Whether you painted your shoes yourself or bought some exclusive custom-painted shoes, one thing is for sure. You want to keep them protected so they look their best for years to come. But, this isn't easy. From scuffs to mud, to even just plain old water - acrylic paint (the most commonly used type of paint on custom shoes) has many foes. What can be done?
There isn't much you can do to protect your custom shoe paint job from scuffs and mud - other than watching your step and being extra careful when walking about. However, there is one thing you can do to preserve the awesome paint job on your shoes: waterproof them.
Can you waterproof painted shoes? Today, we'll answer this question once and for all. Spoiler alert - yes, you can! And, you should, if the shoes haven't been waterproofed or sealed by the artist already. We'll explain all the benefits of waterproofing your custom shoes, and teach you the best way to go about it. Let's dive right in.
Yes - You Can Waterproof Painted Shoes
We won't hold you in suspense any longer - yes, you can and should waterproof your custom-painted shoes. If you painted them yourselves, you know how long and time-consuming the process was. You probably spent hours - if not days - tracing, painting, and fading the design to perfection. If you bought these shoes, you probably spent a pretty penny. Either way, you want to protect that pair of shoes the best you can.
By sealing them properly, you can prevent cracking, peeling, chipping, and washing away of your shoes' design. In fact, sealing canvas shoes or leather shoes is a crucial step once the acrylic paint has dried. It will preserve the artwork for the long haul, and help you avoid deterioration.
So, without any further ado, let's explain how to waterproof and seal acrylic paint on shoes.
How To Waterproof Painted Shoes
The first step in waterproofing is making sure your shoes were painted with the right shoe paint. Acrylic sealant will only work on acrylic paints - so do your due diligence.
Then, make sure your shoes are perfectly clean before applying any sort of acrylic sealers. These sealers work really well to finish off your job when painting shoes - but if you have any specs of dirt on the canvas of your shoe, you'll trap them in. So, learn how to wash custom shoes first. After that, you can move on to the next step: actually applying acrylic sealers.
Actually Applying Acrylic Paint Sealant
To seal acrylic paint, you must first choose the type of sealant you want to use. The good news is that you'll have no shortage of options. Acrylic paint sealers can be used on just about any type of fabric - on shoes, art canvases, etc. You can even use an acrylic paint sealer on canvas shoes, if that's the type of shoes you have! But if you have leather shoes that you'd like to waterproof, you should look for a leather sealer in particular.
From there, just make sure the type of acrylic paint sealer you're using has the finish you want. Some of these sealers leave behind a glossy finish. Maybe that's what you want. Or, maybe you want a sealer that you can't even see. By applying thin layers of the sealer, your shoe paint will look unaltered.
However you go about sealing the shoe paint on your canvas shoes or leather shoes, one thing is for sure. You'll have done everything in your power to protect them from moisture.
Do Waterproofing Sprays Work On Custom Shoe Paint?
You may have seen "waterproofing sprays" advertised at shoe shops or online. Manufacturers selling these little spray bottles claim that they can be applied right to canvas, vinyl, or leather shoes to prevent acrylic paint from cracking due to moisture. Is it true - does waterproofing spray work as a moisture sealant on a new paint job?
While it's true that this spray protects acrylic paint, it comes with some costs. For one, these waterproofing sprays can clog the pores on some fabrics. Leather shoes in particular should not have waterproof sprays applied. It makes the shoes less breathable and can cause hot, stinky feet that turn your shoes smelly.
Furthermore, these waterproofing sprays make it tougher to clean, condition, and polish your shoes. If you do decide you want to use these sprays anyway, make sure you use a water-resistant spray instead of waterproof. These are less aggressive.
Is Your Custom Shoe Paint Already Waterproof?
If you bought custom shoes featuring acrylic paints from a professional artist or some other company, then you may not need to do anything on your end. It's very likely the artist or company already applied thin layers of a paint sealant to the artwork.
You can look at the company's or artist's website to find out. Or, reach out to them directly - it is a common question they get asked. When in doubt, it doesn't hurt to apply a second layer of sealant to fabric paints. It won't hurt them by any means - and it's better to be safe rather than sorry!
Closing Thoughts On Waterproofing Custom Painted Shoes
Well, there you have it. Waterproofing the paint on custom shoes is super simple. It's just a matter of finding the right sealer for your type of shoe paint and shoe fabric. Apply thin layers, and voila - your shoes are now resistant to water, cracking, and fading! They'll look stunning for years to come - guaranteed.
If you bought custom shoes with artwork painted right on them, you may already have waterproof shoes and not know it. Try and find out if this is the case prior to adding additional layers of paint sealer to the canvas fabric.
With all this said, though, waterproofing your shoes doesn't mean you can go splashing through puddles. You still need to do everything in your power to keep your shoes dry and away from muck and grime. Whether you painted these custom shoes yourself or bought them, you want to treat them with care. That means giving them a nice, gentle wipe down after each wear.
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