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.
Even though I was nervous at first, this project ended up being fun, easy, and rewarding.
Affiliate Disclosure: Digital Molt is a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program and other affiliate programs. Some links in this blog post are affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, then I may receive a commission.
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.
What You Need to DIY Red Bottom Heels
- Pair of heels – Use black, nude, or white for a more authentic look
- Paint brushes – A soft, round brush worked well for me
- Black sharpie
- Painter’s tape
- Angelus Walk On Red paint
- Angelus High Gloss Acrylic Finisher
- Sole protectors
- Sand paper
- Safety gear – mask, gloves, eye protector
- Wipes – either a wet hand towel or Wet Ones wipes
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.
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.
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.
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.
The key during this phase is to get the paint as smooth and brushstroke free as possible.
Step 6: Apply the Gloss Finish
The Angelus High Gloss Acrylic Finisher is a must-do in order to get the correct look.
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.
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
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!