painted klompen shoes

by | Jul 7, 2021 | All Things Home, Antiques, crafts, Decorating, Tutorials | 32 comments

When I organized the basement storage room, I made a use-it-or-lose-it pile.  I have been holding onto some decor pieces since before we moved and if they’ve been in a box, closet, or basement for 4+ years, then it’s time to either find a good spot for it or let it go.  The whole point of decor pieces is to be decorative!  They are not doing anyone any good if they are in a storage room.  Making some self-imposed rules and boundaries can sometimes sound silly, but they can be very helpful if you’re willing to be bossy and firm with yourself.  Creating this use-it-or-lose-it rule finally gave me the push to give these vintage painted klompen shoes a makeover.

klompen shoes before painting | miss mustard seed

The small pair is a souvenir pair that we picked up somewhere…I’m not even sure where or when.  I just remember having them since I was a girl.  I would put them on my cabbage patch dolls!  The larger pair were ones my parents bought for me from Holland.  I actually used to wear them to school as my “indoor school shoes.”  We lived in the Bavarian Alps when I was in kindergarten and first grade and we walked to school.  During the winter, we would wear snow boots to school and would change into “indoor school shoes” when we got there.  For most kids, that meant slippers.  For me, it meant a pair of painted klompen shoes.  Because I was cool like that.  I was actually dorky like that, but let’s move on…

I really wanted to keep and use these in some way, but the current look of both pairs of klompen weren’t really working with my aesthetic.  I would actually use them if they were.  So, my best option was to paint them.

I started out by giving the painted pair a light sanding to remove the gloss, which helps paint grip the surface a little easier.  I used 80 grit paper.

klompen shoes sanded | miss mustard seed

Then, I painted both pairs with sample pots of Farrow & Ball that I had leftover from the basement makeover project.  I used Stone Blue on the larger pair…

Stone Blue Farrow & Ball | miss mustard seed

…and it ended up taking two quick coats to get good coverage over the old decorative painting.

painted klompen shoes | stone blue farrow & ball | miss mustard seed

I painted the smaller pair in Dix Blue, which is such a beautiful blue/green.

painted klompen shoes | stone blue & dix blue farrow & ball | miss mustard seed

painted klompen shoes | dix blue farrow & ball | miss mustard seed

I distressed the smaller shoes with 100 grit sandpaper to take the “newness” off of the paint.  When distressing, I focus on the areas where the most wear would naturally happen.

painted klompen shoes | dix blue farrow & ball | miss mustard seed

I decided they needed just one more step to look finished.  I ended up using Miss Mustard Seed’s Antiquing Wax to bring out the little carved details, stained the exposed raw wood, and make the paint look a little more aged.

painted klompen shoes | antiquing wax | miss mustard seed

I just brushed it on with a little natural brush and wiped away the excess with a microfiber cloth.

painted klompen shoes | stone blue farrow & ball | miss mustard seed

It really was the perfect combination for these little painted klompen shoes!

painted klompen shoes | stone blue farrow & ball | miss mustard seed

For the larger pair of painted klompen shoes, they looked a little plain, so I decided to add some traditional decorative painting.  I mixed up a little bit of Titanium White and Titan Buff acrylic paint to make a soft, creamy white.  Acrylic is a great paint for decorative painting, because it has good body and dries quickly.

painted klompen shoes | acrylic paint mixed | miss mustard seed

I chalked out a design and then painted over it with acrylic paint and a small round brush.

painted klompen shoes | stone blue farrow & ball | miss mustard seed

I then distressed those shoes to knock the paint back a bit.  Distressing can hide many imperfections when it comes to painted details!  Since I did these freehand without using tape or templates, it needed a little camouflage!  I like that these painted klompen shoes look a little homemade, though, and the distressing brings out the edges of the carving a little bit more.  I personally find those “maker’s marks” charming.

painted klompen shoes | stone blue farrow & ball | miss mustard seed

In order to hang them, I put d-rings on the back of the larger pair and used sticky-back 3-M Command Strips for the small ones.

hanging painted klompen shoes | miss mustard seed

And they look so cute hanging in a little row with a couple of pairs of carved and painted klompen shoes I purchased off of Etsy.

painted klompen shoes | artwork | miss mustard seed

They are a great way to add some visual interest and personality to a little strip of wall in the foyer.

painted klompen shoes | stone blue farrow & ball | miss mustard seed

painted klompen shoes | artwork | miss mustard seed

I’ve become more passionate about using original and unique art in my home over the past few years.  Original art doesn’t have to be a painting.  It really can be anything you can hang on the wall!  In this case, it’s vintage painted (and carved) klompen shoes.

t painted klompen shoes | artwork | miss mustard seed


For those interested in creating a similar look, I found some carved, raw wood, and painted klompen shoes that I thought would be a nice start (or addition) to a collection…




  1. Heidi

    I love them. I think a little glass jar inside would make a lovely place to put a posy of flowers from time to time x

  2. Laura F

    What a great idea! Honoring items, rather than letting them sit in a box, is something I’ve been working on this year…thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Anita Sams

    Nice job, and good addition to your foyer wall, but the best (to me) is that instead of lying in a cold dark box now, they make you smile each time you walk past. 🙂

  4. Janet in Kansas City

    The little pair in the before photo look like some that I got in Germany back in the 80’s. All the fests had little things like that for sale and I still have some. Never thought of painting them, but I will now! They look adorable.

