How to Prevent Acrylic Paint from Cracking on Shoes?

Do you want to make your shoes stand out and transform them into a masterpiece using acrylic paint but don’t know how to make the painting durable?

If you have the skill of painting, you can make your shoes unique by painting on them and showing your creativity by changing their look as you desire.

But, before painting, it is essential to know what will protect the painting from cracking; otherwise, all your efforts will go wasted.

In this article, I will tell you all you need to know about preventing acrylic paint from cracking on shoes.

how to prevent acrylic paint from cracking on shoes

How to Stop Acrylic Paint from Cracking on Shoes?

  1. On the surface of shoes, always apply thin layers of acrylic paint.
  2. While mixing multiple colors in the painting, use products of one brand.
  3. Never try to dry the shoe surface quickly using heat or sunlight.
  4. After painting, apply acrylic paint sealant.
  5. Apply the paint in the direction of the shoe bends.

Prepare Shoes for Acrylic Paint to Prevent Cracking

We know that preparing the shoe surface and applying acrylic paint are so easy steps, but if not done properly, all your hard work will be ruined.

This way, you can make a unique and better design, and the paint will be long-lasting.

Preparing Shoes for Painting

You have to be patient and give time to this project to get good results. When the surface is fully prepared for the design you are going to make, you will be able to use them for a long time.

Examine the surface of the shoes and ensure there are no dirt and grime particles. If you notice any dust on them, clean them according to the shoe material and dry them thoroughly before starting the painting.

When the weather is fine, you can put your footwear in sunlight to dry it quickly but don’t let this exposure so long to prevent discoloring. Cleaning and drying are the most important steps because paint doesn’t adhere to wet and dirty surfaces.

If you have purchased new shoes for painting, then only shaking them will be enough to clean them. When you are sure that the footwear is dirt free, move to the next step.

Choosing an Acrylic Paint Set and Brushes

In this step, you will decide which company’s acrylic color painting you will use. Also, you will choose the right type of brush. Purchase the paint from a high-quality product because low-quality acrylic paint washes off quickly with little moisture.

Sometimes we need to mix colors while painting, so I strongly recommend using the same brand’s colors. Its reason is that different companies have manufactured products with different ingredients, for example, binders, polymers, pigments, solvents, etc.

So when you mix the paints of two different brands, they might not mix well, are unable to adhere to the surface, or may result in cracking soon. On the other hand, you can use numerous colors of the same brand as you desire.

Applying Paint Correctly

Cleaning the shoes’ surface, gathering the right brushes, and getting durable paint is not enough to start the painting. Learning the correct way to apply it is also very necessary.

Luckily it is not so hard to learn. Every step is so easy! The acrylic color should not be thick; otherwise, when the paint dries, cracks will start appearing on the surface of the shoes.

A thin layer of paint has many benefits, it spreads on each corner easily, and the coating is smooth, creating a flawless surface.

As this layer is convenient to spread, it will require little effort and work. Furthermore, a thin coating is absorbed by the shoe’s fibers well; this way, its lifespan will increase.

Way to Apply Paint on the Shoes Flexible Parts

If you have ever noticed, the cracks in the surface of the shoes, you will understand that they occur on the parts where your foot bends the most. That’s why, while painting, focus on these areas more compared to the other.

Carefully examine the direction of these flexing that appear to the footwear and apply the paint in the same direction. If you apply it in the opposite direction of these flexing, it will result in cracking.

Prevent Cracking of Acrylic Paint from Shoes?

Applying acrylic paint to the footwear is easy, but maintaining them is difficult. When you apply it on the shoes, cracks appear, which looks so annoying after drying.

So, are you looking for ways to protect your acrylic paint? Don’t worry. I have given many useful tips and tricks that will help you:

Method to Prevent Cracking of Acrylic Paint on Shoes

We have learned how to prepare the shoes before applying the paint, which is an extremely important step. Now we will discuss some effective techniques that will help protect the acrylic paint on shoes.

Painting Shoes with Acrylic Paint in Thin Layers

As we have discussed earlier, applying paint in thin layers has many benefits. Here, I have given the proper way to apply paint in thin layers.

  • Please don’t cover the brush with the paint fully; instead, take a little amount on it and apply it on the surface in a single stroke. Don’t apply multiple strokes on the same part of the shoes.
  • When the first layer of paint is dried completely, apply a second one.
  • Never apply so many layers; otherwise, it will result in the cracking of the paint.
  • Always start this project when you are not in a hurry because you have to give it a proper time to get the best results.

Never Apply Heat

Most people apply heat to acrylic paint to make them dry soon, but cracks appear on its surface when they are dried in this way.

Acrylic paints don’t take too much time to dry, so there is no need to look for other quick-drying methods to protect your paint from cracking. Most individuals place them in sunlight, which is also a bad practice.

Paints dried in sunlight may be fine, but using them once will result in cracking them. Furthermore, using a hair dryer will also ruin your favorite painted shoes. Therefore, never try to apply any quick drying method.

