How To Paint Your Leather Devonshire 18th Century Shoes

Are white shoes just not your thing?  Fancy green, black, blue, red, gold, any other color?  Want to match your new leather Devonshires to your dress?  Well this tutorial is for you!

You Will Need:

*Purchase your Angelus products from Dharma Trading Company – best prices, tons of selection, and fast shipping (no, I am not an affiliate of theirs, I just really love their store)

Your materials and tools

Step 1:
Prepare your Devonshires for painting by rubbing them with the Angelus Leather Preparer.  This cleans and removes any coating from the leather, and will allow the paint to penetrate and stick.  Be sure to apply enough Leather Preparer, and let dry completely.

Rub with Angelus Leather Preparer.

Step 2:
Edge your shoes by carefully painting your color around the edge of the soles and heel tip.  Your flat paintbrush will work well for this.  If you’re shaky-hands-McGee, use masking tape to mask off the areas you want to keep clean.  Be sure to feather out the paint from the edges.

Step 2 – edging

Step 3:
Paint on your first coat.  Keep the paint thin and evenly spread – avoid ridges and clumps.  Don’t worry that the paint looks streaky at this point; you will apply a second coat to even things out later.

Paint the shoe in sections – the toe and vamp, then the latchets and sides, then the heel.  Let this first coat dry completely.

Finished first coat – you can see it’s uneven, but don’t worry

Step 4:
Paint on your second coat.  Again, thin layering is better than thick.  Paint the shoe in sections, like before, and be sure to get into all the little nooks and crannies.  If the paint is still streaky and uneven, allow to dry and apply a third coat in the same manner.

Second coat – much more even.  Apply a third if you need to.

Step 5:
After the shoe is completely dry, rub on Angelus Acrylic Finisher with a paper towel.  I used satin finish, but next time I’ll use matte, for a less-shiny look.  Allow this to dry completely.

Rub with finisher to seal the deal.  This protect the shoes and gives a nice sheen.

Step 6:
There is no step 6 except to decorate your shoes, put them on your feet, and do a happy dance because now you have completely custom, 100% unique leather 18th century shoes!

Ooo pretty.  Enjoy!

Tips and Tricks:

  • Use very small amounts of water to dilute your paint, so it spreads more evenly and smoothly.
  • Multiple thin coats are better than one thick coat.
  • Angelus Acrylic Finisher comes in three varieties – matte, satin, and high gloss.  Choose your preference.
  • Paint designs on your shoes – you’re not limited in any way!
  • You can mix Angelus Leather Paint just like normal paints, to get different colors.
  • Angelus Leather Paint is flexible and durable and won’t crack, split, or damage easily.  This makes it a great option for outdoor, mud-stomping re-enactors.
  • There are other Angelus products for leather, such as the Leather Dyes, Suede Dyes, and Dye Pens.  Have fun!

And don’t forget to pre-order your Devonshires between today and August 10th!!


    • Lauren Stowell

      February 20, 2013 at 3:24 AM

      Hi Kim – I use a flat paintbrush, about 3/4" wide, or 1" wide, and put on very thin layers. With the dark colors, the first few layers feel like you're not putting enough on, but just keep building it up until it's all uniform and smooth.

  • KdBoice

    February 21, 2013 at 2:40 AM

    Hi Lauren- Thanks so much; I will change to an actual brush with bristles or something else suitable for use with acrylics. As you guessed, I'm painting my Devies a rather dark red, so perhaps TWO more layers are necessary to make it "just right."

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