(Last Updated On: April 2, 2021)
Yeah, you can definitely use acrylic paint on leather shoes and let me tell you that they are going to make you kick like no other! I forgot how many I painted leather shoes, but I was never deceived. You can either add a touch of paint to make a small detail pop out, or you can paint the whole shoe in boldness.
Some simple leather slip on the Vans are also great if you want to paint the whole shoe and design your own as you have the whole linen. Some people prefer to go over the details and empty spots in their shoes and use a technique like a colour block that is incredible as well.
Regardless of your project, acrylic painting on leather shoes certainly lets you pop, make sure you seal them for the brilliant look and so they last against the weather. Leather companies use acrylics for a very long time to paint leather so it should not be surprising that Golden Artist Colors Acrylics can also be used for leather painting. Which layer to use and whether an additive is required depends on the type of leather and how it was treated previously. In order to determine which process is best used for your specific application, it is important to first test a sacrificial piece or an unconspicuous leather surface area.
Some tips can make the application more successful. Before painting, wipe off any coatings, waxes, or oils on the leather with isopropyl alcohol to degrease and clean. If alcohol does not remove the cover, the surface may need to be sanded lightly with some fine sandpaper.
The key to the good sticking of paint to leather objects is to thinly apply the paint to the leather. If thick paint is being used or built too thickly, the chances of the paint cracking when flexed may increase. Acrylics are thermoplastics and react to temperatures in the environment. In a cold environment, the paint may become brittle, increase the likelihood of cracking and the paint may become softer and more tacky in a warm environment. If the surface of the paint is thick, the temperature changes could be more dramatic. In this type of application, our fluid acrylic and high-flow acrylic lines work best. These lines of paint are thin enough for direct application to leather or can be mixed with the GOLDEN GAC 900 Fabric Painting Medium. When set to correctly heat, the addition of this medium might add flexibility and a softer feel depending on what kind of leather, suede, nubuck and deerskin is used.
We have found mixed results in our testing, therefore we have different recommendations depending on what type of leather is painted and how the leather was treated. Fluid acrylics mixed with GAC 900 in one to one ratio (1:1), applied, dried and then heat set, were the most flexible paint film tested in entirely unfarmed, unconditioned, untreated leather. High Flow acrylics worked well, soaking in leather while retaining their feeling and flexibility, using treated and colourful latigo belt leather and garment leather. Swede, nubuck and deerskin painting can be a little more tricky. The feeling of these soft leathers has changed with every combination of products we tried. It is crucial to test on similar materials to find out what works best and which colours and feelings are acceptable. We would advise to try the High Flow Acrylics alone or the Fluid Acrylics diluted with some water, or the Fluid Acrylics in the recommended ratio of one part to one section GAC 900 with addition of the GAC 900. When using GAC 900, heat must be set after the touch has dried. Heating can be done in the hottest setting with a hair dryer for 7-10 minutes.
There are many videos on the Internet showing how to paint acrylic painted leather shoes and sneakers. While online tutorials can be informative, something works for everyone. It is therefore very important to test your specific application. There are so many types of leathers with a variety of treatments, teinting and finishing methods and every shoe does not have a blanket application technique. Some mixtures depend on the application technique or painting style are easier to control than others. Each artist’s hand controls paint differently, so personal preference can be. In our tests, we found the High Flow paints that worked the best on the sneakers we painted without anything added. The combination of the Fluid Acrylic/GAC 900 was thinner and stayed tacky until the heat was set and the Fluid Acrylics applied on their own a little thicker and was slightly easier to apply when thinned with water. All the applications have been very successful and all have been very flexible. Sock liners can be also painted with fluid acrylics and GAC 900 mixtures one to one. If you mix GAC 900 with the paint, it can feel tactful until it is heat-set properly. Please note that GAC 900 heat sets releases trace amounts of formaldehyde to those with chemical sensitivities. We recommend using a topcoat after the paint has healed for durability, protection and moisture resistance. Many options are available, such as acrylics, oils, waxes, silicones and polyurethanes. They are available as brush-on fluids or in spray cans of aerosol. We recommend researching what is available, especially from specialists in leather such as Tandy, Angelus and Fiebing. When choosing a topcoat, it is essential to ensure that acrylic paints are compatible. There is therefore no quick and easy solution for painting leather “one size fits all,” but there are many options available and testing is the first important step when you decide which option is right for you. We recommend using a topcoat after the paint has healed for durability, protection and moisture resistance. Many options are available, such as acrylics, oils, waxes, silicones and polyurethanes. They are available as brush-on fluids or in spray cans of aerosol. We recommend researching what is available, especially from specialists in leather such as Tandy, Angelus and Fiebing. When choosing a topcoat, it is essential to ensure that acrylic paints are compatible. There is therefore no quick and easy solution for painting leather “one size fits all,” but there are many options available and testing is the first important step when you decide which option is right for you.
