What Kind of Paint to Use on Shoes?

What Kind Of Paint To Use On Shoes


Shoes are what make and break an outfit, and hence why choosing the right footwear is important for your personality and style. However, when you want to add your style to discern yourself from the crowd, there are times when acrylic paints come in.

From the wide variety of shoes that you have at your disposal, you can’t just use any old paint for customizing them. You need specific acrylic paints for specific shoes, and you have to follow some instructions to have a successful customization session.

You can use these paints to customize your shoes or just buy them from professionals that have been doing it for years. No matter which choice you choose, you’ll benefit from both, as artistic taste has no real drawbacks.

In this article, you’ll be able to discern the different types of paints used for different kinds of shoes and the subsequent instructions to apply them. You’ll also be informed of great brands where you can buy handcrafted shoes.

Check our useful guide: What Are Non-Slip Shoes? Top Nike Non-Slip Shoes

How to prevent acrylic paint from cracking on shoes?

Maintaining a good pair of shoes is a chore in itself. To keep your shoes looking all slick and stylish, you need to take care of them, and in turn, if you have shoes that have acrylic paint on them, you’d also want to know how to prevent it from cracking.

Prepping your shoes beforehand and knowing which paints to use on your shoes is key to prevent the acrylic from cracking on your shoes. Knowing how to prevent acrylic paint from cracking on shoes will save you quite a few dollars from buying a new shoe and a trip to the shoe tailor.

Acrylic paint cracks a lot, but prevention is key, and knowing the measures to minimize the cracking prolongs the life of your shoes exponentially. The key to prolonging the acrylic paint on the shoes is when you apply the paint on the shoes.

Apply thin layers

The application of thin layers is the first step in prevention from cracking. Make thin strokes of paint so that it doesn’t become heavier and more susceptible to cracking. Before applying any more layers, make sure that the first layer is completely dried. Let the subsequent layers dry before the application of any further layer.

Take your Time

Precision and time are key in applying acrylic paints. Make brushstrokes short and even throughout the shoes. Take as much time as you need as you paint, and don’t hurry, it’ll help from any errors and damage to the shoes.

If you want to have a successful painting session, remove the worry of removing the colors, which can damage the shoes, start with light colors, and add darker colors along the way.


Retouching the colors with thin layers is the best technique for faded parts of the shoes. The toe area is the part of the feet that move the most, hence its more susceptible to cracking. The heel area should be painted, and most people apply pressure while putting on the shoes, which damages the paint a lot.

Mix Up

Mixing various types of paints strengthens the formula, so if you’ve got a favorite brand, trying mixing it up with other paints to enhance the formula of paint. Do not make the dreaded mistake od drying your paints with a hairdryer.

How to Dry Acrylic Paint?

The hot air cracks the paint, and while traveling through the cracks, it weakens it from the inside, making the paint peel off. Letting the paint air dry is the best way for the paint to settle in on the shoes. If the acrylic paint solution has waterproofing in it, then it’ll help in protecting the shoes as well as the paint.

Material Suitability

The type of shoes you apply acrylic paints is also key. Leather shoes aren’t the best shoes to apply acrylic paints, cloth or canvas shoes are the best option when you want to apply acrylic paint.

Deglaze can be used to apply acrylic paint on the shoes, and fulfill your painting needs. The deglaze will be needed to apply on the leather shoes before any paint is applied.

Acrylic paint allows the wearer’s style to be portrayed unto their shoes. Prolonging the paint by crack prevention will go along way, and hence knowing the proper instructions will help in preventing any further cracks.

Can I use acrylic paint on shoes?

If you’re wondering if you can use acrylic paint on shoes, then yes, as Acrylic paints are the artistic render for someone who wants to add style and flair to their shoes.

Shoes are pivotal in everyday life, and what type of shoes you wear says a lot about you. Painting your shoes has always been in style, and whether its to revive the boots or to add your sparkle onto your boots, it’s a daunting task nonetheless.

