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How to Paint Mesh & Canvas

Mesh and canvas can be difficult to work with -- especially if you don't know what you're doing. It can be difficult to paint fine details on these softer and more flexible materials.

To help you learn how to paint mesh and canvas, @chadcantcolor created a tutorial to show you how to use Angelus Paints on these surfaces using the clean fade and dab method.

Keep reading to see how to use this method and what tools you'll need to get started.

What You Need

To paint canvas or mesh, you only need a few items:

Once you have all of your materials, it's time to get to work.

How to Paint Mesh

Start by prepping your shoes. To prep mesh and canvas shoes, tape off the areas that you don't want to paint, remove the laces, and use a shoe tree or plastic to stuff the shoe so that it holds its shape.

Paint Mesh

Before you start painting, mix Angelus 2-Soft with your paint in a 50/50 ratio. 2-Soft is a fabric medium that allows the paint to cling to soft materials like mesh and canvas without making the material stiff.

Then, using a #10 Filbert brush (or any other big, soft brush), apply your first coat of paint using light, even strokes. This will create an even coat without saturating the layers beneath the surface.

Sponge Painting

Alternatively, you can take a makeup sponge, dip it into your paint, and dab the surface of the shoe until the whole thing is covered. This technique uses a lot more paint but will help you get full coverage very quickly.

If you use the sponge method, be sure to still use a brush for the edges to protect the midsole from getting paint on it.

After your first coat dries, apply two to three more until the shoe is evenly coated.

How to Paint Canvas

Painting canvas is more or less the same as painting mesh. Prep the shoe by taping off the soles, removing the laces, and stuffing the shoe.

Painting Canvas

Just like painting mesh, start by creating a 50/50 ix of Angelus 2-Soft and your choice of paint. Then, use a brush to apply a light, even base coat to the shoe.

Tip: Use a micro detail brush to paint close to edges without creating blotches or going over the lines.

Fade

If you want to kick things up a notch, grab two more colors to create a fade effect.

Pick where you want the fade to start (if you're painting Vans, you can start at the line), grab your medium color, and start painting. As you work your way up, use less and less pressure on the brush so that the medium shade naturally fades into the lighter one.

Finishing the fade

Then, using the same color, fill in the area below the fade. Once that's done, take your third color, start from the bottom, and fade it into the second color using the same technique as before.

Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great tutorials like this one, and don't forget to check out our online store to grab all the tools you need to create your next pair of customs.