DIY ✄ Colored Soles

DIY Colored SolesEvery lady has a pair of black pumps that are their “go-to’s”, me included. Mine had gotten quite worn in and were in need of a little make over. I am head over heels (no pun intended) for the red soled Louboutin’s, yet those are obviously not in my budget just quite yet. When I decided to paint the soles of my pumps, I opted out of red, because that’s just plain tacky- if you can’t have the real thing, don’t knock it off. I ended up going with a fabulous Tiffany teal like color, and they turned out amazing!

Step by Step Instructions: 

+ Prep your shoes by cleaning the soles with rubbing alcohol, this well help the color stick better.

+ Prime your shoes with white nail-polish. You can use the nail polish brush, but I suggest getting one a little bit bigger so it goes faster. Once you paint the sole of each shoe, let them dry (should take about 10 minutes).

+ Clean your brush between colors using nail polish remover, and start painting the soles the color of your choice. You will probably need two coats, yet be sure to let the first coat dry before starting on your second coat.

+ Let dry for about thirty minutes, just to be safe & you’re done.

— E

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  • Marci says:

    Such a cute idea and great way to add a pop of color! I’m really liking your new set up on Word Press! It looks great, keep it up!!

  • Lauryn says:

    DYING! You’re so cute : ) I love this !!! xo

  • Jackie says:

    Such a great idea!


  • Melissa says:

    Amazing!! I cant wait to try it! How is the lasting power ont hese? has it chipped? Did you put any sealer? Again.. AMAZING!!!

    • Erica Stolman says:

      I sealed it with nail polish top coat and it stays great! So glad you like it :) It stays great, of course the part that hits the pavement wears a bit- but that’s the same with any shoes :)

  • Love this! Must go do this to my heels.
    Heather {}

  • What a great idea! Thanks for sharing. The teal really looks good.

  • Nonoko says:

    LOVELY! All the possibilities! Is there nothing else than nailpolish that I could use? Something at the arts and crafts shop? Acrylic maybe?

    • Erica Stolman says:

      I am sure that you could use acrylic’s and maybe a layer of mod podge? The mod podge dries clear and would seal it in. I am sure that would work just fine though! Have fun & share a picture on my facebook page when done :)

  • Sarah says:

    Do the shows have to have a specific type of sole? I know some pumps have rubber type soles and I cant imagine this would work very well on them.

    • Erica Stolman says:

      Rubber soles would work as long as they are smooth, if they have traction or ridges it may get difficult. I did it with a pair of rubber soles and it worked just fine.

  • Simone says:

    Is there anything you can use besides nail polish? Someone told me she thinks it’s a waist to buy bottles of nail polish just to paint the sole of the shoes! She said she would rather use wall paint…?

    • Erica Stolman says:

      I am sure that you could use you acrylic paints with mod podge to seal it in. That being said, I used the 99 cent nail polish and 99 cent topcoat by Wet & Wild so it only cost me 2 dollars!! :-)

  • Zaria says:

    Just tried this today! I can’t wait to wear them!

  • jenny belle says:

    Is the sole of the shoe slick? Are your shoes slippery to walk in after painted?

    • Erica Stolman says:

      The sole of the shoe was a slick surface prior to me painting them, now they are still slick yet not difficult to walk in or slippery. :) Hope that helps & thanks for checking out the blog! xx

  • Brooke says:

    Do you think you could change colors? Like would using regular nail polish remover do the trick so you could paint them a different color?? Such a cool idea!!

  • Sab says:

    I’m currently painting my heels now! Did one pair with black base and added glitter. That one turned out gorgeous! Did another one in hot pink but the painting was uneven. Shall fix them and post on your FB!

    Thank you for the inspiration!

    • Erica Stolman says:

      I am so excited to see your creation :) Another coat and the hot pink ones should be good to go! Can’t wait to see. xx

  • layla says:

    Do you have to use white nail polish? i dont own any white so could i use a different color? i would really like to do this on my converses! :D

  • Angela says:

    Such a great idea!! My fave pair of heels need a little reviving & this is perfect!! Definitely gonna do this!

  • Hari says:

    Hi sweetie…great idea!!! I saw your project in a spanish decowebsite and well…they put the link to your site with a really small letter type below the pic…so if you don’t look close…you’ll think this project has been made by someone on that website…

    • Erica Stolman says:

      Thanks for letting me know :) I will ask them if they will make it more obvious!

  • ElizabethMD says:

    This is a seriously wicked idea :D Thanks for the thought!! I totally agree too. If you can’t have the real don’t knock it off to an exact replica. Make it your own!

