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How to start customizing Shoes!

Updated: Aug 5, 2021

I've made it super simple to start customizing sneakers in Cape Town and anywhere in your local neighborhood. In this blog post I will share with you exactly what I do at Lindens Customs and how to get started with your first pair of Hand Painted Shoes!


Where do I start?

If you are reading this blog then you have already started. It seems like such a daunting thing at first. You watch Youtube videos and you see all these amazing artists on Instagram with unlimited amounts of Paint, Airbrush machines, stencil makers and incredible talent, not to mention the high quality videos and photography. The best thing to do here is to simply start. That is why you are here. So lets get started!

First things First

Youtube is your best friend. Soak in all you can and become obsessed. This is where you will learn all the basics and so much more before you even touch a paint brush. Get yourself acquainted with the custom sneaker world, the paints being used, the materials they work on and the basic fundamentals. This will get you ready for your first project.

What Paint should you use?

The Paint I recommend using is Angelus Acrylic Leather Paint. After doing extensive research I have found that the best artists were using this specific paint. I currently only use Angelus paint as it works amazing for me and I trust the product after testing it on my own shoes before creating for others. I hands down recommend investing in this paint when you start. The reason I would like you to start with this paint is because you will eventually need to upgrade to this paint if you would like to create long lasting work that is not only durable but waterproof and heat resistant. You will also want to start with this because you will eventually have to learn how to paint using Angelus instead of some other acrylic or fabric paint. What I mean by this is the consistency of Angelus paint is a lot different to other paints. You will find that it is a lot thinner and easier to work with. If you are just starting out and reading this blog I recommend you check out some tutorials and videos on my Instagram page on how I make use of Angelus Paint.

The Bare Necessities


This is what I started with. I got myself some Angelus Paint. What you will need is Black, White and if you like , a color of your choice. Something like Gift Box blue , or even one of the primary colors would be a good third color to grab. So this puts you at 3 colors. If you have a little bit more money I would recommend the primary colors, white and black. There are 2 types of White and Black. There is your standard set of Black and White paint and then there is your Flat Black and Flat White. The difference between flat and regular is that flat has a bit of "duller" mixed in your regular color to create more of a Matte effect. Starting out you could get either one. I recommend "Flat" as it gives more of a finished look but it is not a necessity. Primary colors are the best options after Black and White because you can mix them to create almost any other color you would need using these. If you are in Cape Town you can find all of the above at PnA Canal Walk or The Deckle Edge in Woodstock. If you are wanting to purchase bigger bottles or you do not have a store near you that stocks Angelus paint, visit their website called Angelus Direct.

Paint Brushes

Paint brushes can be very intimidating and complex at times. You are just starting out so here is what I recommend. Get yourself a fairly big brush to cover big areas. Bear in mind you are painting shoes so the word big is around the size of your thumb. Get yourself a smaller version of this . The bristles on these brushes will be flat and wide. Lastly get yourself a thin detailing brush to do thin lines. This will be enough for now however if you have the money you could invest in a few more sizes. If you have come this far in your journey I imagine you have an idea of what you would like to create as your first custom so shop accordingly.


There are a few things you will need to complete your shopping mission! Get yourself some masking tape. This is what you will need to mask off any parts of the shoe you will not be painting. Think of this like painting the walls. You will need to paint your edges without overlapping onto the ceiling. This is called Prep Work. This next thing you will need to complete your prep work is Acetone and Cotton Pads/balls. I have a video on this on my Youtube Channel so be sure to check that out. Acetone can be found at a local hardware store however it would be great to grab everything at your local art store so check there first. You can also email me or drop a message on my Social media! A paint tray/pallet is a definite help when mixing paint and you can pick those up for super cheap.

Finding shoes to Paint

I started with my own pair of shoes. If you don't have a pair of old shoes to paint I recommend asking friends and family if they have an old pair of shoes they were wanting to part with. These will give you the experience of painting on different fabrics and materials. If you have a budget to purchase sneakers you could check out Facebook Marketplace. This is where you will find secondhand shoes as well as brand new shoes. You can find some steals on there as well as replica shoes you could practice on. Due to the drop in sales caused by the pandemic, retail stores are also having massive sales on shoes to clear out stock. You can also check out your nearest outlet/factory stores for bargains.

You are ready!

Grab your paint and start creating! Thank you for reading my very first blog. I have so much to share with you all and I can not wait for you to start your first custom shoe. Message me and let me know how it goes! Good luck!


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