Acrylic paint makes your footwear lovely but also so fragile and easily breaks, so you must be very careful while working with it. A well-ventilated area where air circulates thoroughly and room temperature is enough to dry them.

Use Acrylic Paint Sealant

After completing the painting project applying sealant is necessary to protect it from cracking. Without this step, the project will be incomplete.

Secondly, perform all the steps with proper attention because any carelessness will ruin all your efforts. Spray the whole shoe quickly and complete all the parts.

Besides protecting the shoe surface from cracking, it is also helpful in making a shiny appearance on it. After applying paint, let them dry for 24 hours to get better results.

Why Does Acrylic Paint Crack on Shoes?

Due to the following reasons, acrylic paint cracks on shoes:

  1. When the shoes are not prepared before painting, the paint coating doesn’t stick to the shoe surface properly, and after wearing them once or twice, they start peeling and cracking.
  2. If the surface of the shoes is given a thick coating of paint, cracks appear on them after drying.
  3. After applying paint, if a protective layer of sealant is not applied to them, the paint will not be durable enough to withstand water or other elements and eventually start cracking.
  4. For applying paint, if you choose shoes made of porous materials like canvas or fabric, the shoe surface will not absorb the paint and will crack after drying.

How to Apply Acrylic Leather Paint without Cracking?

Every type of footwear has different painting methods; leather shoes require deglazing their surface before applying paint.

To prepare the surface of leather shoes for painting, deglazing is the most important step. Follow the steps below to paint the leather shoes without cracking:

  • Deglaze is a product that makes the paint able to stick to the shoe surface. Apply it on the shoe surface using a brush.
  • Deglaze will take several days to dry. Before applying the paint, you must ensure the surface is completely dry.
  • When the surface is ready, apply a thin layer of paint. You can add water to the paint to make it thinner; this way, it will be easier to apply.
  • When one layer has dried, apply the next one. It is necessary to wait for one coating to dry, then apply the other if you have to apply multiple layers.
  • Once the painting is complete, please place them in a shady place at room temperature, but the area should be well-ventilated. At least 24 hours will be enough to dry them.
  • Never make them dry quickly using sunlight, a hairdryer, or other heating methods; otherwise, the paint will crack after drying.
  • Protecting the paint with acrylic paint sealant is crucial to make it long-lasting.
  • You can use a water-repellent spray to protect the surface from moisture damage.
  • To make the surface shiny apply leather polish on the shoe’s surface.

Materials Where Acrylic Paint Can Be Applied

Acrylic paint is versatile, but it doesn’t mean it can be applied to every material. It is necessary to know that this paint can’t be applied on some surfaces.

I have given a list of materials for applying acrylic paint.

  • Glass
  • Plaster
  • Canvas
  • Fabric
  • Paper
  • Clay (air-dry)
  • Cardboard
  • Metal
  • Wood
  • Fabric (but cracks will appear soon)
  • Polymer clay
  • Plastic
  • Stone

To apply the paint on glass, metal, and plastic, first, you will prepare their surface for painting.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

After Applying Acrylic Paint to Shoes, Will They Crack?

Acrylic paint consists of different powerful materials, which makes it durable and flexible. The plastic polymers make a flexible and thin coating on the shoe surface, preventing them from cracking or scuffing.

Is Acrylic Paint Long-Lasting on Shoes?

Acrylic paint is durable if you apply them by following all the instructions carefully. However, the parts of the shoes used excessively can’t hold the paint for a long time, such as the sole. These parts will discolor soon and eventually will result in wearing out.

How to Seal Shoes with Acrylic Paint?

Once you have completed the project of painting the shoes with acrylic paint, protect them from cracking by sealing them with a good quality sealant.

What Should Be Applied After Acrylic Paint on Shoes?

After giving a coat of acrylic paint to the shoes, prevent them from cracking by spraying with a good quality sealant and make their surface water resistant with water-repellent spray.

Will Acrylic Paint Wash Off Due to Sweating?

Although acrylic paint makes a durable coating on the shoe’s surface, applying the water-repellent spray can make it waterproof. This way, the paint will not go away due to sweat or any kind of moisture.

Final Thoughts

You can change the look of your shoes with the design of your choice by applying acrylic paint on them, but to keep it in good condition for a long time, you must learn how to prevent acrylic paint from cracking on shoes.

Preparing the shoe surface before painting and protecting it with a good quality sealant are the most important steps to achieving long-lasting paint on your footwear. Follow all the instructions that I have given in this guide carefully.

Daniel Robert is a shoe lover who enjoys writing about all kinds of footwear, including sneakers, Crocs, Vans, and more. He shares his vast knowledge on, a website dedicated to helping people find the perfect pair of shoes. With years of experience and a passion for all things shoe-related, Daniel's easy-to-understand advice has helped countless people make confident and stylish choices.

Leave a Comment