How to Dye Vans

Written by andrea griffith
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How to Dye Vans
Skateboarders love their Vans tennis shoes. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

When the Anaheim, Calif.-based Van Doren Rubber Co. started operations 1966, its shoes became synomonous with the California surfing and skateboarding scene. One of the benefits of Vans shoes' canvas construction is that your can easily customise them with a dye job. Also, you can revive faded, old shoes with a fabric dye in the same colour of the shoe or a slightly darker shade.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Utility sink
  • 1 bottle all-purpose fabric dye
  • Large stirrer or wooden spoon
  • Mild detergent

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  1. 1

    Fill up a large utility sink or tub with 6 gallons of hot water.

  2. 2

    Add 1 bottle (236ml.) of liquid all-purpose dye to the water.

  3. 3

    Soak the shoes in hot water for 15 seconds to 20 seconds, or until they're thoroughly saturated.

  4. 4

    Place the shoes directly into the dye bath. Use a large stirrer or wooden spoon to "stir" the shoes in the water for 30 minutes to 1 hour. The longer the shoes are left in the dye, the deeper the colour will become.

  5. 5

    Remove the shoes from the sink, and rinse them under warm water. For light colours and pastels, finish rinsing the shoes under cool water, then set them out to dry. For shoes that have been dyed dark, deep colours, hand wash them with a mild washing powder under warm water first. Then, rinse the detergent off with cool water.

  6. 6

    Air dry the shoes until they are completely dried.

Tips and warnings

  • Clean the sink, stirrer or spoon with chlorine bleach and cool water to prevent them from staining.

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