How To Add Color To Your Summer Sandals

Sew Much 2 Wear
by Sew Much 2 Wear
3 Materials
1 Day

When Summer strikes most people consider two options. Dig out last year's sandals from the closet -- or go buy new ones.

Today we're going to try out the little-known third option.

Make old sandals new sandals!

Not only is the most financially responsible choice if your old sandals are still in great shape, but the health of the planet also fully supports this idea.

But we're not using normal acrylic paint. No. Because that doesn't always work out in the long run -- you might end up with peely-cracky shoes that you have to pitch after a few wears.

In this case we're trying out paint specially made for leather -- and so durable it's even reccomended for use on furniture. If it's trusted for my couch -- then I hoped it must be good enough to try on my sandals.

In my case, I started with these tan Lucky Brand genuine leather gladiator sandals, however the Angelus paint works on denim, canvas, faux leather, wood, etc.


According to the directions on the bottle, you should first prepare to paint using their Angelus leather preparer and deglazer. Full disclosure, I didn't have any of that on hand so I prepped my shoes simply by wiping them down to remove any surface dirt --however they were barely worn and very clean.

To avoid getting any residual paint where I didn't want it, I stuffed the sandals into shape with some moving paper.

Then I shook up the paint, grabbed a small paint brush and got to painting. For best results you should apply the paint in thin coats. To achieve full color results I applied about 4 very thin coats onto my sandal straps. The paint dries very quickly and I was able to apply a second coat in about 10 minutes.

If you'd like to see how the paint performs in real time, check out this video I shot to get my initial thoughts.

Although the first coat really soaked into the leather it was amazing to see how well the color built up after a few thin coats.

The set I purchased comes with 12 different colors, but you are able to mix the paints and create virtually any other you would like. I was able to easily mix this mango color using a few drops of red, orange, yellow, and white.

When it came to painting a yellow strap I decided to lay a base of white down first.

The results came out vividly bright and I was in love.

In the future I plan to lay a base of white down under anything I paint because I was so impressed with the results.

Once you are finished painting you should let your piece sit for atleast 24 hours before bending. After that time is up -- if you've applied the paint in thin coats it should bend with the leather and not crack or peel.

I did a test on the shoes in the video above to see if the paint would crack. It seemed to move with the leather and did not crack at all.

You may be wondering if you need to finish the paint off with anything. That's not necessary, but is an option. The paint is water-resistant which is good enough for me but you could also finish it off with a waterproof sealer.

I'm excited to use my paints on a few other pieces -- like purses and wallets! I can't decide what to makeover next.

Let me know in the comments what you think of this project and if it's something you'd be willing to give a try. If you do, be sure to tag me on my instagram @SewMuch2Wear! I'd love to see your projects!

Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

Suggested materials:
  • Angelus leather paint
  • Sandals
  • Paint brush

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Sew Much 2 Wear
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2 of 24 comments
  • Nighthawk studio Nighthawk studio on May 05, 2021

    Hi! Those look great! I painted some shoes with Angelus paints, and I didn't have the primer either. So I lightly sanded the leather to give it some "tooth." My theory is that this will help the paint adhere...what do you think?

  • Ar Ar on May 09, 2021

    Will definitely try this project