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How to Paint Horseshoes

Give good luck with a painted horseshoe.
horseshoe image by Ekaterina Shvigert from Fotolia.com

Painted horseshoes are a good luck token. In the British Isles, they are traditionally given as wedding gifts to hang in the bride and groom's new home. When fastened in the letter "U" position, it is believed luck will continue for the household, as it will not "run out" of the metal shoe opening. Detailed painting is personalized to reflect the celebrated occasion and fashion your own symbol of continuing good fortune.

Sand the horseshoe with progressively finer sandpapers; start with 60 grit and proceed to 150 grit. Be certain there is no loose rust; this will limit paint adhesion.

Wash the horseshoe with a clean rag so it is free of dust and grease. Let it dry completely.

Apply primer paint with a 1-inch paintbrush. Primer creates a smooth and durable surface for detail painting. It will also inhibit rust.

Apply an acrylic top coat of paint and details of your choosing. Personalization with names or dates is often included in painted horseshoe designs.

Things You'll Need:

  • Sandpaper, 60 grit to 150 grit
  • Cloth rag
  • Paint primer
  • 1-inch brush
  • Acrylic paints
  • Small paintbrushes


  • If the horseshoe was previously painted, make certain this paint is lead-free before you proceed with sanding.
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