Two customized shoes were placed on the stairs. Two customized shoes were placed on the stairs.

Walk in Color: 5 Inspiring Ways to Custom Paint Shoes

Purchasing multi-coloured shoes is fun. Yet it can be expensive. But custom painting shoes is convenient. It’s a fun way to spread creativity. In this article, we will learn how to custom paint shoes.

There are many methods. So you can customize old shoes. Also, you can touch up new shoes. It depends on the type of shoe. But you will find a method. Yes, you can’t use paint colours on these custom paint shoes.

It uses different paints. Also, it has many tools. So, we’ll tell you everything. Also, you will understand the procedure. Let’s take a look! 

1. A Guide to Preparing and Customizing Painted Shoes

The first step is preparation. Shoes have many materials. So you can’t use acrylic paints in every material. That’s because they have different surfaces. So, every surface has different needs. Let’s see the preparation tips! 

1.1 Leather Sneakers

Leather shoes are popular. Yet painting on the leather surface is hard. However, some people don’t understand the complications. Also, they don’t give enough time to dry. So, it’s important to get long-lasting results. 

That’s why preparing is important for custom paint shoes. It helps increase the paint’s durability. Also, it helps in maintaining the leather shoe quality. So, using leather preparation is appropriate. Apply these solutions on the leather shoes. Also, give enough time to dry. Then, apply stain or paint. 

1.2 Synthetic Sneakers

Some sneakers have synthetic surfaces. For example, these are vinyl shoes. So, the preparation is simple. Firstly, send the synthetic surface of the sneaker. Then, apply a leather preparer. Also, applying a degalizer is better. It helps in further preparing the shoes. 

Also, you can apply primer. It’s especially good for synthetic surfaces. It helps in improving the paint and the surface bond. So coat every side of the sneakers properly. Repeat this step. Also, let it dry completely. Then, continue painting your custom paint shoes. 

1.3 Canvas Shoes

You can also have Canvas shoes. So it’s important to prepare accordingly. Also, preparing Canvas shoes is easier. Firstly, clean the surface. So you can use a sponge or a cloth. Remove all the dirt. Yet, the shoes can be dirty. 

So wash the shoes if necessary. Apply the primer. It helps in shoe painting. Also, you can use any paint colour. Yet let the primer dry first. It helps in better preparation. Also, protect the soles. Then start painting with brush paints. If you paint the soles, they look dirty. 

1.4 Sole of the Shoes 

Now protect the soles. So it’s important to prepare them. So you can apply to take for protection. The paint stays on the surface. Yet, it is not permanent. Sometimes it will peel off. So, not painting the soles is best. 

1.5 Prime the Sneaker Surface

Now, apply the primer. So clean the surface of the shoes. Now, start preparing for the surface. You can use the above steps. So make sure it is clean. Yet you can prepare for old shoes. For that, apply a mild soap. 

A person holding a coloured and customized shoe.
Image by Mauricio Caicedo from Pixabay

Also, clean them with water. Yet, using harsh chemicals is bad. For example, bleach can damage the surface. The leather preparers a solution. It’s good for leather surfaces. So apply it to the surface. Also, use a clean cloth. 

You can also use a paper towel. Now let It dry. It usually takes 15 minutes. Also, using white paint with prime is better. Yet it’s only true for white shoes. Don’t use white paint for other surfaces. 

2. Artwork Customization on custom paint shoes

Now, start designing the artwork. Yes, you can use paper print. It’s when you don’t have drawing experience. So it is easier for you. You can easily put artwork on the surface. Yet, the designing process can be difficult. 

So, get printouts of the shoe surface. Also, get it for every side. Now, draw a design on the printout. It’s more convenient for you. So, you have multiple trials. Erase a drawing if it’s not right. Also, it’s better than drawing on your custom paint shoes. 

Now, decide on the paint. So, decide on colours and texture. Yet, painting has different layers. So using a pencil is better. It helps in visualizing the style. Also, you can experiment with patterns. 

Then, finalize a look. Make sure the design excites you. Now, start drawing on the shoe. So start with a pencil. Draw the pattern on the shoe. 

2.1 Shoe and Sketching the Custom Paint Shoes

Now, start transferring the idea to the shoe. So, use a marker. Yet, start with a pencil. It helps in correcting the mistakes. How is that? That’s because you can erase it anytime. Now, finalize the pencil diagram. Now, use oil markers for double drawing. 

It ensures that the pencil designs stay. Also, the design stays in the later process. Now, darken some parts. Yet it’s only for areas that you want dark. Also, apply some pressure to a pen. 

2.02 Masking the Areas

Yet colouring every shoe part is not possible. So, cover the areas with tape. It helps protect the surfaces. Yet, using a masking liquid also helps. It helps the smaller surfaces. However, it is optional. Now, start painting. 

A pair of shoes at the corner of the frame with a red and yellow background.
Image by Fabrikasimf from Unlimphotos

Yet we will see steps later. Now, the design can have mistakes. So remove them before finalizing. However, you can use white leather paint. It helps in fixing the mistakes. 

Now the custom paint shoes are ready. So it’s time to seal it. Therefore, use a suitable coat. It avoids scratching and chipping. Also, it’s better to avoid damage. 

