Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Leather Shoes?

If you have old leather shoes and its boring color is bothering you then why don’t you paint it fresh? But is it okay to choose acrylic paint for this fun project? 

Just like you, I have the same doubt. But relax. Because I have done some research and am ready to share them with you.

Can you use acrylic paint on leather shoes? Definitely, you can use standard acrylic paint on leather shoes of all kinds. But there is always room for perfection. In this case, you need to consider the surface of shoes and the material of leather. Also, consider the thickness of paint and sealing the paint on leather mostly. If you need a better outcome, you need to work patiently with acrylic paint.

Keep reading to unfold all the exciting information. These will definitely help the artist in you to decorate leather shoes with acrylic.

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Leather Shoes?

Can You Use Acrylic Paints To Decorate Your Leather Shoes?

Running in leather sports shoes or dancing in leather ballet shoes seems classic. But it will be more fun to look at when you have acrylic paint decoration over your leather shoes. 

Of course, you can use acrylic on leather sneakers and boots and walk confidently like a diva. You can even draw patterns based on season over your leather slippers and loafers. 

For a formal gathering, you can wear an acrylic-painted leather loafer or trainers. This will show your creativity to your surroundings.

But when you are about to work with different leather materials, then you should consider a few facts. Especially before applying acrylic paint to them. 

  • Synthetic leather like faux is non-porous, so you can easily put acrylic on it. 
  • If you want to paint acrylic on Suede and Vegetable Tanned Leather then it may destroy the texture of shoes. Because they are not waterproof and have a high chance of shrinking if painted with acrylic. 
  • You can choose Pull up, Chamois, Nubuck, or Roughout leather that will work perfectly. You will just need to prime their surface and you can paint acrylic on them. 
  • But if you take Patent leather, then besides priming, seal the acrylic too. Otherwise, the paint will peel off easily and ruin the design. 
  • If you are thinking of painting Scotch Grain leather with acrylic, then don’t. It will be challenging. Because it has a pebble texture which makes it hard to paint on it with acrylic. You cannot expect smooth paint done on this.

What Is The Difference Between Acrylic Paint And Acrylic Leather Paint?

Both standard Acrylic paint and Acrylic leather paint look similar. But they have some differences too.

  • Normal acrylic paint is usable on any surface like rock, leather, wood, ceramic, and so on. But Acrylic Leather paint is specific for Leather substances only.
  • Leather paint has a thin texture that helps leather to soak the paint as per need. But Regular acrylic paint is thicker and you need to dilute it before applying on leather.
  • Acrylic leather paint tends not to crack or peel off if sealed properly. But our all time acrylic paint may crack or come out if you do not dilute it properly and seal it afterward.
  • But if you are tight on budget, then go for a regular acrylic paint and use them with caution on leather.

Does Acrylic Paint Crack Your Leather Shoes?

If you are using regular acrylic paint on your leather shoes it will look gorgeous. But the color will crack in places after you wear these shoes. This happens when you add a dense layer of acrylic. 

But do not worry because I know of a magical product that will thin your paint easily. I am talking about Angelus 2-thin- Reduces Viscosity of Acrylic Leather Paint. This will not only thin the paint but also offer super flexibility to your shoes. Moreover, your acrylic will not crack after drying.

Is Acrylic Paint Suitable For Dying Leather Shoes?

In different industries, they are using acrylic paint to dye the entire leather shoes. This helps to cover any uneven parts or scratch on the leather. It is also easy to remove acrylic paint if they make any mistake.

You may not have a big machine for this work. But you can also dye leather shoes with acrylic paint at home in a tub. 

Before that, please consider the material of leather. As Suede and Vegetable Tanned Leather will shrink if you try this process at home. So choose wisely before you plan dying leather shoes.

Do You Need A Primer For Leather Shoes Before Applying Acrylic Paint On It?

Leather shoes are porous by nature as they come from the hide of dead animals. They mostly absorb any liquid when they come in contact. 

So, if you apply acrylic paint on leather shoes without priming the surface it will just absorb the paint. For that, you can search for the best quality primer specific to leather. 