You can use acrylic paint on shoes, but knowing which paints to use on which kind of shoes, the steps and proper instructions to paint on them is also necessary.

Best Paint For Leather shoes:

Spray paints are the best option when choosing to use paints on leather shoes. Leather shoes are known for their glossy look and a spit shoe shine, and spray paints help in achieving that look.

Using brushes shoes, the creaks and line in the shoes, and if the paint cracks, it’ll just ruin the overall look of the leather shoes. 

Leather paint is also another option that you can use for leather shoes. This option is better if you want multiple paints on your pair of shoes.

This lets you customize more instead of the single spray shine. Just be sure to apply glaze to your leather shoes to give it a better look.

Angelus Leather Paint Set of 12 1 Oz:

This brand is over a century old, and it’s still selling strongly to this; the only reason is that it’s one of the best solutions in the market. You can buy the whole set if you want to or just focus on one color.


These days, most of the formulas found in products are harmful, but not this product. With safe ingredients used in the formula, you can use this paint however you want.


Judging from the reviews, the paint is on the customer’s items for years without any sign of decay. This product will be sure to keep your shoes slick and shining for years to come.

What we liked:

  • You can buy the whole set or just order a single bottle.
  • Long-lasting.
  • Fast-drying.
  • Adds more shine to the shoes.

Magicfly 30 Colors Acrylic Paint Set:

Shoes need great acrylic paint to look restored and stylish, and this brand takes the cake. With the wide usability of this brand on all kinds of materials and not just shoes, you can count that this paint will make the artist out of you.


Everyone wants to style their shoes and just strap them on for a good time, but the paint takes time to dry, and that’s a bummer in itself. Not with this paint, you can paint with this, and within an hour or two, depending on the material, you’ll take it to show off to your friends.


Nobody likes to handle anything that has toxic materials in it, and hence this set of paints carries the safest materials you can expect in a can of paint. The materials are safe enough for a small child to use them without any worry about the harmful effects of toxic materials.

What we liked:

  • Premium quality formula.
  • Fast-drying.
  • Easy cleanup
  • Wide variety of colors to use from.
  • Three free brushes.

What paint to use on canvas shoes?

What paint to use on canvas shoes is important if you want to become a master at shoe customization. Customizing your pair of shoes is the way to show off what your style is to the world.

There is a high occurrence when you fall in love with the style of a shoe, but it isn’t in the color you want, or it doesn’t have that design that you would favor.

Luckily with acrylic paints, you can change that, provided you have the artistic talent and patience to flesh out your design unto the canvas shoes.

For canvas shoes, you have the option of using fabric paints. Fabric paints are the most common and easy ways of applying crafts unto your shoes.

Fabric paints are a lighter and thinner version of your normal acrylic paints/ Another advantage of fabric paints is that they are widely usable, meaning you can use them on canvas paintings, t-shirts, or any related material to fabric.

There are mainly four types of fabric paints that you can use for shoes:

Liquid fabric paint:

This is the kind of paint you’ll use if you want to flesh out your designs. These paints are just like regular paint and are found in tubes or jars.

Spray paint:

Spray paints are the choice if you just want to blast your shoe with a single type of color.

Fabric markers:

Fabric markers are great for creating lines and rough textures on your shoes.

Dimensional paint:

Also called puffy paint, you can make cloudy or blurry textures with this type of paint. Takes longer to dry, though.

Best Fabric Paints for Shoes

Here are Our Top 2 Best Fabric Paints for Shoes

1. Tulip Fabric Spray paint
2. Tulip Dimensional Fabric Shoes paint

Tulip Fabric Spray paint: Best Fabric Shoes Paint

This company knows how to create the best arts crafts materials for anyone looking for materials that will make their aesthetic choices come true. They have a huge variety of crafts ready at your disposal, and once you use them, you’ll find that using any other brand won’t come near to the experience.

