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What Kind of Paint to Use on Shoes?

Because shoes are something we use in everyday life, some people consider painting them.

Whether it’s to revive them or just because you want to give them a new look, it might seem like a daunting task, especially if you’ve never done it before.

Knowing what type of paint to use on shoes is important before trying to paint them yourself. 

What kind of paint should you use on shoes?

Leather or spray paints are used for leather or vinyl shoes, while fabric paint is best used for cloth or canvas shoes. For more intricate designs on shoes, paint pens should be used to sketch out the designs, before adding the appropriate types of paint. 

While this answer reveals the types of paint you can use to give your shoes a new life, it is worth your while to investigate more information about it.

When applying paint, there are many factors to take into consideration. 

3 Popular Paint Options

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Leather Paint, Spray Paint, or Fabric Paint: Which Is Better?

The paint that you use on your shoes will depend on the materials used to craft your shoes. 

Spray paints, in general, will dry better on leather and vinyl because those materials tend to have a glossy finish.

Using a brush on those types of shoes could result in lines being left behind, meaning the shoes would probably look worse than they did before you started painting them. 

Additionally, you could use leather paint on leather and vinyl shoes.

There should be no streaks left behind, and you have more control over the paint as opposed to spraying them.

Be sure to read my Complete Leather Painting Guide to learn how to properly prep your leather shoes before attempting to add any paints.

Note that leather paints, which are acrylic, dry quickly (find out how fast here) and may need to be thinned for best results.

This article, although its main focus is on painting miniatures, explains in detail how to thin acrylic paints correctly.

However, spray paint is recommended if you’re going for one color on leather and vinyl shoes. 

Fabric paint works best on cloth shoes because the paint meshes well with that particular material.

You can head over to this article to learn about the four kinds of fabric paints and why they may be better than acrylics for use on fabric shoes.

As for paint pens, they can be used on all the materials to help if you’re looking to add some designs along the way.

They will help if you’re worried about spilling over into areas of the shoe you would like to use a different color for. 

Check out “Fabric Paint for Shoes” to see the best products to use on canvas shoes.

Why Paint Your Shoes?

Customizing clothing or footwear is not a new development. Sometimes, the style of shoe is perfect for your needs, but the shoe is not in the color you’re looking for.

Painting shoes may not be for everyone, but it allows you to give your shoes your own personal, stylish touch.

Your reason for painting your shoes may be that they have scuffs or scratches and are showing signs of wear and tear.

Smoothing the shoe down and then applying paint allows you to extend the lifespan of your favorite pair of shoes.

In a world in which people care deeply about appearances, making sure your shoes look great is necessary.

Cosmetic damage will be a thing of the past when you upcycle your shoes.

One positive result of painting your own shoes is that you may have people questioning where you got them because they’re just so easy on the eyes. 

Can Designs Be Added to Shoes?

If you’re looking to apply some designs to your shoes as opposed to painting them all one color, you’ll be happy to know it’s possible. 

Thanks to paint pens, you can draw designs and then fill them in with other types of paint.

This will give you some much-needed precision when it comes to crafting the new and improved look of your favorite shoes. 

There are many different paints for shoes, but if you’re sketching something on them, then paint pens are a necessary purchase. They will keep you on the right track. 

5 Great Paint Products for Shoes

Now that you know the basics about painting your shoes, you’re probably thinking about which products to use.

It is essential to check the color and how it dries before you make the purchase. This means you won’t get any surprises when your shoes dry. 

I did some snooping and found some of the best paints around so that you can rest assured you’re picking a product that will help you.

There are some leather paints, fabric paints, and even some paint pens listed below.

#1 Angelus Leather Paint

[amazon box=”B01MFGALN9″ link_id=”20048″]

There is one brand of leather paint that has been around since 1907, and that is Angelus.

You’ve probably already heard of them, and it’s not difficult to understand why they’ve been in the painting game for so long. 

This version of the paint is drawing rave reviews, with many complimenting just how great it is.

Tip: These are acrylic paints. If you forget to secure the lid tightly, they may dry out quickly, BUT don’t toss them out right away! I show you how to bring dried out paints back to life in this article.

From the product description alone, it’s clear that it works on athletic shoes as well as boots, but this type of paint can be used for a lot of different things. 

The Angelus Leather Paint (multicolor set) will work best and not show brush strokes when applied with either a sponge pad or a high-quality brush, like this Raphael sable brush.

(Check out this article for a thorough explanation of brush types and sizes.)

#2 Plasti Dip Ready to Spray Liquid Wrap

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The Plasti Dip Liquid Wrap is something you will need if you’re planning on spraying the rubber parts at the bottom of your shoe. 

It is an excellent paint that will help the bottom of your shoes look fresh and clean for longer.

The great thing about this product is that it can be peeled off, so if you feel like you’ve made a mistake, you can restart. 

Like some of the other paints on this list, this one has a lot of uses that are not just for shoes. You’d be surprised how versatile it actually is. 

Plasti Dip Liquid Wrap is a fun way to add a bright spot of red color while providing you with a nonslip surface.

It won’t crack or chip away like similar products but will remain flexible and perfectly colored, even in extreme weather.

#3 MagicFly Permanent Fabric Paint Set

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If you’re thinking of using a variety of colors to create your new and improved shoes, then this is the product for you.

Boasting 14 different colors, this set has many amazing reviews on Amazon. 

With all of these colors at your disposal, there are a lot of things you can do with your shoes to make them personalized to you.

You can even use them on products that are not shoes, so you can kill two birds with one stone!

The MagicFly Permanent Fabric Paint Set can be used on both natural and synthetic material and boasts a strong resistance to water, so your designs will hold up well no matter the weather outside.

#4 FolkArt Multi-Surface Paint Set

[amazon box=”B085M4168N” link_id=”20051″]

This is yet another set with a lot of different colors, and reviewers are loving them.

There’s something calming about knowing that if you don’t like one color, you have a variety of other ones to try out to get the perfect finish.

It saves you buying several different products to find the right one!

This set comes with 10 colors, ranging from bright to dark, so you can switch things up at your own pace. 

The FolkArt Multi-Surface paints are multi-surface, satin finished paints that will add just the right sheen to your shoe designs.

#5 Paint Marker Set

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Paint pens are a must if you want to have more intricate designs on your shoes. The Paint Markers are getting excellent reviews on Amazon. 

Thanks to it being 12 different colors, they will easily blend with whatever other types of paint you are using for the bulk of the shoe.

They will allow you to have eye-catching designs that will probably have people asking where you got your shoes from. 

The Paint Markers Set allows you to achieve intricate details, thanks to the fine tips. These paints are quick drying, waterproof, and will resist fading and smearing.

In Conclusion…

It’s clear that the possibilities are endless when it comes to painting shoes.

Knowing what types of paint to use on which material is crucial to your success with shoe painting. So, grab your favorite shoes that need a bit of TLC, and get to painting!

If you enjoy projects like this that involve using your hands to create and design, you’re sure to love exploring all the other hobbies featured on my homepage.

Boredom will become a thing of the past as you immerse yourself in a brand-new hobby that catches your attention.

Click here to start exploring now!

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