How To Color Your Shoes With Acrylic Paint?

If you want to bring your designs to life, painting your shoes can be a good option. Painted shoes give you a customized look and maybe you can even match your shoes to your favorite outfits.

You can paint with your favorite color, use your favorite design, anime character, patterns, and art style. The possibilities are infinite.

Now that you have decided to paint your shoes, with some research you can easily find out that acrylic paint is the best option when it comes to customizing your shoes. Acrylic paint is thicker and sticks onto the shoe surface pretty well. You can keep your personalized acrylic painted shoes for years if you use the right primer and sealant. 

Now, to the most important part. Can you use acrylic paint on your shoes? Acrylic painting can be difficult, especially when painting on a rough shoe surface or shoes with a plastic-like finish.

This is why you need to know how to paint your shoes with acrylic colors properly.

How Do You Color Your Shoes With Acrylic Paints?

Can I Use Normal Acrylic Paints On Shoes?

To answer your question in short, Yes, you can paint your shoes with normal acrylic paint. But it won’t last long. Acrylic paint can crack even when used on canvas without proper preparation. 

It’s important to stick to a set of instructions when you want your design to look good and last longer on your shoes. Acrylic leather paint is most suitable to use on most shoes.

How To Paint Shoes With Acrylic Paint?

It’s always a bit scary to paint your first pair of shoes. You might be worried about how it will turn out or what kind of cautions you have to take.

Well, to help you with your worries, here are the step-by-step instructions you can follow to paint your shoes with acrylic paint. If this is your first time painting a shoe, use an older shoe to practice on first.

  • Step One: you have to prepare the shoes. You must clean the shoes thoroughly. Don’t forget to take out the shoelaces if you’re painting shoes that have laces.
  • Step Two: Cover the inside of the shoes and the soles with tape. Make sure you use painters’ tape; vinyl tapes are also good for covering soles. You can put newspaper inside the shoes while you are painting, to keep their shape.
  • Step Three: you need to prepare your workspace. Cover the surface you’ll be working on, with newspaper.
  • Step Four: Prepare the shoes according to their material.
  • Step Five: Add water to thin down acrylic paint if you want to hydro dip your shoes. Take a small amount of paint at a time when painting with acrylic. Make short strokes to avoid mistakes.
  • Step Six: Use smaller brushes to paint the edges. Round brushes also work great for painting details. If you don’t want to cover the original color of the shoes, dab a sponge with acrylic color on the shoes for a partially covered look. Use a medium to large-sized brush to make a splatter effect.
  • Step Seven: Outline your preferable pattern or design before painting the shoes, using a pencil or a pen.
  • Step Eight: Let each acrylic layer dry before you put another one on top of them.
  • Step Nine: Seal the paint once it’s dry for a long-lasting result.
  • Step Ten: When you are done painting the shoes, let them air dry for at least 1 hour.
  • Step Eleven: You can use varnish over the acrylic paint to seal in the color and make it shiny and semi-permanent.
  • Step Twelve: You can also use water-proofing spray over acrylic colors.
  • Step Thirteen: Heat seal acrylic paint to make it permanent.
  • Step Fourteen: Keep the newly colored shoes from water.

How To Paint Leather Shoes With Acrylic Paint?

Leather shoes often have a shiny and smooth surface. The smooth surfaces are hard to paint on and paints don’t stick on them well.

So, if you want to paint one of your leather shoes make sure to prepare your shoes beforehand.

These are some extra steps you need to follow to paint your leather shoes

  • If you are painting a leather shoe, use rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball and wipe clean the shoes with it.
  • Deglaze your leather shoes properly to make them appropriate for acrylic paint.
  • Leather shoes that are shiny like vinyl, patent, or PVC shoes, you need to make the surface appropriate for painting. You can take sandpaper and rub it in a circular motion to get rid of the plastic-covered surface of the shoes. Acrylic paint will stick to the shoes easily this way.
  • Use water-based acrylic leather paint on leather shoes.
  • Properly seal your acrylic paint on leather shoes with a waterproofing spray.

Related Reading: Best Acrylic Paint To Use For Leather

How To Paint Canvas Shoes With Acrylic?

Canvas shoes are typically made of fabric. The normal acrylic paint might not stick to the shoe or crack easily. So, if you want to paint your canvas shoes with acrylic, there are some extra steps you need to follow. 

  • If you are painting canvas shoes, use a primer before starting to paint the shoes. Especially, if you want your color to pop on darker shoes, it is important to put primer on the area you’ll be working on.
  • Shoes like a canvas that are made of cloth, soak them in warm soapy water to make sure they aren’t dirty.
  • You can mix a bit of fabric paint to make the colors stick to the shoe surface better. 
  • Stick to one brand of color when painting a canvas shoe.

How To Paint Suede Shoes With Acrylic Paint?

Suede shoes are made from high-quality leather. As the material is leather, you can use acrylic leather paint to customize your suede shoes. When you are painting your suede shoes make sure

  • Brush your suede shoes and rub them with vinegar before you put acrylic paint on them.
  • Remember to tape up the sole of your suede shoes.
  • For shoes like suede mix fabric paint with acrylic color to make the paint more suitable for the material.

How To Paint Sneakers With Acrylic Paint?

Sneakers are pretty similar to canvas shoes. If you are painting a sneaker shoe, you can use acrylic paint. Make sure to follow the steps I have listed before. 

  • Mix a bit of fabric color with your acrylic paint.
  • Mix water to get the right consistency.

