Are you an Adidas sneaker fanatic and want to take your style to the next level? If yes, then you’re not alone. There are literally thousands of people online today who are just like you. They love their sneakers and want to add a creative flair. By choosing to hand paint your Adidas sneakers, you can create a design unique to you to show off to the world.
Out of all the ways you can customize Adidas shoes, painting designs by hand seems to be the most popular. That’s why in this post we tell you exactly how you can customize your Adidas shoes to fit 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. If you look at other hand-painted shoes for sale, you can see there is no limit to what you can create. This, of course, isn’t just limited to Adidas. You can hand paint your Converse or even paint your old Vans as well.
Getting your Adidas
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.
Before you get started, 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.
Before you start painting, it’s better to get all the supplies you need upfront to be sure your project runs smoothly and doesn’t get slowed down. Otherwise, you might realize that after you’ve already begun, you’re missing some materials. 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 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.
Now lets get painting!
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.
Prepping the Shoes
First off, before you get started you need to prepare your shoes. To do so, follow these steps:
- 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.
Sketch your design
Now that you’ve reached 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. 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:
- First, 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.
- Next, cut out the boundaries of the inner major details, place it again on the same spot, and trace around these boundaries.
- Lastly, add any further smaller details by hand or use smaller stencils.
Painting the background
Now that you have your design, start painting the background. There are two ways to go about this 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.
Getting into the details
After the background, it’s time to dive into the main design.
- 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.
- Once the last of your paint has completely dried, apply a layer of the matte finisher and duller (optional; to reduce gloss) over your shoes.
- Lastly, carefully remove the tape from your shoes.
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.
Maintaining Your Design
Regardless of if you’ve painted shoes yourself our bought a pair from someone else, it is essential to make sure you clean your shoes properly to avoid destroying the design. With this in mind, after you hand paint your Adidas sneakers, make sure to read our guide on keeping your custom shoes spotless.