The finished product with which I am very happy with.

Why was doing this a saga? Unbeknownst to a whole lot of people, including myself, New Rock have changed the way they make their boots. Seriously. These boots I got on sale and they are a newer style. Gone are the rubber soles, padded tongues and thick good quality leather. These boots have a PU sole, thinner plastic covered leather and no padded tongue. In other words they have gone down the same route as the bad quality Doc Martens made in China, but still want to sell them for an outrageous amount of money. I wouldn’t be shocked if they actually move most of their production to China, making the really fancy pairs in Spain.

Thirty years ago I painted the back of some 14 hole Docs I owned green and I wanted to do something similar again. I thought it wouldn’t be a big deal and that I could do it the way I did it years ago with no issues. Oh by golly that wasn’t the case at all! I have painted both leather and pleather multiple times before and all I had to do was paint with acrylic leather paint and it would stay put. However, this time the paint slid off of the surface when dry. Seriously. I had even de-glazed the surface before painting and that did nothing at all. So, it was then that I figured out that the leather is actually coated with plastic. Again, not something I have ever encountered before in a DIY project.

To solve all of this I sanded the areas with some sandpaper over the space of two days until the plastic coating was gone. When I tested a spot with some white paint it actually stayed put! It was like a miracle; the DIY gods smiled down upon me! Over the space of a few days I painted the back white two times and then did the same with the green. It looks quite DIY which is the look I was going for since a dystopian/post-apocalyptic style is in no way about the perfection of your outfit.

What can we learn from this?

  1. Never pay full price for New Rock boots. They are frequently on sale so finding them for cheap is not too difficult.
  2. New Rock have changed the way they make their boots. Their newer models are made of plastic coated leather, unpadded tongues and PU soles. From what I understand they are starting to use these same materials for their older styled boots as well.
  3. Never give up on a DIY project, because there will always be a workaround. It may take you a little time to figure it out, but that’s okay!
  4. Doing DIY projects gives you a sense of accomplishment and it is something that gives you your own personal style. It’s a lot of fun and you end up with something that nobody else has or can easily copy. That in itself is very spiffy!