  5. Sharon Rexroad

    fun shoes, but I kept ogling that darling little paint brush!!! Do tell me more!

    • Bambi Mayer

      Me too!! I was just getting ready to ask, lol.

    • Monica

      I think that’s the chalk pencil she used to mark the design.

  6. Judeth

    We had a pair of these from when I was a little girl. Never knew what they were called. Have know idea where they are now.

  7. Kathy

    I love this idea. Thank you for the inspiration

  8. Claire

    What a great idea! I love them hanging on the wall there! We are moving cross country and I have “let go” of a lot of things I have used to decorate my house for years. I figure it will be fun to buy new things where we are going. I am taking my favorite things but I just let some of it go.

  9. Jennifer Anderson

    They turned out great! I love the collection displayed together in your foyer!

  10. Lisa P

    These look adorable!

  11. Stéphanie

    Oh, they would be perfect as an original accent on a Christmas wreath ! Lots of greenery, a ribbon, and you’re done. (and yes, this is a totally Christmas in July comment 😀 )

  12. Michelle

    I’ve got to say, I didn’t know how you were going to pull this one off, but the display of four pairs of shoes is just perfection. Really lovely and so perfect in your home.

  13. Elizabeth

    So cute! I love the idea of adding some greens in them from time to time. Maybe some berries and branches for Christmas-time. Very cute!

  14. Julie | Home On The Hill

    I also have a small pair of the carved type I purchased in Holland over 20 years ago. Your stained pair have inspired me to seek them out & stain them as the blond raw wood has never matched my decor. Now, where could they be….? 😀

  15. Amy

    I love this idea so much! It speaks of your thoughtfulness and care of your things and your place.

  16. Stacy Saman

    I came across so many of these as a kid who loved rummaging in her grandmothers’ very large attic, where she kept everything, even the shoes they wore as kids. I think my parents threw most of them out, without my knowledge of course! I bought a pair from Gent, where my grandfather was born, another from Antwerpen, where my grandmother’s family was from, and I did manage to inherit one op Stekene, where my other grandparents were from. I’m not sure I’ll paint them. I’ve thought of it, but who knows? So glad to see someone else has these in their lives. 😉

  17. mary m

    Over time i have acquired 13 pairs of Dutch shoes; all sizes and different. They line the left side of our stairs. Plus a pair of red ones by the front doo rwhich we never use. I had them in a large shopping bag ready to move them on when my grandson wanted to know where the shoes went, So out of the bag they came, He is now 15…..;
    Also ad a local antique store they had a single natural wood shoe that was autographed with names. Apparently it was a souvenir of WW II. Several pairs are natural wood so I might get inspired to paint them.

  18. Amy

    Loved this post and the resulting display! Where did you live in the Bavarian Alps? We lived in Oberammergau and my kids took the bus all the way down the mountain pass to Garmish to go to school! They, too, had some klompen shoe fun back in the day. Thank you for all the beauty you put into my “in box” everyday.

    • Marian Parsons

      I lived in Garmisch!

      • Amy

        I hope your memories of that time are as awesome as ours! I often felt like BELLE living in that beautiful little village. We are hoping to return to Oberammergau for the Passion Play with our now adult children.

  19. Karen B.

    This is what makes a home a home. The layering of favorite things that mean something to you. The wall display looks so nice and reflects your style. Thanks for the ideas and inspiration.

  20. MaryLisa

    this is one of my favorites! Very original and looks great!

  21. Rachelle

    Lovely idea! So very creative💜😊

  22. Karen

    I love them. I love this post…I love how you can be so funny and self deprecating!
    How did you decide to hang them as you did? I think I would have hung them right side up. Personal preference I guess.
    I love all you do! Cant wait for your book!

  23. Debra

    Thanks for showing us your shoe display. I have a small pair that I’ve repaired but still need to paint and hang up, but I wasn’t sure how to go about it, so this was really helpful. I have a couple of vintage Dutch style prints that would look nice with them.

  24. jean

    Love, lovev, love the wall! My husband and I went to college in Holland Michigan and have gone back to visit friends who now live on the lake every Fourth of July. Of the 44 years since graduation, this year was number 30. Every year in May is the Tulip Festival which includes Klompen dancing and street sweeping. Locals make the costume of their family’s region and practice not throwing their shoes off into the crowd for months before hand.

    I have some raw wooden shoes and you’ve inspired me to finish them with a favorite color! Thanks!

    • Rita

      I bought a pair when I attended the Tulip Festival the first time this year. At first I thought about putting succulents in them, but they would be cute hanging on the wall too.

  25. Kim

    Wow, what an improvement in looks!! I too have a few pair of klomps around the house that my kids wore when little, given to us by a Dutch friend. My Dutch friend said that he played soccer in them all the time! My Danish neighbor also wore them all the time when out doing yard work. Your series of shoes on the wall is just made up of heavenly colors, and it looks fantastic!

  26. Julia

    Love this post so much! Can’t wait to find some klompen to do this!

  27. Elena

    I have wanted to do something similar to your lovely display for awhile now with my own klompen, but I wonder if you might have an idea for me. One of the pairs I have was wood burned and painted – a definite tourist sale if I’ve ever seen one! I don’t care for the design or colours so would love to paint over it as you have done. My question is, should I just try to sand down more of woodburned image, so I could paint a more traditional design on it? I have followed you for a few years now, always such beautiful work, thank you for continuing to share with all of us.


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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