Ever since seeing my mom wear jeans and sneakers in the Fifties (when other moms were in twinsets and skirts in my suburban Philadelphia hometown), I’ve been a jeans and sneakers girl too. So when I saw the latest iteration of Chucks (aka Chuck Taylor’s Washed Canvas sneaks), I was sold!
I was not sold, however, on the $100 price tag. Instead of clicking BUY ONE, I grabbed a pair of nice cheap white sneakers ($14.99 at Payless) and got out my paint and brushes.
First I removed the laces. Then I sponged water all over the canvas, because I wanted to duplicate the watered-down, weathered effect on the Chucks. I also diluted the Pearlescent Magenta Lumiere I had chosen, adding about 25% water, which thins the paint without affecting its ability to adhere and last on the shoe.
Lastly, I chose brushes that were firm, even stiff (like the green-handled scrubber brush I usually use for stenciling on fabric). These would help me work the thinned paint into the surface of the canvas.
Here’s a closeup of the nice uneven, faux-faded coloring I got.
The next step was to use the same diluted-paint-and-stiff-brush technique on the cotton laces. (I didin’t bother to wet them before painting.)
The last step was to tint the rubber soles. Paint just doesn’t stick to rubber for long, so I got out my StazOn stamping ink, which works great to add color to rubber soles. I didn’t have a pink shade on hand, so I used a Blazing Red. I applied it using a gauze pad (the kind for skinned knees) and diluted it on the pad (to get a lighter shade of red) with StazOn All-Purpose Cleaner, which is actually an ink remover.
The great thing about this whole project was that the paint and ink jobs were SUPPOSED to look uneven! Too much red/pink ink on the sole? Wipe some off with the cleaner. Too much paint in a certain area? As long as it was still wet, I could take a clean stiff brush and get some off.