Related Reading: Best Acrylic Paint For Shoes

How To Paint Boots With Acrylic Paint?

Most of the boots are made from leather or faux leather. so, you can follow the steps of painting leather shoes for your boots. 

  • Rub the surface of the boot.
  • Paint in thin coats.

How To Paint Acrylic Paint On Ballet Shoes? 

Ballet shoes are made of cloth, so using normal acrylic without anything would make the fabric hard.

  • Use primer before painting.
  • Make sure to seal the paint.

How To Paint Fabric Shoes With Acrylic?

Acrylic on fabric shoes cracks easily. So, make sure you prep your shoes properly.

  • Use fabric paint for better results.
  • Use paint markers for a detailed look.

How To Tie Dye Shoes With Acrylic Paint?

Giving your shoes a tie-dye look is pretty simple. All you need is acrylic paint and some rubbing alcohol. Use a tiny amount of acrylic paint. Then spread and rub the colors to give a tie-dye look.

How To Dye Shoelaces With Acrylic Paint?

You need one ounce to two-ounce cup of acrylic paint. Water down the paint to get your desired consistency.

Dip the shoelaces in the color and make sure there are no white spots left. Then strain the color and repeat the process a few times. Make sure to let the laces air dry completely. 

How To Hydro Dip Shoes With Acrylic Paint?

If you want to hydro dip your shoes in acrylic paint, add water to thin down acrylic paint. Make sure to dip the shoes properly. The colors need to cover the whole shoe to give it a complete look. 

What Are The Best Ways To Waterproof Acrylic Painted Shoes?

Trying to waterproof your shoes after you are done painting them is a pretty good idea. It protects the color as well as makes it last longer.

There are quite a few waterproofing sprays available to make your work easier. You can also use a finisher or acrylic sealant on your shoes.

How To Prevent Acrylic Paint From Cracking On Shoes?

To prevent acrylic paint from cracking, prep your shoes properly. Remember to paint with thin layers.

Acrylic paint is a thick substance so layering it without thinning it down will make the paint crack. Use appropriate sealant and finisher. 

How To Seal Acrylic Paint On Shoes?

For the best result with sealing acrylic paint on shoes try to paint with thin layers. It is very important to let each layer of paint dry before applying another one. 

Use varnish, waterproof spray, acrylic sealant, and appropriate drying method to seal the acrylic paint on the shoes. 

You can also use a finisher to seal the paint in canvas shoes. Put even and thin coats of sealer on the shoes.

How Long Does It Take for Acrylic Paint To Dry On Shoes?

Drying acrylic paint is a thorough process. Acrylic paint should be dry in 3-4 hours but leave them overnight for the best result. Between layers, it should take 15-30 minutes for the color to dry.

If you are painting on leather shoes let the first layer of the paint air dry for at least 2 hours.

How To Protect Acrylic Paint On Shoes?

If you seal the acrylic paint properly on the shoes it should protect the paint. Properly prepping the shoes and a good choice of colors play a great role in protecting the paint on shoes and preventing them from cracking. 

Don’t use different brands of colors together, as it might not mix well and as a result, the paint will crack. Don’t heat seal the paint, as in using a hairdryer or any kind of device that will produce heat, to dry the paint.

Heat will cause the paint to crack. Use varnish and good acrylic sealant to protect the acrylic paint on shoes.

How Long Does Acrylic Paint Last On Shoes?  

If you keep your acrylic painted shoes with proper care, it can last years. Make sure the layers are thin and put matte acrylic medium as a final coat.

If the shoes are properly prepped, painted, and dried, they shouldn’t crack. And with acrylic sealant and waterproof spray, the colors won’t come off with water. So, your acrylic painted shoes might last up to 10 years.

Suggested Materials You May Need

Painting on acrylic shoes requires quite a few extra materials. They help to prepare the shoes, make the paint stick to the shoes and seal in the paint well enough so it won’t crack.

You can also use materials like glitter acrylic paint, waterproofing spray, sealant, and acrylic craft paint.

#1 DecoArt Matte Medium : (Best Textile Medium For Acrylic Paint On Shoes)

DecoArt Matte Medium is a good choice when you are looking for a good quality textile medium paint. Many people expressed how pleased they were with the product’s quality and how handy it is.

Many of them bought the paint to try it out and liked the results so much that they bought it again.

With good results and long-lasting effects, it is a good choice but it smells a bit which might be a downside for a few people.

So, if you have any issue with smell, this option might not suit you. But otherwise, the product delivers what it is supposed to do. 


#2 Angelus Acrylic Leather Paint : (Best Thinner For Acrylic Paint On Shoes)

If you are looking for an acrylic paint thinner one of the best choices would be Angelus Acrylic Leather Paint Thinner.

This brand is known for its good quality acrylic paint. And it is best to use products from similar brands when you’ll be mixing them. This will maintain the quality of the products.

Acrylic Leather Paint Thinner will protect your color tone. So, when you are thinning down the paint the color won’t fade. It is not recommended to use when you are working with suede shoes.

Also, make sure you know the correct ratio to use, as it might affect the result. 

Over To You

Painting a shoe as a beginner is not easy. There are a lot of steps you need to follow and also you have to get a lot of extra materials.

It might seem like a lot but if you follow the steps correctly it will only make your work easier and the finished product better.

I hope the steps I have listed can help you paint your shoes and answer all of your worries.

Enjoy the process and let me know how did it go.

Other Topics:
1. Can I Use Acrylic Paints On Vinyl Fabrics, Shoes, Figures, And Floors?
2. Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Any Type Of Jars?

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