When your leather shoes need to be re-dyed, it is important to know how to remove acrylic paint from them before you start. You do not want to attempt this process without knowing the proper procedures!
Acrylic paints are very common and can look elegant or flashy depending on what style of painting you prefer. They are also quite durable as they will usually last season to season unless wetted down heavily. If you get some on your leather shoe that you cannot wipe off, try using an alcohol wash to see if that removes most of it.
If you ever have to remove all of the paint, there are several different methods you can use. Some work better than others so here we will discuss one way to easily remove vinyl and latex painted footwear.
Use rubbing alcohol
For someone with very dry skin like me, I have found that using clear alcohol works best in removing acrylic paint from leather shoes. Make sure to mix it properly first!
I usually put about one cup of alcohol into a bowl or container large enough for all of your leather shoes. Let the alcohol soak in each shoe for at least ten minutes, longer if needed. Then, you can rinse off the alcohol and clean the leather with a soft cloth.
Make sure to completely air dry the leather pieces before putting them back together. This will prevent cracking and warping.
There are two main types of alcohol that can be used to remove paint from leather shoes- diethylamine (DEA) dryer lye and ethanol or plain water!
Diethylamine is usually more effective than ethanol in removing hard acrylic paints like oil or latex base paints. However, it cannot be mixed with water so you will have to buy DEA online or at a specialty store.
Acetone is one of the most common organic solvents found anywhere stores carry it. It is also less expensive than DEA dryer lye.
To make sure your feet are protected while using acetone, wear heavy socks and plastic or rubber boots. You may want to wash your hands before working with acetone as it can cause skin irritation.
Mix 1 part acetone to 1 part dried leather to see if the paint comes off easily. If it does, then gradually add more acetone until you get enough paint removed.
Removing gel polish requires additional steps since it is designed to stick to the natural oils of the leather. Test some small areas first to see if it removes without having to do anything else.
Use denatured alcohol
One of our favorite ways to remove acrylic paint from leather is using denatured alcohol! You can get this liquid at most drugstores or salons that sell professional quality products.
All you need to do is mix it with an appropriate amount of water and apply it to the surface of your choice. Let dry for several minutes, then rinse off with warm/cool running water. If some residue remains, repeat the process until no more changes occur.
Removal may require lots of both alcohol and water, so prepare enough for both quantities. Make sure to wash your hands after removing the paint to prevent transferring any residues onto your skin.
Use acetone and denatured alcohol together
Removal of most types of acrylic paint is usually done with strong chemicals or products. Acetone and denatured (or regular) alcohol are your best bet for removing latex, gel, solid, and liquid paints.
Acids such as vinegar can also remove some type of acrylic paint, but only if they are specifically designed to do so! Don’t use homemade solutions because you may end up damaging the leather longer term.
When using either acetylcohol or ethyl alcohol, make sure you mix them properly and apply them correctly. Acetic acid will begin to dissolve the surface of the skin quickly, helping pull out any leftover residue.
But don’t wash off the alcohol or the new layer could dry and crack. Let it sit overnight and then rinse thoroughly. If there is still visible paint, repeat the process until it is gone.
Use rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball
If you are trying to remove acrylic paint from leather shoes, there are several strategies you can try. Using alcohol is one of the most effective ways to get rid of it.
Acrylic paints contain polymers that help them stick to other materials like oils or leather so they will always stay with the surface you apply them to.
Alcohol removes natural oils in the skin so it will sometimes work when using alcohol as a removal tool for painted surfaces.
Many people add water to the alcohol to make it wetter so that it spreads better on the painted area. Then, they rub the alcohol onto the paint to begin removing it.
Some people use trays to hold the alcohol and cotton balls to apply it more efficiently.
Use water and a paper towel
If you are trying to remove acrylic paint from leather shoes, your go-to tool is actually water!
You can use an alcohol gel cleaner or liquid soap to wet the area of the shoe that has some paint on it, then scrape away with a dry paper towel. Make sure to work slowly and carefully so as not to smear the dried paint onto the surface of the leather.
Once you have cleaned all areas of the painted item, let the item air dry. Do not put any other materials against the painted area while it is drying, such as plastic bags, towels, etc. That could cause staining or glue sticking. Let it breathe freely!
Removing excess adhesive layers or toppings like glues, gums, and adhesives may require chemical treatments or heat, which would be inversely proportionate to how much moisture there was on the first place. The chemicals or heat may damage or even burn the finished product, so do not apply those if possible until after the painting process has been completed.
Use mineral oil
When your leather shoes start looking more and more dingy, it is time to wash them! The first thing you should do is use some rubbing alcohol to clean the surface of the shoe.
Next, you can wipe off the dried acrylic with a soft, lint-free cloth. If there are still visible marks, try using an olive or coconut oil to remove those.
Once that is done, let the shoes air dry completely before putting them away or washing them further. Make sure they hang somewhere where there is not much dust or dirt for the next step.
Now, pour some mineral oil onto a damp paper towel and apply it to each individual area of the paint that you want to remove. Let sit for several minutes and then rinse thoroughly.
Use a mixture of oil and lemon juice
If you are trying to remove acrylic paint from leather shoes, using olive or coconut oil in addition to water and lemon will help your hands stay moist while washing the shoe.
You can also add some vinegar to the mix to make the oils more soluble, thus making it easier to wash off the paint.
Once all of the liquids have been added, use a clean cloth to try to wipe the paint off the shoe. You may need to repeat this process several times until no visible paint is left.
After that, rinse the liquid off with cool water and dry the shoe thoroughly.