Jenny shoe trio collage resized

Big initial MOur daughter Jenny, who LOVES shoes — especially Italian shoes — was in a quandry recently when her best friend asked her to be the maid of honor at her wedding. The bridesmaid dresses were going to be turquoise and their shoes were to be white.

I don’t think Jenny owns any white shoes, nor has a use for any. But she does have at least one mom (out of two) who paints shoes….

Jenny bridal-blue shoes

So she found online a pair of nice leather shoes that I could paint white for her — then paint again in some color she actually would wear.

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Here they are painted with Lumiere’s Pearl White.

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She also asked me to paint the sole and the breast of the heel in Pearl Turquoise to match her dress. They turned out looking pretty cool, especially with the turquoise on the bottom.

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After the wedding, Jenny brought her shoes over to our house and flipped though my key ring of Lumiere paint chips. “THIS is a great color,” she said, pointing to Pearlescent Blue. Done, I said! It took two coats and the only tough part was using a toothpick to re-open the tiny perforations in the leather at the front of the shoe.

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“Don’t you want some sort of decoration on them?” I asked, not-so-subtly pushing her to look at a warm, medium brown color called Metallic Rust.  She went for it!

I decided to use the stitching lines on the shoe as guides to paint very narrow lines simulating piping. The secret to doing this well is two-fold. First, I used a soft taper-point size 2 Colour Shaper brush. This brush has a conical silicone tip and doesn’t slide around like a traditional brush does (at least, in my hands it does).

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The second part of the secret of painting perfect piping is to keep a little bowl of clean water and cotton swabs at hand so if you paint over the line, you can mop up your mistake right away. Of course, if the mistake dries, all you have to do is paint over it with the blue, so you can see how forgiving doing even detail work like this is!

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It was very satisfying seeing the finished product come together, too.

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A BIG improvement over plain white — and they were fun to do. I find that kind of detail work very meditative. It takes concentration and focus, but not a huge amount of effort because making a mistake is no big deal. Now that’s my kind of project!

P.S. Jenny loved them, too!

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