Light-colored fabrics:

This particular product is best used when you want to play with light-colored fabrics. Honestly, fabric paints excel at light-colored painting, so why not take the product that excels in that field.

Sparkle aesthetic:

The colors give off a shiny aesthetic, giving you a more eye-catching design. Due to the light-colored nature of the paint, the addition of shine will always work in your favor because you’ll be turning heads left and right after applying them on your canvas shoes.

Tulip Dimensional Fabric Shoes paint:

Tulip is known for its extraordinary variety of crafts that not just every child, but every adult enjoys as well. Anyone that has a passion for the arts will always cite the importance and significance that their products have brought into their lives.

Machine washable:

Most paints, when applied to your shoes, don’t usually come off, so you’ve wasted a good pair. Not with this product, you can keep applying your paints and keep washing your shoes if the design doesn’t suit you. You can experiment with your shoes as much as you want with this line of product.

Easy squeeze:

One of the most overlooked things in paints is the easiness of application. Most tubes are so hard to press that you honestly hurt your hand from all that pressure. With these tubes, just a light squeeze, and you can apply your paint to any pair of shoes with exceptional ease.

Best Shoe Spray Paint Kits

If you’re an expert at painting shoes, or just a beginner starting, its important to know the important kinds of brands that will help you on your craft’s journey.

Here are Our Top 3 Best Shoe Spray Paint Kits

1. TULIP 34990 Instant Color Shots Americana Fabric
2. Tulip ColorShot Little Shots Essentials Spray
3. Master Airbrush Cool Runner II

You’ll always need a shoe spray paint kit by your side, and the following products will surely provide all your artistic needs.

01. TULIP 34990 Instant Color Shots Americana Fabric:

Tulip has always understood what people need in terms of paints and crafts, and that is why they are one of the most demanded brands of all time. No matter if you ask a toddler or a professional in arts, no one will deny the company’s sheer popularity. That’s why they have one of the most popular shoes spray paint kit in the industry.

Easy flow bottle:

Whether you want to quickly apply the paint on your shoes or take your time to craft the design of your dreams, when your bottles are too hard to apply, it can become discouraging. The bottle has an easy shake and spray design, where you can apply all the paint to your heart’s content.


The sprays can be sprayed anywhere you want. Its range is extremely versatile, making it highly desirable for many artisans.

What we liked:

  • Aerosol fabric spray.
  • Compatible with allover coloring.
  • Extremely quick drying time.
  • It’s machine washable.

02. Tulip ColorShot Little Shots Essentials Spray:

No matter where you go, you’ll find this brand on every shelf of the art counter. The company has supplied and satiated the desire of millions of artists around the world with its high-quality colors and paints.

Blendable colors:

The colors that are used in the spray allow for the blending of light colors. As mentioned previously in the article, light colors for canvas shoes are more preferred, and hence, this product is best for application on your regular casual shoes.

No dripping or splattering:

Spray paints tend to drip when a lot of paint has been applied. The same is not the case with this product as the spraying is even and no splattering or dripping can be seen on sight.

Permanent and machine washable:

The main selling point of this product is its duality. It can become permanent as in, it won’t come off that easily no matter what you through at it, but if you want to clean it off and redo a design, then you can wash it off using a machine.

What we liked:

  • Long-lasting.
  • Three essential colors that you can mix and match.
  • Easy to apply the aerosol spray.
  • Quick-drying.
  • Even coverage of spray.
  • Easily washable.

03. Master Airbrush Cool Runner II:

Airbrushing is how professionals do their shoe designing works, and there’s no better company than master airbrush to supply the best airbrush systems you’ll find anywhere on the market. The intricate design and superior technology they use in their machines make them the best spray machines for designing your shoes.

Six opaque colors:

Although this shoe spray paint is unconventional for your normal user, it is how the professionals get their spraying done. The spraying kit comes with six conventional colors that you can mix and match to create your unique design.

