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How to paint skin – A beautiful message


To know me is to know I’m obsessed with all things animal prints — but leopard print in particular. I consider it an important element of my “hip and hip auntie look.” Haha.

So that was the inspiration behind figuring out how to paint leather shoes. I painted these plain Birkenstock sandals, because I totally LIVE in Birkenstocks all summer.

But you can use this technique to paint leather on many different things; like shoes, bags, wallets or coats. Plus, you don’t need to paint new leather or suede — save something! Or for something you already own a new life.

Birkenstocks in painted leather

An alternative title for this post might be “how to draw leopard print.” Although I consider myself a creative person, I am not the best at drawing or painting. So if I can draw leopard prints… you can too! You can watch this video to see the print come to life:

What paint can I use on leather shoes?

I’ve used Angelus acrylic leather paint. It’s medium in thickness, not super watery, but not too thick either. I needed two coats of paint for the lighter color I used and just one for the darker color.

It is sold in smaller quantities, so this is best for small items like shoes or other fashion items (not leather furniture).

Birkenstocks in painted leather

How do you paint leather shoes without cracking them?

Three tips. First, use thin coats of paint. You can add more coats if needed, but don’t apply the paint too thick or lumpy. This can lead to cracking or peeling.

Second, really let the paint dry between coats as well as before you use (wear) the item. You want the paint to soak into your skin as much as possible before you apply it.

And third, painting smaller areas (instead of the entire item) will also help fix the crack.

Supplies for making Birkenstocks with painted leather

Munition:

Practice leopard print with paint brush

Step one: Practice your leopard print, you can see my crap top try on the right side. I realized that I needed more of a difference in the two colors.

For leopard skin, you want two layers. The base layer is lighter brown and you create oddly shaped circles or horseshoes. The second layer is a darker brown (or even black) and you outline half of the shapes and add a few small transparent points.

Even if you don’t paint a design, I recommend trying paint on some leather and/or rags. The only scrap leather I had on hand was black, so I tried painting on it, but then practiced my design on canvas so I could see it.

Leather acrylic paint bottle next to the slippers

Step two: Prepare the skin. If you’re using something second-hand or used, you may need to gently clean the item first as you don’t want any dirt on the object before painting. . Not all leathers feel the same, and some are coated.

If your piece looks shiny, sand it lightly (very lightly) with fine sandpaper. You want the paint to be able to soak into the skin, not slip off the surface. My Birkenstocks require no prep as they are new and the leather is soft.

Third step: Paint the base layer. I found myself needing two coats of paint, so I waited until the first coat was completely dry before applying a second coat.

Painted Birkenstock Sandals

Step four: Add the outline layer along with the little dots for the leopard print. You don’t want contours to look perfect—everything about this should look a bit off (as it should be). You should also be careful not to show any brush marks, as that also spoils the look.

I keep my practice painting nearby as I paint so I can reference the look I’m going for.

Painted Birkenstock Sandals

Step five: Let paint dry completely before use. I think it’s best to let it dry overnight before wearing them.

Painted Birkenstock Sandals

And that’s how to paint leather shoes! I love how these turn out, and I can’t wait to wear them all summer and get my annual Birkenstock tan. Thanks for letting me share! so so. Emma

How to paint skin

how to paint leather shoes with acrylic paint

total time twelfth hour 15 minute

  • first
    pair
    Birkenstock sandals
    or leather goods
  • Angelus acrylic leather paint
    comes in flat black, beige and melon brown
  • paint brushes
  • leather or rags

  1. Practice your leopard print, you can see my crap top try on the right side. I realized that I needed more of a difference in the two colors.

  2. Even if you don’t paint a design, I recommend trying paint on some leather and/or rags.

  3. Prepare the skin. If you are using something used or used, you may need to gently clean the item first as you don’t want any dirt on the object before painting. . Not all leathers feel the same, and some are coated.

    If your piece looks shiny, sand it lightly (very lightly) with fine sandpaper. You want the paint to be able to soak into the skin, not slip off the surface.

  4. Paint the base layer. I found myself needing two coats of paint, so I waited until the first coat was completely dry before applying a second coat.

  5. Add the outline layer along with the little dots for the leopard print.

  6. Let paint dry completely before use. I think it’s best to let it dry overnight before wearing them.



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