How To Seal Acrylic Paint On Shoes?

(Last Updated On: March 31, 2021)



If you have a comfortable pair of shoes that could use a refresh, you can use acrylic paint to give them a new look. You can also create a one-of-a-kind template by painting on it. Maybe you were given a pair of simple shoes that you’d like to spice up a bit.

Although acrylic paint is a fantastic medium for painting shoes, it does have one disadvantage. Acrylic paint tends to crack over time. You can follow these excellent tips on keeping acrylic paint from cracking on shoes with a little bit of planning and aftercare.

Get Your Shoes Ready

Regardless of the type of shoes you choose to paint with acrylic paint, the first step is to make sure they are clean. Most new shoes won’t have this problem, but if you’re repurposing old ones, give them a thorough cleaning and let them dry completely before you begin painting.

Use High-Quality Shoe Paint

Use High-Quality Shoe Paint

It’s often cheaper to revamp your shoes with acrylic paint than to purchase a new pair, but not if you buy cheap acrylic paint. Choose a better brand of paint if you need to redo your paint job due to cracking. If you’re going to use more than one painting, this is particularly crucial. You can use only one brand of paint in this situation. Different labels use different ingredients, which may or may not mix well on your shoes. As a result, the various paints can separate sooner rather than later.

Using Thin Coats Of Paint

Using Thin Coats Of shoe Paint

You will believe that a thick layer of acrylic paint would make your shoes last longer, but this is not the case. It’s best to add two to three thin layers of acrylic paint and let each one dry completely before moving on to the next. A thinner coating would appear more smooth, and you will have fewer unsightly blotches. Shoes move a lot, and a thick coat of paint on them will break.

Pay Special Attention To Moving Area

The toe cap of your shoes is the part that moves the most. For each stage, this area flexes, and if cracks occur in your acrylic paintwork, this is typically the first place they appear. To ensure full coverage, paint over this portion of your shoes. Painting in the normal direction of the flexing can help to prevent cracking.

Don’t Use Heat To Speed Up The Drying Process

One of the most common mistakes people make when painting their shoes with acrylic paint is to rush the process. If you have a special occasion coming up and want to wear your new shoes, it’s too late the day before. Sure, you can use the heat from a hairdryer to speed up the drying process, but this will make the acrylic paint more vulnerable to cracking. This is not a task to be accomplished. Enable the shoe to air dry completely after each coat of paint has been applied. Heat should not be used.

Complete The Deal

Seal your handiwork with an acrylic sealant until you’re satisfied with your freshly coloured shoes. Without the telltale cracks, the sealant will cover the paint and keep them looking nice for much longer. Smoothly and uniformly apply the sealant. The sealant, like the paint, should be allowed to dry fully. Spray a thin coat of waterproofing spray on your shoes to finish them off and keep the acrylic paint from cracking due to exposure to the elements, and you’re ready to step out in your new shoes.

Acrylic paint is a fantastic medium. Colours are brighter and more vivid than watercolours, but you can also dilute them for a layered, muted look. They’re less expensive than oils, and they don’t have any unpleasant odours. They’re better used with low-cost brushes.

Since using acrylics, we must clean the brushes with soap and water, but otherwise, cleanup is a breeze. Please wait for it to dry before peeling it away. Since it dries too easily, the expression “as much fun as watching paint dry” does not apply.

Some artists also apply a retardant to their acrylics to keep them wetter for longer to work with them more effectively. Of course, since it dries quickly, you can easily paint over something you don’t want. “We don’t make mistakes, we just have happy minor accidents,” says Bob Ross. However, there are moments when you want to hide an accident. Perhaps you’ve considered painting a shoe with acrylic paint. You may have seen DIY crafters on YouTube and Pinterest decorate shoes with original artwork and want to try it if you’d like your running shoes to be decorated with your favourite team’s colours.

A Quick Description Of Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint is acrylic in a liquid form. Acrylic polymer emulsion is the scientific term for it. I discovered shortly acrylic paint after German chemist Dr Otto Rohm invented acrylic resin. In 1934, it granted him and his partner, Otto Haas, a patent for the first functional acrylic resin dispersion. Under the brand name Magna Paint, Leonard Bocour and Sam Golden mixed in some mineral spirits and invented modern acrylic paint. They introduced these to the market in the 1950s and quickly became very popular. Acrylic paint began as household paint, but professional artists recognised its promise. The bright colours of acrylic paint influenced Roy Lichtenstein to produce pop art paintings reminiscent of the Ben-Day dots scheme popular in comic books. Abstract expressionists like Bridget Riley, Mark Rothko, and Helen Frankenthaler were drawn to the dense texture and bright colours. Campbell’s Soup Cans by Andy Warhol is possibly the most popular acrylic painting ever made. For silk-screening techniques like those used by Robert Rauschenberg, they may combine acrylic paint with a fabric medium. Everything about this contemporary substance appeals to very contemporary artists.

