Hi all! I was coming in from riding today, thinking about those cool colored stirrups, and how expensive they are, unfortunately! But I have an insanely cheap and easy way to get around that.
First, you'll need a pair of plain steel stirrups. If the stirrup pads aren't already taken out, remove them. Clean the stirrups thoroughly and spray a coat or two of primer on the stirrups. This will help the paint to adhere to the surface better, give a smoother surface, and enhance the color of the paint.
Whenever you spray paint, you should always work either outside or in a well ventilated area. Spray paint won’t adhere well if it is too cold or wet outside, so wait for a time when humidity is below 65% and it is sunny and at least slightly warm.
When you have all of this done, it's time to pick your color.
If you are going for a gold look, you don't need to read this paragraph, I would suggest using gold leaf because it'll create a solid look and make your stirrups look pretty cool. I am going to do the gold leaf look whenever I get the time. If you are using gold leaf, you will need to use a primer specially designed for gilding. Then use a gilding sizer, which will "dry" to a tacky consistency in a couple of hours. Now you can apply the gold leaf. You can cut the gold leaf into smaller pieces to make application easier. Then take a soft brush and brush the gold leaf onto the stirrups, making it smooth and even. Then seal the gold leaf by applying an acrylic topcoat, and you have your gold stirrups!
If you are going to spray painting route, it may be a good idea to pick a color with a metallic shade to it, unless you want a solid color.
Spray one whole coat onto both stirrups, wait until it's dry and repeat until it is the color you desire. Now you have your own custom stirrups without having to pay the crazy cost!
I will post photos whenever I have completed mine. Looking forward to see the results!