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Angelus Tutorials: How to Paint Smooth Gradients

Recently Miles Costales dropped by Angelus to demo just how to create a smooth gradient. Whether you're using a gradient as a background or the main effect, doing it in an even way will give your customs that professional look.

For this tutorial he's showing us how to create a gradient on some summer themed slides. An airbrush is an easy way to make sure the finish is smooth, but Miles is going to show us how to achieve the same effect with paint brushes

1. Prep

Prepare the shoe for painting by removing any finish with Leather Preparer and Deglazer. Once the finish is removed, tape off any areas that you don't want to paint.

2. Base Coat

Miles uses the Angelus Paint Brush #10 Shader and Angelus White Paint to create a base for his design. It takes about ten to twelves coats of white paint to get a solid base.

3. Tape the Lines

More tape is used to tape off the lines for this design, so there are white lines in background.

4. Painting the Gradient

Just as many thin layers were used to create the base coat, thin layers are key to creating an even gradient. Miles mixes his colors, in this case reds, oranges and yellows for a sunset, then applies them from left to right, working quickly while they are still wet to help them blend. Use the brush to blend between each color.

5. Palm Tree Design

To add the palm tree design over the gradient sunset use a stencil or paint your own design in black. Use a fine brush for this kind of detail work.

6. Finish

Protect your work with some Matte Acrylic Finisher and remove the tape to reveal a custom pair of sunset themed slides with a smooth gradient.

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.

Also, make sure to follow Angelus on Instagram and check out our online store to grab the materials you need to create your own custom designs!

Airbrushing Basics


The first step in any project is prep, which with airbrushing means getting the right supplies and taking the proper steps to make sure the rest of the painting process goes smoothly. Once you have sandpaper, a paint strainer, Angelus Leather Preparer and Deglazer, scouring pads and cotton balls you're ready to start.

Lightly sanding leather shoes with a 400, 800 or 1,500 grit sandpaper will help roughen up the surface so the paint can better adhere. 

Angelus Leather Preparer and Deglazer applied with a scouring pad and then a cotton ball should help further remove anything on the shoes surface. 

Any parts of the shoe that you don't want to paint will need to be taped off. New Angelus Paints should be ready to use with an airbrush, but if you have older paint that needs to be thinned you can add 2-Thin. Try to get the paint to a milk like consistency, then put it through a strainer to make sure there are no lumps.

Once your shoe is painted with your design, remove the tape and clean up any areas with excess paint using a toothpick. To set the design use your airbrush to apply a finisher in your desired finish.

Click here to find all the supplies you need for your next airbrushing project.

Custom Sneaker Tutorial: Cyberpunk 2077 Nike Blazers

Announced all the way back in 2012, Cyberpunk 2077  is finally being released after nearly a decade of anticipation.

CyberPunk 2077 Nike Blazers | Custom Angelus Paint Shoes

To commemorate the occasion, Bryan from @swellguycustoms stopped by to put together a tutorial demonstrating how to create a custom pair of Cyberpunk-themed Nike Blazers.

Check out the tutorial on YouTube for a detailed walkthrough, and read on for a quick overview on how to create your own custom Blazers.

Removing the Nike Swoosh

For these customs, Bryan created a custom Nike Swoosh to match the Cyberpunk aesthetic, and to do that, you need to start by removing the outside Swoosh from both shoes.

Remove Nike Swoosh

Use a detail knife to cut the stitching that attaches the Swooshes to the shoes, but be careful not to cut the surface.

After removing the Swooshes, you can use tweezers or nail clippers to remove the leftover frayed threads.

Removing the Factory Finish

Just like with any other custom project, it's important to prep the shoe before painting to make sure the paint adheres to the shoe and doesn't easily chip, peel, or crack.

Shoe Prep

To remove the factory finish from the Blazers, use a cotton swab and Angelus Leather Preparer & Deglazer to rub all of the areas that you intend to paint. This will create a clean finish for you to apply your custom design.

Before moving on, you can also tape off the midsole to prevent paint from getting on any unwanted areas.

Painting the Customs

After prepping, it's time to start painting the base of the shoes. For these customs, Bryan laid down a base layer of Pale Yellow paint, and on top of that, used a custom mixture of Thunder Yellow and Neon Sunset Yellow


Note: Since we're using an airbrush for this portion, you can mix four parts of Angelus paint with one par Angleus 2-Thin to make it easier for the paint to pass through the airbrush.

painting the upper heel

For the upper heel, use a brush to apply a base layer (or a few layers, if necessary) of pink, and follow it up with a mixture of Chili Red, Raspberry, and Jamaican Joy.

Creating a Custom Swoosh

Now, it's time to create the custom glitch effect for Nike Swoosh. Start by taping over the area where the original Nike Swoosh was, then use a pencil to trace the Swoosh on the tape using the leftover stitching holes.

