Help: Painting Canvas Shoes

Okay so long story short, my best friend moved from California to Hawaii. She's feeling homesick so I wanted to give her a gift. I going to get her some slip on shoes like in the Vans slip on style and paint it all (the pink and black on the included picture) and on the top (the blue) paint a dark sunset. I've painted canvas shoes before; some cheap black ones and all I did was paint them white, sketch some flowers, and paint them with Apple Barrel brand acrylics. I did not put anything for the finishing since I didn't care about the shoes.


Since I'm giving these to a friend and I want the paintings to last I would like to know:
-What type/brand of paints would you recommend?
-Do I need anything to prep the shoes?
-How should I go about preserving the artwork?

The workers at my hobbies store couldn't answer my questions so ANY tips, hints, and tricks is GREATLY appreciated! Happy

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9 replies since 15th September 2014 • Last reply 10th January 2018

I'm sorry for those reading but it's not allowing me to upload a picture so I'm going to be painting the Vamp* of the shoe and the Quarter* and the Heel Counter* so basically the top part of a shoe and the sides.

*This is what Vans calls each section on their website.

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I've painted a pair of shoes using acrylic paint and varnish. First of all I painted them white. Then I painted it with acrylic paint. Finally I varnished it with a spray varnish and Mod Podge. I've discovered that exist an outdoor Mod Podge, maybe you can find it. If the shoes are textile you can use fabric paint without varnish (sure it works).

You can take a look to my shoes here: http://www.cutoutandkeep.net/projects/punk-shoes

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Thank you and those sandles look much better in my opinionHappy

Do you know what brand of varnish you used?

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This one: http://www.artsupplies.co.uk/item-ghiant-varnish-h2o.htm (the briliant one).
I made some layers using this varnish and then some layers of Mod Podge (better if it's OUTDOOR Mod Podge).

Ps. Glad you like my sandals! Happy

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Thank you! I think I'm going to start tomorrow Happy

And you're welcome Happy

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-What type/brand of paints would you recommend? Folk Art acryllics are lovely, they have a wiiiide variety of colors and finishes (satin, glossy, matte, etc.)

-Do I need anything to prep the shoes? I would wipe them with a damp cloth and clean the inside of the shoes; they may be brand new, but they probably have dirt or something on them anyway. It'd the nature of shoes.

-How should I go about preserving the artwork? I personally use the Mod Podge Clear Acrllic Sealer, because I find it works the best, but if you want to find a sealer made specifically to be waterproof and keep everything out, use the Rustoleum NeverWet Liquid Repellent. Be sure to thoroughly coat each shoe though.

Links to buy sealant products:
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Mod-Podge-Clear-Matte-Acrylic-Sealer-12-oz/17300139
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Rust-Oleum-NeverWet/26910062

Videos of products in action:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoKXTlqmUb8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8q2xZfrUwbc

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@Katzilla thank you for recommending brands Happy definitely going to check out the links and I promise I'll post the shoes when I'm finished Happy

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It was recommended to me that I use normal acrylic paints but mix in some textile medium and use a heat gun to seal them at the end (the lovely lady at the art shop said an iron would do just as well if you don't have one) and that makes them totally waterproof and apparently stops the paint from cracking and fading with wear. I would have tried it by now but the individual that I was doing the shoes for hasn't given me them yet so I can't personally attest to how well this method works.

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My Painted shoes. Using Sharpie Cloth pens. Enjoy.

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