DMargot and I often receive emails from people asking for guidance, ideas, help and sometimes to solve a problem or two. We encourage it. Not only do these emails help the person asking the question, but they allow us to know what kinds of issues people are having so we can share the answers with you.

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Q: I love your site! I have 3 questions for you. Paintsealer – What is your favorite fabric paint brands for canvas shoes?

– What is best paint sealer for hand-painted canvas shoes?

– I did a gold leaf finish on the rubber toes of Converse sneakers. What is best sealer to use over the top to seal it so it doesn’t chip?

Thx very much for your expert advice 🙂

GoldLeafA: Good questions!  For painting fabric shoes, we prefer Lumiere by Jacquard. If you want less gleamy colors, try their sister product line of fabric paints, Neopaque.

No need to seal paint on fabric shoes. If you use high-quality fabric paint, the paint will bond with the fibers of the fabric. If it’s manmade or genuine leather, you would use Pledge with Future Shine to seal the paint.

As to sealing gold leaf, I think the manufacturer of the leaf must have a product. Take a look at the blog Margot did on gold leafing her leather clogs.

The bigger concern about your gold leaf on sneaker toes is that it may not stay on when the toes bend and flex. Let us know if that happens.

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Q: Hello, I love your shoe blog! How do i paint my black Uggs into gold glitter Uggs? And If I do this, will the glitter crack?

A: What a great idea! First you need to paint them gold with Lumiere (there are several different shades of gold you can use, depending on what color gold glitter you use). Then apply our Glitter It Glaze, either in Pale Gold or Antique Gold.

If you choose Pale Gold Glitter It Glaze, use True Gold Lumiere paint.  If you choose Antique Gold Glitter It Glaze, use Bright Gold Lumiere paint.

One bottle of paint and one bottle of Glitter It should be enough to cover a pair of Uggs. You will also need a small bottle of sealer to keep the glitter bright over time.

We will send you instructions on how to apply the paint and Glitter It Glaze when you order. And, be sure to take a “before” picture!

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Q: Hi, I enjoyed reading about your shoe painting techniques and wanted to ask your advice on painting a pair of old leather Riedell skate boots. I just got them off eBay for $30, but the paint on them is cracked and peeling off.  Can I strip the paint, sand, repaint and seal them with usable and ethically pleasing results???  What do you think?

Chain sneaks after angle at 72 dpiI love the glittery high top tennies you did; maybe I could do a glittery white and some accents on the skates, once I get them ready… Right now, the skates are pretty sad. I didn’t see the exact condition on the eBay site; I just thought that they were dirty. I am hoping that I can make them useful and cute.

Thanks so much, hopefully the attached pictures will help. Hope we can upcycle these into little beauties again! I’m up for the challenge of a good project, but if it’s going to be a total waste of time and money, I’ll just get a boot cover.


A: As much as we’d love to turn you on to painting shoes (and in your case, skates!), and think it would be a mistake to try to paint these. Even if you sanded down the cracked and peeling areas, there is no way to predict if other areas would start to crack later on as you wore them. Then you’d have nice new paint over old cracking paint.

The other issue is that skates tend to get scuffed way more than ordinary shoes, so you’d probably have to do frequent touchups. The paint we recommend is very adherent, but it’s not proof against serious scuffs. So enjoy your vintage skates — just put boot covers on them.  Sorry We couldn’t be of more help!

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Believe it or not, there are some shoe issues that our magic products and techniques CAN’T fix. Margot and I always try to give honest advice that gives you the best results, even if it means we lose a potential sale. Telling someone to use our product when it won’t do any good isn’t our kind of business.

So, please, never hesitate to send those questions. You’ll always get quick, honest, well-thought-out advice! And we can use your Q&As here to help other DIYers!

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