Team Blasé

/ le cosplay blog

Fé as Mitsuru from Persona 3

Photo by Jack Liu

Painting Synthetic Leather with Angelus Leather Paint

11 Comments

I know Fé already wrote a tutorial for painting synthetic leather shoes with acrylic paint, so I guess that makes this one version 2! Anyway, I want to introduce a product that is now a staple in my stash of cosplay making supplies: Angelus leather paint.

Angelus leather paint sizes
1 ounce, 4 ounces and 1 pint bottles

Where to buy: Dharma Trading, Turtle Feathers

Price: $2-$2.69 (1 ounce), $4.49-$5 (4 ounces), $15 (1 pint, Turtle Feathers only)

Angelus paint is better to use than regular artist’s acrylic paint because it’s formulated to be applied on leather, synthetic or otherwise. The biggest benefit from using Angelus paint is that it won’t crack at all! That’s kind of a big deal when you need to paint shoes because the paint won’t be damaged after you walk in them for days at a convention, even where your shoes naturally crease. Compared to artist’s acrylic paint, it also needs less coats to get an even finish.

Boots and shoes painted with Angelus leather paint in colour Sapphire
Boots and shoes painted with Angelus leather paint in colour Sapphire

My one complaint about this product is that it’s only available online. Maybe you’ll be lucky and be able to find it locally, but I wouldn’t really count on it. That means you have to pay shipping fees and picking the right colour is kind of a gamble. In my experience, the colour charts available online have always been off to some extent.

It’s really easy to use and get good results. The key is to paint thin layers and wait 4-6 hours between each coat. The paint will feel dry to the touch before that, but applying subsequent coats too quickly doesn’t give the best results. You can use paintbrushes or sponge brushes according to your preference, but sponge brushes use more paint since a lot is absorbed by the sponge.

The paint gets a few shades darker once it’s dry, so mix your colours accordingly!

Angelus paint wet vs. dry
Left: wet paint, right: dry

Many sources mention that it helps the paint stick to the leather or fake leather surface if you remove the glossy finish on it before painting. To do this, just get some cotton pads and nail polish remover with acetone and rub the surface vigorously. Personally, my experience with this is inconclusive. I removed the glossy finish on my Margaret shoes before painting, however Fé didn’t do this step on her Elizabeth boots. After 2 conventions, the paint looks just as good on my shoes as it does on her boots.

 
  • Michael A Jones

    Will the Angelus paint adhere to Mod Podge coated EVA foam ?

  • vinny

    how much of the paint would i need to buy for a below the knee boot

    • Gen

      What’s the color of your boots and what color do you want to paint them?

  • Gen

    Hello! We didn’t seal the paint for our cosplays, but I think if you’re going to use that for cycling shoes you should be safe and use Angelus Acrylic Finisher since you’ll be getting way more use out of your shoes.

  • This is sooo helpful! I was told about this paint and found the perfect combot boots in white for my America Chavez cosplay but they are shiny!

  • Michelle Gray

    Thanks for this post! I’m painting a pair of knee-high boots for my Sailor Saturn cosplay and it looks like Angelus has a fairly accurate violet for my cosplay. Based on your experience, how much paint do you think it would require to paint a pair of brown boots to the lighter violet color?

    • Gen

      Hello! I think that two 4 ounce bottles would be enough for knee-high boots. When Fé painted her boots she bought a pint sized bottle, but there was a LOT of it left when she was done. Her boots were dark brown too originally.

  • Jen

    This is very helpful. I painted a pair of cosplay shoes with Acrylic then coated with Mod Podge and a Varnish and they just cracked allllllllll over. It was awful. I’ll try this method to see if it helps

    • Gen

      I hope you like it! I think you won’t be disappointed.