Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 18 July 2014

Finishing with a difference - part 2 - painting and decorating

Last week I was back at square one after taking off my first attempt at the heel. With the heels finally rebuilt in heel lift this time, I finished the heels and sole edges as usual - rasped, glassed and sanded - but concentrated on rounding the sole edges...

leaving the top edge with a prominent lip and the bottom edge squared off.

I used a mix of dark brown and black edge dye and then rubbed dark tan and black polish on over the top. A warm edge iron burnished in the polish and then I found a nifty little tool in my armoury that was perfect for setting the top edge, to keep that all-important lip.

Then my attention turned once more to the heels. Just how to get the finish the same as the samples?

I mixed a number of different pots of edge dye with various amounts of water, so that some were less opaque than others.

Starting with the darkest black/brown sections, I carefully painted in the layers to copy the pattern from the original.

Once I was happy with the painting I used first dark tan and then black polish to darken down and burnish the edges with a warm iron. This time is worked really well.

 The last piece of the heel transformation was to make the bumpy surface. This is what I used!

Not the usual treatment of a carefully built, squared-off heel, but ideal to get the results we wanted. With just the rubber half-sole to go on, and a bit of bunking at the waist, we're nearly there, so until next week, happy shoemaking.