Can You Decorate Any Type Of Shoes With Acrylic Paints?

If you are thinking about customizing your shoes, painting them is a great way to start. You can choose your favorite designs and preferred colors. It gives your shoes a unique look and you can have fun in your leisure time.

Now, you might want to know what kind of colors are good for painting shoes. If you are wondering “Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Shoes?” The answer is yes. You’ll be glad to hear; acrylic paint is an industrial-grade option for painting shoes. Even some renowned shoe manufacturers use acrylic paint on their shoes. Acrylic paint has been proven to work on shoes and last a long time. It also gives a smooth finish. So, with a few extra steps and a bit of effort, you can paint your shoes with acrylic paint.

Now you need to know which acrylic paint is preferable for which kind of shoes. There are a few varieties of acrylic paint and shoes made from different materials.

Let’s see which acrylic paint will stick to a certain kind of shoes.

Can I Color My Shoes With Acrylic Paints?

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Leather Shoes?

As we discussed earlier, acrylic paint is a great option if you are looking to paint your shoes.

Now, one of the most common materials used for shoes is leather. If you want to paint your leather shoes with regular acrylic paint, the ones you use for painting on paper or a canvas, it might not work smoothly.

You have to use acrylic leather paints. Acrylic leather paint is specially made to stick on leather, has the best effect, and will last longer.

So, if you are using acrylic leather paint, they will work on leather shoes as well as faux-leather shoes.

Acrylic Paint On Patent Shoes

Patent shoes are glossy-coated shoes. It is one kind of coated leather. Most of the patent shoes are now coated with plastic, so it might be a bit harder to paint over them.

But with several coats, it can be done. Any acrylic leather paint will work great on patent shoes.

Acrylic Paint On Vinyl Shoes

Vinyl shoes are a kind of dress shoes made of leather, which are mostly used to make pump shoes. Even though they are made from natural leather, a PVC coat is done over the leather for a glossy plastic look.

Same acrylic leather paints would work on these shoes, just don’t apply heat to dry the shoes.

Learn More: Can You Paint Vinyl Shoes With Acrylic?

Acrylic Paint On Synthetic Shoes

Synthetic materials are a kind of faux leather that has the appearance of leather shoes. They are vegan and made of PU leather.

You can use acrylic paint to customize your synthetic shoes. But you should paint using a brush or a sponge and work as fast as you can as paint dries up quickly on synthetic shoes.

Acrylic Paint On Suede Shoes

Suede is a high-end leather that is made from animal skin. There are real suede and also faux suede shoes. You can paint with acrylic paints on both of them. But you need to be careful about choosing acrylic leather paint.

Normal paint would harden the surface of the shoes and ruin them. Also, choose a design you wouldn’t want to change later as it is hard to clean suede shoes once color them.

Related Reading: Best Acrylic Paint To Use On Leather, Vinyl, And Suede Shoes

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Fabric Shoes?

Acrylic is a thick paint. It is made with pigment suspended in acrylic polymer emulsion and other stabilizers. Acrylic paint is water-soluble but as it is a thick substance, it will make the surface that you’re painting on hard as it dries.

So, technically you can paint on fabric shoes. There are certain steps you have to follow for a good result. You need to make sure the fabric won’t be damaged or ruined by the paint and will preserve the paint on top of the fabric surface.

For the best results, you have to prepare the fabric and heat-seal the paint.

Acrylic Paint On Mesh Shoes

Mesh shoes are quite hard to paint on. You have to use a micro brush to get closer to the edges. You can use acrylic paint.

You can just use plain acrylic paint to customize your shoes. You can spread the shoe and paint in the cracks for a good customized mesh shoe.

Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Canvas Shoes?

Canvas shoes are the cheapest option for your DIY project. If you want a customized shoe but don’t want to spend much, get canvas shoes. It is also great for practicing your hand in painting shoes for the first time or figuring out a pattern you like.

You can easily use fabric paint and or an easier option sharpie, to paint and draw on canvas shoes. But if you want a long-lasting result and bright visual you should use acrylic paint.

You can apply a thin layer of acrylic paint and another layer of gesso to seal in the paint, so it doesn’t come off when it gets wet.

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Rubber Shoes?

The most common paint to use on soles like surfaces or rubber shoes is acrylic paint. Few brands make paint specifically to use on rubber and leather. You can use them for good results.

But because of the surface of a rubber shoe, you might need to use two coats of color to get a pop of color and make sure to dry each coat before you apply another one on top of it. Or else the topcoat won’t stick or even apply properly.

Also, use a primer that is made for rubber shoes or surfaces, before applying the colors.

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Pointe Shoes?

Pointe shoes are used by ballet dancers. They help the dancers to dance on their toes or pointe for a longer time. They need to be carefully sized and all ballet dancers need to get their perfect size of pointe shoes.

If you want to paint your pointe shoes it is better to use paint that won’t harden or shrink the shoes.

As that would make it more difficult for the dancers to keep their postures. There is pointe paint made for painting pointe shoes.

Acrylic paint is also a good option many dancers use as it’s easy to find. You need to cover the shoes with a light and even layer of acrylic paint. Don’t overuse acrylic paint on pointe shoes or it will ruin them.

Can You Use Acrylic Paint on PVC Shoes?

PVC or plastic-covered shoes are an ideal surface to use acrylic paint on. They are smooth and easy to paint.

The paint will glide onto the shoes and create an even coat without hassle. But make sure to use thin layers. Thick layers would take longer to dry. Thick layers are also prone to crack later.