You may be surprised to learn how to paint soft, mixable surfaces like fabric and leather as long as you understand the correct preparation and adhesive application techniques. If you don’t follow the right steps, you probably have problems sticking and holding the paint over time. If it’s difficult to stick paint on a leather surface, there are a few tricks that will help you achieve your goal.
- Get Your Shoes Ready
The first thing you have to do is make sure the shoes are clean regardless of the shoes you want to paint acrylic paint. This isn’t a problem for most new shoes, but if you revamp old ones, give them a good cleaning and let them dry before starting to paint.
- Choose Paint Quality
Renewing your acrylic shoes will always be cheaper than a new pair of shoes, but you don’t have to buy cheap acrylic paint. If you find that you have to repair your paint job by cracking, choose a better paint brand. This is particularly important if you plan to use more than one colour. In this case, you should really stick to a paint brand. Various brands use various ingredients and may not unify properly on your shoes. This means that the various paints can be separated sooner rather than later.
- Apply Thin Layers Of Paint
You might think that you need a thick acrylic layer that is going to last longer, but that’s not the case. It is always better to apply 2 to 3 thin acrylic layers and let them dry completely each layer before the next one is applied. A thinner coating will look more uniform and you will have unpleasant blotches. Shoes are moving a lot, and if you have applied a thick layer of paint on your shoes, it will crack.
- Pay Special Attention To Moving Areas
Your shoes’ toe cap looks most moving. This area flexes in every step, which is usually the first place if cracks appear in your acrylic paint. Paint your shoes through this section to ensure a good coverage. What you should do is paint in the natural direction of the bending that minimises cracking.
- Avoid The Use Of Heat To Dry Speed
One of the biggest errors when you apply acrylic paint to your shoes is to rush through the process. If you’re having an event, you too would like to wear your refurbished shoes the day before. You can certainly take a hairdryer and use the heat to dry your acrylic paint faster, but it will also make the paint more crackable. This is not a task you would like to accomplish. After applying each layer of paint, let the shoe dry air completely. Don’t apply heat. Don’t apply heat.
Seal your hardwork with an acrylic sealant once you are satisfied with your new coloured shoes. The screen protects the paint and maintains it looks good without the telltale cracks. Smoothly and evenly apply the screening agent. Like the paint, you want the dressing substance to dry completely. To complete your shoes and avoid crashing of acrylic paint because of exposure to outside elements, spray a light waterproofing spray cover and you are ready to move into stylish new shoes.
In 1 pt. of water, add 1 oz. of leather bleach. Clean the leather surface with the solution and a wool dauber.
Mix 1 part water-based acrylic and 1 part water solution. Use a wool dauber to apply the diluted paint to leather. Apply a light coat only. Don’t over-sprinkle the leather. Let the leather sit down for about five minutes.
Use a 2-inch paintbrush to apply undiluted water-based acrylic paint. Allow two hours of dryness on the surface. If necessary, apply another coat.
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