Many DIY lovers experiment with paint, glitter, and other forms of designs on their favorite shoes. But as leather is a challenging material to use acrylic paint on, this leads to the question: can you use acrylic paint on leather shoes? Of course, you can! But there’re procedures for doing it in the right way.
Hence, a lot of research has been conducted to find the right ways to apply acrylic paint on leather shoes that produce long-lasting results. Finally, in this article, we’ll share all those secrets that you have been searching for!
You just need to know the how-tos and gather some important materials to paint your leather shoes with acrylic. Ready for a DIY adventure? Keep scrolling!
Can Acrylic Paint Ruin Your Leather Shoes?
It’s a fun DIY project to apply acrylic paint to your leather shoes for added beauty. However, it’s hard to keep the paint on. Acrylic paint can crack after a while when it’s dry. So, you have to figure out a way to prevent the color from breaking after you apply it to your leather shoes.
Acrylic paint used on paper, canvas, and wood may not work so well on leather shoes. For this reason, try to get acrylic leather paint which is specifically designed for leather shoes. This paint won’t crack after application and will stick for a very long time.
Some Tips for Applying Acrylic Paint on Leather Shoes?
The paintbrush that you use to apply acrylic paint over leather shoes must be of decent quality as well. According to DIY professionals, you should apply many thin layers instead of a few thick layers. This process ensures the accuracy of application and longevity of the paint.
As a rule of thumb, never mix multiple brands of acrylic paint to paint your leather shoes. You should let the paint dry naturally instead of using artificial heat from the hairdryer.
To protect the paint, you can use a sealant over the paint. Additionally, since shoes are curvy, be careful when you are designing over them with acrylic paint.
Just letting you know, though, that first-timers may struggle to get it right.
How to Apply Acrylic Paint on Leather Shoes
Needless to say, there are a number of tutorials available online that can teach you how to decorate your leather shoes with acrylic paint. The unique creativity of many people will awe and inspire you at the same time.
In this section, we’ll get into how you can do the same for your leather shoe project. Are you excited yet? Let’s get going!
Step 1: Prepare Your Shoes
Before you start with the process, make sure that your shoes are clean from dirt and mud. Also, if you find any holes or tears, fix them before applying acrylic paint.
Sometimes, leather can attract wax and oil formation over it. When you’re cleaning your shoes, using isopropyl alcohol or some water and bleach can help clean them thoroughly.
Isopropyl alcohol can help the paint firmly stick to the surface of your shoes. In some cases, you may need to sand your shoes for the paint to stick on them properly.
Using 100 to 200 grit sandpaper can easily remove the glossiness of your shoes, so the paint can stick better. To finish off, wipe with a damp microfiber towel. Also, don’t forget to set aside the shoelaces.
Step 2: Apply a Leather Preparer
To let the acrylic paint stick nicely to your shoes, apply a layer of leather preparer and deglazer. Since they are made of alcohol, they dry quickly.
Find a small cloth, and dip it in the solution of a preparer and deglazer. Then, rub it copiously over the leather surface. You may notice the color of the leather fading, but don’t worry about that.
Step 3: Apply the Acrylic Paint
Surprise, surprise! You have to dilute the paint by adding some water to it. So, get a mixing bowl for that. This step is crucial because it helps the leather absorb the paint.
Now, get your paintbrushes, and start applying the paint to the designated areas of the shoes. Even if you see that the paint is porous and showing, don’t stress about it. Just make sure that your strokes are long and consistent.
You may need to apply more than one coat to get the outcome that you desire. Let the first coat dry before applying the next one, though. Before you do that, flex the shoes in different directions to see if the paint cracks in any way.
Depending on your observation, fix the cracked areas with more layers of paint. To achieve a deep, dark color, you may need to apply as many as four coats!
Step 4: Get the Acrylic Leather Finish
Let your leather shoes dry completely before applying the acrylic leather finish. You can’t miss this step because the leather finish seals the acrylic paint on the shoes, as well as protects the paint from dust, water, and other pollutants.
The acrylic leather finish comes in various types, such as matte, satin, or gloss. Although the glossy finish will stay shiny, matte and satin finishes will only shine for a while after application.
To smear the leather finish over your shoes, use a soft sponge brush. Make sure the coats are thin. If you notice any seams, fill them up for a smooth surface. Finally, let the leather dry for 24 hours.
How to Apply Acrylic Paint on Faux Leather Shoes
We have looked at how acrylic paint can be applied to real leather. Now, we’ll do the same on faux leather.
Acrylic paint won’t stick to faux leather the way it does with the real one. That’s why the process is a bit different. But we’ll get to know what’s so special about it in this section.
Step 1: Prepare the Faux Leather Shoes
As usual, use isopropyl leather to clean any dirt, wax, or grease on the faux leather shoes. Then, with a wet towel, wipe off the shoes.
Faux leather is often covered with plastic polymer or silicone coating, which renders isopropyl leather useless in cleaning. You need a leather deglazer to remove the silicone coating from faux leather shoes.
Take a small cloth and immerse it in the leather deglazer. Rub that off over the shoes until the old finish is fully clean.
Step 2: Time to Paint!
Whether you use a sponge or paintbrush, apply acrylic on faux leather in vertical strokes. There is a possibility of the paint drying too quickly, so you have to be quick with your hands.
Before adding the second layer of paint, let the first coat dry for 20 minutes. The paint color will brighten and look more solid the more layers you apply. To erase any mistakes made, just grab some acetone!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What can you do to prevent acrylic paint from washing off?
Regular acrylic paint is bound to crack or wash off when applied over leather shoes. But there are ways you can prevent this from occurring.
Use acrylic paint designed specifically for leather. Once you’re done painting your shoes, seal the paint with a good sealant.
For those of you who want the paint to last longer on your leather shoes, use sharpies or fabric paint instead. Saves you a lot of trouble.
Related: How Long Does Acrylic Paint Last?
2. What kind of paint is better for leather shoes?
Before you start painting on leather shoes, clean them properly. Remove any coatings or polish over the shoes with acetone.
Angelus paint is a good one to paint over leather. In the end, use an acrylic finisher for a matt or glossy finish.
3. Can acrylic paint stain your shoes?
Not only is acrylic paint made of water, but it’s also water-resistant. You can let your shoes soak in water until the paint moistens. Because acrylic paint is thicker and runnier, you can wash away the stain.
4. Is it possible to wash acrylic paint off shoes?
Yes, this is possible. Prepare a bucket of water and add some dish soap to it. You can also use the sink for this purpose. Dip the shoes into that water-soap solution and rub the paint off with a brush.
You may still see some paint remaining on the surface of your shoes. Get rid of that with some acetone.
Learn more about acrylic paints:
- Is Acrylic Paint Washable? [On Wood, Concrete, Skin, etc.]
- Can You Mix Acrylic Paint with Oil Paint?
So, can you use acrylic paint on leather shoes or not depending on how well you can deal with acrylic and leather. The surface of the application must be thoroughly clean with no oil or dust sticking around.
You must apply a layer of isopropyl alcohol over the leather shoes for deep cleaning and for the paint to stick nicely.
Acrylic paint may not last long over leather shoes. For that reason, applying a sealer and spraying water-resistant spray over the fresh paint can ensure longevity.