If you’re like me, you have a pair (or ten) of shoes you never wear because they’re the wrong color. And if you’re like me, you don’t want to spend money on a new pair when you could just spray paint them the right color. In this post, I’m going to teach you how to spray paint shoes so that they look brand new. Let’s get started!

There are a million ways to paint shoes, but not all of them are created equal. In this blog post, we’ll teach you how to spray paint shoes the right way – so they look great and last long! Please keep reading for our top tips.

How to Spray Paint Shoes The Right Way

Choosing Colors

Before we start painting, let’s talk about choosing colors. If you don’t want to buy a ton of different spray paint colors, you can always use sandpaper to distress the shoes. Just take sandpaper and sand down the shoe to look old and worn. They won’t look brand new for long, but they will last longer than if you had painted them. You don’t have to sand your shoes, though; you can keep them shiny if you want. It’s your choice!

Prepping the Shoe

Before you paint the shoes, prep them. You have some things before you start painting on the shoe. First, make sure they are clean, especially old or worn-looking. You’ll get better results if the shoe is clean. Second, make sure you take off all of the laces and rubber soles. You don’t want these to get messed up with paint!

Painting

Now that your shoes are prepped and ready to go, it’s time to start painting. Hold the spray can about 10 inches away from the shoe. Start spraying the shoe in a diagonal line, covering an area roughly 10 inches wide. As you are painting, make sure to overlap the previous paint stripe by half. This is called “cutting in,” ensuring that no part of the shoe is missed with paint.

Continue spraying until all parts of the shoe have been painted. Make sure to let each layer of paint dry before applying the next one. This prevents overlap marks that can happen when you add layers on top of wet paint. Don’t worry about painting the soles or laces just yet, though; we’ll get to them in a minute.

Cleaning Touches

Now it’s time for some final touches. This is where you can make your shoes look brand new. For this step, we will use a Q-tip, but you can use a paintbrush if you want instead. Take the Q-tip and dip it into some paint thinner or turpentine. Then, rub the side of the Q-tip along the rubber soles and the shoelaces. This will clean up your paint and give it a brand new shine.

Letting Them Dry

Finally, we just have to let the shoes dry! This might take several hours, depending on what kind of paint you use. Prop them in front of a fan or lay them down on a towel with the soles facing up to speed things along.
Voila! It is easy; you now know how to spray paint shoes!

What Kind of Spray Paint to Use on Shoes

There is no such thing as a “one size fits all” paint when it comes to painting shoes. Every type of shoe needs extra care to ensure they are painted properly. That’s why we’ve created this helpful guide to the best spray paints for shoes.

Paint for Fabric Shoes

If you’re painting shoes with fabric uppers, all you need to do is find paint made for fabrics. You can find fabric paint at any craft store like Michael’s or Hobby Lobby. These paints tend to be thinner than other shoe paints to seep into cracks and crevices. We recommend acrylic paints for fabric shoes.

Paint for Leather Shoes

If you’re painting leather shoes, then you’ll want to use paint that’s made for leather. Leather paints are often aerosol spray cans, but they can come in different forms like liquid or cream. We suggest using acrylic paint for leather shoes, just like you would with fabric shoes.

Leather Shoes

Paint for Rubber Shoes

If you’re painting rubber shoes, then you’re going to want paint that’s made for rubber. That way, the soles of your shoes will be properly coated, which will protect them from getting messed up by paint. The best thing to use is rubber cement because it’s strong enough for the soles of shoes, but it’s also easy to clean up. If you can’t find rubber cement and don’t want to get some just for this project, you can use acrylic paint instead.

There are many different kinds of spray paint out there, so it can be tough to figure out which one you should use. We recommend using a nice, thick acrylic enamel spray paint. It’s easy to apply, and it comes in many colors!

What NOT to Use on Shoes

Do not use spray paint made for cars. It’s too thin and doesn’t give you the coverage you need!

Do not use regular acrylic paint. It takes a very long time to dry, and it stains really easily!

Do not use spray paint meant for the outdoors. This kind of spray paint is made to be left outside, and it’s not water-resistant. The final thing you want is for your shoes to start peeling because they got wet!

Do not use spray paint that takes less than an hour to dry. If you do, you’re opening yourself up to a whole host of problems. The paint may start peeling off the shoes, it might result in flaws or marks on the shoes, or it might just rub off on everything you touch!

Do not use spray paint that claims it’s specially made for shoes. These kinds of spray paints are usually very thin and don’t cover the shoes well.

