DIY my DIY Shoe DIYs

Neon Shoes DIY & Painting Leather

neon soles shoes diy- paint leather

I was inspired by this photo of a neon pink and yellow soled shoe I “pinned” a few weeks ago but because it was uploaded without a URL, I hadn’t a clue who it was by or where I could buy it. After a bit of research, I think it was originally available at Topshop but was sold out by the time I discovered it. Which leads me to this: Please, when using Pinterest, if you upload your own photo, go back in and edit it to add the original link. Not only because it’s the right thing to do when uploading images that do not belong to you, but also, in this case, for shopping purposes 😉 But regardless, it inspired this DIY…

I spread this project out over a number of days so as not to rush it and while you can use a hair dryer to speed the drying process, I found it was just as easy to add a new coat the following day and then another the day after that. *SAFETY TIP: Make sure if you’re using toxic paints to work in a properly vented area.


Neon Shoes DIY - how to paint leather shoes

* Shoes in a near natural/raw leather state sans major finishes. Mine are Pour La Victoire sandalsseen here.
* Rubbing alcohol, a cloth, q-tips.
* Nail polishes, including white. *NOTE: You may also use acrylic paints or Acrylic Leather Paint. I chose nail polish because of its high gloss finish and because it was easy to come by. I chose Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear polishes because of their consistency and thickness. Top coat is optional {I actually didn’t use one but am curious to see how they “scuff” without it – Also, my colors aren’t as “neon” as my inspiration}.
* Nail polish remover and a fine or thin/angled paintbrush.
* Paint brushes {you may choose to just use the brushes that come in the nail polish bottles, which ended up being a better choice than the synthetic brushes because the nail polish brushes left less brush marks and applied thicker coats}.
* Drying racks… I used a candlestick and a paper towel dispenser.
* Hair dryer is optional, speeds up the drying process.
* Painter’s tape.


Neon Shoes DIY  -  paint leather shoes 1

* Using your painter’s tape, tape off all areas of your shoe that you don’t wish to paint.

Neon Shoes DIY  -  paint leather shoes  2

* Using rubbing alcohol {in a vented area} treat all the areas of the shoes you’re going to paint by simply taking a cotton swab doused in alcohol and rubbing it on. Use a rag or washcloth for the larger areas, like the sole.

Neon Shoes DIY -  paint leather shoes 4

* Begin with your white paint, and as a primer of sorts, cover all areas that are to be painted with a coat or two of white. I used the larger/synthetic brushes for this step, especially for the the soles and heels.

Neon Shoes DIY  -  paint leather shoes 5

* Let you primer dry over night.

Neon Shoes DIY - paint leather shoes 6

* Begin painting on your bright neon colors. I painted the soles first then proceeded to do all the yellow areas. Use your lightest color first. You can easily paint over any mess ups with your darker color.

Neon Shoes DIY - paint leather shoes 7

* Paint any areas not touching your opposite/wet color, to speed up the process.

Neon Shoes DIY - paint leather shoes 8

* Let your first coats on all areas dry overnight. Once completely dry, cover each area with a second coat {painting in the opposite direction of the last} and let dry. Apply a top coat if you like.

* After all coats of paint are dry, go through with your fine angled paintbrush and using nail polish remover, tidy up any mess-ups. It didn’t affect my leather at all and removed the excess paint quite nicely.


painting shoes - NEON SHOES DIY

* Essie’s Lapis of Luxury on my toes *

neon yellow pink  shoes  diy

Neon heels shoes diy - painting shoes

neon and nude-painting leather shoes

Have Fun!


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Maegan Tintari

LA native & lifestyle blogger Maegan Tintari writes daily at sharing beauty & style secrets, including fashion DIYs, how-to nail art manicures, hair tutorials, recipes & home decorating ideas, as well as a look into her personal life, her journey & battle with infertility & recent relocation to the mountains by a lake in search of a better life with her adorable French Bulldog brothers, Trevor and Randy.

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