Designing and painting your own custom shoes is a great way to exercise your artistic abilities and create clothing that matches your personal style. But if you've never tried customizing a pair of sneakers before, you might be hesitant about potentially ruining your shoes.
Knowing what materials you need to get started and learning some basic prepping and painting techniques can make it easier to jump in without worrying about making mistakes.
Here's what you need to know to start creating your own custom sneakers.
What Materials Do I Need?
To get started, you need to grab the right materials -- it's not as simple as just grabbing some paint and brushes. You also need the right tools to prep and protect the shoe.
- Paintbrushes: A quality paintbrush set is key to creating clean customs with minimal brushstrokes. Detail brushes are a must for working on micro-details.
- Heat Gun: A heat gun will help paint layers set quickly, and heat setting is required when working with 2-Soft on soft materials.
- Paint: Low-quality paint often chips and peels when worn. High-quality acrylic paint will adhere strongly to your shoes and last much longer.
- 2-Soft: When painting soft materials like mesh or canvas, Angelus 2-Soft will help the paint adhere and remain flexible.
- Cleaner: A brush and shoe cleaner are necessary to keep your paint job clean and protected over time. Otherwise, dirt and grime may eventually cause your paint to chip and peel.
- Tape: Using masking tape to section off certain areas of your shoes is the easiest way to prevent paint from spreading to unintended parts of the shoe.
- Leather Preparer & Deglazer: Prep is the first step to customizing any shoe, and Leather Preparer & Deglazer will help paint adhere by getting rid of the shoe's factory finish.
- Water & Stain Repellent: When properly applied, Water & Stain Repellent provides an invisible protective coating that repels water & stains to keep shoes clean and dry.
- Acrylic Finisher: After you finish your custom paint job, acrylic finisher provides a clean finish and protective coating.
After you get your materials together, it's time to learn how you can put them to use. You can customize more than just sneakers.
Custom Sneaker Tutorials
The best way to pick up a new skill is to learn from people who have already mastered it. At Angelus, we work with a number of established sneaker artists to create tutorials on everything ranging from cleaning your sneakers to painting complex effects.
Check out some of the key tutorials for beginners below.
Learn the basics
If you've never tried painting custom shoes before, these tutorials will teach you the basics to help you get started.
Watch this quick tutorial to learn how to clean, customize, and restore an older pair of sneakers with just a few basic tools and materials.
Learn new techniques
After you get the basics down, you can check out some of these tutorials to learn more advanced techniques to create some unique designs.
Check out this custom Nike AF1 Glitch tutorial to learn how to use stencils to create unique effects.
Watch this tutorial to learn how to pain other accessories and how to create a neon watercolor effect.
If you want to learn how to use paint markers to create custom, hand-drawn designs, check out this tutorial on how to create customs influenced by graffiti and street art.
These resources should be enough to get you started, but to learn more tips and techniques, make sure to check out our YouTube channel for more tutorials, and follow us on Instagram to get some ideas for your next project.