What is the best technique to paint leather shoes?

Please offer suggestions on the best techniques you've tried, including preparation, paints, finishing process. Also, have you ever used dyes rather than paint?

flyingpuppy6 years ago
The best stuff I've used is porcelaine paint. It does not chip off but instead creases along with the shoe. I've done several styles of painted leather shoes
Z..8 years ago
I bought a pair of shoes that I liked at a low price because they were a lilac colour-and suede! I used JS acrylic paint in white, and then let them dry. The nap had now flattened,-they were smooth leather! I then slathered them with clear shoe polish, and buffed it up. It worked!

It was so successful, I bought another pair and did them tan!

The only disclaimer is:
(1) to be careful if you are planning this with designer shoes and want a no risk solution.
(2) the white pair showed some colour through after 3 years of seasonal (winter shoes), wearing.

I just cleaned of the polish, and repainted.
Joe Martin8 years ago
Acrylic paint is quite flexible and spray on clear coat should do suffice. This wouldn't be permanent and would wear off quite quickly due the the nature of leather as mentioned below. There's always a sharppie ;)
mikeasaurus8 years ago
Any paint that you put on leather will chip off. Leather is a soft material and is flexed regularly when you walk. Any paint that is near these flex areas (side of shoe where toe connects to foot) will chip off. If it's for ornamental purposes then I'd suggest a light sanding of the entire area to be painted, apply a thin latex primer, followed by a few coasts of latex paint. If they are to be wearable shoes your best bet is to use a dye. You'll need to strip the shoe of any treatment it has received (wax, oil coating), and apply the dye. Alternatively, if you're looking for a slight augmentation to an existing colour (eg. darker brown from an already brown shoe) they sell shoe polish that may darken your shoes and have a really professional look! Good luck!