27 October 2011

DIY: spraypainting shoes

It seems there is a relatively major holiday coming up, eh? As I said, I don’t do much for the fall holidays, as I save all my energy for The Magic of Christmas *jazz fingers*. But the nonstop stream of horror-lite movies on ABC family that Mr. P is enjoying – Corpse Bride, Coraline, Beetlejuice? They mean but one thing: it’s Halloween time.

I won’t be decorating my house with faux spiderwebs or creating a creepy treat basket for trick-or-treaters. (The responsibility of answering the door for trick-or-treaters, by the by, falls solely on Mr. P's shoulders, as I am too easily annoyed with the teenagers in our neighborhood who think it is okay to not dress up but collect candy anyway and get off mah laawwn.) I won’t even be dressing in costume – but you might be. And for that reason, I’m pulling a vintage DIY out for you.

This is me in 2007:

In this photo I’m actually at prom with Mr. P – that’s right, we go to his high school’s prom every year, and dress up for it. I really am quite happy about that, despite my bizarrely dour expression in the photo. Still, “twenty-something prom-goer” is a lame Halloween costume, so for the purposes of this post, let’s go with, uh, Tinkerbell.

All right! Still, what I really want you to notice are the shoes. Although you can’t really see it in the photo, the accents on that dress were gold. I didn’t have gold shoes, but the dress was a score at $30 and I was not about to pass that up.

I did, however, have an extra pair of silver shoes from a wedding I’d been in. That’s right, extra. There was a time when I owned two pairs of silver shoes, thanks to two different weddings with two different shoe specifications. No big, that’s what bridesmaids are for, right? Except two pairs of silver shoes is at least one too many, and I now needed a pair of gold shoes.

And I just so happened to have a can of gold spraypaint. Well, two nearly-empty cans that I was tired of having around.

Wait, am I about to say that I spraypainted those shoes up there? Oh yes, I am. AND OH YES I DID.

The most important step: taping them very carefully. I didn't take photos of this step, because the blog was negative-four years old. Still, the key to making this work was to tape off the soles, including the edges, and the bottom of the shoes where my feet would rub. I used cellophane tape, trimmed as perfectly as I could. Honestly, taping them off was by far the longest part, but worth it.

Then I did two thin coats of gold spraypaint. Two, because I had two different brands of paint, and thin, because I didn't have much of either one.

And yet:

How about that! And they lasted the night, as well, without even priming (I’m not sure I knew what primer was in 2007). They did start to look a bit worn after dancing the night away, particularly under my toes (where there was paint – the rest of the sole wasn't painted as you can see from its original silver). But, none of it came off on my feet! Perhaps that was due to the fabric texture of the shoe – it absorbed the paint, but not so much that it muddled with the existing silver color. Again, I ask: WHAT CAN'T YOU SPRAYPAINT?

So what does all this have to do with Halloween? Well, if any of you are frantically constructing last-minute costumes, and one component is just not quite right, might I suggest raiding your spraypaint supply to see if anything would help?

And if all else fails, I hear twenty-something prom-goer pretending-to-be-a-lion can be quite scary.

Happy Halloween!