Sunday, May 24, 2015

Color It New - Not a Practical Choice for Transforming Your Shoes & Accessories

Shoes and accessories are not particularly cheap. Of course, I prefer to shop on clearance racks and in thrift stores, but every now and then, I like to splurge on a brand new pair of shoes or a brand new handbag. I'm sure that I'm not alone—even among typical "thrifty shoppers."

The thought of being able to take an item that you already own and transform it into something "new" really intrigued me. That's why when I heard of "Color It New" I was excited to try it out.

Interested in learning more about Color It New? Well, keep reading!
* Product and/or service provided for review without cost. As always, all opinions are my own.

Color It New is a product that allows you to transform shoes, handbags, wallets, belts, and so much more with a spray can of dye. The idea was thought up by Kristina Anapau. She thought it would be incredible if there were a product on the market that would allow anyone to change the color of their favorite pair of shoes or get them back to their original "in the box" state—because who truly wants to spend a fortune on a new pair?

As a result of Anapau's seemingly wild thought, Color It New was born.

What is Color It New?

Color It New is an aerosolized colorant—it is not paint. When you "color" your hair, you don't "paint" it, which is basically the same for Color It New. Color It New bonds to a wide array of surfaces, including leather, rubber, canvas, and plastic, so you can use it on things other than shoes (which is what I did for this review—I used an old canvas bag of mine).

Check out some of the color options that Color It New has by viewing the photograph below.

As mentioned earlier, I decided to use the Color It New kit to transform this canvas bag of mine.

The bag is black with a few designs on it, but I wanted it to be a solid white with black accents, so I chose "Aspen." I believed Aspen would be perfect for my bag.

Getting Started

In my Color It New kit, I received everything that you see below.

  • Color It New Aerosol Colorant
  • Instructions
  • Masking Tape
  • Alcohol Towelettes
  • Tarp
  • Gloves

Before getting started, I read through the instructions. While the bag I chose to color wasn't my favorite bag (I didn't want to try a product that I wasn't sure of on my favorite accessory, just in case things went awry), I wanted to make sure that I was using the product as instructed.

The instructions were pretty straight forward. The following is paraphrased, for those who cannot see the image above.

  1. Clean the item you're coloring with the included alcohol towelettes.
  2. Tape off the areas that you don't want colored. This is an important step.
  3. Place the pink tarp over the box your kit came in.
  4. Put on your gloves and shake the can vigorously for about one minute.
  5. Spray your item with light mists about 8 to 12 inches away.
  6. Allow it to dry for at least an hour or two before wearing.

After cleaning off my bag (I had to use additional alcohol towelettes that I keep in my closet for first-aid—the two towelettes included weren't enough) and allowing it to dry, I began taping it with the masking tape. I ran out of the included tape in the Color It New kit. Thankfully, I had some painter's tape lying around, so I went ahead and used that to cover the rest of the bag.

This is what my bag looked like after all of the taping. 

Next, I laid out the tarp on the box in my garage, set the bag on top, and got to work.

As much as I hate to review a product negatively, I experienced many issues while using Color It New.

What I noticed immediately was that the smell was extremely strong. I didn't feel safe at all using Color It New, even in my garage with the door open and fans going. It was quite overwhelming. Despite this, I continued the project.

The next problem that arose was that there was not nearly enough product to cover the bag. After getting halfway through the can of Aspen, I knew I wasn't going to have enough to finish. I was right, because once I ran out of the colorant, it was obvious that the bag was still black—and streaky, might I add.

I wanted to give the product the benefit of the doubt, so I contacted the company regarding the issue I had come across. After discussing the size and material of my bag, I was sent two additional Color It New kits to finish the project.

So, does Color It New really work?

Color It New Results

Well, it seemed that even after two additional Color It New kits were sent to me, it still wasn't enough. My bag turned out rather horribly, as you can see in the photographs below.

I'd like to note that the areas where the paint was transferred to the leather straps was my fault. Apparently I wasn't careful enough when I applied the masking tape (despite having spent an hour trying to get it right). 

However, even if those areas had not been colored, the overall color job was still extremely poor. It's clear that there is a lot of black still showing through. As if that weren't enough, the colorant made my bag hard and the chemical smell lingered—for weeks. This was surprising to me, because the instructions state that the product may be worn within one to two hours after drying. I would not recommend that at all because of the fumes that would follow you around. Chances are, you'd get some pretty strange stares.

Even after all of the issues that I had encountered, I wanted to give it one last shot. Maybe a smaller project would be better? With that said, I contacted the representative a third time and included pictures of the "finished product." He told me that an additional kit would be mailed out so that I could try it on something else. Unfortunately, the additional kit never arrived, therefore my opinion is based solely on the experience with Color It New and my canvas bag.


  • Kit includes all materials needed for smaller projects


  • Very messy
  • Time consuming
  • Fumes are incredibly strong
  • One can isn't enough to cover a bag, and unlikely enough to cover a pair of shoes
  • Expensive to purchase several kits, when compared to the amount I pay for clothes/accessories
  • Not enough materials for larger projects, like canvas bags or totes

To Recommend, or Not To Recommend?

Unfortunately, I cannot recommend Color It New.

The actual retail price of one Color It New kit is $39.95. As of May 24, 2015, each kit is on sale for $19.95. Unfortunately, that doesn't really make it any better.


Well, you would need at least four kits for one canvas bag the size of mine—which is a medium bag. At the sale price, four kits would cost you $80. At the list price, you'd pay $160.

To be honest, it's far more practical and less time-consuming to pick up a handbag on the clearance racks—and quite possibly for less money.

I would say that coloring shoes might be worth it, but I can't really touch on that, considering I haven't tried it myself.

Color It New is far too messy, smelly, time-consuming, and the price just isn't practical. 

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