May 10, 2011

What's on Your Plate Today? .....

 Me? Boot painting .... since I'm leaving in a week, heading to the heartland and the big Na-Da farm event .... I thought I should get out my pile of cowgirl boots and get busy!!

This photo is from Texas last fall ... getting ready for the Junk Gypsy's prom night ... girl's night out!

That's Beth above and Amie below

So ... today I'll be painting more gypsy boots to take to the Na-Da sale and adding some finishing touches to mine to wear to the Boho ball Friday night !!
 Would you like to fancy up your heels for the ball? ... here's a simple tutorial for the method I use to paint mine ...
Gather these supplies:
Leather boots
Acrylic craft paints
Paint brushes
Water, paper towel, paint pallet
Cotton Balls
Fine grit sand paper
Acrylic sealer

1.) Find the perfect pair of boots at a reasonable price. I’m still experimenting with ones I find at my local thrift stores. Keep in mind that you will be able to paint over minor scrapes and flaws. I would rather make a mistake or two on Italian leather I’ve paid $8.50 for and not $850 for! Once you have a few under your belt, then you can move up to a more expensive pair.

2.) Prepare your leather by rubbing the finish with cotton balls soaked in acetone. This is only necessary on the area that will receive paint and is done best outside or in a very well ventilated room. This step is crucial if your boots have a high polish on them. Continue rubbing with acetone until dull. I have also chosen boots that don’t have any finish left on them … then you can skip this step.

3.) Use extra fine sand paper and gently rough up the surface you wish to paint.  Again, this is only necessary on the area that will receive paint … no need to sand the entire boot if you will not paint it.

4.) Think a bit about your design … if you want. I’m a freehand girl, so I usually just “go for it”. However, if you’re more of the planning type, sketch out your idea.  When designing what you will paint on your boot be careful to notice where your boots naturally flex, your paint will eventually wear and crack quicker at these stress points than others … so plan accordingly.

5.) Now you are ready to paint! If your boots are very dark in color you may want to begin with a priming layer of white.  This will help your colors pop better and not soak into the leather as much. Make sure you let the paint dry completely. Now is also the time to use a pencil to draw your design on your boot, if you’re not going to paint freehand.  Start painting and creating!

6.) It’s important to let your paint dry completely in between coats and it’s always best to build up light layers of paint rather than thick gloppy ones … take your time and have patience for best results.  You can also flex the boot several times in between coats of paint; this will help work the paint into the creases and give longer life to your paint job.

7.) When you are completely satisfied with your boots you can seal them with clear sealer in a finish of your choice, my preference is matte. I like to put up to three coats of sealer on my boots, letting each one dry completely in the sun in between coats.
8.) Hope to see you at the ball wearing and enjoying your "new" boots!!




  1. How creative and pretty! You don't see many cowboy boots where I live and especially not one of a kind ones like yours!

  2. I love your boots! If I ever find a perfect pair of boots to wear I will definately be personalizing them. I think I will practice on the pair that I turned into bird houses last summer. They were the least comfortable boots ever made! Much better suited for the birds but I think they might appreciate me prettying them up a bit. Thank you for the tutorial. I love your style in everything from decorating to dress.

  3. Wonderful!! I'm going to start the search for some old boots!!

    Susan and Bentley

  4. Oh how I wish I could be at the Na-Da Sale :)
    I love these boots! They are gorgeous.
    I'm sure they will be a hit. Beautiful idea.

    Becky C
    Buckets of Burlap

  5. omigosh, i love these! thanks for the tutorial!
    i am looking forward to seeing all your treasures at the Na-Da Farm Sale!!

  6. I love your boots, thank you for the tutorial!!! Wishing you the best of luck at the Na-Da Sale. You look absolutely pretty on those pictures.
    Have a lovely day!
    XXXX Ido

  7. this is great! I will hace to save this in my documents under my "how to's" ,lest I forget! Thanks for the tips!

  8. Those are fantastic! I know my painting would not turn out that good! It may look more like polk-a-dots.:)

  9. These are darling, Jill. gosh, you're so talented. I'd love to be at Na-Da sale. have a ball! xoxo Debra

  10. Hi there, I just popped over from A Sort of Fairytale and I Love this post!! Your boots (and you) look fabulous! Well, I'm off to check out the rest of your blog!

  11. OLD GRINGO this gal is giving you a run for your biz!! I am going to paint a pair. Thanks for the great blog.

  12. They are stunning...thanks for the tutorial, but I won't be trying this as don't have your amazing talent for painting!
    Happy day!

  13. I'm a size 8 1/2, give or take:).

    You're so talented! See you there!


  14. very cute and thanks for sharing your art and techniques :)

  15. What a cute idea to freshen up and personalize old boots!!I wish now that I had kept mine!!!

    Love the peek at the dresser redo

  16. how cute, I have a pair at the shop where i sell,they went to A&M game,you know the one where u can not have umbrellas.Yeap it rained and rained and those pretty black shinny calf skins...o how they paid,But A&M won and a dear friend who always took us to the game.I had turned them into plant holder...but I can paint and this is way way tooo cool. I was looking to find someone where I can order ASCP paint,as the vendor that I used to go to.IS mosving to Dallas.Darn Central Texas needs ASCP Yes I have a blog too just started you are way ahead of me..toooo cute stuff.

  17. Pauline Lausser9/26/14, 7:24 PM

    Do you ever put polish or oil on your boots after you've sealed them? I just finished painting and sealing mine and I was wondering how to care for my "new" boots!

    1. Hi Pauline! I've never applied anything after the sealing process and the boots have held up very well. I'm glad to hear you painted a pair ... nothing beats a unique pair of boots created by the owner! Have a great day ... Jill


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