  • michelle says:

    love this <3

  • Lacey Champagne says:

    Just ran across this via Pinterest, so of course I had to come and check it out! I think its adorbs, the only thing that kinda stands out is the wear and tear on the heel at the bottom. Now, just throwing out a little creative flare here, but I think you can fix that to give it that ultra chic’ look by spraying the heal with some spray adhsive (or any adhesive) and cover just the heel in fine black glitter and sealing them with a clear spray sealant. ;)

  • raz says:

    Love the idea.. mite even try it out on a pair of shoes myself.. but with a purple sole.. LOL

  • Kate says:

    Great tutorial, doll! it looks fab! I was wondering, how many bottles of nail polish did you happen to use for this? Thanks!

  • I love this.I’m gonna try it.Thank you so much for sharing ! xx :)

    • Erica Stolman says:

      You are welcome :) thanks for checking out FLXX! Post a picture of your finished result to my facebook page– I’d love to see how it turns out! xx

  • Star says:

    Hey this is so cute! Has your shoes chipped at all yet? It seems like my nails polish chips in two days so I can’t believe it would last on my shoes, walking around on it!

    I have these adorable zebra striped high heels, and the platform part in the front is red, but I walked around in a gravel parking lot and now it’s chipped and slightly indented (like a little piece of the red whatever it is chipped off and there’s just black underneath stuff). What should I do to even out the surface before painting over the whole front again? Any ideas?

    • Erica Stolman says:

      Hey! So mine hasn’t “chipped” but in some places it has rubbed off (where your shoe hits the pavement). This is inevitable and would happen with any kind of paint or finish. But, no, it doesn’t chip like it does on your nail.

      As for your shoes, I would personally take a little bit of sandpaper to the dents to even it out- do this gently so you don’t change the shape of the shoe. Next use white as a base coat and then paint them red or whatever color you desire! Have fun and I’d love to see how it turns out, feel free to post a picture to my Facebook page.

  • Looks amazing! Lovely tutorial, I would love to do it with the red one, do you think it would have the same effect?:)

    Greetings-Daisy, FashionMemos

  • Meriah says:

    Loved this idea! I know doing it in red is tacky, but it’s the only colour I wear! I sealed mine with floor polish! It evened out and ridges in the nail polish and gave it a GREAT shine! Thanks for the idea! :)

  • Lindsay says:

    This is such a cool idea and its something I would actually do :) the teal looks great

  • Nicole says:

    Girl this idea is awesome!! My boyfriend and I are going to paint our soles following your directions. Do you think it will work on cork soles? I think I’m gonna paint the heels too because mine are very worn out. THANKS for the tutorial!!

  • cheryl says:

    Looks great , I will try this . How about a few rhinestones about 1 inch up starting at the bottom of those heels, just a suggestion LOL

  • Lynsey says:

    oh my god I love this!!! I love the color and I can’t wait to do this for a dance I’m going to!! This idea will make my shoes pop with the white and black dress I’m wearing!

    • Erica Stolman says:

      sounds adorable! post a pic to my facebook page when you wear it :) I’d love to see how it looks!

  • Amanda says:

    Ok so I ran across this idea on Pintrest…i think your shoes look fantastic. I have been shopping around for what feels like forever looking for a pair of navy blue shoes to wear with my wedding dress (my dress has navy blue in it). Couldn’t find them anywhere BUT, found an awesome pair of grey platform madden girls on sale. I am going to “paint” the soles navy blue using your fantastic idea. Thank you so much for the idea!!

    • Erica Stolman says:

      That’s amazing! I would love to see a picture of how it looks on your big day (oh and congrats!!) Please post a pic on my facebook page when done :) xx

  • sam says:

    unfortunately mine didnt work very well :(
    the soles of my shoes werent very smooth though s this is probably why!!

    • Erica Stolman says:

      Oh no! I am sorry to hear that, what was the material of the bottom of your shoe?

  • jessica says:

    I freaking love the heels!! I want to copy that exact color – what is the name of the wet n wild did you use?? Tiffany blue is my FAVE!!!!!!

    • Erica Stolman says:

      I don’t remember the name exactly, but there was only one color in that shade :) so glad you like it!

      • Jessie Wintour says:

        The colour is called Wet and Wild Mega Last in I Need a Refresh-Mint.
        I bought the same one last night without realising you used it too. The colour is super gorgeous and I even painted my nails to match!

  • Laura says:

    Can’t wait to do this!
    What about a beige shoe? And what color would you recommend?

    • Erica Stolman says:

      A beige shoe would be great, I think that a bright orange would look nice with it! Post a picture of your finished result to my Facebook page, I’d love to see it!

  • Jessica says:

    Hi! I was thrilled to find this and decided to use this in my wedding. I wanted to have the girls in back dresses and black shoes, so I thought a pop of green would look fabulous. My question is, roughly how much nail polish per shoe do you usually need? I have to special order the color and don’t want to get too much or not enough. Thanks in advance, what a fabulous idea!!

    • Erica Stolman says:

      So glad you will be using this idea for your wedding! I’d love for you to post an image of the final result on my Facebook page!

      For my pair of shoes it took 1 bottle of white polish and 2 bottles of the color. You can use acrylic paints as well, if that’s more cost efficient for you but a $1 nail polish works great as well.

  • Jamie says:

    I’m such a non-girly girl, I only have one pair of heels that I wear anytime I have a wedding to go to. I am totally doing this….dressing up will be more bearable with turquoise soles!

  • Mandy v says:

    Can’t wait to try this! Love the blue you used as well. For the heel of the shoe ive used a sharpie to touch up spots u have knocked off, also I’ve wrapped the heel in electrical tape to smooth them out and make them look new again. I’ve desperately clung to an amazingly cute and comfortable pair of black pumps for 5yrs now lol

  • Erin says:

    how did you get your nail polish to brush on so smooth!?! i just did mine, and they’re kinda blotchy :[ maybe it’s the quality of the nail polish? some of the white shows and i can’t have it look as nicely as yours :[

    but thanks so much for this tutorial! it was pretty fun :]

    • Erica Stolman says:

      Mine went on really smooth and I used a wet & wild polish which was only $1! What may work better for you is to pour out your nail polish onto a plastic plate and use a bigger brush that you can buy at Michael’s craft store for a $1 or less! Let me know if that works for you :)

  • Sara says:

    I didn’t have enough nail polish, but I found some craft paint around my house. It painted just fine, but I don’t know how to seal the color. Do you think a regular valspar duramax latex gloss finish will work on shoes? They’re rubber souls and leather shoes.

  • web site says:

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  • Angelina says:

    I LOVE this blog post!! I am going to color the soles of my wedding shoes and that is going to be my “something blue”. This is amazing!! I am so glad I found this so thank you!!

  • Chelsea says:

    Awesome idea! I need to try this :)

  • Brie says:

    I saw this post a while back and wanted to try it but never did. Today is my day off and I’m in the mood for some DIY projects. I do believe I will be transforming a pair of shoes today!
    Brie recently, we might have to have a talk!My Profile

    • Erica Stolman says:

      How exciting- DIY days are my favorite :) It’s what I did all weekend!!! I’d love to see a pic of the finished product- post a pic to my Facebook page :)

  • Alexis J says:

    I don’t have pumps to do this (I am a man) :) But I got some shoes that came we a cool design painted white on the bottom. I’ll use this idea to touch up the paint if needed sometime.

  • Alexis J says:

    Correcting my previous post…. *with (instead of we)… “But I got some shoes that came WITH a cool design painted on the bottom…”

  • Jacquelyn says:

    I just ran across this on Pinterest! This is absolutely adorable and I will try this out today. You picked a great color!

  • Sandy says:

    Such a great idea! Gonna try this soon!

  • JoanaDls says:

    Hiii I love this <3 :D but I have a dude If I use Mod Podge you think it would look better??

  • Awesome tutorial! I painted mine royal blue and they look gorgeous! Thanks for this incredible and inexpensive idea! :)
    Jenny Abaunza recently posted..* ABOUT US *My Profile

  • Jen says:

    Just did a black pair with acrylic paint and it worked perfect! Mod podge seals very well. Now trying to decide if I should put a layer of glitter nail polish! Great idea!

  • Heather says:

    is it slippery to walk with the paint being on the bottom?!

    • Erica Stolman says:

      Like any new shoes, the soles are a bit slippy at first- and then you walk and they get some traction going… it’s the same in this situation. :) xx

  • Auberyn says:

    so i have some leather white dolly heels and i was wondering if you suggest anything for how to color them a deep black xD i was thinking the nail polish but i dont know if that will work?
    :D if you have any ideas or if you know the nail polish will work please tell me :3

    • Erica Stolman says:

      For just the sole, or for the whole shoe? If you want to paint the sole then yes, nail polish will work. If you want the WHOLE shoe black your best bet would be to take them to a shoe repair and get them died black :)

  • Amy says:

    I’ve done this before, too. Nail varnish is so good on shoes. Yours look amazing!
    Amy recently posted..French ConnectionMy Profile

  • pragya says:

    i gess red will look good too…

  • m. sweet says:

    Wonderful idea can’t wait to try. Thanks for Shseeing!

  • Alisha says:

    Couldn’t you just paint the arch and not the sole of the shoe where your toes sit????

  • claire says:

    hi luv this my other half customizes trainers AF1s air max shell toes he always thought couldnt change colour of sole wud this wrk for these types of sole on uppers he uses accitone to strip bk custom leather paints n a custome matt finisher wud this wrk or wud it need to be acrylic paints

  • Melissa says:

    I’ve just done this and the shoes look fantastic! I used a pink nail varnish and I’m gonna take pictures of them for my GCSE art project!
    Melissa (:

  • psparul says:

    I just tried this with gold glitter on black heels–it looks wonderful, and I can’t wait to wear them for New Year’s Eve. Thanks for sharing such a great idea!

  • Sarai says:

    Hi I painted mine the other day and used them once but the bottom part color rubs off and looks black is there anything I can do or maybe any finishing I can try for my future heels

    • Erica Stolman says:

      the color will rub off a bit where it hits the ground, but it shouldn’t come off anywhere else. You can paint with a clear top coat over the color, that helps it stay.

  • Nicole says:

    This is such a cool idea!!! Love it! Just one question- wouldn’t putting nail polish on the sole make it slippery and hard to walk in? (at the toe, mostly)

    • Erica Stolman says:

      at first it is a little slick, but once you walk around in them for like 10 minutes they get their “traction” back.

  • Yuliya says:

    thank you for the ideas. loved it. It looks so refreshing and cute.
    Wanna try it on asap.
    featured your post in my blog

  • You can do this with spray paint, too, and it would work on just about any sole.

    You will only need to quickly protect the rest of the shoe with masking tape (like when you paint a wall, these tapes are cheap), then spray on a layer of primer (white would work), wait for it to dry and then do a few coats of the color of your choice. After that, seal it with a few coats of clear coat spray paints, and you are set.

    Spray paint makes a very smooth finish, much better than using any kind of brush.

    The adhesion is very strong with the primer and you can just wipe anything off.

    Hope this helps!

    – Meow @
    Spotty Dotty Cat recently posted..Rugby Ralph Lauren ‘Maryiah’ Purple Ruched Turtleneck…My Profile

  • bobblei says:

    great idea but I just wonder how long the color will decade?

  • Tarryn says:

    Just an idea, the heels are looking a bit tired. I saw a tutorial where they put glitter on the heals. Black glitter would look amazing on these shoes.

  • Morgan P says:

    Hello, I’m wanting to glitter some trainer/sneaker bottoms. What could I use?
    Also I want to glitter them. I’ve bought mod podge but what do I put on to seal it?
    Love your DIYs!!

    • Erica Stolman says:

      Hey Morgan! If you are glittering the sole of your sneakers that may be tricky because as soon as you walk in them on the streets it will probably come off. If you are doing the sides of the soles that WILL work. You can apply the Mod Podge and spring on the glitter and then when it’s all dry you can either do a spray adhesive which you can get at a craft store, or another coat of Mod Podge on top (it dries clear). It may not be AS sparkly as it was without the Mod Podge but it should still look great!

      I’d love to see the finished result, feel free to post a pic on my facebook page!

  • Melis says:

    Wow this is so awesome! I’ve been looking for ways to spice up my old pumps without destroying them and this one comes easily on top of the list! Now I only need to decide what color to use :P

    • Erica Stolman says:

      Woohoo!! Be sure to share a pic on FB and tag me :) or post it on my Facebook page- I’d love to see it!! xx

  • Rush says:

    I’ll have to these to my wife and see if she would do hers like those. She’s good at crafts. Thank you

  • Tiffany Torres says:

    Hello! I love this idea and it comes in great handy, but does it also work for the sole of sneakers?

    • Erica Stolman says:

      The sole of sneakers would be hard because all parts of the sole hit the ground, and it may rub off. It would work if you painted the sides of the soles.

  • DJ Haskins says:

    Heyy! I just came across this; so cool! I never thought of using nail polish! I am going to have to try this whenever I get a chance to paint any heels. :) :)

  • Kathy says:

    I noticed the heels of your shoes were scraped. This can be covered by using coordinating nail polish. In this case, black nail polish. The nail polish can also be used to cover any scrapes on other parts of the shoes. This method is great for those shoes that are comfortable yet showing their age or mileage.

  • Jenny says:

    Such a great idea!!!! Love it : D have you tried other colors that also look as great. As the teal?

  • A totally one of a kind tutorial – astounding, I love it!

  • tutorial89 says:

    wow, this is very creative. old shoe to be new shoe again :)

  • Courtney says:

    How does the paint job hold up with walking in the rain or wet concrete? I would expect the nail polish to rub off a bit, but is it terribly noticeable? Thank you!

    • Erica Stolman says:

      It rubs off over time on the parts of the heel that make contact with the ground, but the rest stays pretty well!