Canvas Is The Best Canvas

Canvas & Acrylic Paint

In the art world, the term “canvas” has come to mean something artists apply for their work. A tattoo artist might refer to human skin as a canvas, whereas a muralist might refer to a brick wall. However, if you want to paint shoes, you can use the material for which the old school canvas was called. Otherwise, the paint will not stick to the surface unless it is spotlessly clean. Although acrylic paints are specifically designed for leather, most commercially available acrylic paints work best on woven canvas. Of course, there is a major distinction between canvas shoes and canvas that has been installed for painting. A typical artist’s canvas is spread extremely tight, tightly, and uniformly. Shoes made of canvas are designed to be loose, flexible, and comfortable. To compensate, fill the shoes with wads of paper and wadded-up plastic bags until the surface you want to paint on is reasonably solid. It’s time to prime the surface after you’ve stuffed your shoe, removed the laces, and covered everything you don’t want to be sprayed with masking tape. The safest choice is to use gesso. Avoid using a form with a high calcium carbonate content because the resulting film will dry to a brittle surface that will crack easily. Apply the gesso thinly, making sure there are no clumps. This will avoid cracking as well as improve adhesion. Before painting, let the gesso dry completely.

What Kind Of Paint Should I Buy?

Acrylic paint comes in two varieties: artist quality and student quality. The key distinction is the cost. The standard of the student is less costly. The price disparity is because student quality does not come in as many colours as artist quality, and artist quality is made from a finer ground pigment.

The artist’s quality paints have a finer consistency that makes layering and mixing simpler, and the colours are more vivid. However, it must be stated that the artist, not the paints, determines the consistency of the finished product. Remember that Picasso was known to paint with nothing more than a paper plate and some pizza sauce on occasion, and Giulia Bernardelli uses coffee. While there are ten basic acrylic colours, you can get by with only cadmium red, cadmium yellow, phthalo blue, titanium white, and ivory black. If you don’t want your reds and pinks to be too orangey, use alizarin crimson. Burnt sienna is a decent choice for an earth sound. You’ll find that a little ivory black goes a long way, but your titanium white may need to be replaced regularly. When not in use, always remember to cap your paints. Acrylics with a thicker body have a buttery feel. They’re perfect for mixing and making washes, but getting those thin layers, you need for shoe painting can be difficult unless they’re heavily watered down. For painting shoes, fluid acrylics are preferable. They have a slightly thick consistency than watercolour and are ideal for fine details and dry brushwork.

Get cracking But Don’t Overdo It!

Acrylic paint is naturally flexible, but it can crack in some circumstances. To keep your creative footwear looking fine, follow these guidelines. It should be noted that Rome was not founded in one day. Take your time and make yourself perfect. The best way to avoid cracking acrylic paints is to start with thin layers. Apply a thin layer, wait until it is dry, and then apply another layer.

Brushstrokes should be even and short. Please take your time. You can’t hurry this if you want it to look fine. To offer a better illusion of depth, some artists choose to start with the background and work their way to the foreground, but it might be better to start with lighter colours and use the darker colours for touch-ups. Thin layers can also be used to fill in gaps and restore fading colours. Don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t seem to be working at first. Only keep driving. As required, consult your guide, and remember to paint what you see, not what you think you see. Another good tip for avoiding cracking is to paint the toe box in an across-the-toes direction. This is the most flexed part of the body. If the paint flexes in the same direction as the shoe, the chances of cracking are minimised. Some people believe that combining different brands of paint results in a product that cracks easily. Choose a brand that you like and stick with it. Always remember to let your layers dry completely before continuing to work on them. Acrylic, on the other hand, dries rapidly. Don’t use a hairdryer to speed things up! Paint can crack if it is exposed to too much heat. Your shoes should be dried in an area with plenty of ventilation but not too much heat. Apply an acrylic sealer after you’ve finished. Applying a waterproofing spray is also a smart idea. Always remember to spray in short, sharp bursts. If you drag the paint can go over your shoes when spraying, the paint can smear. You’re not spraying for bugs; you’re making a seal! Choose a spot, spray two short bursts, then carry on and repeat. Yeah, you will have to take your time here as well. It will be well worth the effort. Cover every last detail, right down to the smallest crevices.


It’s possible to make a fun art project out of painting your shoes. Who doesn’t enjoy wearable art? It will take some time and meticulous attention, but it is possible. There is no set schedule for this. Unwind and take pleasure in the process. Tell them your age if they ask how long it took you to make them. That’s how long it took you to get to that level of proficiency.



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