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Can you spray paint leather shoes?

Can you spray paint leather shoes?

“Can you spray paint leather shoes?” Many people are not even aware if spray painting leather shoes actually exist. Well, it does, and for the many leather shoe fans out there, it is possible to add a splash of personal touch to your leather footwear.

Can you spray paint leather shoes?

Painting on leather shoes sounds fun, but it is not a straightforward process due to the unique nature of the items. If you already have experience doing so, then our article piece would be more of a recap. If not, you get to learn the steps, processes, and possible products necessary for leather shoe painting.

What Kind Of Paint Can Be Used On Leather Shoes?

Let’s face it, after a while, leather shoes, especially boots, can fade and make the footwear lose its shade and charm. If you plan to change this, spray painting is always a great option to revive your leather footwear inexpensively. Of course, spray or aerosol painting is practical and possible but to what extent is it a perfect option in rejuvenating leather footwear? 


The process of spray painting leather shoes requires special attention to have a desirable outcome with your footwear. For example, spray paints for leather boots need silicone or acrylic compounds. They are the best recommended options due to their powerful adhesion. So, the best option is going for spray paints manufactured, including 

  • Acrylic leather paint
  • Leather paint markers
  • Metallic leather paint
  • Pearlescent and glitter paint for leather

How To Spray Paint Leather Shoes 

On matters of application, spray paints for leather shoes come with many useful options. Currently, there are two ways you can spread paint leather shoes depending on the material. 

The obvious move is using canned aerosol paints that have easy application by easy pressing on the top. Spray paints also come packaged, meaning you would have to mix the paint before using a spray gun. This spray gun method is convenient since it allows you to premix various colors and experiment with different shades for a better outcome. 


Both situations will achieve different results. However, a majority love going for canned spray paint due to the easy application. Spray guns are much troublesome to handle with more work necessary for this method to have a desirable outcome. But canned aerosol also has the downside of the only carry one shade color provided inside the bottle. 


  1. Prepping to spray paint your leather shoes
    1. Materials needed
  • Hard shoe brush 
  • Old newspapers and cardboards
  • Acetone 
  • Masking tape 
  • Protective gloves
  • Cotton wool balls
  • Scouring pad 
  • Fine-grade sandpaper
  1. Cover the work area with the old newspaper and cardboard batch. 
  2. Remove the dirt and debris from the surface using the shoe brush. Any shoelaces, buckles, or other removable features may have to come from to make the process easier. 
  3. Once all dirt is off, rough up the leather surface with the scouring pad for easy application
  4. Get cotton wool and soak it into the acetone to remove the leather shoe top finish. If unavailable, you can always go for a specially made leather preparer/deglazer such as the Angelus preparer. 
  5. Run the acetone-soaked cotton wool ball all over the shoes in one direction for all the strokes. A uniform wipe will help achieve a fine finish and a smoother surface for the leather spray paint.
  6. Clean off the acetone using a clean rag dipped in warm water and rub it all over the leather shoes. 
  7. Air-dry the shoes and ensure no dirt or stray cotton fibers are on the prepared leather surface. 
  8. Once dehydrated, stuff the shoes inside with some newspaper to make them keep their shape.
  9. Use the painters’ tape to cover shoe areas that need no painting.


  1. The Spray Paint Process
  1. Place the prepared leather shoes on the newspaper/cardboard surface to avoid splatter the spray paint all over.
  2. Take your sprayer and hold it four to six inches away from the leather shoes. Calmly press the can’s nozzle and spray the shoes using uniform long strokes across. 
  3. Slowly apply several layers until a desired, and shiny color coat is achieved. Keep in mind once you spray each layer, you should give time for drying to avoid the formation of drips. 
  4. Once all the spray painting is complete, air dry the shoes for another hour to ensure the paint adheres well.
  5. Remove the tapes and have the paint further dry out for another 24 hours.
  6. If sun drying is not available, you can always use a hairdryer to fasten the process and have your leather shoes dry in no time. Just be sure to have the hairdryer in a relaxed setting to avoid damaging the paint.


  1. FAQ
    1. Can You Spray Paint Faux Leather Shoes?

Yes, you can spray paint faux or artificial leather shoes using specific leather paint products made for such construction. The synthetic leather painting will, however, vary depending on the shoes in question. For starters, faux or artificial leather comes in two different types of construction; polyvinyl chloride(PVC) or polyurethane(PU). Each fake leather type can use acrylic paint as it adheres better compared to typical leather paint. Still, you will need to know your faux leather shoe type and have acrylic paint made for the leather.

  1. Can You Spray Paint Patent Leather Shoes?

Yes, much like other types of leather, you can also use spray paint on patent leather shoes and spruce-up footwear. However, patent leather remains unique due to its coating. This calls for a special process that will achieve satisfactory results. The first step is to seek out spray paints made special for patent leather and make the necessary preparations to clean your shoes. While you can use regular leather paint, these special patent leather spray paints are unique. They stick better to the glossy leather surface.

  1. How long will spray paint stay on leather shoes?

By far, the durability of your spray paint on leather shoes depends on lots of factors during the process. These factors can range from the preparation of the shoe, the color, or even the shoe condition, if not more. So, it’s best to have the process for a one-off kind of thing like a colorful dress party instead of for long-term daily use.