Not having buckets full of spare cash sloshing around for custom built trainers, I have had to do the next best thing to get something a bit unusual in the shoe department and that is paint my own.
Now before I start, I need to do some serious covering of my bottom.
DON’T DO THIS! Not only can this go horribly wrong but some of the chemicals used are highly toxic.
Still reading? Right, so long as you understand that I take no responsibility for anything that goes wrong if you try this at home like I have told you not to do.
Firstly, choosing paint. The best thing to use, if you can get it is by Angelus Brand. If you are in the states, there are loads of places that do this. But in the U.K there are two, the cheaper of these is called Painted Soles. You can also use liquitex mixed with acetone but this is both a bit dicey and more expensive.
Preparation is key as trainers are coated with a thick layer of wax or polyurethane varnish before leaving the factory that prevents paint from sticking.This can be removed with either pure acetone or really cheap nail varnish remover (but don’t get the stuff marked “acetone free”). Work in a well ventilated room or preferably outside, AND DON’T SMOKE! or sit by a gas fire for that matter ’cause you will explode. Use cotton wool pads or balls and discard when they get dirty, you will get through about 200 to do a pair of shoes. Make sure you get into all the crevices such as seam line and were the leather meets the sole. Oh, and if you are doing shoes with a heel encap (the bubbles of air or liquid) mask this off as these could corrode.
Paint should be carefully applied in thin layers, it will look very smeary at first, but thin layers are more bendy and less likely to crack or leave nasty brush marks. Leave to dry for at least half an hour between coats.In the example shown, I have used a multi coloured base layer with a lizard skin pattern built up over it, but as in the top photo keep applying thin layers to get an even, durable coating.
When you are satisfied with your paint job, you can add a coat of acrylic varnish or preferably Angelus Finisher. Paint or dab this on with a clean cloth or sponge in one even layer. It is important not to over brush this once applied as this will make the coating go cloudy.
When dry just add laces!