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How to paint leather and synthetic shoes

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Painting your shoes is definitely a good way to revamp an old or second hand pair or shoes. Unlike dyes, paint remains only on the surface of the shoe. This means you can easily strip and repaint your shoes for a new season.

wet suede shoes


We recommend Waproo Colour Change, it is a quality paint that provides a large range of colours to choose from and they are all intermixable. It’s important to also use a Stripper (for leather) or a Preparer (for synthetics) to prepare the shoes. Always strip and paint in a well ventilated place and away from carpets.

painting suede shoes


  • Follow the steps below;
  • Step one: Preparation
  • The more time you spend preparing your shoes the better the results will be.

    To ensure a smooth painting surface, stuff paper in your shoes or place them on a shoe tree.

    You may want to tape off certain areas with masking tape to prevent overspray, i.e sole edges

    Use a cloth and wet with stripper. Rub vigorously over leather to remove dirt, polish or oils. For synthetics, preparer should be rubbed lightly over shoe. To get into the more difficult areas (ie between the upper and the sole) you can use an old toothbrush dipped into stripper.

    old suede shoes


    It is important to know that when stripping leather, try and remove the

    shine from leather, this will help the paint bind better giving a professional long lasting finish.

    Step two: Painting your shoes

    Apply first coat lightly and with long even strokes. It’s ok to still see the original colour through first coat. Thin coats of paint are more durable than one thick coat.

    derby shoes suede


    Allow to dry for at least 1 hour, make sure shoes are completely dry before applying next coat.

    2 coats are general enough but If needed a third coat can be applied.

    Step three: Polishing

    Finishes to a high shine. You may use a polish to freshen, but do not buff vigorously.

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