How to Paint Shoes

Painting a shoe completely changes its appearance. You can transform basic shoes into works of art with a few drops of paint. You can paint complicated designs onto the shoes, or use simple splatters or doodles to change the colour and design. You can paint both fabric and regular shoes with a few key differences in preparation and the type of paint necessary to get the design to stick.

Clean the shoes in the washing machine, or use a new pair of shoes. Allow the shoes to dry before painting.

Draw the outline of the design that you want to paint with fabric markers.

Fill in the rest of the design with paintbrushes dipped into fabric paint. Allow the paint to dry for 24 hours before wearing the shoes.

Clean the surface of the shoes with acetone to remove any wax, shoe polish or other coatings.

Sand the surface of the shoe with sandpaper to roughen up the surface. Wipe the shoes clean with a damp cloth.

Bend the shoe and make note of any crack lines. To prevent the paint from cracking while you walk in them, do not paint the areas around the crack lines.

Paint the designs onto the shoe, avoiding the crack lines, using acrylic paints. Allow the paint to dry for 2 hours.

Seal the painted designs with acrylic sealer to protect them from scratching and chipping. Allow the sealer to dry for 24 hours before wearing the shoes.

Things You'll Need

  • Washing machine
  • Fabric markers
  • Fabric paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Acetone
  • Soft cloth
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Acrylic paint
  • Acrylic sealer
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About the Author

Brenda Priddy has more than 10 years of crafting and design experience, as well as more than six years of professional writing experience. Her work appears in online publications such as Donna Rae at Home, Five Minutes for Going Green and Daily Mayo. Priddy also writes for Archstone Business Solutions and holds an Associate of Arts in English from McLennan Community College.