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DIY: Spray Painting Leather Boots

I just went boldly where no spray paint has gone before ( least in my hands)!

Now that fall is officially here and I've experienced some chilly evening walks to prove it... I'm suddenly aware that my wardrobe is missing a pair of tall brown boots.  I have lots of boots---gray suede boots, gray heeled boots, black riding boots, brown pointed-toe boots with heels, camel cowgirl boots, red cowgirl boots, brown biker boots---but no brown riding boots!  How am I supposed to dress like these Pinterest fashionistas if I don't have a pair of brown boots?!  

I bought 2 pairs of these bad boys a couple years back and have only worn one pair.
One thing I did notice during my extensive boot inventory was that I do have two identical pairs of black riding boots.  I bought both pairs a few years back when I worked in retail.  They're all leather, super comfy, perfectly fitting black boots that---when combined with my employee discount and a coupon and a sale---I ended up snatching for less than $20 each.  (That's why I bought two!)  I wore one pair that first winter and last winter, but the other pair is still brand-new in the box.  I'd have bought a brown and black pair back then, but the store was outta brown in my size! :(

I've been searching high and low for the perfect pair, but every time I find a pair I like... the boots are not-so-perfect for my budget.  Then I got this hare-brained idea.  Why not, well... spray paint a pair of boots?  I dismissed it at once.  I mean, I know I'm always saying that you can spray paint anything.  But a pair of leather boots?!  That might be going too far.  But the idea stuck.  Somewhere in my mind.  Tugging at me.  Wondering.  Luring me toward Google to see if it had been done successfully.  I got mixed reviews.  :S

But I decided to give it a try.  What do I really have to lose?  A pair of boots that I already own.  I decided to give it a whirl!  I went with Krylon gloss spray paint in a chocolatey brown shade.  I wiped the boots down really well with water and unbuckled the straps so that those could be painted, too.  I also had to snap a picture of my "I'm not sure about this!" face.  Because let's face it: I've never pushed the limits of spray paint this far.  

I taped off the soles of the boots with regular masking tape since I wanted them to remain black.  Then, I proceeded to add several light layers of spray paint to the boots.  I started off with a fine dusting to see how it held up on the leather.  (I was pleasantly surprised since I read online that it's best to sand down the leather, but I skipped that sanding step.)  I let the paint dry between layers and continued with several light dustings.  The lighter the better---to avoid drips.  Slowly but surely, the boots transformed into a nice shade of brown.  Some of the black peeks through at more worn-in places, but I kinda like it.  It makes 'em look perfectly weathered.

What do you think?  Obviously, these won't be boots I'll be wearing to trek through autumn rain and any winter snow.  But for these beautiful, dry, sunny fall days... I foresee sporting them a lot!  Btw, at least with the leather on these boots it still feels like leather even with the spray paint on top.

I'll definitely post a pic when these are good and dry and I get around to wearing them!! :D


Scary! They look great, but I wonder how they'll hold up? I spray-painted a pair of leather wedges purple so I could wear them to wedding-related events way back when, and since I didn't spray on a coat of primer the paint cracked away really unattractively on 'em... I was so sad because I did a heckuva job with them! I now swear by spray primer--it's the best.
Unknown said…
Oh no! So sad about your purple wedges. :( Hopefully my boots at least hold up for the warm, dry days of an Iowa fall---which probably won't be very long. ;)
Megan said…
Those are so cute! I never would have known they were spray painted. What a good idea. :)
Marian said…
Wow! The boots looked good as black, but they look even better brown. That's a cool project. :)
Xazmin said…
I'm wondering how they are holding up now that it's been a couple of months? My 12 year old daughter needs go go boots for her school musical, and I found some at the thrift store for really cheap. They are brown, and I would like white ones, but I don't want to ruin them and have to hunt for a new pair if it doesn't work out.
Xazmin said…
I'm wondering how they are holding up now that it's been a couple of months? My 12 year old daughter needs go go boots for her school musical, and I found some at the thrift store for really cheap. They are brown, and I would like white ones, but I don't want to ruin them and have to hunt for a new pair if it doesn't work out.
Cristina Mcvay said…
Wow, the boots are looking great after painting. Thanks for sharing with us.
Maynard Pearson said…
You really gave new life to those boots, awesome job. Wish more people would do this instead of buying new ones.
They look so cute. That's a very good idea. Thanks for sharing your experiences.
Clayton said…
You know this would probably work also for some of my work boots. Thanks for the tips.
Shelby-Young said…
Girl, I love it and thanks for the tip! I have every boot color except gray and red and now as of today I would have gray and red at the low cost of 9 bucks, LOL! LOVE THE IDEA
Tegan Yates said…
I learned the hard way not to wear my favorite tall black boots when spray painting a bookshelf turquoise on a windy day. My boots now look like they have a bit of turquoise sparkle to them. Thankfully, it’s no longer boot season
Kristine A said…
I had the same look on my face when I chucked my old leather jacket inside the washing machine - yep, I washed my leather jacket, LOL! Anyway, I think it turned out great! Did the color washed off eventually?
The color never washed off. I wore these for several more fall/winter seasons and they stayed a nice, perfectly-worn brown. :) I eventually had to throw them out because the heel got worn out. ;)
Anthony Paul said…
Thank you very much for this excellent information.!!!
i really appreciated, keep it up !
Anonymous said…
I need a pair of black kitten heel boots. I don’t wear my rose gold ones from free people anymore and that’s exactly what I will do!
Thank you!
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Steve Jefferson said…
What a great idea! I never would have known they were spray painted! Thank you for sharing the post!


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