How Long Does Acrylic Paint Take to Dry On Shoes?

Want to paint your shoes with acrylics but not sure how soon they will dry? Read this article to find out!

Acrylic paint is well-known among both artists and all kinds of creative folks like DIYers and crafters. This paint is easy to store and easy to use, it dries fast and it comes in a wide variety of colors, from regular ones (like yellow, green, blue, etc) to more unusual ones like metallic gold, shimmering purple, and others!

However, when you start wondering whether painting shoes with acrylic paint is possible, you may have certain questions. One of the most common ones is how long this kind of paint takes to fully dry on shoes.

So today, we are going to share some useful information on this subject with you.

From this article, you are going to learn how long acrylic paint takes to dry on shoes, how to make acrylic paint stay on shoes longer after you paint them, and also, we will tell you whether this type of paint can be washed off your footwear.

The latter is especially important since, when you paint your shoes to make them unique and look custom, you want to wear them as long as possible, which means they must be able to withstand different weather conditions.

With the tips and life hacks we will share with you today, you will be able not only to paint your shoes but also to make the design last longer and remain the same brightness as it was on the day of application.

How Much Time Does Acrylic Paint Take to Dry On Shoes?

If you decide to paint your shoes with acrylic paint, you might want to know how much time the design would last.

Shoes are worn frequently and we use them outdoors, which means the paint should be able to survive different weather conditions like rain, fog, sun, and maybe even snow!

Naturally, you would be curious whether acrylic paint could cope with such a challenge!

6 Things I WISH I Knew When I Started Painting Shoes6 Things I WISH I Knew When I Started Painting Shoes

So, what about the lifespan of your painted shoes?

Typically, acrylic paint dry in one hour already. However, you need to take into account that several factors will influence the drying time!

  1. The thickness of the paint layer
  2. The complexity of the pattern
  3. Whether you used any medium
  4. Whether the design is sealed

For example, if you painted some simple ornaments on your footwear with a thin layer of paint and you didn’t seal it, the paint will dry faster.

However, if the design you choose is complicated, multicolor, and you used two layers of paint to make the colors more vivid, then the drying time will be extended, but not too much! Don’t be afraid, you will not have to wait for days!

Acrylic paint dries rather fast anyway, so you might want to extend the drying period for several hours or leave your shoes to dry overnight.

How Much Time Does Acrylic Paint Take to Dry On Shoes
SSilver via VistaCreate

How Long Does Acrylic Paint Last?

At this point, you might be wondering how much time acrylic paint could last once applied to the surface of your shoes.

Well, the truth is that, without following the proper methods, your acrylic paint will only last for a few weeks of wearing the shoes.

So if you want to extend the durability of your shoe design, we recommend you follow a few simple tips:

  • Always mix the paint with the textile medium
  • Apply the paint in layers
  • Remember to take good care of your painted shoes

And since we touched the paint lifespan subject, let’s remind you that the shelf life of acrylic paints is typically rather long. Once opened, acrylic paints can typically last anywhere from 5 to 10 years, although this is dependent on the quality of the paints and how well it is stored.

How Long Does Acrylic Paint Last
kosmos111 via VistaCreate

Does Acrylic Paint Wash Off Shoes?

People often choose acrylic paint to create designs on their footwear because this type of paint on shoes is an excellent option for sustainability!

On the one hand, it can last for quite a long period of time, but on the other hand, you can easily remove it if you are tired of the old design and want to apply a new one. So, with acrylics, you can refresh the look of your shoes as frequently as you would like.

However, acrylics are water-resistant but not waterproof. This is why this paint can be washed off. This is why it is recommended that you seal your acrylic design on your shoes after it is applied.

Like this, your painted footwear will last longer without being threatened by the rain. And if you decide to remove the paint job from your shoes for some reason, you can do it with a bit of effort using the methods we will describe below:

Does Acrylic Paint Wash Off Shoes
Nik_Merkulov via VistaCreate

Warm Water and Dish Soap

This method requires the simplest ingredients that all of us have at home. All you need to do is to fill a basin with warm water and dish soap. Then grab an old toothbrush and scrub the paint you want to remove.

It may take some time, especially if the design is old or you applied a thick layer of paint, but you will manage.

Acetone

Have some spare nail polish remover? A little acetone will remove any lingering color and paint as well. However, this option might not be suitable for those who don’t like strong odors!

Acetone Vs. Nail Polish Remover! which works best for stripping acrylic paint off sneakersAcetone Vs. Nail Polish Remover! which works best for stripping acrylic paint off sneakers

But if you are ok with the fact that your shoes will be smelly for a while after the paint removal procedure, use an old toothbrush to scrub the remaining acrylic paint with the acetone remover.

And be sure to rinse your shoes thoroughly after you are done brushing the paint off! It will help you prevent damaging the fabric. As a result, you will have clean shoes that can be used as a canvas to repaint however you please.

But if you don’t want to remove your acrylic paint job from your shoes, you might want to find out how you could keep the design on them longer without any damage.

Since shoes are always exposed to external elements like rain and sun, protecting the design is an essential matter! This is why we prepared a few useful recommendations for you for this case.

Acetone
lightkeeper via VistaCreate

How to Prevent Acrylic Paint From Cracking On Shoes?

