How to Paint Leather Shoes Like a Professional Artist With Simple Methods

Do you ever find your white or black leather shoes boring? Why don’t you change their appearance by learning to paint leather shoes with acrylic paint? You don’t need to be a professional painter or shoe maker to paint leather boots. If you already have an idea for your shoes, follow this article on how to paint leather shoes to get excellent results.


Before painting leather shoes, you need to prepare:

  • Acetone: You can find the type of acetone to remove coatings on leather shoes at some shoe stores. Be sure to buy the right one (this is not the same as acetone that you use for removing nail polish)
  • Acrylic leather paint: Acrylic paint is flexible and easy to apply on leather. It does not discolor and is fairly inexpensive.
  • Acrylic Finisher: Use acrylic finisher as the last layer to protect your new shoe color.
  • Paper towel
  • Masking tape
  • Paint brushes (at least two different sizes)

03 Steps to Paint Leather Shoes

Step 1: Prepare the leather shoes

Before painting leather boots, you must clean them to remove any dirt and stains. The cleaner your shoes are, the better result for painting will be.

Use masking tape to cover all the areas that you don’t want to paint. The purpose is to avoid paint stains on said areas during the painting process. You should use the blue 3M masking tape as it is easy to peel off after painting.

When the covering process is done, start working on the areas that you want to paint. Use acetone to remove the polish and coatings anytime you want to make a change. After applying acetone, scrub with paper towels. Do not wait until the acetone has dried, as this will make it more difficult to remove. Keep scrubbing until you see that the polish is no longer coming off the towels. Remember that this step is very important to your success in the next steps!

Pro tip: White leather shoe paint will be easier as you don’t need to remove the existing coatings, like painting on a white paper.

Step 2: Leather shoes painting

Leather shoe painting is easy. Just like painting on paper, you can start with dipping the paint brush on acrylic leather paint and applying on the shoes. Use the large brush first to cover the large areas, then change to a smaller one later.

If your shoes are dark leather and you want to cover with a lighter color, you may need to paint multiple layers. White paint on black shoes will require four to five layers, but other colors will only require two to three coats. It depends on the color you choose and the original color of the shoes.

Pro tip: Between each layer, let the painting dry for at least 15 minutes. It won’t work if you paint continuously while the old layer is wet because you will have to reapply many times. Also, keep in mind that several thin layers will be better than a single thick layer.

If you want to be more creative with the shoes, draw on them with a pencil first. Then, because the paint colors will be different, paint the sketched shapes before moving on to other areas.

Step 3: Finish painting with Acrylic Finisher

Remove the masking tape from other areas once you’ve completed the last layer of painting. You should not peel them off when the last coat is completely dry, because the tape can remove a piece of new color and it takes time to repaint.

Acrylic paint itself is quite glossy, so when the painting is done, your shoes will have a semi-gloss appearance. However, for the best look, you should apply acrylic finisher once the painting is completely dry. Use another clean brush to apply the finisher and let the shoes dry in a ventilated room for 24 hours.

After one day, you can return to your leather shoes, which now have a completely different appearance that is more appealing than the original. To ensure that the shoes are good to go, test them. Go out and get compliments on your creation from your friends!


It’s not as difficult as you might think to paint leather sneakers. With a little imagination and perseverance, you can have a new pair of shoes without spending money on another pair. You can also make a unique version of your shoes in colors that the shoe brand may not even offer.

Now is the time to put what you have read in this article on how to paint leather shoes to practice! Hope you will have a wonderful experience!

5/5 – (3 votes)