Three different types of airbrushes:

As designing a detailed sketch takes precision, the same can be said about spraying. Hence, this machine comes with three different airbrushes. The three different nozzle sizes allow ultra-precision in your artistic endeavors.

Airbrush cleaning set:

The airbrush cleaning tools are great for cleaning up because anyone who’s ever used a spray machine knows that things can get messy. The additional feature shows the attention to detail that the company is known for.

What we liked:

  • Cooling fans that prevent it from overheating.
  • Three different types of airbrushes.
  • Six different opaque colors.
  • Air adjustment range.
  • Automatically shuts off if not in use.
  • Precision spraying.

Best Hand-painted Canvas shoes Available Online:

Sometimes, not everyone has the aptitude for making designs on their shoes. Hence it’s important to find shoes already manufactured by gifted hands.

People use different types of materials on different kinds of shoes; hence the following list features the best shoes that house the most radical of designs that you’ll come across:

Here Are Our Top 2 Best Hand-painted canvas shoes

1. ElovForU White Black Canvas Shoes Loafers
2. UIN Women’s Canvas Fashion Sneakers

01. ElovForU White Black Canvas Shoes Loafers:

ElovForU was founded by a passionate painter that converted his hobby into a profession and now paints the most wonderful set of hand-painted canvas shoes. The design and quality of the shoes the love that the company put into them, ensuring you get the best and most aesthetic shoes on this side of the block.


All of the shoes are hand-painted by individuals with passion and talent. The designers put their heart into designing these shoes, whether it’s the works of Van Gogh, featuring starry night on their shoes, or a splash of rainbows on your sneakers.

Environmentally friendly textile pigments:

The textile pigments that are used in these shoes are extremely environmentally friendly. It won’t cause any further damage if you threw it out, and it’s incredibly safe to wear, so you don’t have to worry about it giving you toxic materials.

Bright and vivid colors:

The amount of bright and vivid colors used in the shoes makes them quite eye-catching and will surely win you the compliments of your friends.

What we liked:

  • Various vivid designs.
  • Professionally hand made.
  • Available in high top and low top models.
  • Antiskid rubber for an excellent grip.

02. UIN Women’s Canvas Fashion Sneakers:

UIN is the leading company when it comes to designing casual shoes for women. The abstract art and outside of the box designs that they come up with have been the talk of the town, and their sales have been showing how popular they are with the public. The many designs on their hand-painted canvas shoes show the level of dedication to their craft.

Abstract artistic designs:

The shoes have an attractive abstract feel to them that you don’t usually find in custom made shoes. They’re all based on some simple design, but these shoes take the cake when it comes to eye-catching designs.

Bionic design:

The shoes are a masterpiece when it comes to fitting. The insole of the shoes is constructed in a way that the contour to the shape of your feet. Not only do you have style but functionality to boot.

Slip in wear:

The sleek and streamlined design of the shoe helps you just snug in your feet, and with the elastic at the heel side, closely fitting to your feet. With this design, you can just slide in your feet, and voila, you’re ready for your everyday adventures.

What we liked:

  • Multiple abstract designs you can choose from.
  • Comparatively inexpensive, high-quality shoes.
  • Synthetic sole fitted inside it.
  • Environmentally-friendly construction.
  • Great for people that love to travel.
  • Easy slip and slide design.
  • An attractive design of the map of the city of Toledo under the sole of the shoe.

What kind of paint to use on leather shoes?

Leather shoes are the symbol of class, and it shows a professional attitude, but what if you wanted to add a little flair to your shoes? You can achieve that with various acrylic paints. For leather shoes, first, you have to apply glazer and then paint in order to preserver and prolong your shoes and keep their shine.

