Can you use acrylic paint on shoes

Acrylic paint is by far one of the most widely available, effective, and inexpensive painting options out there for creators who work on various hard-to-paint surfaces like fabric and leather. kids and teenagers also like to paint their shoes to look cool and trending so find out if acrylics are safe to work with for kids in this post so that they get good designs without any issues and harmful effects.

Fabric and leather in today’s date are not the only two options when it comes to materials used for building footwear. Therefore, painting on canvas, wood, plastic, and sometimes even glass and metal parts needs to be well known and understood in the niche of crafting unique footwear graphics.

The rising trend of painted footwear

Back in the olden days, painted and embroidered footwear was an aristocratic luxury, owning which symbolized great taste and substantial wealth.

We have since moved away from the gatekeeping of artistic apparel and accessories so much so that today not only can everyone access customized items. But they can also have a successful career in creating and selling them.

The recent post-pandemic rise in valuing and supporting independent creators has made it possible for artists to remodel and upgrade new and retro items – sometimes even heavily branded ones – and sell them to happy customers at successful prices.

acrylic painting on shoes

If you like giving new life to any and every shoe you have come across, these times are the optimal ones to turn that into a side hustle.

Why use acrylic paint on shoes: benefits of using acrylic paint

The short answer to the question – can acrylic paint be put on shoes – is yes.

Not only is it possible to use acrylic paint for shoes, but choosing acrylic paint for shoe painting is better than any other alternative available in the market.

There are indeed many different paint types, natural and synthetic, used by various creators all of whom swear by their choices.

Over time even you might switch from acrylic to some of the costlier counterparts. But for beginners acrylic is the greatest option. The reasons for that are many.

Acrylic paint is inexpensive

We have said this before; acrylic paint is quite inexpensive.

Acrylic paint does come in many variations, and it may turn out that you as a creator are required to purchase a costlier one for shoes specifically; even then the cost would be lesser than anything else you could have gone for.

Along with the printed price, its 10-year-long shelf life, as well as the minimum required application for maximum results, make it a very economical option for those who are just starting out.

When used correctly no one will be able to tell

You might wonder how using acrylic paint instead of other options might affect the resultant quality. But that does not happen.

Acrylic paint due to its versatility largely depends on application techniques for the result that it produces. Technically by following certain steps you can achieve with simple tools the kind of effect that you would expect from digital printing or expensive paint.

Telling acrylic paint apart from any other painting style is virtually impossible.

Acrylic paint can be made waterproof

If you were to ask yourself which accessory among all the ones that you would expect yourself to wear on any event or outing, has the hardest time? Which one gets worn out the most? The answer would be shoes.

Shoes lose their color and vibrance more quickly than any other accessory of general use. Surprisingly, however, a good primer and sealant can remove any chances of the color fading out from your shoes, even if the shoes themselves are done with their servitude.

The same paint can be used on multiple surfaces

You will not actually have to purchase different acrylic paints for different surfaces of the shoes you are working on.

Some surfaces might give you a tougher time. For example, in leather, what you will require is a certain add-on chemical to encourage the acrylic paint to stick to the surface. But again you will never need new paint.

Buying different paints for each of the shoes you will be working on can make starting in this field almost impossible.

Acrylic paint is super easy to apply

Compared to other widely used paint types like watercolor and oil paint, acrylic paint is relatively simpler to use.

At the same time, again with the same set of paints, by using the correct ad on or varnish you can achieve detailing like that of oil painting or watercolor painting.

Acrylic paint also does not require you to buy expensive tools and brushes, which are nothing short of a necessity for the other paint types. It is super easy to mix and forms opaque colorations in almost every tone and shade.

Acrylic paint cures very quickly

All paint drawing on any surface goes through two stages – initial drawing and curing. By curing we are basically ceiling the acrylic paint on the object surface. So, we have to take an extra step to ensure the longevity and durability of the product we just created.

Acrylic paint is a fast drawing and fast curing paint. It takes around 4 to 8 hours to dry out depending on the number of coats applied, and only around 3 days to completely cure. Every creator knows what this means; you can sell more products at lesser time intervals. some people also like to bake the acrylic painted shoes in oven for some time to make them dry and cure fully for paint to settle down and become firm without taking too much time.

Acrylic paint is opaque

Acrylic paint is indeed opaque. This means on transparent surfaces the opaque painting can stand out predominantly. At the same time, equally vibrant and impactful paintings can be made on surfaces that are dark on their own.

Opacity also means the visuals will be more alluring and will be observed from afar across the area. Upek paint is very necessary while painting objects of daily use.

Virtually all paints are kind of acrylic

At the end of the day, if you search out the necessary ingredients of shoe painting alternatives available in the market, you will understand virtually all of them are essentially acrylic. It turns out you cannot change that.

They have just incorporated better quality and chemicals that can sustain the paint longer.

acrylic painted shoes different styles

Steps to ensure a good painting process

If you are a beginner and want to try out your hand at a professional painting of shoes, a few simple steps can make the process a hundred times better.

