Depending on the materials you're working with, you'll have to use different methods and materials to ensure your custom sneaker design lasts as long as possible without chipping, cracking, or peeling.
To demonstrate how to paint mesh, plastic, and dye soles, Jake from @visionarykickz created a custom Air Max 720 tutorial. Follow along to learn the proper way to paint soft materials and customize translucent soles.
Customizing Air Max 720 with Angelus Paints & Dyes
To get started, you'll just need a few basic materials:
- Angelus Acrylic Leather Paint
- Angelus Leather Dye
- Angelus Sole Bright
- Angelus Leather Preparer and Deglazer
- Angelus Paint Brush Set
- Angelus 2-Soft
- Angelus 2-Hard
- Masking Tape
- Heat gun
Once you get your materials, follow these steps to create your own custom leather clothing.
Prep is the most important step of any custom project. Prepping the shoe properly helps ensure the paint adheres to the shoe and doesn't wear easily.
First, use Angelus Preparer & Deglazer and a cotton pad to wipe down and prep the midsole on the Air Max 720s. Since the upper is made of mesh, you don't need to use this to remove the factory finish as you normally would with leather shoes.
Then, use masking tape to tape off the areas of the shoe that you don't want to paint in the next step. This includes the translucent soles and the hard overlays on the upper.
2. Painting Mesh
After prepping the shoe, you can start painting the mesh upper. For these customs, Jake used Hot Pink and Light Blue paint for a cotton candy colorway.
Since we're painting mesh, which is a soft, porous material, you need to use Angelus 2-Soft to ensure the paint adheres and remains flexible. Use a 1:1 ratio of paint to 2-Soft to prevent the fabric from hardening after the paint sets.
Once the paint is prepared, use an airbrush to carefully apply several thin layers of paint, making sure to let each layer dry before adding another. Use a heat gun at 300 degrees for three to five minutes to set the paint.
3. Dyeing Soles
After you finish painting the upper, you can remove the masking tape to dye the soles. For translucent soles, we recommend a 1:1 ratio of Angelus Dye to Angelus Sole Bright. For these customs, the artist used Light Blue and Rose Dye.
Use a paintbrush to apply light and even coats, allowing each coat to fully dry. Be careful not to oversaturate the brush so the dye doesn't bleed onto other areas of the shoe.
Allow the dye to fully dry, then use a cloth to wipe down the soles with alcohol or warm water and soap to remove excess dye. You may need to repeat this process a couple of times to get full coverage.
4. Painting Plastic
To finish the customs, Jake used Flat White paint to paint the plastic Nike logos on the shoe's midsection.
Whereas 2-Soft helps paint adhere to soft fabrics, 2-Hard helps paints adhere to hard materials like plastic. Mix 2-Hard with your acrylic paint to ensure a strong, long-lasting finish.
More Custom Tutorials
If you want to see more custom tutorials like this one, make sure to subscribe to the Angelus YouTube channel to learn tips and techniques from more experienced sneaker artists.