Best Paints to Use on Leather Shoes

There are various paints that you can use for your leather shoes, and the following are the best of the best you’re going to find:

Here are Our Top 2 Best Paints to Use on Leather

1. U.S. Art Supply 54 Color Ultimate Acrylic Airbrush
2. Arteza Metallic Acrylic Paint

01. U.S. Art Supply 54 Color Ultimate Acrylic Airbrush:

U.S Art supply has the best bundles of colors and paints that you can imagine. They’re very popular with artists because they provide a wide variety of crafts that satisfy the artists in their endeavors.

Multiple sets of colors:

This product has a very large line of colors, essentially giving you bountiful options to mix and match the various colors. Any limited number of colors does not bound you. First, you have 54 sets of colors to choose from.

Lightfast pigments:

The pigments are very light and can dry very quickly. You can just apply them on the leather shoes and wait for an hour for good measure, and viola, you can take your shoes out to show off your artistic capabilities and stylish tastes.


The versatility of the colors and paints gives you a wide variety of color combinations you can try out. With the paint mixing and craft sticks that come with the package, you can be sure you’ll be mixing colors all day galore.

What we liked:

  • Wide variety of colors to choose from.
  • It comes with a color mixing wheel and craft sticks.
  • High quality and long-lasting paint.
  • Fast-drying colors.
  • Great for textile surfaces such as leather.

02. Arteza Metallic Acrylic Paint:

Arteza is a high-class crafts company that delivers the best of its production to the front of the line. The quality they’ve maintained over the years is astounding and is highly regarded as the premium brand to go to if you’re searching for the best paints.

Glimmering pigments:

The pigments have a glimmering nature to them, which makes them perfect for leather shoes. The glossy acrylic paints give off a shining ray towards the shoes, which makes them extremely desirable.

Easy to squeeze tubes:

The tubes are easy to squeeze, requiring almost no effort and easy application. Just apply a little pressure on the tubes, and you’ll have loads of the stuff coming out on the shoes, dispensing as much as you need.

Safe to use:

The materials used in the formula are certified safe, so you can apply as much paint as you want without having to worry about any harmful materials.

What we like:

  • Smooth and blendable texture.
  • Bright shining pigments.
  • Inexpensive for its contents.
  • Easy to apply.
  • Non-toxic materials used.

Conclusion: Shoe Painting

No matter where you go, your shoes go with you, whether to casual outings or for professional meetings. Your shoes are a representation of what you want to show to the world and hence having shoes that fit you physically but that stylishly as well. Hence the use of acrylic paints is necessary to show who you are.

From the article, it’s apparent that Angelus and Tulip take the cake for one of the best companies that supply acrylic paints that are applicable to both canvas and leather shoes.

Tulip comes in a close second to these shoes because of its versatility in its application in canvas shoes. All in all, these three companies have shown the quality and love that is unmatched and is why they’re rated at the top of this list as well.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are acrylic colors waterproof?

Some acrylic shoes are waterproof, while others aren’t. Most canvas shoes are machine washable, meaning they aren’t that resistant to water, while leather paints are said to be water-resistant.

Do acrylic paints work on leather jackets?

Acrylic paints don’t usually work on jackets that are alone. If you want to apply your acrylic paints unto your leather jackets, then you’ll have to use sand free to give your paint the base to latch unto the jacket.

Are acrylic paints machine washable?

Not all acrylic paints are machine washable. Many of the shoes are waterproof and permanent, meaning that there’s no going back once you’ve applied the acrylic paint on them.

Do acrylic paints have matte dry or shiny?

It depends on the acrylic paint, honestly. There are specific products like angelus matte finish that give the products their matte finish, while products like Arteza Metallic acrylic paint help give that shiny look.

acrylic paints last long?

If the instructions are properly followed, and ample paint is used on the shoes, then the acrylic paint can last for a long time on the shoes.

Do acrylic paints work on rubber shoes?

Yes, acrylic paints work wonders with rubber shoes. As long as you’ve applied the acrylic paints on the shoes with ample precision, then there’s no worry of the acrylic paint not sticking to rubber shoes.

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