How to Prevent Acrylic Paint from Cracking on Shoes?


How to Prevent Acrylic Paint from Cracking on Shoes?

We have gathered up some most effectives ways for you on how to prevent acrylic paint from cracking on shoes.

painting your shoes with acrylic paint isn’t as easy as you think. You have to figure out a lot of things; the right material for painting acrylic, finding suitable paint, and preventing it from cracking on your shoes.

Acrylics are so pretty, aren’t they; so vibrant and serene to look at. But colors are always pretty, so what is so special about acrylic paint? The feature that makes them stand out is the ease they provide. They are very easy to deal with.

Best Acrylic Paint For Shoes

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Whether you want a single-layer application or a double layer, acrylic paint is best for both but several single layers can be more effective in preventing in cracking on shoes.

I guess you are pretty sure that I am going to compliment a lot about acrylic paints, but let me tell you, you are wrong. Along with compliments, here we will also discuss some issues faced while using them.

If we compare them with watercolors, they are more vibrant and appealing, and easy to apply. If we compare them with oil colors, they are cheaper and they don’t have a suffocating smell.

They don’t need any special expensive brushes for application. You can use the cheap ones. And as far as the cleaning is concerned, the mess created by acrylic paints is easy to clean.

Let’s Paint Shoes!

Have you ever painted your shoes with acrylic paint? If yes, then you are such a creative person. Wait! Where are you going? Oh! So you are going to grab your favorite pair of shoes because you have got an amazing idea in your mind to paint them.

Typically, the process runs smoothly when you are painting it. But the real test of your creativity starts when you finish painting it and it’s time to handle its consequences.

Does Acrylic Paint Cracking on Shoes?

Just imagine you finished painting your shoes with acrylic paints and you are proud of yourself because it looks marvelous. You are impatient to wear it to school the next day, so you decide to go to your friend’s house nearby.

You step out of your yard and when you look down at your shoes you have to rush back to your home; because the paint, at the tip, near the sole and, all over the shoes, has started cracking.

Awful! But it’s the reality. This is one of the issues that I aim to discuss in this article. It is very common for acrylic paint to crack on shoes.

I experienced it and it hurts a lot when you see your efforts cracking up in front of you. Here, I have summed up some methods that will help you prevent acrylic paint from cracking on shoes.

How to Prevent Acrylic Paint from Cracking on Shoes [Methods]

Before I explain these methods in detail, here is the gist of these methods.

  1. Always apply paint in thin layers.
  2. Use a single brand of paint rather than mixing multiple brands.
  3. Never apply heat to dry it.
  4. Use sealants made for acrylic paints.
  5. Take care of the angle at which you are applying paint.

Now, we will discuss all these methods one by one.

Method # 1: Apply Paint in Thin Layers

The first method to deal with its consequences is to give it a sensible start. Applying paint is the most important part and is equally ignored.

You cannot just take a lot of paint on the brush and apply it to the shoes without a second thought. There is no need to rush through this rudimentary step.

  • Take little paint on your brush and apply it slightly in a single stroke throughout the targeted area, rather than applying multiple strokes on the same part.
  • Wait for this layer to dry and then apply the second layer.
  • Never hurry in administering layers over layers, as it will cause the paint to crack once it dries.
  • Applying one layer than waiting for it to dry and then applying another; I know it sounds like it will take a long time. But don’t worry. It won’t!

If you are in a hurry because you want it to dry quickly, let me tell you acrylic paints don’t take much time to dry, so you can apply them with care. Take your time and go through this process with extreme care.

Method # 2: Stick to a Single Brand

When you are painting your shoes, I am pretty sure you will not paint them in solo color. You will need more colors, so try that all the colors are from the same brand.

Though it isn’t proven, it is conventionally believed by artists that mixing paints of different brands isn’t a good idea.

Especially when you are painting your shoes and you have to expose them to the harsh outdoor environment, you should not take such risk. All the acrylic paints that you are using must be from the same brand, just to stay on the safe side.

Pro Tip: when you are adding hues of different colors, prepare enough mixture for both shoes at the start. If it runs short and you prepare another mixture there are chances that you will not obtain the same color as you obtained before.

Method # 3: Don’t Apply Heat

Try to minimize or cut any direct contact of painted shoes with heat, as it is one of the major reasons for its cracking.

