October 15


What Kind of Paint on Your Shoes

By Teddy

October 15, 2022

You love your shoes. They’re comfortable, stylish, and they go with everything in your closet. But after a few months (or years) of wear and tear, they could use a little facelift. That’s where shoe paint comes in! Whether you want to change the color of your shoes or simply protect them from the elements, there’s a paint for that. Here’s a quick guide on when to use which kind of paint on your shoes.

What Kind of Paint Should You Use on Shoes?

The short answer is acrylic paint. It’s durable, it comes in every color imaginable, and it won’t damage your shoes. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing paint for your project. Acrylic paint comes in two varieties: regular and fabric. As you might guess from the name, fabric paint is designed specifically for use on fabrics—which means it’s not going to work as well on shoes. So stick with regular acrylic paint for best results.

Additionally, there are specialty paints designed specifically for use on leather and suede shoes. These can be a good option if you want to change the color of your leather or suede shoes, but they may not hold up as well as regular acrylic paint when it comes to everyday wear and tear. 

Another thing to consider is the consistency of the paint. You want something that’s thin enough to spread easily, but not so thin that it runs and drips all over your shoes. This can be tricky to get right, so it’s best to err on the side of thicker paint. You can thin it out with water if necessary. Just be sure to test the paint on a scrap piece of material first so you know how it will react.

Different Types of Shoe Paint and When to Use Them

Acrylic Paint:

If you’re looking for durability and a wide range of colors, acrylic paint is the way to go. It can be used on all types of shoes, including leather, canvas, and rubber. And since it’s water-based, it’s relatively easy to clean up if you make a mistake. Just be sure to use a sealant over the top of the paint to protect it from scuffs and scrapes.

Glow-in-the-Dark Paint:

Turn heads at your next night out with glow-in-the-dark paint! This type of paint works best on leather or canvas shoes and is perfect for adding an extra bit of fun to any outfit. Just keep in mind that glow-in-the-dark paint will need to be recharged periodically by exposure to light so that it continues to glow in the dark.

Metallic Paint:

Give your old sneakers new life with metallic paint! This type of paint comes in a wide range of colors and can be used on all types of shoes. Plus, it’s relatively easy to apply and provides good coverage. Just be sure to use several thin coats rather than one thick coat so that the paint doesn’t crack or peel over time.

Chalkboard Paint:

Have you ever wished you could change the color of your shoes on a whim? Well, now you can with chalkboard paint! This type of paint can be applied to leather or canvas shoes and allows you to change the color as often as you like. Simply prep your shoes by painting them with chalkboard paint, then use chalk to draw on your desired design. When you’re ready for a new look, simply wipe away the chalk with a damp cloth and start again!

Tips and Tricks for Perfectly Painted Shoes

Now that you know what kind of paint to use, here are some tips to help you get great results:

  • Start with clean shoes. Make sure they’re free of dirt, dust, and any oils or waxes that might prevent the paint from adhering properly. 
  • Use painter’s tape or masking tape to protect any areas of the shoe you don’t want painted. This is especially important if you’re painting sneakers with multiple colors. 
  • If your shoes have laces, remove them before painting. Otherwise, they’ll end up full of paint and will be difficult to tie once they’re dry. 
  • Paint in thin layers, allowing each layer to dry completely before adding another. This will help prevent smudging and dripping. 
  • When you’re finished painting, seal the design with a clear acrylic sealer orMod Podgeto protect it from wear and tear—especially if you plan on wearing your shoes outdoors. 

Painting your shoes is a great way to give them a fresh new look—and it’s not as difficult as you might think! Just grab some regular acrylic paint (not fabric paint) in your desired color(s), put down some painters tape (optional but recommended), and go to town! Be sure to use thin layers of paint so it doesn’t drip or run, and don’t forget to seal your design with a clear acrylic sealer or Mod Podge when you’re finished so it lasts longer!


When it comes to painting your shoes, there are a few different factors you need to take into account. The type of paint you use will depend on the material of your shoes, as well as the color you want them to be. If you’re not sure which paint is right for you, we recommend checking out our guide on how to paint shoes. With this information in hand, you should be able to choose the perfect paint for your needs and give your old shoes a new lease on life!

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