When you paint on primer, the paint will remain crack free and also shine brighter than usual.

How To Use Acrylic Paint On Leather Shoes?

I have described some steps below. Follow them for an amazing result!

Step 1: Grab Your Tools

If you are  willing to paint your shoes with acrylic then grab everything that you need like:

  • Paint brush
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Leather deglazer
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Cotton bud
  • Masking tape 
  • Acrylic paint 
  • Thinner
  • Primer

Jump to the next step if you have all the stuff that you need.

Step 2: Prepare Your Leather Shoes

Now if you are working on a leather show you need to prepare the surface first. Rub off the extra dirt and grease from the surface with isopropyl alcohol. 

Dry out the surface and apply a little acrylic. If you see the paint is not adhering, then use a deglazer to remove silicone from the surface of the shoe. 

Sand afterward and now apply paint. Apply primer all over the shoe for better adhesion of acrylic.

Step 3: Paint Over The Shoes

For normal acrylic, you need to thin the paint either with water or a thinner. A thin layer has no chance of cracking after drying. Then apply the paint in one direction. Spread evenly so that you can get a smooth texture.

Step 4: Dry The Paint

Now, after you complete the decoration, let it dry in an open space but not under direct sunlight. Give it 24-48 hours to dry for a better result and then seal it with a finisher.

How Long Does It Take For Acrylic Paint To Dry On Leather?

After everything you have done, let the paint dry on leather shoes. Because there are different sorts of leather with varied absorbing qualities.

If you have thick leather, then it will take almost 24-48 hours to dry. They are mostly full-grain leather like Cowhide and Calfskin. 

But if you’re dealing with top-grain leather like the thin ones then it will take a longer time to dry out. But do not speed up the drying process by keeping them in direct sunlight. This may fade the paint.

Yet if you have chosen Suede for this work, then remember it will take the most time to dry even after priming. 

Because it has a super absorbent quality that slows the process. But you can use a hair dryer on a low setting to speed up the process.

How To Seal Acrylic Paint On Leather Shoes?

Outcome matters the most in case of fashion. Like some other artists, if you do not want to seal your acrylic on leather shoes, it will not last long. 

For a long-lasting effect, try to seal your paint with any of the techniques mentioned below:  

Acrylic Spray Sealer

Acrylic spray type sealer is the most convenient option if you want to work fast. Because it dries fast, and you can apply many coats within a short time. 

But at least wait 24 hours before the paint dries and clean the surface before applying spray sealer.

Liquid Acrylic Paint Sealer

More durable type of sealer is the Liquid acrylic paint sealer. This takes time to dry but gives long time protection. 

Try to use a brush to dilute the sealer and apply on painted shoes. Try to maintain the direction of stroke and give 24 hours time to dry properly.

If you want a matt finishing, then try Angelus Brand Acrylic Leather Paint Matte Finisher. It will keep the original color and you can wear them with no peeling or crack. 

But if you want a glossy finish then try Angelus Brand Acrylic Leather Paint High Gloss Finisher. It will give a glossy appearance to your shoes. Go out in your shoes and surprise everyone with your beautiful pair of art. 

Can You Use Acrylic Paint Pens Or Markers On Leather Shoes?

If you want to draw something specific on your leather shoes, try using an acrylic paint pen or marker. This will help you to draw the details in many color options. 

Moreover, it will take less time to dry, and it will not crack too. And you will be happy with the coverage of this pen. So, try out an acrylic paint pen if you want some changes.

Over To You

To sum up my discussion, acrylic paint serves the best result on your leather shoes of all types. If you know how to manage the paint on leather you are good to go. 

I have tried to explain every possible information above to help you. Yet if you notice I have missed something important, please let me know in the comment section below. It will help other readers too.

If you have any other queries, then do not hesitate to ask. I will be more than happy to solve your doubts. 

Further Readings

Acrylic Paint On Leather – Your Guide To Using Acrylic Leather Paint
How to Paint Leather: Tools, Tips, and Projects
Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Leather? – (How To Process)
Acrylic Paint On Leather

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