How to customize your shoes ?

Categories : Custom Shoes , Tips

Follow our complete guide to customize your shoes and discover the essential you need to paint on all kind of sneakers, using all the material and paints. Create some unique customized shoes, with the right process to paint on leather, suede or fabric.

Supplies you need to customize shoes

What paint to customize your shoes ?

To paint and customize your shoes, or sneakers, we recommend to use a flexible paint that doesn't peel or crack. The leather paints are the best kind of paint for the customization, as they are made to resist over time.

If you are a beginner or simply want to have the best quality for the best price, we recommend water based paints that doesn't need paint additives for fabrics or plastic comparing to other brands. The SneakArts paint can be diluted with water to dye your shoes, or customize fabric, plastic and more. 

Mixing the paint or adding a paint additive can take time when you customize, but also can get very expensive if you work on a multitude of surfaces.

What material you need to the customize shoes ?

To make a customization on shoes, you will need a leather preparer or dissolvent, brushes, masking tape, and also finisher to protect the paint once you will finish your customization. 

Take a glass of water to clean your brushes regularly and organize your work space to avoid dirtying your clothes (feel free to wear an apron).

Materiel pour customiser ses chaussures

How to prep shoes for customization ?

When you paint on leather, it’s highly recommended to prepare the surface, to have the best resistance possible. It’s one of the most important step.

How to remove the factory finish ?

Use a cotton pad with the dissolvent (leather preparer or acetone) to remove most of the factory varnish. If you don’t do this prep before customizing your shoes, your paint will crack or peel.

For better results, especially on sensitive areas such as the front / lateral sides of the shoes, or on grained leather, we highly recommend to use sandpaper (grain 400) to have a smooth and homogeneous surface and make the paint stick.

Dégraisser ses chaussures

How to prep the leather ?

Once you removed the factory finish, you need to clean the dusts using the dissolvent again with a cotton pad.

Make sure the dissolvent is completely dry before you start customizing your shoes. 

Dégraisser ses chaussures

How to paint on shoes ?

Now, it’s time to paint ! The SneakArts Paint is fluid and ideal to use on leather with a paint brush or even an airbrush.

Peindre ses chaussures

Painting shoes with paint brushes

We recommend you to apply thin layers instead of big coats to makes the paint more resistant and elastic.

Most of the time you'll need 2 to 3 coats for a homogeneous result. Always make sure the paint is dry between each coat. You can dry the paint using a hair dryer for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Painting on shoes with an airbrush

With our paints, you can also customize your shoes with an airbrush. The paint is fluid and works perfectly with all kind of airbrush and head.

No need to buy paint additives, you can simply add water in case you want to make it more fluid.

To learn more, we recommend to read our article dedicated to airbrushing.

Utiliser un pochoir

Protect your customized shoes

Once your customization on leather is done, you need to protect your art and colors using a varnish / finisher. 

Which top coat to use ?

SneakArts provides 2 different top coat / finisher : a matte and a glossy one depending on the final sheen you want for your customization.

The matte finisher will be more natural, and the glossy one will give you a shiny finish on your shoes.

We recommend waiting 24 hours after your customization is done before you apply a finisher.

How to seal the paint on shoes ?

The final step when you customize shoes is to seal the paint using a top coat or finisher that protects the colors.

We recommend you to smoothly apply thin layers and to not insist on your paint brushes. 

The top coat can also be applied with an airbrush.

In both case, we recommend to apply 3 coats.

Now you know how to customize your shoes and get the best possible results using our paint. In case you want to customize canvas shoes or sneakers, you can learn more in our videos and articles.

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