diy red bottom heels

How to DIY Red Bottom Heels

Before I restored my actual Louboutin heels, I wanted to do a test run and DIY red bottoms on regular heels. The shoes I picked are shoes I regularly wear that needed some TLC. I am trying to do better at taking care of my things.

the before shoes
Excuse the dog hair as usual.

Even though I was nervous at first, this project ended up being fun, easy, and rewarding.

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What are Red Bottom Shoes?

Red-soled shoes are the signature look of iconic fashion designer Christian Louboutin. His shoes are synonymous with celebrity, sex appeal, and edgy chicness. They are definitely luxury fashion, with the most basic pairs starting around $695 U.S. dollars.

all of the items you need to diy red bottom shoes
Supplies for DIY red bottom shoes.

What You Need to DIY Red Bottom Heels

Step 1: Clean the Heels

Even if you are using new shoes, make sure you wipe down your shoes. I used a Wet Ones wipe on my leather shoes, and cleaned the interior and the exterior of the shoe. You will be spending a lot of hands-on time with these shoes, trust me.

Step 2: Sand the Soles

I used 120 grit sand paper and lightly scuffed the soles by hand. You don’t have to get too crazy with it, just enough to where you can see the scratches on the sole.

sanded, scratched up soles

I went outside to sand them so I didn’t get any dust residue in my workspace.

Be sure to wipe the shoes down again after sanding.

Step 3: Tape Around the Soles

Use painter’s tape to tape around the sole.

use painters tape to tape the edges
Use smaller pieces of painter’s tape so you can follow the shape of the shoe.

Press the tape as tightly as you can to seal in the surface you will be painting.

Step 4: Apply the Red Paint

The Angelus Walk on Red paint is about as close to true Louboutin red as you can get. Prepare yourself: it took me five coats to get it where I wanted.

The paint will seem very bright when you first put it on – that is ok. It will dry to the correct color.

first coat of walk on red bottom paint
First coat.
first coat on the top second coat on the bottom
First coat on the top vs. the second coat on the bottom shoe.

I didn’t use the best brush on my first coat, but when I switched to a soft, rounded brush, the process and the paint went more smoothly. The paint dries fairly quickly, so I was able to do multiple coats in a single sitting while I binge-watched Poldark.

smooth rounded brush
Smooth rounded brush.

The key during this phase is to get the paint as smooth and brushstroke free as possible.

getting closer to the finished red bottom
Smooth red bottoms coming along nicely!

Step 6: Apply the Gloss Finish

angelus high gloss acrylic finisher

The Angelus High Gloss Acrylic Finisher is a must-do in order to get the correct look.

gloss on the shoe
This is what the gloss looks like when you first put it on. Brush it out until it is clear and smooth.

The Walk on Red does have a nice sheen to it, so I just did two coats of gloss.

You will want to make sure the gloss dries for at least 24 hours.

glossy red bottom shoe

Step 7: Take Off the Tape and Touch Up With a Sharpie

Remove the painter’s tape carefully so you don’t mess up the surface of your shoes.

Since I painted black shoes, I used a black sharpie to touch up the edges and cover up any of the red that bled.

Step 8: Apply the Sole Protectors

I wanted to make sure the red bottoms lasted. Even the red bottoms of authentic Louboutins will wear off, as noted in their official product care info.

sole protector package
I bought the four-pack so I could do this pair and my real Louboutins.
sole protector application instructions
Instructions to apply sole protectors.
sole protector
What the sole protector looks like.
apply the sole protector to the shoe
Stick it on and press it hard all over to make sure there are no air bubbles.
After cutting.
smooth barely there sole protector
The sole protector is barely there.

The sole protectors were affordable and easy to apply. Whether you are doing DIY red bottoms or you want to preserve the bottoms of your real Loubs, I highly recommend applying these.

DIY Red Bottom Heels – To Do or Not to Do?

I say – definitely do! I was happy with the way these turned out that I used the same process to restore my authentic Louboutins.

What do you think? Would you DIY your own red bottom heels?

Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried this!

final outcome of diy red bottom heels - a success!
Not too shabby!
Thanks for reading the Digital Molt Blog, Jenna. @DigitalMolt

One Comment

  • Alexandra Stolfi

    Love your blog! Great idea for a DIY project ! Simple instructions that are easy to follow. The pictures made all the dfference in helping to visulize the steps. What a difference in how the shoes looks after! Nice job.

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