Are you an Adidas sneaker fanatic and want to take your style to the next level? Are you an artist (or have an artist friend) that can help you elevate your Adidas shoe game? If yes, then you’re not alone. There are literally thousands of people online today who are just like you. They love Adidas and want to add a creative flair to their sneakers.
That’s why in this post we tell you exactly how you can hand paint your Adidas shoes to exactly what you like. We take you step by step through the process and share tips along the way.
Adidas, known for their classics and their more innovative designs, are effortless to paint. Their smooth surface is perfect for the job; you just need the correct equipment, materials, and basic painting process to customize your kicks. There are hundreds of different colors and designs available, and you could apply the same general method to any pair you like. This, of course, isn’t just limited to hand painting your new Adidas shoes, you could also apply the same method to touch up or restore your old pairs as well.
First things first, get your Adidas shoes.
Adidas shoes have gained in popularity in recent years. From sports styles to everyday wear, the company has several different designs you could pick from, according to your needs or liking.
Here are a few suggestions on which shoes you could get for hand-painting purposes:
Adidas Superstar shoes. These are the most commonly used for painting and customizing, given their classic style and simple design.
Stan Smith shoes. These were also quite popular some time ago, and a lot of people still prefer them.
Nizza Shoes. For anyone looking for something new, especially women, these are also becoming super popular. They’re available in both simple and platform styles.
Pro model shoes. A personal favorite, they are high-rise shoes available in a few different variations.
You can find all these shoes and more on Adidas online store and simply order from there.
Supplies: everything you need to get started
It’s better to get all the supplies you need upfront so your project runs smoothly and doesn’t get slowed down. Otherwise, you might realize that after you’ve already begun, you require some other things. For this purpose, we’ve compiled a complete list of all the things you will find a need for in this endeavor.
You can find most of these things at your local arts and crafts store or order them online. For the best standard, something long-lasting, and which will be worth the money you’ll spend, we recommend buying your materials at Angelus Direct, an online store that sells everything you need to start customizing your own shoes.
- Prep solution. This is an absolute necessity, as this removes factory paint or finish, leaving behind a clean surface to which your paint can adhere to. It also helps prevent any cracking in the paint, keeps the surface smooth and flexible, and makes the paint last longer. For this, you can get Angelus Leather Preparer and Deglazer which removes the previous oily layer and gives it a flat look. If you don’t have that, use 100% acetone nail-paint remover.
- Small Cotton pads. To correctly apply the prep solution it is best to have these. You can also use tissue squares for this.
- Masking or Electrical Tape. This is just to tape-off the areas where you want to avoid getting any paint. It is also useful in stenciling.
- X-ACTO knife. This is optional and helps mostly in taping off the soles etc. You can also get the Angelus detailing knife which will greatly help in the stenciling part too.
- Pencil and your design printed on a paper. You will require these to trace out your design onto your shoes if you’re going for something complex.
- Acrylic paints. The quality and colors of the paints you get is completely on you and you can find different palettes at Angelus or at any local store.
- Air-brush. If your design has a fade or inter-mixed shading, you could get an air-brush to easily implement your design on the shoes. It is completely optional and you don’t require it for most of the techniques or drawings, it really depends on what you choose to make.
- Paint-brushes. You’ll need two types of brushes, point-tip and flat-tip, for outlining and filling respectively.
- Heat Gun or Blow Dryer. The multiple layers of paint need proper drying in between and this greatly helps in that.
- Matte Finisher. In the end, to bind and hold everything together, to prevent chipping, to make the paint look fresh and last longer, apply a layer of Angelus matte finisher over your dried paint. You can also spray any matte finisher on top.
- Angelus Duller. It helps reduce gloss and is optional.
Time to hand paint your Adidas sneakers!
Once you have all the things that are going to be used, all that’s left is the fun part… painting! You don’t need to worry about the different steps, the know-how, or the little tips and tricks, we’re here to guide you through it all. So just read on:
- Take the shoes you want to paint over and use your tape to cover the edges, the top laces area as well as the rubber toe-cap, since these can’t be painted over.
- Next soak your cotton pad or tissue with a little prep solution and rub it smoothly over the shoe to remove older paint and make it smooth. Do this 2 or 3 times, letting it dry first each time.
- Now at the drawing stage, you have two options: freehand drawing or stenciling. If you’re going for a simple pattern like ‘drip’ design you can easily freehand it. But if you’re going for something more intricate like a character, and you’re not comfortable free-handing it, go for stenciling.
- To stencil do the following:
- Take the print-out of your design and carefully cut around the main part. Stick it on the part of your shoe where you want to draw it with tape (stuck at the back, not the sides) and trace around it using a pencil.
- After the main part, cut out the boundaries of the inner major details, place it again on the same spot, and trace around these boundaries.
- Add any further smaller details by hand or use smaller stencils.
- Now that you have your design, start painting the background! There are again two ways for this.
- Do it using a simple flat-tip paintbrush and your different colors.
- Use an airbrush especially if you have multiple mixed shades in the background or are going for a slow fade look. You’ll need to make the proper paint solution for this first and use general stencils to ensure you don’t get paint on unwanted areas.
- After the background, use a point-tip brush to do the outlines of your main design and then use a flat-tip brush for the inner areas. Do 4-5 coatings of the base colors first and completely dry each layer using your heat gun before painting on another. Make sure that each coat is thin, smooth, and has even brush strokes.
- Add any further shadings you want and check for any missed spots.
- When the last of your paint has completely dried, apply a layer of the matte finisher and duller(optional; to reduce gloss) over your shoes.
- Carefully remove the tape from your shoes.
- Enjoy your new kicks!
If you want more information or further help you can refer to Lorenz King’s YouTube video, who shows the process for a ‘drip’ style or if you’re looking to simply restore your shoes, check out Angelus Shoe Polish’s quick and simple video.
You now know almost everything you need to begin hand-painting your own Adidas. These are general guidelines that you can use for any design or shoes. Of course, if you want to know more about stenciling intricate patterns or other air-brushing techniques you can see more videos online and be on your way! Good luck painting!