Can You Spray Paint Leather Shoes?

One way to show off your creativity is through fashion. Something like a pair of old and worn-out leather shoes can easily make a statement to others with just some splash of color to them. For this reason, we thoroughly investigated whether or not you can spray paint leather shoes.

While it’s not a common thing to do, you can spray paint leather shoes to give them the burst of color and personality that they need. However, it’s not as simple as loading up a spray paint gun and applying the paint to your leather shoes. 

To do this properly, you must have the necessary skill and technique, which you can easily practice with our detailed instructions. In this article, you will learn how to pick what paint to use on your leather shoes and how to spray paint your shoes properly. You will also learn how long the paint can last on your leather shoes and which option is better, brush paint or spray paint.

Spray Painting Leather Shoes

Close-up hands of unrecognizable shoemaker wearing black gloves spraying paint of light brown leather shoes.

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Whether it’s an old pair of leather shoes with cracks or a new pair that doesn’t have enough personality to it, you can spray paint either in any color and design you want. How it turns out is a different matter altogether, especially for a beginner. That’s because you need to understand a few things first before you can start.

First, you can’t just use any kind of paint on the market. Different paints have different adhesion qualities, leading to various results on certain materials.

Second, you need to understand how to spray paint leather shoes. Even if you have the right tools and paint, the result won’t look great without the correct method. Understanding these two things can help you transform your boring leather shoes into a thing of beauty.

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Check this spray paint gun on Amazon.

What Kind Of Paint To Use On Leather Shoes?

Painting leather shoes, flat lay shot.

Some paints will not adhere to the surface of the leather while others are just too rough and abrasive to the material. Nowadays, you can easily buy paint products that list them as leather materials. Some examples are acrylic leather paint, metallic leather paint, pearlescent and glitter leather paint, and leather paint markers.

These paints will help give your leather shoes a consistent finish. Not only that, they’re inexpensive and will not wash away when they come into contact with water. So rest assured that your designs will last for a long time.

Check this leather paint on Amazon.

How To Spray Paint Leather Shoes?

Now that you know which paint products to buy, it’s time for you to learn how to spray paint leather shoes. Spray painting is the easiest method to learn when you want to spice up your leather shoes.

Here are the steps to guide you through it:

Gather The Necessary Equipment/Materials

Before taking action, you must prepare the correct materials and equipment that you will need for this project. These includes:

  • Spray Paint Gun
  • Paint
  • Cotton Balls
  • Acetone
  • Sand Paper
  • Hair Dryer
  • Protective Gloves
  • Safety Goggles
  • Acrylic Sealer
  • Painter’s Tape/Masking Tape
  • Old Newspaper/Cardboard

Prepare The Workspace

The next step that you need to do is to prepare the workspace where you’ll be doing the spray painting. Remove any dirt and debris from the area and cover it with newspaper and cardboard. You can even use an old piece of plastic sheeting for added insurance.

Remove any nearby obstacles and obstructions as well. You’ll also need to cover your walls with newspaper and cardboard if your work area is near a wall to avoid getting paint all over it.

Remove Leather Shoe Top Finish

Next, it’s time to prepare the surface of your leather shoes. This will help the paint stick better and give off a fine finish.

If you own a pair of patent leather shoes, then you will need to rough up the surface with the use of fine sandpaper. Its previous shiny appearance makes it difficult for paint to stick on its surface. Make sure to scrub the entire surface of the shoes until it looks dull in appearance.

If you own a pair of natural leather shoes, you can skip using sandpaper and get on with the next step, which is applying acetone on the surface. By doing this, you can remove any dirt and gunk sticking close to the surface of the shoes. Also, be sure to use pure acetone when cleaning leather shoes.

Dry Out The Leather Shoes

After cleaning, the next step is to let the leather shoes completely dry. This is to ensure that the paint will stick efficiently to the surface of the leather.

Additionally, remove any stray cotton and cloth fiber from the leather shoes. You don’t want any uneven spots when spraying paint that could affect the outcome of the finished product.

Prepare The Leather Shoes For Spray Painting

Once completely dry, it’s time to start taping parts of it that you don’t want paint all over. To do this, you can use painter’s tape to help cover details or designs you don’t want to hide away. Masking tape also works as a substitute.

Additionally, you can stuff the inside of your shoes with crumpled-up newspaper and cardboard. This helps provide structural integrity to the shoes during painting and makes things easier.

Check this painter’s tape on Amazon.

Apply Spray Paint

Next, it’s time to pick up the spray paint and start applying your desired color to the leather shoes. Remember to read through the instructions on the paint you’re using to avoid any mistakes. Keep a distance of at least four to six inches between the shoes and the nozzle of the spray while spray-painting.

Make sure to use long, broad strokes when spraying paint. Keep it as uniform as possible. Let each layer dry for an hour before proceeding to add another on top of it.

This is to avoid ruining your leather shoes. The last thing you want is drips or bubbles to form in certain areas.

Let The Leather Shoes Dry Under The Sun

Lastly, let your leather shoes dry out under the sun after spray painting the last layer. If you’re doing this project at night or the sun is not out, you can use a hair dryer as an alternative.

Make sure to keep them in a stress-free environment to avoid damaging the paint job. Afterward, carefully remove the tape and finish it off with a layer of acrylic sealer to help protect the paint further.

Check this acrylic sealer on Amazon.

How Long Will Spray Paint Stay On Leather Shoes?

Men's fashion leather shoes on shop window.

If you’re planning on adding some color to your leather shoes, there are several factors to how long the paint will stay on. These factors include shoe quality, shoe condition, the type of paint used, and the color of the paint.

All of these affect the longevity of the paint on your pair of leather shoes before you will need to touch them up once more or throw them away. Note that the finished product after spray painting is not for everyday use. No matter how well the project went, it’s only for use during certain events or parties where you want to flaunt your creativity.

Which One Is Better on Leather Shoes: Brush Paint Or Spray Paint?

A pair of luxury brown shoes close up on wood background., Which One Is Better on Leather Shoes: Brush Paint Or Spray Paint?

When painting leather shoes, you can choose between spray painting and brush painting. Both offer distinct advantages that will help you achieve your desired outcome.

If you don’t have any experience painting leather shoes or, you want to show off your creative nature despite lacking in talent when it comes to painting, then spray painting is the way for you to go. All you need to do is tape up certain parts of your leather shoes to create a design and paint all over it with a spray gun.

If you want to add finer details that spray paint can’t do, brush painting is your only option. Using various brushes of different thicknesses, you can achieve various designs and strokes that a spray paint cannot do or will have difficulty in. You can even use a combination of both, spraying paint over the majority of the shoe before adding intricate designs with the use of a brush.

To Wrap Up

An old man hand polishing and painting a black shoe at stall

So, if you’re planning on spicing up your old pair of leather shoes at home, then painting them in an entirely new color is an option that’s available to you. If you’re just starting, then spray painting is the ideal method for you since you don’t have to worry about any unevenness in the paint layers. And if you have experience with painting and want to add fine details to your leather shoes, then you can use a brush.

Before you go, here are some similar articles for you to enjoy:

Can You Spray Paint A Nightstand [And How To]?

Can You Spray Paint Pool Noodles? [And How To]

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