Trend: Metallic Leather Sneakers

Three Gold Shoes SmallThe biggest trend this year? Gold sneakers. We’re seeing them everywhere– bright, shiny gold sneakers on the runway, in editorial– all over!

How can you get this look without breaking the bank (we’ve seen some of these trainers as high as $1000!): leather paint. Really! It’s simple and you can do it for yourself in an afternoon and get the effect you want for a fraction of the price.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 pair of sneakers (your old ones are good or you could grab a pair from a thrift shop)
  • Painter’s tape (for sectioning off portions of the shoe)
  • Rags or Cotton Balls
  • Heavy Duty Rubber Gloves Protective Masks
  • Paint Brushes
  • Hair Dryer
  • Popsicle sticks for Stirring
  • Q-tips for mistakes



1. Make sure the shoes you’re using are clean by wiping the shoes down with Angelus Leather Preparer and Deglazer. This is an all-purpose cleaner and stripper for leather articles and can be used to de-glaze the factory finish as well as open the pores of  your leather shoes allowing for more adhesion with your paint.  If there is some color that you want to keep: block that off with painters tape. My favorite is green frog tape. Wearing heavy duty rubber gloves, clean your shoes using a rag or a cotton ball. If you use cotton balls  make sure to frequently dispose of the used balls. You will end up using almost a whole bag of 200 cotton balls taking off the manufactures wax coating. Make sure not to douse the cotton ball with the deglazer or you will end up wasting most of your liquid. Wipe excess from leather. Remove the laces and set aside; you can replace them later with new laces.

2. After allowing your shoes to dry for a few minutes, you are ready to apply the Antique Gold leather paint. Make sure the areas of the shoe that you do not want to paint are still masked off or if you want, you can add black, silver, or other colored accents by masking off additional areas thereby creating your own custom sneaker.  If your shoes are dark, you should paint your shoes with a coat of white first. You will probably then need about 2 coats of gold paint to insure an even color. of the  Two thin coats wear better than one of thick one.
Apply paint with short even strokes being careful to smooth out the edges to avoid getting ridges. Angled brushes are great for facilitating this. After you finish painting the first coat Use a hair dryer to assist in the drying process. A dryer does two things. First it “shrink wraps” the paint to the shoe and second, it smooths out any unwanted brush strokes by melting the paint right into the prepared leather. Apply the final coat, once again using a hairdryer to dry your paint and now you are ready for the next step.

3. After allowing the Antique Gold paint to dry, finish the shoes with Angelus Glitterites.  Glitterlites come separated in the bottle when you get them but do not worry this is normal. You will need to mix them with some sort of mixing stick to get them to their true form. Paint on the Glitterites the same way you applied the leather paint however this time do not use the hairdryer in between coats. You can put it all over the shoe or only in sections.  Use one coat for a little shimmer, or use multiple coats for the highest level of glitter. Bling it out!

4. If you’ve sectioned off parts of the shoe, for the sharpest edge, remove while the paint is still a bit wet– don’t wait for it to dry, or else you may have cracking issues.

4. You’ll need to let the paint dry for 24 hours before wearing.  Once they’re dry, you can put the strings back in and you have your new, on-trend metallic leather sneakers for a fraction of the cost and they’re unique to you!

How are you customizing your sneakers? Going for metallics? Brights? Neon?  Let us know in the comments.

All of the products used in this post can be purchased at Manhattan Wardrobe Supply.