Roller skates can add a lot of pizazz to someone’s look when wearing them. However, if you want to give your roller skates that color you wish to, you can do it by dyeing the skates. This article will show you how to dye roller skates to come out looking professional and not faded or discolored in any way.
However, this article only shows the reader how to dye their blades; if you want to dye the whole skate, follow these steps but get another pair of wheels and get some laces for your new dyed rollerblade shoes.
- Pumice Hand Cleaner
- Two plastic containers to mix Goop in
- One small metal pot for boiling water
- Colored Rit Dye, Liquid Fabric Color or Food Coloring (The colors are added last)
- Three pairs of rubber gloves (to keep dye off of hands)
A Step by Step Guide on How to Dye Roller Skates
Step 1: Prepare the Work Area
Clear your work area of any rugs or non-washable items. Next, cover the table with newspaper and make sure that you have rubber gloves to protect your hands from dye stains. If you use a kitchen table, lay down paper first, then cover it with plastic. Next, cover the plastic with newspaper or some other covering material.
If you are planning on dying shoes and skates, put them into separate plastic bags to keep them from bleeding onto each other during dyeing. If you plan to tap off designs before dyeing, do this next — masking tape works great for this purpose.
Step 2: Prepare Your Roller Skates
You must work in a well-ventilated space and wear rubber gloves to keep the dye off your skin. Finally, remove all wheels, bearings, and hardware from the skates. These will be dyed separately and later added back onto the skates, so don’t worry if they get dyed.
Use sandpaper or steel wool to rough up any glossy sections on your skates, such as where there may be stickers or where there has been wear over time. This allows for better adhesion of the dye and will result in vibrant color rather than just a dulling of existing colors. Next, rinse with warm water until all sanding residue is gone. Then, allow them to dry completely.
Step 3: Preparing The Goop Mixture
The next thing to do is mix the “goop” for dipping your skates in. This will ensure that all roller skate parts are dyed evenly by providing good contact.
How much dye you use depends on how dark or light you want your colors to be, but since these are beginner instructions, we’ll start with one cap total (for very light colors) and work up from there. Pour Goop into one of the plastic containers and begin adding Liquid Color or Rit Dye a little at a time until the color is as dark as you like it. You can always add more dye later if you don’t like the results!
Step 4: Get Ready To Dip!
Proper chemical handling procedures include wearing rubber gloves and safety goggles. Bring water to a low boil in the small metal pot. Once it reaches boiling point, reduce heat slightly to simmer. Put your skates into the goop mixture and submerge them completely. Make sure they are lying flat, so all parts of each skate are touching the surface of the goop mixture evenly.
Leave skates in solution for at least 15-20 minutes before pulling them out to look at them — this gives time for dye penetration through multiple layers of rubber!
As long as you won’t, after about an hour or two, the Goop will start to thicken up and harden around your skates, making removal difficult without damaging fragile roller skate materials like urethane and fiberglass. If you leave your skates in the goop mixture too long, take a metal spoon and break the dried Goop away from your skates after it has cooled. You can save this Goop to use again for dipping another time. This is a crucial step in how to dye roller skates.
Step 5: Add Wheels, Bearings & Hardware Back Onto Skates
Now that your skates are fully dyed (in whatever color you like), it is time to embellish them with embellishments of choice. If there are stickers (or worse yet — airbrushed/painted on artwork) on the side of your skates that you want to keep, then remove or mask these areas before dying.
After removing any existing hardware off of your skate, put your wheels back onto each wheelbase and tighten down your wheel nuts by hand as much as possible. If you have taped off a design before dyeing, make sure you know which way is up on the tape because if you try to put any hardware back on with the tape still there, it will rip whatever design may be under it.
Now that everything is reassembled onto your newly dyed skates, take a fine sandpaper and smooth out any edges or joints where parts join together or create a worn look if desired. Finally, use black sharpie markers (or robust colored markers) to color in any areas of exposed urethane that are not part of your overall color scheme — this helps keep from having an odd white border around your designs.
Step 6: Store Your Skates
Now that your skates are fully reassembled, they can be put away in a cool, dry place to keep them from drying out. Think of it as the roller equivalent of saving wines for a special occasion — you want them around for a while and don’t want to drink them right now.
How long this process takes depends on how well you dyed your skates initially and what kind of Goop was used, along with how much dye was added at each step. Sometimes letting them sit overnight is best before removing any spray or tape adhesives because the Dye might still be wet to the touch. However, there is no rush — one thing about dying Roller Skate Plastics is that the color doesn’t change if you keep them around for a while. These steps will help in how to dye roller skates.
Tips and Warnings
- After you have dyed the skates, be sure to clean the wheels after you are done because if you don’t, your new color might get ruined by the dirt on them.
- Be careful around any edges of your skates when dyeing them, as this can lead to chipping or peeling off of the color.
- If you want a different look, try using multiple colors instead of one solid color for your roller skate boots! You can do all sorts of fun stuff with various dyes to create unique designs that nobody has ever done before!
- If you wish to paint your skates, make sure that the color has dried before painting and paint them in a well-ventilated area. After, let them sit for at least 24 hours to ensure enough time for them to dry correctly.
- Make sure that when you are done with your skates, you wipe them down thoroughly because if not, it can ruin the color/designs you put on!
- Use a hairdryer to quickly dry your skates in between coats of paint or dye.
- If your skates have a fabric lining, take out the insole and set it aside because you cannot dye it with the actual shoe! After this, you can remove any other fabric from the inside of your skates before applying color. This includes things like shoelaces and socks/pants that may be tucked into them!
- You can add items such as glitter to your shoe design for a sparkly look, but be careful because if you do so with lace-up roller skate boots, they might come undone when skating due to the added weight on one. Part of the laces!
- Be careful when applying a new color because if your roller skate boots don’t allow for it, the dye might seep through and ruin whatever is under them!
- Be careful with your roller skate wheels when dyeing them because you might ruin the bearings inside of them if you apply too much heat and pressure on them!
- Make sure not to use any oil-based paints on your skates, as they can contaminate the bearings in your wheels and make them rust!
- Unless it is a special kind of paint made for shoes, do not attempt to put regular shoe polish or acrylic paint onto a pair of roller skate boots because then they will be less able to slide along the floor when skating; and this could lead to injury!
Now that you know how to dye roller skates, it’s time for the fun part. So get your favorite colors and start painting! This is a great way to customize your skates so they’re unique, just like you are. You can make them match your outfit or even make a big, bold design. Your imagination only limits you. It’s time for the fun part. So get your favorite colors and start painting!
You can also check it out: How to Stretch Roller Skates