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Upcycling metal earrings

Written by: | Published: September 16, 2011 | Updated: April 27, 2015

I found some funky fun earring at Walmart for under 4 dollars. If I’m buying jewelry for myself, I don’t like to spend tons of cash, so I’m always looking for deals and clearance items. I love the style of these earrings but I didn’t like the original teal color at all. So I decided buy them and see if I could update them using black paint.

Metal earrings before updating
Metal earrings before updating

This is a quick 30 minute project and cost me next to nothing. If you want to upcycled earrings using this method, make sure the earrings have a textured, embossed feel to them. When you sand the paint off, if the earrings are without any kind of texture, there won’t be anything to allow the metal to show through the paint.

The materials I used:

  • Black spray paint
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Clear spray paint

Change the look of  metal earrings:

  1. First remove the earring hooks. If you don’t have jewelry tools, you could just tape the hooks to prevent paint from getting on them.
  2. Then I spray painted over the teal with black paint and let it dry.

    Paint and sand metal earrings DIY project
    Paint and sand metal earrings DIY project

  3. After the paint dried, I took a piece of fine sandpaper and gently sanded the top of all the ridges on each earring. This allows the gold to shine through.
  4. Then I sprayed with a clear coat paint and let dry, put the hooks back on and voila! All finished!
Updated earrings
Updated earrings


You can add this technique to a variety of jewelry pieces, however I don’t recommend using sandpaper on any kind of precious metal. You could scratch the surface of your jewelry pieces. Consider buying less expensive pieces to update with your own look using paint and sandpaper.

Now that I’ve made these earrings, I haven’t found the perfect shirt to wear them with… go figure!

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Jen is Passionate about Creativity. She is the owner and "doodle in charge" of JGoode Designs, a Denver based design studio. She is an illustrator, mixed media artist and creative lifestyle blogger. Jen has been a creative professional since 1998 but says she's been an artist since she was old enough to eat glue.

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