Do not use spray paint that isn’t meant for an outside surface. This type of spray paint is made for things like metal and wood. It’s very thin, and it probably won’t even stick to the shoe!

Do not use spray paint that’s meant for fabric. This is designed to be used on t-shirts, and it isn’t very thick.

Do not use spray paint that’s water-based. This isn’t easy to apply and usually results in blotches and streaks on the shoes.

Do not use enamel spray paint. This spray paint is designed for the glass, plastic, and other smooth surfaces. It will not work on shoes, and it’s pretty dangerous to use on things like shoes because the fumes are very toxic!

Do not use spray paint meant for the inside of the shoe. This paint is meant to stick to the foam and lining found inside a shoe, not the actual outside of the shoe.

Do not use spray paint that is meant for metal. This kind of spray paint doesn’t adhere well to the shoe, and it’s too thin to give you a nice, even coat.

Do not use matte spray paint. This kind of paint doesn’t stick very well to leather or vinyl, and it isn’t easy to cover with a shiny finish.
Do not use satin spray paint. This kind of paint is designed for smooth surfaces, and it’s not going to stick to your shoes very well at all. If you paint a whole shoe with satin spray paint, it’ll probably start to flake off after a few wears!

Do not use spray paint that’s meant for fabric. This is designed to be used on t-shirts, and it isn’t very thick.

Paint Shoes

What You’ll Need

Before painting your shoes, make sure you have everything you need.

You’ll want to have some newspaper or an old drop cloth on the ground, somewhere that’s easy to clean. Trust us; you don’t want to get paint on the floor!

You’ll also need a surface to put your shoes on while they dry. If you’ve got a pair of old newspapers, that can work well. If not, just put your shoes on top of some scrap cardboard or something that isn’t going to be damaged by the paint.

You’ll need a few paper plates for this project since you’ll only want to use this spray paint in small amounts. This way, you won’t have to worry about cleaning the can of paint when you’re done!

You’ll need at least one can of spray paint. You should be able to find this kind of spray paint at any hardware store.

You’ll need a piece of tape that’s at least 4 inches long.

STEP 1: Tape Off Your Shoes

No need to paint tape from any part of your shoe. This includes the soles, the tongue of your shoe, and any stitching or embellishments on the sides.

If you don’t do this, the spray paint might get on these areas, which will be tough to remove.

STEP 2: Apply a Base Coat

Before you can apply paint to the shoe, you’ll need to wipe it down with a tack cloth. This is just a sponge that picks up dirt and dust from the shoe’s surface.

Once that’s done, apply a base coat of spray paint to the entire shoe. Make sure that you’re working in an open space with good ventilation, and be sure to do this outside or in a garage.

The base coat will be visible on the shoe, so you’ll want to make sure the base coat is an even color.

You can use one can of paint for this whole shoe or use two cans if the color is very dark.

STEP 3: Add an Accent Color

After the paint is dehydrated, you’ll want to apply your accent color. Put a few drops of the paint on one of the paper plates and dip your brush in the paint.

Dab this onto the shoe, following the pattern of your design. If you’re having problems getting the paint to stick, you can add a little bit of varnish to the paint. Just mix in a few drops at a time until the paint has the consistency of ink.

Be careful not to get any paint on the parts of the shoe you’ve already painted! That’ll only make things harder when you’re trying to get that paint off.

STEP 4: Add a Top Coat

Once the accents are dry, add a top coat of spray paint to the whole shoe. Make sure that you’re working in an open space with good ventilation, and be sure to do this outside or in a garage.

The topcoat will be visible on the shoe, so you’ll want to make sure that it’s an even color.

You can use one can of paint for this whole shoe or use two cans if the color is very dark.

STEP 5: Clean Up

Take a paper plate and use a piece of tape to wipe off any parts of the shoe that you don’t want to be painted. The paint should come off easily!

If you get paint anywhere else, use a piece of tape to wipe it off the shoe.
When you’re done, take the piece of tape off the shoe. If you used painters’ tape, it should come off easily!

If any parts of the shoe are discolored, take sandpaper and sand them down until the color comes off.

If you have any trouble getting the paint off, try using non-acetone nail polish remover. It’s usually safe on just about anything.
After you’ve removed the paint, make sure the shoe is completely dry before wearing it!

Tape off any details of your shoe that don’t need to be painted. This includes the soles, the tongue of your shoe, and any stitching or embellishments on the sides.

If you don’t do this, the spray paint might get on these areas, which will be tough to remove.

So this is the technique that you have to apply before you can paint your shoes.

At last, your shoes will be ready to wear!

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