It’s an art and a science to paint sneakers. No matter how talented a shoe artist you are, if you use the wrong paint, the end result will be disappointing.
Leather shoes can’t be painted with plain craft paint. Sooner or later, it always chips, cracks, and peels off.
In contrast to normal acrylic paints, shoe paints have different chemical properties. They’re specially formulated to be flexible and to adhere to porous surfaces such as leather and fabric.
No matter if this is your first time painting sneakers or you’re an old pro, here are our recommendations for the best shoe paint to use.
They’ve been in business since 1907, making them the leader in leather paint.
Using Angelus paint according to the instructions will give you the feel and look of factory-made sneakers, while adding your own colors and designs. People have even painted whole leather couches with their paint, with excellent results!
If this is your first sneaker customization project, we suggest starting out with one of their terrific custom shoe paint kits.
The Starter Shoe Paint Kit comes with:
- Three colors of standard leather paint (your choice);
- Deglazer and leather preparer;
- a set of 5 brushes;
- a sneaker cleaning brush and cleaning solution; and
- an acrylic finisher (your choice of matte or gloss).
On their website, you can add additional paint bottles if you need more than three colors. You can see their entire line of custom sneaker paint colors here.
Even though Plaid Leather Studio Paint doesn’t come in as many colors as Angelus, it is still a very good product. Acrylic leather paint of high quality that performs as well as Angelus paint. It bonds well to leather, remains flexible when dry, and is highly durable for a long-lasting finish.
You can get free 1-day shipping with a Prime membership if you’re in a rush to finish your sneaker customization.
The shoe paint we recommend for suede and untreated leather surfaces is less durable than the other two options. Plasti-Dip is a good tool if you like to customize your shoes regularly.
Plasti-Dip works just like spray paint. The paint is applied thinly so that it will not run. Allow the first coat to dry before applying additional layers.
When you’ve built up a good coat of Plasti-Dip, you’ll have a rubberized color coating sitting on top of the existing surface.
Moreover, the coating is temporary and won’t damage rubber, plastic, or synthetic materials if sprayed on them. You can peel off the Plasti-Dip whenever you want a new look.
Plasti-Dip is not a long-term sneaker customization tool, but rather a low-risk and temporary way to change the look of your kicks. Even casual wear will hold up to Plasti-Dip, as long as you avoid hitting walls, stairs, or other objects with your shoes. Plasti-Dip coatings can last a long time on shoes you wear for exercise or sports, but they won’t last long on athletic shoes.
You can add some color to your kicks using the three paints above. How about it? Get down some newspaper, roll up your sleeves, and paint away!