There’s nothing more infuriating than noticing an accidental scuff on your favorite, far-too-new pair of shoes. The first one is always the worst and then you sadly start to concede to the beatings and bruises your shoes continue to take on thereafter. Honestly, ugh. So when Cristina Palomo-Nelson and Megan Papay, the designing duo behind FRĒDA SALVADOR, hit me up for a DIY date to Jackson Pollock our shoes, I said yes, yes . . . YES! Who knew a pair of leather shoes could take so well to the most basic acrylic paint? New or old, I’m absolutely in love with splattering a pair of sneakers, loafers and oxfords with paint. Old shoes are new again. And new shoes are unique and ridiculously cool. Thank you, Cris and Megan!


You’ll need:


The first step is to properly arrange your set up, especially if you’ll be splattering paint on your shoes! Hang a drop cloth on a wall (or drape it over a large mirror or picture frame) and let us extend completely onto the surface of a table. Pour your acrylic paints into small containers like little plastic cups or mason jars and practice a few paint splatters against the drop cloth . . . without the shoes, of course!


Dip a dry bristle brush into the paint and either flick your wrist with the brush in hand for larger splatters or use your fingers to flick the bristles of the brush for smaller splatters.


To change colors, simply wash your brush and dry it before dipping it into another paint color. Here is Megan’s multi-colored paint splattered sneakers – so Maison Margeela-esque, n’est pas?


I picked one of my favorite pairs from their fall collection, the laceless d’Orsay loafer in a gorgeous croc print. It clearly needed a splattering of white, my current favorite color!


Mask off the sole with masking or washi tape and stuff the shoes with packing paper or paper towels.


For larger, heavier splatters, saturate your dry brush a large amount of paint, stand a couple of feet back from the shoes and fling the brush towards the shoes in a forceful motion. Again, it’s recommended to practice on the drop cloth before you begin splattering on your shoes.


Allow the shoes to dry overnight before removing the paper and tape.


If splattering paint is a bit too daunting for you, you can always paint directly on the shoes like making hash marks with a flat foam brush. It’s a great way to mask any scuffs or unwanted marks on your shoes!


Cris slashed a pair of d’Orsay oxfords, in smoke fish print, with black and white paint. All you need to do is spread a layer of acrylic paint onto a plate, carefully dip the edge of the brush into the paint and stamp directly onto the shoe.


The possibilities are endless with just a bit of acrylic paint and a pair of shoes. I’d love to see or hear about how yours turn out – let us know, won’t you? 


(images by HonestlyWTF & Melissa McArdle; all shoes by FRĒDA SALVADOR)