Painting Your Leather Shoes


American Duchess offers many styles of dyeable and paintable leather shoes, which can be customized to your heart's content.

The easiest way that we've found to achieve excellent results is using Angelus products specifically designed for painting leather.

We're so impressed with Angelus products that we've made all of them available in our store!

The following items are needed for this method:

Angelus Leather Preparer & Deglazer - This product is essential in stripping the factory finish from your shoes before you apply your paint or dye. Angelus Leather Preparer & Deglazer is specifically designed for this purpose. International customers - we cannot ship this item outside the United States, so as an alternative, we recommend using any solvent for the same purpose, such as acetone nail polish remover, rubbing alcohol, or turpentine.

Angelus Leather Paints - These paints are designed exclusively for leather, and will not crack or peel. Paints come in 1 oz. pots, and can be mixed for endless variation in shades. We offer a selection of colors, including the primary and secondary colors, as well as metallics. Angelus Leather Paints are water soluble, clean up easily, and can be thinned with water - no solvents or special equipment necessary!

Angelus Acrylic Finisher - This product will seal and protect your painted or dyed shoes, and give a uniform finish. Apply this finisher 24 hours or more after your paints have dried, and allow to dry at least an additional 24 hours before wearing.


Begin by rubbing your shoes with the Leather Preparer & Deglazer to remove the factory finish. Allow a few minutes to dry.

If you are mixing your paints for a custom color, be sure to mix enough to fully cover both shoes. You can thin your paints with water - this is recommended for applying multiple coats, which will give you better, consistent results than applying one thick coat. Apply with a flat paintbrush or sponge brush, and allow the paints to dry between coats. Remember that your paints will dry slightly darker than they appear when wet. You can always adjust the color and apply a new coat.

Allow your shoes to dry completely for 24 hours before applying the Acrylic Finisher. The painted shoes should not feel tacky. Apply the finisher with a flat paintbrush, sponge brush, or cloth. Once the finisher is applied, allow to dry another 24 hours before adding decorations such as ribbons or binding.

Mixing Colors

All Angelus Leather Paints can be mixed to achieve totally unique colors. We offer all of the primary and secondary colors, along with black, white, and a selection of popular hues such as navy blue and burgundy.

Within the Angelus Leather Shoe Painting Kit you will find red, yellow, blue, black, and white. Any color may be mixed with this set by following the color wheels below:

Boutet's 7-color and 12-color circles, 1708

  • Red mixed with Yellow creates Orange
  • Yellow mixed with Blue creates Green
  • Blue mixed with Red creates Purple
  • By varying the amount of one or the other color in a combination, you can create infinite variation. For instance, green containing more yellow will produce a light, spring green, whereas mixed with more blue will create a turquoise.
  • To create a darker color, mix in a little black; to create a pastel color, mix in a little white.

About Us

American Duchess is a small, historical, reproduction footwear company based in Reno, Nevada, USA. It was born from one costumer's inability to find elegant, affordable, comfortable and historically accurate footwear. Partnering with a community of hundreds of frustrated costumers around the world, we now manufacture a growing line of beautifully hand crafted Renaissance, 18th Century, Regency, Edwardian and Victorian shoes as well as reproduction shoe buckles and silk stockings.

Contact Us

+1 775-238-3674
11am - 6pm PDT
920 Matley Ln, Suite 2,
Reno, NV 89502-2160, USA