Unbeknownst to me, my daughter wanted Customized Sunflower Sneakers for quite some time. To be honest, I didn’t know custom painted shoes were a thing until my sister mentioned them. Since I’ve been painting with acrylics for over 30 years, it wasn’t a stretch to paint shoes with acrylic paints. I had a great time painting them and plan to make more!
Materials for Customized Sunflower Sneakers
- KSwiss Leather Shoes
- paper towels
- paints- Apple Barrel 20432E Nutmeg, 20403 White, 20404 Black, 20471E Bright Yellow, 20760E Kings Gold
- brushes- 1/4″ angle brush, small round brush, 0/0 liner brush
- Delta Textile Medium
- Plaid Acrylic Gloss Sealer (many people prefer a matte finish for leather shoes)
First of all, prep your surface. There are many tutorials on the internet for painting leather shoes. I read a few, then chose the products that I thought were best. Different brands of shoes and leather products yield different results. You can read general tips on painting leather with acrylics here. I mixed my paints with small amounts of textile medium. Leather is NOT a textile, but I chose to use a textile medium to thin the paint a little bit and prevent bleeding. I used vinegar on a paper towel to clean the leather surface first. You can use vinegar, alcohol, a $2 bottle of acetone fingernail polish remover from Walmart, or a commercial deglazer like the one below:
I plan to order all my leather/shoe paints from Angelus in the future, but purchase acetone, sealer, and paint brushes from Walmart. Don’t forget to use textile/fabric medium when painting canvas shoes! It isn’t a necessity with leather shoes like these, even though I chose to use it. *I am an Amazon Associate. Bloggers like me receive small percentages of each sale.
Once your surface is prepped, trace around a dime to create a flower center pattern on each front side of the shoe, and two on the back. I used the trim and seams on the shoes as guideposts for centering and placement. See how I aligned the dime with the edge of the ribbing in the leather?
Paint the stripes with the 1/4″ angle brush and Bright Yellow. I applied about 6 thin coats of paint and heat bonded it with the hair dryer. I found lots of tips for shoe painting supplies in the video below:
Use the round brush and a mixture of Nutmeg and White to paint the flower centers. You will need several coats of each color in this process. Mix Kings Gold and Bright Yellow along with the 1/4″ angle brush.
Add some detail to the petals with Nutmeg and the liner brush.
Add Black seeds (they’re really just dots) with the liner brush, then White highlights.
Finish with several coats of Acrylic Sealer. I used gloss, but most people prefer matte for leather shoes. I’m definitely purchasing matte for the sneakers I sell in my new Etsy Store.
I hope you enjoyed my Customized Sunflower Sneakers Tutorial!
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