If you are one of those people who are crazy about sneakers, you must know how important it is to be unique. Buying the most expensive pair of sneakers is not enough. Your sneakers should stand out in the crowd every time you walk in.
Searching the web for a unique pair can be pretty daunting. Being a part of a mass-produced economy, owning something that exclusively belongs to you can get tricky. But, if you bring your style to life, it would be pretty difficult to find something similar to it!
Custom painting shoes like Jordan’s has been a trending thing lately. Instead of buying something popular amongst the masses, people prefer painting a unique design for themselves. This task can be a bit demanding and taxing, but the result will definitely be super rewarding.
Here is a step-by-step guide that will help you custom paint Jordans and give them your unique sense of style.
Step 1 – Finding the right materials
Before you begin the fun task of painting your sneakers and styling them up, it is necessary you put everything in place. Painting sneakers is pretty similar to painting on a canvas. If you are familiar with painting, you would be well aware of the materials that you require for the task.
You would require a set of your favorite color paints. Choose a type of paint that doesn’t get washed off by water. Also, do not go for paints that fade away easily in the sun. You need paints that stick to the fabric of the shoes and have a long-lasting effect.
Angelus paints are a good choice for painting on leather. You can also choose any other brand that you feel comfortable working with. After finalizing the selection of color, there are a few more things that you need to get, and then you are good to go.
These things are as follows:
- Cotton balls
- Rubber gloves
- Paintbrushes (medium and liner)
- Airbrush (if you have something particular in mind)
- Masking tape
- X-ACTO knife
- Matte finisher
Once you have all these things in place, you are ready to move to step 2.
Step 2 – Preparation
Preparing your shoe for the paint job is the first major step in the entire process. If your shoes are not prepared properly, the paint might get ruined after a while.
Therefore, you need to be very careful and thorough with the preparation step. The first step of preparation is to peel off the color coating that has been provided by the manufacturer. If you just paint over this coating, the color will not stay there for long, and it will start chipping off after one or two uses.
You want the paint layer to stick firmly on the leather of the shoes, and for that, you need to remove the previous paint layer. To do so, put on a pair of rubber gloves. Remember, wearing gloves is a necessity as it will protect your hands from any type of corrosive substance used during the process.
Once you have secured your hands, soak some cotton in acetone. Using this acetone-soaked cotton to gently rub off the paint coating on the shoes. Continue to do the same till you see a paste-like residue on the shoes. The leather might sometimes appear grey in color but, that is normal.
Run your fingers thoroughly through the surface of the shoes. If it is still very smooth to the touch, it means you haven’t gotten rid of the paint completely. This step might take a while but, it plays a crucial role in the entire process. So, be patient and thorough with this job.
Step 3 – Masking
The next step after removing the paint is to prepare a base on which you can paint on. When you are painting on a canvas, you wash the board with a layer of white paint. This is done to make the base smooth for your painting. Similarly, you need to provide a smooth base on your shoes to start painting.
For coating your sneakers, you can use any type of masking tape. Cover the entire shoe carefully using the masking tape. Be extra cautious around the edges so that you don’t leave them out.
Use the X-ACTO knife to cut closely along the curves of the shoes so that no area is left out.
Step 4 – Mixing colors
If you have a design and color palette in mind for your shoes, you might want to go ahead and mix the required colors. Mixing colors can also be time-consuming. And if you are someone very particular about the different color shades, you would want to get it absolutely right.
If you have a design in mind, you should begin by mixing colors beforehand. If you plan to go freehand on your shoes, then you can use color straight from the bottle as well.
Step 5 – Painting the shoes
We finally reach the most fun part of the entire process, painting the shoes. You are now at the step of building the looks of your sneakers. If you wish to do it right on the first attempt, make sure your technique is good.
Choosing any shade of color is fine, but the order of applying those colors needs to be precise. Some colors are very dark and opaque. It might get difficult to apply other colors over them. It is therefore recommended to begin with light colors and then move on to the darker shades.
Make sure that you paint it in thin layers. This will help in avoiding any streak marks that end up giving an impression of amateur work. Sometimes a color requires more than one coating to achieve the desired shade. If you have chosen colors that require multiple coats, make sure to allow the first layer to dry out completely before coating with another layer.
You can speed up the drying process by blowing the wet paint with a hairdryer.
Step 6 – Detailing
When you are custom painting your sneakers, you can literally opt for any type of design. You can either go for abstract bold geometric prints. Or you can provide intricate detailing that sets your design apart.
The detailing work requires a very steady hand. You cannot be shaky or trembling, or else you will end up having broken and messy lines. Your choice of brush matters as well. Use a liner brush for doing the detailing work.
Detailing work can be another taxing step of the process. If you wish to give a unique and stylish appearance to your shoes, you need to bring your A-game into the detailing work. This is the step that will decide whether you have a quality-designed custom painted Jordans or a mediocre one.
Step 7 – Finishing Touches
Once you are happy with your paint job and intricate customization, it is time to give it the necessary finishing touches. Before you begin finishing up, make sure the paint is completely dried up. There is no harm in running the dryer a couple of times, just to make sure you have done a solid job.
Paints have a glossy appearance to them. This is the reason why you might feel the shoe is not giving a very natural look. In order to give it more of a factory-style look, you need to rough the gloss out. That is where the matte finisher comes into action.
The matte finisher helps in dulling the paint shine by giving it a classy matt coating. Don’t overdo the spraying. The matte finisher can produce an excessive amount of fumes that can make the process a bit difficult. Just apply thin coats and let them dry out completely before applying again.
Step 8 – Presentation
Now that your shoes are all painted and dried up, it is time to show them off to the world. Pair up your custom-painted Jordans with your favorite denim and jackets, and you are ready to rule the ramp.
To sum it up
Custom painting sneakers can be an extremely fun thing to do. Since you will be stripping off your expensive sneakers to build on to them, be careful with every step. You don’t want a disappointing end result that makes you regret the entire process.
Make sure to keep a light and steady hand while doing the job. Make use of the dryer in between paint changes in multiple coating. Be very thorough with removing the paint layer.
It can be very tough to paint your own sneakers from scratch. Devote some time and do the job with passion and pride. You will be surprised how well it will turn up if you really put your mind to it.