Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Air Force Ones

The current generation of people is either known for their style or creativity. One of the hottest topics in the fashion industry nowadays is footwear, with bigshots like Nike constantly releasing something new.

If we talk about one of the biggest Nike releases recently, the Air Force ones must be on top of the chart. With everyone having or wanting a pair. A new and common trend you can see these days is people painting their footwear, specifically air force ones, to show their individuality and creativity.

With it becoming a common trend, many people wonder can you use acrylic paint on air force ones? Let us jump right into the answer if you have the same question.

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Air Force Ones

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Air Force Ones

To simply answer your question, yes, you can use acrylic paint on air force ones.

However, is it safe? Let me answer to flush out all your worry – it is completely safe. The colors stick perfectly on air force ones, lasting a while too. However, it is better to use acrylic leather paint rather than regular acrylic paint.  

However, air force ones usually have a wax coating for protection. So, if you are looking to paint your pair of air force ones, you first have to remove the wax coating, or the acrylic paint won’t stick on it.

We recommend using a leather deglaze to remove the coacting. Even if it’s an old pair of shoes, it is still wise to deglaze them.

Air Force is a Nike signature, having sections stitched separately on their shoe. So, the process and steps you take to paint your air force depend upon which part you plan to paint. If you plan to color those sections, use precautionary methods like painter’s tape to protect other areas from getting paint on them.

Things You Need In Order To Paint Your Air Force Ones;

Steps To Prepare And Paint Your Air Force Ones With Acrylic Paint

Now that you know it is completely safe to use acrylic paint on your air force ones. Still, we do recommend using acrylic leather paint. So here is a step-by-step guide on how to prepare and paint them.                                  

1. Deglazing And Preparing Your Air Force Ones

Steps To Prepare And Paint Your Air Force Ones With Acrylic Paint

To start, even before painting, you have to use a leather deglaze on your air force one. It removes the wax layer that Nike puts on their shoes for protection. Without deglazing it, your acrylic paint will not stick on the shoe.

To apply, take some deglaze on a cotton pad and gently rub it on the parts you want to paint. Continue doing this until you see the white color from your shoe start appearing on your cotton pad.

Do not apply it on the entire shoe, as you want the protective coating on the parts you don’t want to paint.

However, remember some air forces may have coatings with materials such as plastic or suede, which are comparatively harder to remove.

2. Get Your Equipment Ready

Once you have applied the deglaze on your air force one, let it sit for a while. Meanwhile, get your equipment ready. Fill a cup with water and pour out your acrylic paint on a mixing plate.

Now, before starting, clean your brushes thoroughly to make sure your brushes don’t have paint from the last time you used them. It may result in colors mixing and ruining your shoe.

Furthermore, use painter’s tape and cover the parts that you don’t want to paint on your air force ones for safety. This way, even if you make any mistakes, it won’t ruin your shoe.

3. Plan Your Design

It is best to have a design set in your head or in front of you before starting to paint. An unprepared painting may result in confusion mid-way through, or you may end up ruining your shoes.

Whether it’s a custom design you came up with or something you got from the internet, draw it on a piece of paper. You may also trace the outlines of your shoes for better accuracy. Now we advise you to color the sketch you made with pencils and markers before you start painting it on your air force ones.

4. It’s Time To Paint

Once you have decided on what colors to use and what design you want to go for, take a brush of the proper size and get some acrylic paint on it. Then start painting the designated area in thin layers. It helps by making the paint last longer.     

Keep the layers thin to make it look the best; also, thick layers of paint may crack or peel off. After every layer is painted, make sure you give it enough time to dry before you start to paint another layer.

In addition, remember to wash your brush correctly in the cup of water before switching to a different color. It needs to get done, or else your paints may mix and result in an odd color when applied on the air force ones.

Once done painting, leave it out for a few hours to make sure it has dried out properly to avoid smudges.

Tips To Stop Acrylic Paint From Cracking When Painted On Air Force Ones

Tips To Stop Acrylic Paint From Cracking When Painted On Air Force Ones
  •  Always make sure you apply the paint in thin layers and take as much time as possible.
  •  Remember, all acrylic paint types do not have the same quality and consistency. We suggest not mixing more than one type of acrylic paint when painting your air force ones. Mixing may result in the paint easily cracking and falling off.
  • Do not use fire or blow dryer to dry out the paint. Using heat to dry out the paint will surely lead to it cracking
  •  You can try using sealants to seal the acrylic paint on your footwear. This way, the risk of cracking is minimized, and the duration of the paint lasts increases.
  • Lastly, above everything, a lot of it depends on your comfort level when painting it. If you are at an uncomfortable angle, your strokes may be uneven, resulting in the layers of paint not sitting too well. As one part may get thicker than the other. So make sure to have an angle comfortable for you when painting.

Tips On How To Remove Acrylic Paint From Your Air Force Ones

Tips On How To Remove Acrylic Paint From Your Air Force Ones
  • To remove paint from your air force ones, first, get a bowl with some warm water it in. Then pour in some dish soap and mix it well
  • Now, take a piece of cloth and soak it in the mixture. Then gently start rubbing it on the painted area.
  • You will notice a lot of the paint will start coming off. Now to remove the paint even further, get a nail polish remover and pour it on a piece of cloth
  • Start rubbing it on the painted area to remove the acrylic paint altogether.
  • Furthermore, if you don’t want to do any of these steps, there is always an option to bleach out the paint from your shoes.
  • Oil may also be an excellent option to remove paint off your air force ones


  • Can I paint my shoes with acrylic paint?

Yes, it is entirely okay to use acrylic paint on your shoes. You will be glad to know a lot of shoe companies use acrylic paint on their shoes when they deem it necessary. Its been an industrial process for years.

  • What paint can you use on Air Force Ones?

The safest and most commonly used type of paint on air force ones would be acrylic paint. We recommend it as acrylic paint is well known for being better at withstanding scratches and weather conditions compared to its competitors. You can also try using acrylic leather paint.

  • Does Acrylic Leather Paint Come Off In The Rain?

There is a possibility that rain may ruin the paint on your shoe, as acrylic leather paint is known to be water-resistant. Nonetheless, it is not waterproof. It may come off if the painted surface is not treated properly or has been in contact with the rain when still wet.

Final Words

People often say we express our creativity through what we wear, so if painting your air force ones is a means to express your creativity, you surely should go for it. Even though remember to take proper precautionary steps to ensure the best results.

We hope we answered your question of “can you use acrylic paint on air force ones” and were helpful to you. Follow our guide properly, and you will be painting your air force ones in no time.

Check out some Air Force to show your creativity today.

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