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Angelus Tutorial: How to Dye Soles & Paint Mesh

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.

Cotton Candy Air Max 720

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
  • Airbrush
  • Masking Tape
  • Heat gun

Once you get your materials, follow these steps to create your own custom leather clothing.

1. Prep

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.

Leather Preparer & Deglazer bottle

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.

Masking tape on shoe

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.

2-Soft

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.

Airbrushing the shoe

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.

Dyeing soles

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.

Painting plastic

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.

Also, make sure to follow Angelus on Instagram and check out our online store to grab the materials you need to recreate these custom 720s!

Angelus Tutorial: Jordan 11 Patent Leather Walkthrough

One of the most popular Jordan silhouettes, the Jordan 11 is a great shoe for customizing and color swapping, but working with patent leather can be a little tricky if you haven't done it before. If you don't take the proper steps to prep and finish the material, you risk damaging it beyond repair.

To help you create your own custom Jordan 11s, Suheel from @feelgoodthreads stopped by to create a thorough tutorial on how to work with patent leather without damaging it.

Follow along below and make sure to check out the full video on YouTube to learn how to safely design a pair of custom 11s.

Custom Jordan 11 Walkthrough

Before getting started, here are the materials you're going to need to make these customs:

  • Angelus Leather Paint
  • Angelus Leather Preparer and Deglazer
  • Masking Tape
  • Adhesion Promoter
  • Airbrush
  • Airbrush Filter
  • Vinyl Tape
  • Sand Paper

Once you have your materials ready to go, follow these steps to prep and paint the patent leather on a pair of Jordan 11s.

1. Sanding Patent Leather

To make sure your paint adheres to the shoe, you need to start by sanding the patent leather to remove the glossy top coat.

Sanding the shoe

Use 320-grit wet sandpaper to carefully sand down the glossy finish, but be careful not to sand any of the threading on the leather.

Make sure to sand down the crease spots at the edges of the toe box. Otherwise, your paint will most likely crack when you wear the shoes and form a natural crease. After sanding use compressed air or a microfiber cloth to get rid of any remaining dust and debris.

2. Prepping Patent Leather

Angelus Leather Preparer and Deglazer helps promote adhesion by getting rid of the shoe's factory finish and leaving a completely clean surface for you to paint.

Applying Leather Preparer and Deglazer

Simply use a microfiber cloth or cotton swab to apply the Leather Preparer and Deglazer to the shoe. Make sure to wipe down the entire leather portion of the shoe to ensure you have a smooth, even surface to work with. Let the solution completely dry before moving on.

Taping the shoe

Then, use masking tape to tape off the portions of the shoe that you don't want to paint. For this project, Suheel made sure to tape off the soles and the ankle collars to protect these areas while painting.

Lastly, to strengthen the bond between the leather and the paint, apply two to three light coats of adhesion promoter, waiting five to 10 minutes in between each coat to let the adhesion promoter dry.

4. Prepping the Paint

To help the paint adhere to the hard leather and plastic surfaces, you'll need to mix equal parts of Angelus 2-Hard and paint (for this project, Suheel used a 6:1 mixture of Fired Red and Tahitian Pink).

Mixing 2-thin and paint

Since we're airbrushing these customs, you also need to prep the paint to make sure it flows through the airbrush without clumping and causing the airbrush to clog. Generally, we suggest using a 1 part 2-thin to 4 parts paint ratio (1:4).

Straining the paint

Before adding the paint to the airbrush, it's important to strain the paint to get rid of any dust, paint pigments, and other imperfections. Without straining the paint, this debris will be sprayed onto the shoe, creating a rough surface,

5. Painting Patent Leather

After prepping the paint, it's time to start painting the shoe. Use your airbrush to apply several light coats of paint to the shoe, and make sure to let each coat dry completely before moving on to the next.

Airbrushing the shoe

To achieve a completely solid, even paint job, you'll likely need to apply four to five coats.

After painting, if you notice any imperfections that need to be smoothed out, you can use wet sandpaper to get rid of these rough spots. Make sure to let the paint completely dry for 24 hours before doing this, and hold the shoes upside down while sanding to avoid runoff onto the midsoles.