Clean the surfaces

Clean the leather shoe you will be working on without missing out on any crevice or corner. Before beginning, also make sure to clean the surrounding area to the best of your ability and minimize the exposure of your painting studio to dust, air, and heat.

Use the correct tools

You do not need super expensive painting tools for the application of acrylic paint. But at the same time, all your painting brushes and pallets should be properly clean and changed regularly. Old tools are a major cause of improper finishing. You must also keep the correct kinds of cloth, tissue, water, and eraser in case it is required.

Place your subject on a sheet of paper

You cannot preserve your work table from getting colorized or stained forever. But you can still slow down the process by placing your items on waste paper while painting them instead of using your table directly.

Protect the shoe

Not only have you protected your workspace from reckless splashing of paint, but you also have to protect the other parts of your shoe from unnecessary damage. Covering the rest of the shoe with masking tape can be one such way.

Wear old clothes and an apron

Acrylic paint rarely comes off of textiles. Once you have food paint on your clothing there is no way to go back. Always wear comfortable and want-out clothing while painting and use a proper apron to shield and protect your clothes as much as possible.

Apply oil to your nails and hair

Acrylic paint getting on your nails and hair can also cause a big issue. They take forever to come off and can damage your beautiful skin and body tissues. To some extent oiling, your hair and nails can prevent the acrylic paint from settling down on these body parts.

Tie up your hair and put it in a cap

This is an absolute must. To prevent both the damage to your hair caused by paint and at the same time the damage caused to the paint from falling hair, your hair must be tied up (if it is long) and covered properly with a cap.

If possible trim your nails

Our last tip on personal hygiene and safety is to ask our artists to trim their nails. Trimmed nails will prevent excessive build-up of paint on the skin between your nail and finger. And that is a good thing.

Dry your artwork in a hot and non-humid area

Acrylic paint needs a dry and hot atmosphere to dry up quickly. Quick drawing of acrylic paint is great if you want your paint to not fade at all due to environmental stressors.

Always use a primer and a varnish

A primer is a substance applied on the surface before the painting process starts. It makes the surface more receptive to the paint we are about to put on it. Therefore, increasing its durability. A varnished is applied after the painting processes are complete to seal the paint, improve finishing and provide a layer of gloss.

Let the paint cure properly

A great way not to ruin the results of your hard work is to be impatient with the curing process. Letting the paint cure properly is a key step to ensuring long-lasting finishing.

acrylic paint on shoes before and after

How to paint on leather shoes?

Real or faux leather can be quite tricky surfaces to paint. They have a lot of glazes and it often seems impossible for the paint to hold on to the surfaces. But the right tools and the right procedure can get this job done so easily that you will be surprised yourself.

Using acrylic paint specifically built for leather

There are paints in the market which are built for leather surfaces. These are the kinds of paint that you must purchase for painting on leather shoes. They might be a little hard to procure at first. But the success of the project will definitely cause the hard work to pay off. know more about using acrylics on leather in this detailed guide post on our site.

Removing factory glaze from a leather surface

The glazes are particularly the thing that prevents acrylic paint from sticking to the shoe surface. The first step in preparing the surface is to get rid of the factory glaze. Leather glaze can be removed using deglazing chemicals. These often come with the leather acrylic paint kit itself.

Special primers and sealants

Each surface type has its own preferred primer or sealant which works the best on that surface. For hard surfaces to paint like leathers and resins, you need the best quality primer and sealant to protect the durability of the art.

leather-shoes painting with acrylics

How to paint fabric shoes?

Just like leather paint made for leather shoes, there are fabric acrylic paint versions for various textiles. Fabric acrylic paint sticks better and shows more vibrancy on textile surfaces than any other medium.


Textile surfaces can benefit from a bit of sanding. This cleans up the surface and provides extra texture for the artist to work on.

Lacquer thinner

These are special chemicals that can be applied to the fabric. Vinyl, or leather shoes to get rid of any dirt or grease existing on them as an extra measure of cleaning before we start our painting process.

The second coat of paint

Textile surfaces benefit from the second coat of paint. Paint in thin layers and paint it twice.

Adding primer and sealant

The top coat aka the sealant is especially important for the textile paint. Certain sealants can make your painting waterproof and that is exactly what you need for shoes.

fabric shoes painting with acrylics


Painting on shoes can really make them stand out. They are one of the trends which are here to stay for a long time, and painting on pairs of shoes will forever make any outfit an influencer’s creation. find our difference between acrylics and watercolor for painting on your shoes so that you choose the right one for best paint job and stunning shoes afterword’s.


What does sealing do?

A sealant prevents acrylic paint from fading from the surface. It protects the painting from UV rays and harsh weather. It also prevents the flaking or chipping of paintings. They give an extra finishing to the shoe.

How long should I let the shoe dry?

The painted shoe should be allowed to cure for 3 to 4 days before it is tried on or packed and sent to customers.

Are there special kinds of acrylic paint available for Canvas shoes?

The classic kind of acrylic paint used for general painting can also be used on Canvas shoes. In fact, general acrylic paint is the best-suited paint for Canvas shoes and vice versa.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *