Deprecated: stripos(): Passing null to parameter #1 ($haystack) of type string is deprecated in /home/dh_bwmhbv/ on line 90
How to Paint Shoes? – Easiest Steps to Follow with Tips and Warnings

How to Paint Shoes? – Easiest Steps to Follow with Tips and Warnings

Painting your shoes! It’s kind of exciting, interesting, and something more creative. It makes our shoes like our type. But the fact is, some elders discourage to paint shoes. There are some reasons. It seems interesting but in practice it’s a crucial task.

Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!

Before painting you need to consider what way you should follow, what paint do you use on shoes, how to paint shoes with acrylic paint and, others. Don’t worry, I will make your work easier by breaking out How to paint shoes? It will a long discussion so let’s dig in.

How to Paint on Shoes?

In this part, I will explain how to paint your shoes in the easiest possible way. So pay attention to the methods given step by step below.

what kind of paint to use on shoes

Select the type of shoe

There are a variety of shoe types available in the market upon which you can make customizations. Canvas, mesh, leather, vinyl, cloth shoes, or combination shoes are the options for painting. You may have the question “What kind of paint to use on canvas shoes or other?” No matter which brand you select, these are the materials on which you can paint.

Each of these materials needs different preparations. All you need to do is select one final type and then proceed accordingly. One more thing, the shoes must be plain and it will be better if the pair is white. Moreover, you can select an old pair of shoes to give it a new look.

Choose the paints and a design pattern

Step 1: Apply acrylic or spray colors for leather or vinyl shoes

At first you need to know what paint to use on shoes? Acrylic color is considered the best suitable for painting on leather materials. More importantly, you will find it at any nearby craft shop and can purchase it at a lower price. You will need some brushes to apply the color to your shoes and these brushes are also available in the craft shop.

Another good option for painting leather or vinyl materials is the spray color. Make sure to buy your preferred spray colors with the smallest possible nozzle. Otherwise, the color can spread a lot which may impair the design of the shoe.

Step 2: Apply fabric paint for cloth made shoes

Fabric paint is also one type of acrylic paint made specifically for fabrics or clothes. This is the reason fabric color is available in the name of ‘Fevicryl’ in many places. As an acrylic variety fabric color has to be applied with brushes. The most amazing fact about this type of color is that it is durable and doesn’t crack out after drying under the sun.

Though fabric color is best suited for cloth-made shoes it can be used for leather or vinyl shoes as well.

Step 3: For detailed design choose some paint markers

Paint markers come in different sizes and colors and are available in most art or craft stores. You may need from the thickest one to the thinnest one for detailed design on the shoes. So try to collect different-colored markers and different-sized same color markers.

Step 4: Constitute a design pattern

If you are customizing your plain white shoes there are lots of options available for adopting a design. You can just paint the shoes with a specific color and in that case, you will need to choose the color only. But if you prefer an incredible design to glow up your shoes, sketch it up on paper first.

If you are bad at sketching designs you can go for creating a design using a computer program.

Step 5: Apply alcohol on the permanent marker drawing

For providing your shoe design fun and softer look you can apply alcohol to it. Rubbing alcohol with a cotton swab on the design created using permanent markers gives a softer and cool look. For leather material, you can use an acrylic finisher to make the appearance more elegant.


Prepare the shoes for paintinghow to paint your shoes

Step 1: Use a pencil to outline the design on your shoes

The design you made previously on paper or a computer, make that design on your shoes with a pencil. Make an effort to leave the lightest possible marks with the pencil. The light pencil outlines will become invisible when you paint the design with colors or markers.

Try to bring in a symmetrical design on the shoes and then you can make the outlines permanent with markers if you want.

Step 2: Cover the place where you are going to paint your shoes

As colors can spread or impair the side structures, you need to cover your workplace with papers first. Newspapers are the easiest option for saving your workplace from getting messy. Apart from the newspaper, you can use grocery bags made of paper as well. Whichever paper material you use, don’t forget to secure them with tapes with the floor or walls.

Step 3: Use a pair of old shoes for practicing

This may sound crazy but it is an effective way for beginners. You will not want your favorite pairs to get destroyed for painting in the wrong way. To avoid this problem find out a pair of old ripped shoes and then practice painting your preferred design.

Step 4: Clean the shoes’ surface on which you are going to paint

Debris mixed surfaces may hamper the painting pattern and make the color faded. That’s why you need to clean the surface of your shoes well with particular solutions.

For natural leather surfaces, you can use an alcohol-soaked cotton ball for cleaning. To clean the man-made leather surfaces, a cotton ball soaked in pure acetone will be the best. If you are going to clean the cloth-made surface, a rag soaked in warm water and soap will be enough.

Step 5: Wrap the sole and inside of the shoes with tape

You are not going to paint every part of your shoes, so you need to cover some parts. You can use painter’s tapes for covering the parts on which you don’t want to put colors. The inside of your shoes and soles are the must to cover parts. For covering inside the shoes you can also use newspapers.


Paint the shoes and make them wearable

how to hand paint shoes

Step 1: Use even and short brush strokes for fabric or acrylic paints

Dip your brush into the colors well and then apply short and even brush strokes for painting the shoes. Don’t forget to refill your brushes from time to time to ensure the even distribution of colors.

You can use a sponge if you like layered colors or showing the original color of the shoes a little bit. For doing this, take the color in a small bowl and then dip the sponge into the color. Rub the sponge on paper for shredding extra paints and then apply to the shoes.

Step 2: Use spray color if you want single-colored shoes

Hold your spray color bottle some inches away from the shoes and then press the nozzle trigger. Spray the color until all the uncovered areas are painted evenly.

Step 3: Dry up the newly painted shoes

To make your shoe wearable you need to dry it well. After finishing your painting let the pair of shoes dry for one hour. Then if the shoes need a second coat of colors, apply it. Wait for at least two to three days for drying up the shoes completely. Waiting two to three days will ensure that all the sides of the shoes are evenly dried and you can wear them comfortably.

Step 4: Take off the protective tapes and newspapers carefully

The covered areas need to be uncovered before you wear your new customized shoes. So bring out the newspapers from the inside and peel off the tapes gently. Pull the protective tapes until all the covered parts are free. See carefully if there is any piece of tape left. You can use metal tweezers to remove the small remaining parts of protective tapes.

Step 5: Spray sealer spray to avoid damages

People often remain worried about hand-painted items about durability. They become conscious about the shoes may get damaged if they come in contact with rainwater. To prevent this issue apply an acrylic sealer spray on your cloth shoes or coating spray on your leather shoes.


I have already explained, how to hand paint shoes, what kind of paint to use on shoes and some related topic. But while painting shoes you have to avoid some facts and consider something. Here I am explaining some.

Avoid a crowded room

You might be painting the shoes in your home, try to select a vacant room for your painting operation. The smell of paint can irritate some people and even cause health hazards.

Well ventilated room is like a prerequisite for using spray colors. Because spray paints secret fumes which are not good for health. To ensure proper ventilation of the room, open up all the windows while painting.

Don’t forget to wear eye-protective equipment

Wearing goggles can protect your eyes from getting infected with paint. Especially when you spray colors there is a chance of spreading colors and affect your eyes. That’s why eye-protective equipment is necessary while painting shoes.

Don’t wash your painted shoes

Even though you have sprayed acrylic sealer spray you can’t wash them for cleaning. The sealer spray protects shoes from exposure to occasional raining. But if you wash them frequently there is a chance that the paintings fade away. Prevent your shoes from getting in contact with water for enjoying a durable service.

Make sure you are using pure acetone

I have suggested you using acetone for cleaning man-made leather shoes. While using acetone make sure that it is 100% pure acetone. Don’t use the ordinary nail polish remover which has acetone in it.

Sand away the shiny leather shoes

Leather shoes often come in a shiny form and painting on the shiny surface is quite tough. For this reason, you have to take sandpaper and rub it over the shiny surface until the surface becomes a little dull. This will help the colors to stick well on leather shoes. Assure that all the parts are evenly sanded or the color will not attach well.

how to paint on shoes

Tips for Painting Shoes

In the previous segment, I have warned you about some difficulties you may face while paint for shoes. Now, I am going to give you some short tips on DIY shoes painting.

  • Spray paintings are best for coloring the entire shoe with just one color. For specific design patterns, spray colors are not suitable.
  • If you are a beginner go with designs that include large blocks of paintings and easy patterns. Try to avoid layering colors as a beginner.
  • Cleaning thoroughly is very important before starting putting paint on shoes.
  • One more thing to consider while cleaning your shoes is that you have to dry them well after cleaning. On wet shoes, colors will not stick easily.
  • For painting the edges with acrylic, flat 6 and 8 number brushes are perfect. For detailing, use 0 or 1 numbered brush.
  • If you are an expert in painting, you can apply layering colors. To do that using a sponge will be the best option.
  • You can put a glittery coating after painting your shoes to make them more attractive.
  • Before wearing the newly painted pairs make sure they are dried perfectly.
  • To hasten the drying process you can put the shoes in front of a fan or use a hairdryer.
  • Don’t let the brushes and sponges dry out, wash them properly and then store them.


Some Ideas to Paint Shoes

Though already I have given the necessary tips and methods of painting shoes here are some ideas that can make the procedure easy.

  • Collect all the painting materials and supplies including shoes, paints, markers, cleaners, etc. Gather all the materials in one place and categorize them to proceed toward painting easily.
  • Take off the strings from your shoes before painting. It will allow you to paint all the surfaces evenly without any interference.
  • Paints don’t stick well on soles, so cover the soles before applying paint.
  • Test your supplies on an old pair of shoes to get a better result in the final experiment. If you don’t have a pair of old sneakers then get one pair from a thrift shop.
  • You can apply a thin coat of primer before putting the colors. It will stabilize the colors on shoes well.
  • You can block off an area that you are going to paint later and differently from another area.
  • Mistakes can happen while painting but there is no need to worry. You can cover up the painting mistakes by using white paints or primers.
  • Even after being covered up, the soles can get colored a little bit. To remove these colors you can use methyl hydrates or mineral spirits.
  • Always use specific colors suitable for specific shoe surfaces.


Final Words

We are long away from the starting and surely, now you are getting it easier. In this article, I have discussed how to paint shoes, what to use to paint shoes, warrings, tips, and some relevant sections. Now it’s your time to implement the methods practically.

Stay attentive, follow the steps along with the warning and tips. So, now paint your shoes like a pro.



Why Glue Pennies to Shoes?

How to Paint Canvas Shoes?