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News — Shoe Trees

How to Make Your Customs More Durable

Custom Jordan 4s Tutorial

Having trouble keeping your customs in good condition? Your customs can easily crack and crease if you're not careful.

To help you learn how to keep your kicks in like-new condition, Ronald Pritchett, AKA @ron_got_sole, stopped by the Angelus studio to show you how to customize and protect a pair of Jordan 4s. Ron has been in the customs game for a while, so he understands the importance of durability.

Keep reading to learn his tips and tricks for protecting your next pair of customs, and make sure to check out the full tutorial on our YouTube channel.

Leather Preparer & Deglazer

Before painting, start by preparing the shoe with Angelus Leather Preparer and Deglazer. This will get rid of the factory seal on your shoes and help paint adhere to the surface.

Start by using shoe trees to maintain the shape of your shoes and get rid of creases on the toe box.

Then, use the Leather Preparer and Deglazer to gently wipe over every area that you plan to paint. Pay special attention to high-wear areas like the toe box and ankle collar.

Once the texture changes from smooth to rubbery is when you know you've gotten rid of the factory finish. 

Sandpaper

After you get rid of the factory finish, you can use sandpaper to remove smaller imperfections.

This will help create a smooth finish and develop small rough ridges for your paint to stick to.

Once you finish sanding, go over the shoe one more time with the Leather Preparer and Deglazer to ensure a smooth finish.

Shoe Tape

The last step you need to take before painting your customs is taping up the edges. 

Make sure to get as close to the edge as possible without overlapping with the leather. If the tape does overlap with the leather, though, you can always touch it up later.

Painting Your Customs

Now it's time to start painting your customs. Of course, you can use whatever colors you want, but, for this tutorial, Ron is using Angelus Flat Black, Do The Right Thing Yellow, Hot Pink (as the base for the red coat), and Chili Red paint.

When painting, make sure to use even, light coats, and let the paint dry before adding another coat.

The first coats will look streaky, but as you continue to build up your layers, the colors will become more saturated.

Quick Tip: For glossy colors, like Do The Right Thing Yellow, use Duller to get rid of some of the shine and make it look like the factory finish.

2-Hard

Not all surfaces are the same. For non-porous surfaces, like plastic or glass, 2-Hard will help paint adhere to the surface.

Ron used a 50-50 mix of 2-Hard and Flat Black paint to paint the netting on these custom 4s and make sure that the paint doesn't crack or chip.

Heat Gun

You can also use 2-Soft for softer materials, like the fabric tongue patch on these Jordan 4s. Use a 1:1 ratio when mixing 2-Soft and Angelus paints to be used on fabric surfaces.

When you use 2-Soft on fabric surfaces, it's important to heat-set the paint with a heat gun to ensure its durability. 

Detail Brush

All that's left is to take care of the details.

Make sure to use a detail brush to touch up any white spaces left after painting your customs. This will make sure your customs look like they could have come straight from the store.

Lastly, just remove the tape and your customs are finished.

By following these steps, you can create a clean pair of customs that stay in great shape for the foreseeable future.

Don't forget to follow Angelus on Instagram and check out more tutorials from artists like Ron on our YouTube channel.

Shoe Trees & Other Accessories to Keep Your Customs in Good Condition

Once you've finished your customs, you need to be able to keep your kicks in like-new condition.

Fortunately, we have plenty of great products you can use to make sure your customs stay crisp.

From shoe trees to cleaning products, consider using these accessories to make sure your customs stay in perfect condition.

Shoe Trees

If you want your customs to last as long as possible, you need to make sure they keep their original shape.

Shoe trees will make sure your shoes keep their shape when you aren't wearing them so they never crease.

You can also use shoe trees to fill out your shoes while you're customizing, restoring, or cleaning them.

Shoe Shine Kit

The Angelus Shoe Shine Kit comes with everything you need to keep your customs looking their best while you're on the move.

This kit comes with all the products you need to polish your shoes along with a useful travel bag to keep things together.

Grab a shoe shine kit to make sure your customs are clean when you're traveling.

Foam-Tex Cleaning Kit

Cleaning your customs doesn't have to be difficult or complex. This Foam-Tex Cleaning Kit has everything you need to easily clean your shoes without using any bowls, water, or other materials.

All you have to do to make sure your customs are crisp is pump some gentle foaming cleanser on your shoes, scrub, and dry.

Angelus Deoderizer

Angelus Deodorizer makes it easy to keep your customs smelling fresh.

Unlike similar products, this deodorizer doesn't mask smells, it eliminates them altogether. It is safe to use on all materials, including shoes, boots, bags, furniture, and more.

Sole Bright

Nothing makes customs look as bummy as some yellow soles.

Over time, oxidation makes your soles turn yellow. Angelus Sole Bright completely reverses this oxidation and makes your soles look brand new. Sole Bright is safe for all soles, including glow-in-the-dark soles.

Make sure to check out the product page to see how to use Sole Bright for effective results.

With these products, you can make sure your customs stay clean for as long as possible.

Don't forget to check out our Instagram to get inspiration for your next pair of customs.