Painting the Jumpman logo

You can also use a detail brush to fill in the small details, like the Jumpman logos, with Flat White paint.

6. Applying Finisher

To seal in the paint job and restore the glossy finish of the original shoe, you can use an airbrush to apply several light layers of High Gloss Acrylic Finisher.

Applygin finisher

Not only will this add a glossy finish to the shoe, but it will also help protect your custom paint job from minor scratches and scrapes.

7. Dying the Soles

To finish the shoe, Suheel dyed the soles to match the new red colorway.

As you can see, the Jordan 11 has a patch on the sole that matches the shoe's colorway. The shoe on the right still has the original blue sole, while the one on the left showcases what it looks like after the dye job.

To dye the sole, use a paintbrush to carefully apply the dye to this area. Dye stains very easily, so take your time and be cautious not to get any dye on the upper or the icy midsole as you will not be able to reverse this.

Applying the dye

After letting the dye dry for about 10 minutes, apply the Acrylic Finisher to the sole to seal in the dye.

Then, to finish the shoe, Suheel swapped the stock laces for a matching pair of red rope laces.

Finished Red Jordan 11s

Check Out More Tutorials

If you want to check out more helpful tutorials like this one, make sure to subscribe to the Angelus YouTube channel to learn tips and tricks from experienced custom sneaker artists.

Don't forget to follow Angelus on Instagram and check out our online store to grab the materials you need to recreate these custom Jordan 11s!

How To Start Customizing Shoes

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.

Angelus Leather Paint Basics Kit

  • 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.

The Do's & Don'ts of Using Angelus Paints walks you through how to properly prepare shoes and apply paints for a clean finish and strong adhesion.

Check out FAQ: What's the Best Way to Clean My Sneakers? to learn how to clean your sneakers without damaging them or messing up your custom paint job.

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.

Check Out These Tutorials to Level Up Your Customs

Customizing shoes lets you put your own personal take on your sneakers so you can be sure no one else is walking around with a pair like yours.

But creating a good pair of customs takes practice and a steady hand. You don't wanna ruin a good pair of shoes by messing up your designs.

We have experienced custom artist come through our studio all the time to create tutorials to help other artists learn new techniques and design tips. Check out some of these tutorials to see how you can take your customs to the next level.

Winter Wonderland 1s

(source: Angelus Shoe Polish)

@Kattycustoms came through to demonstrate how she turned a pair of "Rookie of the Year' 1s into an amazing pair of winter kicks.

Now, it might be a little late in the year to be wearing these, but this is a great tutorial for learning how to prepare your shoes to be painted and how to use pencils for fine lines and details.

Check out the full tutorial to see what materials she used to make these.

Fantastic Beasts - Converse Customs

(source: Angelus Shoe Polish)

Painting skin tones can be a little tricky. You have to learn basic shading and blending techniques if you want to create customs depicting people or characters.

To help you learn these techniques, @christycustoms came by to show how she made this pair of custom Converse dedicated to the Fantastic Beasts series.

You can see the rest of the tutorial here to see how to implement these techniques on your own pair of customs.

Custom Nike Huaraches

(source: Angelus Shoe Polish)

One of the hardest things to do is create a pair of customs that like they came directly from the factors. Creating a finish that clean isn't as easy as painting over the original colorway.

In this tutorial, @malcolmgarret customizes a pair of Huaraches to show you how to use an Airbrush, along with some other materials, to create a clean factory finish.

Custom Dinosaur Purse

(source: Angelus Shoe Polish)

Angelus Paint isn't limited to shoes. You can apply your designs to accessories, clothes, and furniture using many of the same tools and products that you already have.

@10andrea26 shows you how to customize a pure and create a unique neon watercolor splash effect. Check out the tutorial to see how you can replicate this design.

These are just a few of our more recent tutorials. Be sure to check out our YouTube channel to see some more designs you can create using our products, and remember to follow us on IG for some more custom inspiration.

 

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