How To Prevent Acrylic Paint From Cracking On Shoes (Top 5 Tips)

DATE: July 2, 2022

Author: Jimmy Lewis


Do you like customizing your shoes with unique designs? If you happen to be an artist or someone who has a flair for creativity through the use of brushes, showcasing your designs through your shoes is a great idea. But before that, you need to find the suitable material to paint on your favorite sneakers.

Acrylic paint is the first choice when working with designing shoes, as it is one of the most accessible paints to work with. An essential step of the process of shoe designing is also knowing how to save your design. In that case, you’ll need to know—how to prevent acrylic paints from cracking on shoes.

In this detailed article, you will find how you can prevent the cracking by methods such as applying the paint in thinner layers, painting in the same direction that the shoe flexes, avoiding the mixture of different brands of paint, etc. Let’s take a look at them!

What Kind of Paint To Use

What Kind of Paint To Use?

You can use different mediums for the designing of your favorite sneakers. Standard items include the use of spray paints, fabric paints, or acrylic paints. 

There are a lot of paint options that can help you decide upon the type of paint you need based on the material covering the shoes. Acrylic paint happens to be the most versatile option of all the paints.

How to Prevent Acrylic Paints From Cracking On Shoes:

How To Prevent Acrylic Paint From Cracking On Shoes?

In the following sections, you will learn the complete process, which can be done in 5 ways.

Tip 1: Thin Layers Are Always Better

This method deals with a good start. When you apply paint in thin layers, it makes the starting and is the essential part of the process, which is almost always disregarded. You can’t take a whole lot of paint and apply it. Instead, you have to do the following:

  1. Take a little bit of the paint on the brush. Now, apply it using one stroke over the area. Avoid using multiple strokes to cover the same area.
  2. Next, you have to wait till this layer dries. Once it dries, you can apply another layer. Keep in mind, you should never be in a hurry when you are administering the layers, or the paint on the shoe will crack when dry. So you should apply one layer, let it dry, then apply another.
  3. If you need the paint to dry fast, acrylic paints hardly take a lot of time. However, you have to go through the process carefully.

Tip 2: Single Brand Paint Supremacy

When trying to paint your shoes, you wont use a solo color (unless you do). Even though you’ll need more than one color, test that all of them come from one brand. Taut artists will tell you that mixing different paint brands is a bad idea.

And this is especially true when painting shoes at home, but you will expose them outdoors. All acrylic paints that you use should come from one brand if you want to be safe.

Here’s a tip: while you mix different colors (of the same brand), make enough mixture that can last for the pair of shoes right in the beginning. If it is running short midway in your shoe painting and you try to prepare another similar mixture, the chances are that you won’t have the same color.

Tip 3: No Heating

Whenever you can, try to reduce contact with your painted shoes (no matter freshly painted or painted days earlier) with heat. The heat happened to be a significant reason for cracking acrylic-painted shoes.

If you think you need to apply heat for the shoes to dry fast, it is bad. Acrylic paints usually don’t take long to dry up, so there’s no need to be hasty and get cracks on the paint later.

Another issue that might arise even if you follow the instructions of not using heat is to dry your shoes and still see the crack. This may happen if you place the shoes in sunlight, even after painting them days back. 

Or, you could have used your hairdryer on the paint because your shoes got wet from some activity. Don’t do any of these, and let the shoes air-dry, away from sunlight,, and in a place with good ventilation.

Method 4: Do Use Sealants

When you’re done with painting shoes, you can use a sealant made particularly to work with acrylic paints. It will save the pair of shoes from cracking. However, this is a long step, so make sure that your sealant application is not a hurried process! Here’s how to use acrylic sealants:

  1. Find the particular spot or area on the shoe where you want to apply the sealant.
  2. Applying sealant requires you to apply it in small bursts. Burst two spritzes of the sealant spray quickly and then move on to the next spot. Have the next location on the shoe decided beforehand so that you don’t have to figure it out midway through the process?
  3. Don’t drag the spray over the entire area. Try to be patient; perform the bursts quickly on the areas instead of covering one entire area in one full spritz of the spray. Do it in small steps.

The paint sealant will both prevent the cracking of paints and also give the shoes a shiny look. Also, you may apply waterproofing sprays on the shoe after applying the sealant.

Here’s a tip: Dry your shoes for a day after the acrylic paint application before you want to apply sealant.

Tip 5: Mind the Angle

The crack of paint usually shows up in the places where the shoes have been bent. When you are painting in these regions, you have to be extra careful as these are places where the shoe cracks after the paints dry.

So to prevent this cracking, you have to apply the paint along with the bending. Without a contradiction of this path, the paint will not crack up. So apply the brush strokes in proper synchronization with the flexes on your shoes.


What are considered to be the best shoes to paint with acrylic paint?

Canvas shoes are the first consideration because canvas soaks the paint best. However, you can paint fabric and leather shoes too, with the necessary instructions.

Can I use acrylic paint on my shoes made of leather?

You may. But it is better not to. You should only be painting your leather shoes if they have grown old from wearing and you want to jazz the pairs up a bit. It is always better to use acrylic paint on your canvas, fabric, or rubber shoes.

Is acrylic paint permanent?

Yes, acrylic paint is permanent. Therefore, if you are not sure about the design or letting it stay for a long time on your shoes, clean the pair out while the paint is still wet. Most people use this paint to revamp old shoes.
If you are sure you don’t want this permanence of design on your old shoes too, let alone the new ones, you can change your decision to not wear the shoes with the paint till the end of their life.

Final Words

Painting your favorite shoes using acrylic paints is a great idea. It is going to make your shoes not only look really attractive but also appear as a new way to use your shoes without having to spend a lot of money. 

However, since acrylic paint tends to crack on shoes after a while, you may hesitate to try it out. But if you follow our guide on how to prevent acrylic paint from cracking on shoes with all the 5 tips in mind, you need not worry at all!

Related posts:
How to Get Acrylic Paint Off Shoes
Can You Spray Paint on Leather Shoes
How To Get Paint Off Leather Boots
Can I Paint My Shoes

You may also like...

Jimmy Lewis

Travel & Shoe Fashion Enthusiast
This is Jimmy Lewis, a travel enthusiast with professionalism and a hobbyist who goes around the world, leads an enjoyable life with remarkable comfort. I’m one of the men with expertise in traveling, hiking, trekking, and jumping over 5 years of experience in living a remarkable life to be happy! That’s what, about shoes, I built an amazing website named to express my gathering knowledge over decades.

This blog explores the latest shoe trends, offering insights into popular styles, materials, and brands. From sneakers to heels, it covers everything you need to know to stay fashionable and comfortable in your footwear choices. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising & linking to Amazon properties. Simply as an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more
© Copyright