If you decide to paint shoes with acrylic paint, your very first intention will be to make the paint job last as long as possible after the paint dries. Of course, shoes are not the same as canvas and you can’t apply lacquer to them! However, there are other methods that can help you protect your acrylic masterpiece.

  • Always apply paint in thin layers
  • Use a single brand of paint instead of mixing multiple brands
  • Never apply heat to dry your paint job!
  • Use sealants made for acrylic paints

And now we will tell you more about each of these methods in detail.

How to Prevent Acrylic Paint From Cracking On Shoes
ruseyskiy via VistaCreate

Apply Your Paint In Thin Layers

If you apply acrylic paint in one thick layer, chances are high that when it dries, the paint will start cracking pretty soon because the fabric underneath it will be constantly twisting, thus developing more cracks on your design.

Instead, take little paint on your brush and apply it slightly in a single stroke. Wait for this layer to dry and then apply the second layer. You might be tempted to finish your DIY project as soon as possible, but note that acrylics dry really fast!

You won’t wait for too long anyway.

Apply Your Paint In Thin Layers
AlexLipa via VistaCreate

Use Paints Of Single Brand

Different brands may use slightly different paint formulas that may not mix very well together. This is why, if you want to avoid sudden peeling and cracking, stick to one brand.

It will allow you to not only help your design last longer but the overall color scheme of the paint job will be much better since colors of different brands may slightly differ.

Use Paints Of Single Brand
GarnaZarina via VistaCreate

Don’t Apply Heat

Heat is the worst enemy of your painted shoes! This is why avoid leaving them in direct sunlight or close to any heating objects like radiators, fireplaces, etc. It is also a bad idea to dry your freshly applied acrylic design using a hair dryer. This is the direct way to crack in the future.

Use Acrylic Paint Sealant

When you are finished painting your shoes, use sealant on top, but make sure it’s the one that is made for acrylic paints. This will prevent your shoes and the paint from any further damage or cracking.

However, you need to be careful when applying sealant! If you do it wrong, it can result in serious damage.

Sealants should be applied in bursts. Decide a specific spot, burst two sprays quickly and move on.

The sealant not only prevents the paint on your shoes from cracking but also gives them a shiny look!

How Do I Clean Acrylic Painted Shoes?

Since we usually apply acrylic designs on our summer shoes, they will naturally get rather dusty and dirty soon. This is why folks often ask how they can wash their painted footwear without damaging the paint job.

In fact, this is quite an easy task! You can clean acrylic painted shoes with a damp rag! Just wipe them gently, using smooth and delicate wipes.

And remember the most important rule: you must never place acrylic painted shoes in the washing machine or dryer!

If you do this, the machine will damage the paint and potentially wash it off.

How Do I Clean Acrylic Painted Shoes
IgorVetushko via VistaCreate

What Kinds of Shoes Do Acrylics Work On?

Acrylic paints are very versatile since they can be used on many different surfaces and materials. Speaking of shoes, acrylic paints will work on almost every shoe type:

  • canvas
  • leather
  • vinyl
  • other fabrics like mesh

However, you should note that acrylic paint sticks to some materials better than it sticks to others, which is why certain materials will require more care and treatment.

This is why we suggest you take a look at some factors you may need to take into consideration depending on each shoe fabric type.

What Kinds of Shoes Do Acrylics Work On
boggy22 via VistaCreate

Leather Shoes

If you want to paint leather shoes with acrylics, you might think that it’s impossible. However, painting this type of shoe is possible but you should note that it will require more work. Leather has a silicone coating that you must remove first to be able to apply the paint.

You can use a piece of sandpaper to rub off this shiny layer but do it carefully to not damage the shoe.

Once the leather is rough and dull, you can start painting it.

Leather Shoes
VadimVasenin via VistaCreate

Fabric Shoes

When painting fabric shoes with acrylics, mix your paint with an acrylic polymer medium. The medium will make the paint easier to spread. Besides, mediums also dry softly and are pleasant to the touch.

Fabric Shoes
massonforstock via VistaCreate

Vinyl Shoes

Vinyl shoes are the easiest one to paint with acrylic paints, besides, they are very easy to cover since vinyl is so smooth and also have a plastic base. Every hue of acrylic paint will work over any shade of vinyl shoe – it is only your imagination that is the limit.

Now you know how long acrylic paints might take to dry on your shoes. In addition, we told you what shoe materials this paint would be the best for and how to make your acrylic design last longer.

With these life hacks, your painted DIY shoes will serve you longer keeping the bright colors you applied to them initially.

Vinyl Shoes
split271992 via VistaCreate

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐Can you use acrylic paint on sneakers?

Yes, you can use acrylic paint on sneakers. Acrylic paint can be an excellent choice for sneakers because it isn't as water-soluble as other conventional paints, and it tends to stay put.

⭐How to get acrylic paint off of shoes?

You can use either acetone or water with some dish soap for this purpose. Also, you will need a brush.

⭐Can you use acrylic paint on fabric shoes?

Definitely! Fabric surface will accept paint very well, and the design will look evenly applied.

Written by Melinda Sherween
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Melinda worked as an art consultant and Home Designer for eight years in total. As an art consultant, she was first employed in a local art gallery in San Francisco where she was responsible for picking the most suitable artwork for her clients depending on their goals and budget. At this job, Melinda showed herself as a confident specialist and a true art lover with exceptional taste and artistic sense. Melinda is a passionate author of Housekeeping Bay and we are really happy that she is our Expert.
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