Creating a Custom Swoosh

After tracing the Swoosh, use it as a reference to draw your custom glitch effect. To get the glitch effect, you want certain parts of your sketch to be jutting out of the Swoosh and other jutting into the original Swoosh.

Cut the Stencil

Next, use a detail knife to carefully cut out your stencil. Then, you can use an airbrush to paint the custom Swoosh with a mixture of Pale Blue and Neon Bahama Blue.

Outlining the Swoosh

Finally, peel the stencil off and use the same red mixture you used for the upper heel to outline the custom Swoosh, creating a clean drop shadow effect to give the design some depth. Do the same to the Swooshes on the inside of the shoes to create a more cohesive design.

Using Suede Dye

Nike Blazers also have suede patches on the toe and on the side above the midsole, so to make these patches match the rest of the shoe, you'll need to dye them using yellow suede dye.

Suede Dye

You can use a paintbrush to apply the dye to the suede patches, but be careful as suede dye is a permanent alcohol-based solution -- you don't want to get any on areas other than the suede patches.

After applying the dye, wipe off any excess dye with a towel, and let the shoes dry for 24 to 48 hours before wearing.

Finishing Touches

The last thing to do is to use your airbrush to spray the shoe with Angelus Matte Finisher to give the shoes a clean finish.


Use a heat gun to dry the finisher after applying. In addition to giving the shoes a flat look, the finisher also helps protect the paint from minor scrapes and scratches.

After letting the shoes completely dry, you can lace them up and wear them as you normally would.

Make sure to subscribe to the Angelus YouTube channel or more tutorials like these and follow us on Instagram for custom sneaker inspiration.

The Basics to Airbrushing Using Angelus Paints

Airbrushing is a great way to create interesting effects and designs that you might not be able to accomplish with a paintbrush, but it's important to know how to do it right.

Airbrush Essentials - The Basics to Airbrushing Using Angelus Paints

Angelus Paints come airbrush-ready, but if your airbrush needle is smaller than .5mm or your paints are a bit old and clumpy, then this tutorial by @dejesuscustomfootwear will demonstrate the proper way to thin them out and get them ready to for smooth airbrush application.

Materials Needed:


First, you'll need to get your materials ready. For this tutorial, the tools used include:

  • Angelus Acrylic Leather Paint
  • Angelus 2-Thin
  • Leather Preparer and Deglazer
  • Sand Paper - Paint Strainer
  • Tape
  • Angelus Detail Knife
  • Angelus Matte Acrylic Finisher
  • Angelus Brush Cleaner
  • Grex Genesis Airbrush Combo

If you need to pick up any of these materials, you can find them on the Angelus online store.

Prep Work

Like any custom project, start by prepping your shoe before you begin airbrushing.

Start by lightly sanding your shoes with 400-grit sandpaper before moving on 800-grit and finishing with 1,500-grit.

Leather Preparer & Deglazer

Next, use a cotton pad to apply Angelus Leather Preparer & Deglazer to the shoe. This helps remove the factory finish to ensure the paint adheres to the shoe.

After this, tape off the parts of the shoe that you don't want to paint. When airbrushing, it's difficult to control where the paint goes, so it's important to make sure to cover everywhere that you want to avoid painting.

Tape off the shoe

Prepare the Paint

In addition to preparing the shoe, you need to prepare the paint for airbrushing.

While Angelus paints are airbrush-ready, smaller needles and clumpy paints can make things difficult.


So, if you're using a needle smaller than .5mm or need to thin out your paint, mix one part of Angelus 2-Thin with four parts of paint. This will prevent the paint from clumping up inside of the airbrush.

If you want a clean matte factory finish, you can also use Angelus Duller to reduce gloss.

Straining the paint

Lastly, run the paint mixture through a strainer to catch any leftover clumps or particles.

Start Painting

Once your paint is prepared, fill up your airbrush to get started.


For the first coat, mix white paint with your base color. This will help create a more evenly-colored surface to build off of.

Make sure not to spray to close to the shoe to avoid clumping. Instead, spray back away from the shoe to create an even coat.


Keep applying coats until the entire surface is evenly covered, then let the paint completely dry before moving on.

Final Touches

Once your paint dries completely, peel off the tape and do any final touch-ups that you deem necessary.

Acrylic Finisher

For example, if any paint managed to find its way onto your midsole, use a toothpick to clean it up.

Once everything is to your liking, finish off the shoe with Angelus Acrylic Finisher. This adds an extra layer of protection to the shoe and helps improve the final look.

Apply the finisher with your airbrush and use a heat gun to set the finisher. Once the finisher is set, your customs are ready to go.

Airbrush Tutorial Finished

If you found this tutorial helpful, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more videos like this, and make sure to follow us on Instagram to check out some more great customs.

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