So, when painting on a PVC shoe with acrylic paint make sure the layers are completely dry.

You can also touch up with acrylic paint on PVC shoes if the colors seem to fade. Acrylic gives PVC shoes a satin finish. So, if you’re looking for that, acrylic paint is recommended.

Can You Paint Boots With Acrylic Paint?

Most of the boots are made from leather. So, you have a pair of boots and you want to customize them according to your choice, leather acrylic paint is the way to go.

Some boots are made from synthetic and mesh, as we’ve discussed earlier you can use acrylic paint on those shoes too.

Acrylic paint also works on combat and timberland boots. But there are some instructions you need to follow when you are putting something on top of a shoe’s surface. And you have to be extra cautious about the layers to stop the color from cracking.

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Sneakers?

Sneakers are like converse shoes used for casual outings. Customizing a pair of sneakers can give you a new unique look for your next outing or just to wear something fun and creative to school. But again, when painting on sneakers, do not use plain acrylic paint.

Use paint that will adhere to canvas and will stretch with your shoe’s fabric.

Acrylic leather paint will work just fine on sneakers. You can also mix fabric paint with leather paint for better and long-lasting results. Give them a thorough soaking, so the paint can properly get in the shoes.

Can I Use Acrylic Paint On Shoe Soles?

Shoe soles need to be properly prepped to paint on. And Yes, it is possible to use acrylic paint on your shoe soles. Just make sure you’re sealing the paint with an acrylic sealant afterward.

Sealing the acrylic paint on the shoe soles will keep them fresh and prevent them from cracking.

Materials You’ll Need To Color Your Shoes

There are various kinds of acrylic paint. When you are using acrylic paint for painting on shoes, you need to inspect the shoe’s materials and, depending on that, choose the best kind of acrylic paint.

You can use leather acrylic paint on most of the common shoe materials. There are a few good brands you can choose for leather acrylic paint.

Other necessary materials help the acrylic paint to seal into the shoes and last longer. Let’s see.

#1 U.S. Art Supply White Gesso : (Best Primer For Acrylic Paint On Shoes)

Gesso is a good choice of primer to use on shoes before you are painting them with acrylic paint. It works great on canvas shoes. Gesso is an animal glue binder used for rough surfaces.

Shoes with fabrics or generally rough surfaces need to be smoothed out before you paint over them. It can be used under the acrylic paint also over them as a finisher.

U.S. Art Supply White Gesso is a good acrylic primer. Many customers like the U.S. Art Supply’s gesso because it is not too thick, not too thin. Some users think it really does what they want.

This particular gesso works well under acrylic paint and creates a thin layer. So, if you want thicker gesso this might not be preferable for you. Also, you shouldn’t use more than one layer. It has good coverage and spreads on nicely. And it is important to let it dry before you start painting over them, or else the surface will be sticky. 

#2 Aleene’s Gloss Finish Spray : (Best Sealer For Acrylic Paint On Shoes)

Sealants are used so that your paint won’t crack. It also blocks dust, water, and liquids, in general, to seep into your acrylic paint and fade them. Sealants overall are a great product to use if you want to preserve the design of your shoes and make them last longer.

If you want a nice shiny finish on your shoes, after painting them with acrylic paint, Aleene’s Spray Acrylic Sealer is a great choice.

It has a strong odor but not more than any other sealant. You have to let it dry completely in a cool air environment before you touch or use the shoes.

The same brand also has similar products with matte and velvet finishes. So, if you are looking for different finishes within a budget this might be a great option for you.

#3 Angelus Brand Acrylic Finisher : (Best Matte Leather Paint For Shoes)

If you want to keep your newly painted shoes away from scratches and scrapes, you should use an acrylic finisher.

Especially if you are painting leather shoes, acrylic finishers help a lot to keep everything in place and new. It will also make your shoes water-resistant when dry. They are flexible for shoes and other leather products.

Angelus Brand Leather Paint Matte Finisher is highly recommended to use over acrylic paints. Angelus acrylic paint itself is a good choice when you are working with leather shoes. Their finisher can make your experience better with the brand. 

Angelus Leather paint users think it is slightly glossier than the expected level. one customer noted this turns good into great!

It gives you a smooth finish. I think it has a good quantity in one bottle. 

The only downside I found of this product is- if you want a completely matte finish, it might not work. Even though branded as a matte finisher, it gives you a semi-matte and a bit glossy finish.

Is Acrylic Paint Washable On Shoes?

Acrylic paints are a good choice to use on shoes. If you are using acrylic paint on leather on vinyl shoes, they may wash off. Use the waterproof spray on your painted shoes if you don’t want the acrylic paint to wash off. 

If you aren’t sure about whether you want permanent colored shoes, you can skip the acrylic sealant step. Without any type of sealant, acrylic paint is not permanent on the shoes.

So, the acrylic paint will wash off with water. If some of the colors still stay on the shoes use a cotton ball dipped in acetone to remove the paint stain.

Final Thoughts

Painting shoes can be a fun DIY project. It might seem like a lot to follow all these steps and instructions. Yet, this will not only make your new customized shoes last few years but also give them a polished look. You can also preserve your artistic shoes this way.

Acrylic colors can be used on any kind of shoe. You just need to prep the shoes in a proper way. So the paint would stick to the shoe surface properly and wouldn’t crack after.

Now go crazy with your favorite colors and customized designs. Give your shoes a new look with acrylic paint.

Other Topics:
1. Can I Put All Types Of Clear Coats Over Acrylic Paint?
2. Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Cement?

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