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 Marie claire spray painted accessories

Big initial MLast spring I was turning the pages of Marie Claire magazine when I came across this captivating idea for painting shoes and bags. I was fascinated by the effect of spraying on paint in a grafitti-like swathe across shoes or a bag. I had recently heard about an inexpensive paint applicator that you fill with paint and screw on an aerosol top, turning it into spray paint.

Spring Green bag before for blogI started with this very plain manmade leather shoulder bag, bequeathed to me by a friend whose elderly mom once carried it. I cleaned it with 100% acetone, lightly applied, then painted it a gorgeous green color ("Light Green") from the Angelus Leather Paint line.

Spring Green halfway for blog This turned out to be a mistake! When applied to this vintage manmade leathter, it wouldn't dry! It took nearly three weeks until it was dry enough to brush on a couple coats of Sassy Feet Acrylic Sealer. Whew. I finally had my "base coat." (I haven't had this problem before with Angelus and manmade leather, but I have to admit it is really formulated to work on genuine leather….)

Preval Pressure SprayerNow for the spray-on part! I had seen this cool little product at my local hardware store — it's called the Preval Pressure Sprayer

Spring Green midway for blogThen I taped paper over the outer edges of the of the bag to prevent overspray. Next I poured Neopaque Black mixed with 25% water (the maximum you can dilute this paint without interfering with its ability to stick to the surface) so it would pass through the aerosol tip easily. 

Time to spray! 

Spring Green midway 3 for blogIt was a complete failure. I ended up with a swathe with crisp edges where the paper stopped. I didn't even take a photo of it. Back to the drawing board. I painted over the black with two coats of the same green then tried spraying freehand.

Spring Green midway 4 for blogThe results were better — but still not right. I just couldn't control the paint well enough. So… I repainted the bag again, but this time I just squared off the edges of the spray paint and got a black stripe down the middle. Better, but a little boring. So I picked up my bottle of black paint and started playing around….

Spring Green after for blog

At last! Something I liked. Whew. I had almost run out of persistence!

Spring Green chain before for blog  Spring Green bag chain for blogThe final touch was to spiff up the chain shoulder strap. Originally, the gold chain had been threaded with beige faux suede cord. I pulled that out and replaced it with black rayon cording — big improvement. AND, this meant the project was done. What a beautiful word: D-O-N-E !

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