You can paint old shoes to restore their original design. To do this, you can use leather paint, spray paint, or even marker, depending on the type of shoe. Plan the color design that you want to use in advance on the paper. Use rubbing alcohol to clean your shoes, but don't get them soaked. Allow to dry, and wipe the shoes again. The process of painting canvas shoes will be quite different. To be sure, you need to paint evenly and let it dry. Apply an extra coat of paint if needed to get a like-new look. Now, you have worked on your footwear.
Part 1 of 3: Choosing Paint and Design
Step 1. Use leather or spray paint for leather or vinyl shoes
Acrylic paints are designed to stick to leather, including shoes. You can buy acrylic paint at a bookstore or craft store. This paint is usually equipped with a brush so that the painting is smooth and durable. You can also buy spray paint at a hardware store. Choose a spray can with the smallest nozzle size to prevent over-painting.
While it's not difficult to do, you can't paint in detail using spray paint. Spray paint works best if you paint the entire shoe in one color. Don't forget to untie your shoelaces before painting
Step 2. Use fabric paint for fabric shoes
This type of acrylic paint is specially made for fabrics, which is applied using a brush and is long lasting. This paint is also available in many colors, some even have glitter. Another plus, this paint does not crack after drying.
You can also use fabric paint for leather or vinyl shoes. However, you will need to sand the surface of the shoe hard enough to the bottom of the fabric for the paint to adhere
Step 3. Use markers for more detailed designs
You can buy paint markers at an art supply or craft store. These markers are available in a variety of tip sizes, from very thick to super pointed. Usually, it's recommended to get several different colored markers so you can experiment. You'll also need to test the paint yourself as some markers are quite thick in consistency.
Step 4. Create a design
If you plan to paint your shoes in one color, choosing the color is quite simple. If you want to make a more complex design, it's a good idea to sketch your idea on paper beforehand. You can also create designs using a 3D design computer program, such as Photoshop.
Step 5. Use a permanent marker and rubbing alcohol if you want to try an interesting way to paint canvas shoes
Draw the design using a marker and pat the color with a cotton swab to give it a soft look.
- Consider the look of the shoe from various angles, including from the back and top.
- If this is your first time painting shoes, it's best to avoid designs with layered or overly complex colors. We recommend choosing one that contains a large block of color, a geometric image, or a simple swirl pattern.
Part 2 of 3: Preparing the Shoes
Step 1. Outline the design with a pencil on the surface of the shoe
If you can draw it lightly, the result won't be as obvious as the outline of this shape. Some people also like to overwrite these pencil strokes with a soft brush or soft-tipped marker.
Before finishing the drawing with markers, make sure the design is symmetrical, if this is your goal. Check the toe, heel and sides of the shoe to make sure they are symmetrical
Step 2. Cover the work area with paper
Before you start painting, find a sturdy table and cover it completely with craft paper or newspaper. That way, your work surface is not dirty due to paint drips and spills.
- You can also cut out grocery bags and stick them on top and edges of the table.
- Be careful when using newsprint if you are working on white or brightly colored shoes. Ink on newspapers can leave streaks on shoe fabric.
Step 3. Practice painting on old shoes
These options are limited, but if you have cheap used shoes that accumulate dust in your house, you can use them to practice painting techniques. You will also be able to judge whether the paint matches the desired texture and color. You can even buy used shoes at a flea store to practice on.
Step 4. Clean the shoe surface
For natural leather shoes, moisten a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and gently rub it over the surface of the shoe. For handmade shoes, moisten a cotton swab with acetone and rub it over the shoes. If the shoes to be painted are a bit dirty, wipe them with a cloth dampened in warm water and soap. This will clean the dirt on the surface of the shoe and allow the paint to adhere better.
- Let the shoes dry completely after cleaning them before trying to paint.
- Make sure you clean with 100% acetone, and not a nail polish remover mixture.
Step 5. Sand the outer layer of the shoe if it's shiny leather
Patent leather shoes are known for their shiny appearance, but these surfaces are difficult to paint. Get a fine grit sandpaper and rub it over the surface of the shoe in small circles. Continue until the shoes look dull.
Recheck the shoe and make sure you've sanded from all angles. Otherwise, the final look can be uneven
Step 6. Cover the inside and sole of the shoe with tape
Apply a thin layer of masking tape to all surfaces of the shoe that you don't want to paint. This means that you also need to protect the sole of the shoe. Some people put newspaper in their shoes to keep them in shape while they are wet.
Part 3 of 3: Applying Paint
Step 1. Apply fabric paint or leather paint evenly in short strokes
If you are using acrylic paint, dip the brush in the paint, then apply the paint to the shoe in short strokes. Keep refilling the brush until the entire work area is covered in paint and the shoe's original color is no longer visible.
The #6 or #8 brushes are flatter and are great for painting the edges. The #0 or #1 round brush has a smooth shape that is perfect for working on details. A #1 or #2 fan brush can quickly spread the paint on the flat side of the shoe
Step 2. Apply fabric or leather paint with a sponge for a partial look
Take a bath or dishwashing sponge and pour the paint into a small bowl. Dip the edges of the sponge into the bowl. Then, blot the excess paint on the scrap paper. After that, you can start pressing the painted sponge quickly against the shoe until it's colored.
This method is great if you want to layer colors or reveal some of the original color of the shoe
Step 3. Spray paint on the shoe if it's only one color
Hold the car can nozzle 10-15 cm away from the shoe. Press the nozzle firmly so that the paint is evenly distributed throughout the shoe. Make sure all desired areas are completely covered in paint.
Step 4. Coat the shoes with the glitter mixture
Take a plastic cup and pour cup of Mod Podge into it. Add a little glitter and stir until evenly distributed. Use a paint brush to apply the glitter mixture to the shoe's current fabric. You can also apply it to freshly painted shoes, but make sure they are completely dry.
Step 5. Let the shoes dry
Place the shoes on a paper-lined table and let sit for at least 1 hour or until completely dry. Then, you can apply a second coat of paint. You also need to wait 2-3 days before the shoes can be worn. Thus, the inside and outside of the shoe can be completely dry (if there is paint seeping in).
To prevent brushes and sponges from drying out between layers, place them in a plastic bag
Step 6. Gently peel off the masking tape
Take the end of each piece of tape and gently pull it off the shoe. Continue until there is no more tape left. Use tweezers to pick up small pieces of tape.
Step 7. Spray acrylic sealer and do not wash shoes
If you're worried that your design will be damaged by water, spray painted shoes with an acrylic sealer for fabric shoes, or even clear spray paint for leather shoes. This will protect your shoes from the rain, but they shouldn't be washed in the washing machine. If it gets dirty, simply wipe the stained area with a warm, damp cloth.
If you want to speed up the drying process, place your shoes in front of a fan, or use a hairdryer to warm the surrounding air for 5-10 minutes
- Spray paint should only be used in locations with good air flow. If the paint fumes start to affect you, open a window.
- Acetone should only be used in a well-ventilated location, or when you are wearing a mask. Label the markers so they are not confused with other clear liquids.