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How to Paint on Leather: Decorating Shoes and Boots with Acrylic Paint

I have a favorite pair of leather boots that I wear everywhere. After wearing them for almost two years almost every single day,even in summer, and even when they began falling apart, I really wanted to add something special to them and decided to try hand-painting and adding a floral touch to them. I had looked around at painting the leather surface with acrylic paint to get the best results…I didn’t want to ruin my boots! I found a paint product that is acrylic-based meant for painting on shoes and boots, and loved how the boots turned out, so I wanted to share with you how to paint on leather! There’s also a free floral pattern at the end you can snag to paint on your own leather shoes or boots, or you can keep it for an art print!

Plain Brown boots with cute mushroom leggings

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After researching all of the ways to paint on leather including painting with fabric mediums, or a normal acrylic paint with with an acrylic finisher and sealer for a protective finish , I decided to try painting them with with DecoArt’s Patent Leather paint. The bottle said it was for all leather items including shoes,purses and accessories, it will also paint on vinyl. I decided to give it a try. Hubs took a few end-result pictures for me, and they are pretty good! There is another leather paint brand I’ve linked to in supplies called Angelus Leather Paints, but I have not tried that brand myself.

Find the supplies for this leather painting project

DIy hand-painted leather floral boots with leather paint

To start, I found it’s a good idea to clean the leather boots and prep the surface by making sure they were free of dirt and oils, also giving the boots a wipe with a cotton ball and isopropyl alcohol to make sure they were really clean. I applied my first coat on the surface of the leather in a small area where it wouldn’t be noticed if I wanted to remove it, and noticed it looked good, but they were going to need a second coat over my deigns for sure. I liked that it painted on like regular acrylics and because it was all in one, there were no other fabric mediums needed. The paint is waterproof ,flexible,and dries pretty quickly.

Make fun hand-painted, custom floral boots

The leather were so much fun to paint and the dry time was only a few hours. I also liked that there was a wide range of different colors and that the colors are very mixable, which I ended up doing to get the leather paint colors I wanted. I used the colors White, Turquoise, Beige, Garnet and Soft Pink.

DIY hand-painted floral boots

I mixed the Beige and Turquoise to get the vine colors, and Turquoise and White to make the light blue flowers. The color mix really well together to make custom colors. I also liked that it seemed like the dried result was a matte finish and not super glossy.

These hand-painted floral boots are the perfect makeover for a pair of oold shoes or boots!

If you love painting on clothing, try customizing your jeans with this fabric paint project.

I kept it simple, and I made flower-like shapes for an artsy, boho look. They were easy to paint by using a round brush and making three thick lines towards each other, almost like a heart. Once the flower petals dried, I just add the thinner lines on the top with a liner brush. To make the vines, just use a really thin brush and a scrolly motion. And to paint the leaves they are just pointy ovals… So easy! It’s just shapes out together. This was such a fun and rewarding paint on leather project. I love that this paint is a water-based paint and I didn’t need any kind of extra protective finish to seal them. It’s a great way to upcycle and old pair of shoes or boots!

DIY hand-painted boots are a great way to upcycle old clothing and shoes

I made the white paint dots with the back of a paint brush.

Paint some fun floral custom boots with paint

They have a great artsy feel and would go well with my boho jewelry organizer.  I am so glad I didn’t donate them yet and learned How to Paint on Leather: Decorating Shoes and Boots with Acrylic Paint!

Use paint to upcycle a pair of thrift store boots!

How fun are these painted leather boots??? Even though they have lots of miles, as hand-pained floral boots,I have a new reason to wear them! I’m ready to try some other painted leather projects like purses or even leather cuffs.

Butterfly and flowers free printable Jennifer Rizzo
Jen signature

The floral hand-painted boot DIY to copy right now to upcycle your old, and thrift store boots!!!



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