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How to Paint Leather Shoes

Updated: Oct 20, 2021

Each shoe is made of a different Fabric. Today I would like to provide you with enough words to prep your sneakers! You can't have a good custom without good preparation.


Why do we prepare the fabric?

Every leather shoe has a finisher on the top layer. In order for your new paint to adhere to the shoes you need to wipe this layer off. This helps with many things including your paint cracking and peeling. The main reason you should always prep your shoes is you are creating wearable art which needs to last.


What do you need to prep?

There are a few ways to prep your leather but I only ever use one way which works for me and all you need for this method is Acetone and some Cotton Balls. Acetone is essentially a strong version of Nail Polish remover. You can buy this at a hardware store as well as stores like Deckle Edge and Game. Cotton balls are everywhere but the best place to find something like this at a really low price would be China Town. I usually go to the one in Sable Square as they have the most stores, meaning there are more options in terms of pricing. An alternative store would be Dischem or Clicks.


Where do you start?

Before starting I recommend working in a well ventilated area to avoid breathing in the fumes. Acetone is a very strong substance and if you do not have a proper ventilation mask you will need to do this outside or near a window. Safety first! To start off you want to remove the laces from your sneakers so you can handle shoes a lot better and not get any paint or acetone on your laces. Take one cotton ball and dip this in your acetone. You will then proceed to rub the areas you will be painting. If you are painting the entire shoe you will need to clean the entire shoe and if it is only something like a Nike Swoosh then only rub that specific area. Once you have covered the area, go over this a few times. Allow 10 minutes of drying time between each session.


What is it meant to look like?

You are looking for a sticky surface. Before making your shoes look pretty you need to make them look ugly! You will notice the color fading a bit as you can see on the image below. This will not happen on the entire shoe but only sections. If you have reached this point then you are ready to paint!


I would love to hear from you if this was helpful! Message me on Instagram @lindens_customs and show me what you've created !


Thanks for reading and keep Creating!







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