoring lots of furniture, and we wanted some tips on how to do the best job with the best paint. I took along my boots. The first time we met Dorophya from ‘Taylored Revival’ in Howick, she mentioned that she had just painted her boots. I saw them and they looked really cool. I decided to give paint a go on my boots, after receiving her expert advice. ‘Taylored Revival’ have just moved in to their brand new shop in Botany and the workshop we attended was hugely inspirational and motivating. I highly recommend enrolling for a class if you’re that way inclined. Classes are booked up well in advance though, so prior planning and booking 2 months out would be a good idea.

This morning I used masking tape to cover the soles and the elastic stretchy side of the boots, I sprayed the leather with water, and then applied the first coat of paint to them. I left the boots to dry, and applied a second coat after about 10 minutes, which allowed the first coat to dry and harden.

There were still a few brush marks after the second coat, so a third coat was necessary. This time I mixed a bit of water with the paint so that it would slide on easily. Once the third coat of paint was dry, I then applied a very light layer of black wax. It’s amazing stuff. It transforms a flat finish and gives things depth and texture. The last step was to apply a good coating of clear wax, which seems similar to a clear nugget. It also waterproofs, and softens the black wax, and makes the leather a little bit shiny. I am really happy with the result. I love playing around with paint and colours, and if I can extend that in to my tired shoes supply, then I will have the most original shoes around town.

I figure if I get sick of the colour that I’ve chosen, all I need to do is re-mask the boots and apply a different coat of paint. Maybe it will be purple next time. But good to know too that if the worst comes to the worst…I can always resort back to black!

This has motivated in me a desire to play around with paints and fabric, and get a feel for what I like. I’m thinking of painting an old arm chair next that my Dad gave me. My love is going to tidy up the wooden arms first, and then I’ll go in with my paintbrush and give the old chair a real makeover.

Watch out for the blog I will write on that one!

Image : The finished boots. >

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