If you are applying heat because you want it to dry quickly, it is a really bad idea. As I mentioned earlier, acrylic paints don’t take much longer to dry, so there is no need to rush through the process and contaminate the end product with cracks.

Another issue might arise after a few days of painting your shoes. You follow all the instructions and they come out to be perfect.

They are also not cracked after the paint is dried and you are using them for almost a week. But suddenly, cracks appear on them. You might be confused as you are not able to get to the loose end.

This may be because you placed them in direct sunlight.

Or maybe you used a hairdryer because they got wet last night.

When you are applying acrylic paint on your shoes, you are making them look chic but you are also making them fragile. So you have to take care of them.

Keep them away from direct sunlight at a comfortable temperature. Preferably, a place with good airflow!

Method # 4: Use Acrylic Paint Sealant

When you are finished painting your shoes, use sealant made for acrylic paints. This will prevent your shoes and the paint on them from any further damage or cracking. This is the second most time-consuming step after painting.

Applying sealant recklessly can result in serious damage, so you need to be careful. Apply it in bursts. Decide a specific spot, burst two sprays quickly and move on. Don’t spray it by dragging it over the whole area. Be patient and do it in steps.

The sealant not only prevents the paint on your shoes from cracking but also gives them a shiny look. You can also apply waterproof spray after applying sealant.

Pro Tip: Let your painted shoes dry thoroughly. At least, let them dry for 24 hours before use. This time might seem like a long wait, but the results are worth it.

Method #5 : Be Careful About the Angles of Stroke

You must wonder how these cracks appear in the paint. Or what is the reason behind them? These cracks usually show up where the material of the shoes is bent.

People usually don’t care when they are applying paint on these bent regions. These are the points that show cracks after the paint is dried

This is because the paint isn’t applied in the direction of bending. This contradiction of direction leads to the paint cracking up. If you want to avoid it, you need to apply paint in the direction of flexes.

Observe how the material is bending and apply strokes in synchronization with these flexes.

It doesn’t take any special efforts. If you are following the first method of applying paint carefully in thin strokes, you are halfway across it. You just have to take care of its direction. This will reduce the chances of cracks appearing in paint.

How to Prevent Acrylic Paint from Drying?

You can use retarders for this purpose. Acrylic paints are supposed to dry. To be honest, you cannot prevent it from drying, but you can slow the process. Retarders also known as “slow-dry mediums” extend their period of drying.

How to Seal Acrylic Paint on Shoes?

You can use a sealant for this purpose. Acrylic paint sealants are sprayed on dry acrylic paint in bursts to prevent the paint from further damage. Apply the first coat, wait for it to dry, and apply a second coat in the opposite direction.

What Paint to Use on Shoes?

You can use spray paints, fabric paint, or acrylic paints. You can use leather paint. There are a lot of options. You decide the type of paint based on the material of the shoes. Acrylic paint is the most versatile option among all of these.

Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Shoes?

Yes, you can use acrylic paint on shoes. Acrylic paint might crack up after drying but you can prevent it by adopting some simple methods, as mentioned above. You can use acrylic paints on almost all kinds of shoes; leather shoes, running shoes, sneakers, etc.

Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Air Force Ones?

It isn’t advised to use regular acrylic paint for Air Force Ones. You have to use special acrylic leather paint for them. Only this high-quality leather is supposed to withstand Air Force Ones.

Can You Paint Leather Shoes With Acrylic?

Its recommendable to paint fabric or canvas shoes with acrylic. Leather shoes are expensive and have smooth surface so paint will not get dry on them easily and it can ruin your money.

Is acrylic paint waterproof?

Acrylic paint is not waterproof or may be its water resistant a bit but coating your shoes you should keep in mind that not to go out in rainy weather.

Is acrylic paint permanent?

It depends on the surface. Actually acrylic is a plastic paint so if you apply it on paper or fabric like canvas then its almost permanent but if you apply it on leather, plastic and metal etc then it may be crack after drying.

Final Verdict:

Painting your shoes with acrylic paint is great idea because it makes your shoes look attractive but acrylic paint cracks on shoes after some time. So, We have mentioned Effective methods for How to Prevent Acrylic Paint from Cracking on Shoes? Best way to avoid this is apply multiple thin layers, allowing them to dry in between.


  • Jonathan de Lagarde has been the lead writer at PasUnAutre since 2019. His passion is to help people in all aspects of Feet and Shoes related to feet problems. He is a great Shoes expert in terms of giving you a great advice about which shoes you should purchase.

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