Monday, July 28, 2014

Can I Paint Sneakers?

Can I Paint Sneakers?

You can paint your sneakers in almost any design you please, from random splatters to elaborate murals, but it is a slow process with numerous steps. If you are using canvas sneakers, the process is somewhat simpler, but leather sneakers often have a waxy coating that you must remove in order for the paint to permanently stick to the shoe.


    Paintbrushes are a necessity for this project, both the finest one you can find, and a broad one for larger strokes. You will need washcloths and acetone, which is toxic and corrosive, and you must use it with care. Obtain the following additional items: fine-tooth sandpaper, a pencil, acrylic paints, clear acrylic spray, gloves, a drop cloth or old towel, and a cloth or mask to cover your nose and mouth.

Preparing the Sneakers

    Apply acetone to the sneakers by going outside, wearing gloves, dipping a washcloth in the acetone and rubbing it over the surface of the shoes. Once the shoes have dried, vigorously rub sandpaper over the surface of the shoes for several minutes, in order to make the material rougher and more ready to grab the paint.

Drawing Your Design

    Before you paint, draw your design onto the sneakers with a pencil. Bend and flex the shoes to see where the cracks are when you walk -- avoid these areas in your design because the paint will crack. If you are not confident in your free-form artistic abilities, you can purchase stencils of images such as celestial bodies or hearts.

Painting Techniques

    Put enough white paint onto a fine brush so that it only drips if you shake the brush. Make tiny white dots with plenty of space between them inside the penciled lines of your drawing. Wait for it to dry, and then paint more white dots between the previous dots. Repeat this process until you have filled the drawing in with white. After it dries, you can use your colored paints to create your design on the shoe.


    Allow your sneakers to dry for a full day, preferably in sunlight. Place a drop cloth outside and put your sneakers on it. Cover your nose and mouth with a mask, and spray a very thin layer of acrylic onto the shoes. Allow them to dry for an hour, and then repeat. Let the sneakers dry for a day, and then spray them again, wait an hour, and spray them one final time. The spray will add a gloss finish that protects the paint.

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