2.3 Paint for Custom Shoes 

There are many paint types. Yet, using acrylic paint is beneficial. Also, using an acrylic finisher paint pen is better. They are ideal for designing custom paint shoes. Yet remember to prepare the shoe surface. So acrylic paint has many kinds. 

For example, there are pens and oil paint. It involves a paint pen and an ink pen. Thus, choose acrylic paint. That’s good for shoe material. So, we don’t recommend using water paint on the leather surface. Why is that? That’s because it’s not durable. 

2.4 Avoid Cracking for Custom paint shoes

Yet, avoid cracking while custom painting shoes. It helps in avoiding mistakes. Painting in many layers is a common mistake. Yet you are enthusiastic. Also, you want to complete the painting surface quickly. Yet, it’s important to apply paint in thin layers. 

Also, let the layers completely dry. Therefore, keep patience. Now, apply other acrylic paint layers. Also, wait a few minutes for the next layer. Yet stop if you see a bubble. Also, stop if you see a drip. 

If you don’t, then custom sneakers will ruin. So apply paint in thin layers. Also, maintain the same direction. Yet, applying heat is not good. It destroys the paint. Also, use acrylic paint sealants. It prevents cracking. 

3. Exploring Three Techniques for Customizing Painted Shoes

Customizing shoes is easy. It’s a great way to transform plain shoes into a trend. Also, it brings the durability of old shoes back. So you can uniquely customize the shoes. Let’s see three methods. So try the one that suits you. You can use paint or glitter. Also, you may use fabrics. 

3.1 First Method – Simple Changes

Here is the description of the first method for custom paint shoes in detail.  

Step 1

So, you need fabric or a permanent marker. It is for Canvas shoes. Clean the shoes. Now, start doodling. Yet you may start with pencils. It helps in avoiding Mistakes. Also, using black or colorful markers is appropriate. 

Paint brushes dipped in paint
Photo by Anna Kolosyuk on Unsplash

So, put light colours in the first layer. Now, put the dark-coloured layers. So, finalize the outline. There are many doodling ideas. For example, put a name or nickname. It involves spirals and zigzag. It involves stars or hearts. Also, using gemstones or smiley stickers is appropriate. Other ideas involved Polka Dots and flowers. 

Step 2

Now, attach any embellishment in the front part. Yet, it is optional. Also, you may use shoe clips. Attach them over the toe part. Yet they should match the shoe pattern. Also, you may give it a funky look. 

Step 3

Now, you may replace the shoe laces. So you may use shiny ribbon. Also, you may use a satin ribbon. So, cut ribbons with the same angle. Also, use a super glue. It helps in sealing the edges. Also, using any ribbon colour is appropriate. Yet, matching the colour with the shoe pattern is appropriate. 

Step 4

So, using stones on flip-flop straps is appropriate. It’s done by using super glue. Also, the stones should have appropriate with. Yet you may use any color or size. However, arranging them in a pattern is better. 

3.2 Second Method – Fabric Shoes 

Here is the description of the second method in detail.  

Step 1

So start gathering the supplies. It’s the best way to show creativity. It is ideal for fabric shoes. Also, it’s ideal for Canvas shoes. Yet, it may work on other surfaces. However, these paints are best for fabric shoes. 

Many women footwear on a plain white background.
Photo by Jaclyn Moy on Unsplash

So, the list involves fabric or Canvas shoes. It involves acrylic paint primer and painter’s tape. It involves acrylic paint and acrylic sealer. Also, you need paintbrushes and thin permanent markers. 

Step 2

Now use painter’s tape. Cover the shoe area like the sole. So, you need not paint them. It helps in creating a more neat look. 

Now, apply primer on the shoe surface. It’s like a blank canvas. Also, primer makes the bond of paint and Fabric better. However, apply it in a thin texture. Now, let the primer dry. 

3.2.3 Step 3

Now, start creating the design with a pencil. So you may decide on the paint location. Also, it helps in preventing potential mistakes. Yet the pencil marks should be light. 

It helps prevent dark marks on pencils. Now, start painting. Use acrylic paint and weight to dry. Also, you can use paint primer. It helps in fixing the paint mistakes. Also, let one layer dry. Then, apply others. 

3.2.4 Step 4

Acrylic paints take 20 minutes to dry. So keep patient while it dries. Yet it may need two hours. Now, start outlining the design. So, you may use a permanent marker. But using a superfine tip is better. It gives a neat look. 

Also, the custom sneakers look professional. Now let It dry. Use an acrylic sealer to spray on the shoes. It helps in preventing the smudge. Also, it’s convenient to clean. Now remove the painter’s tape. Yet remove it while the sealer is wet. Let the pair dry completely. Now, enjoy new sneakers! 

3.3 Third Method – Applying Glitter 

Here is the description of the third method in detail.  

3.3.1 Step 1

Now, collect supplies. Glitter shoes are in trend. Also, they never disappoint you. So, covering shoes with glitter is one option. Yet, you may cover some portions. For example, creating a glitter heart pattern. So, you may glitter design some heels. 

Yet, it’s better to glitter the soles. Also, leave the surface alone. It gives an elegant look. So, create a list. It involves shoes, gloss finish, and fine glitter. It involves newspaper, painter’s tape, and brushes. 

Also, you need a foam brush, plastic wrap, and a plastic bowl. It involves a spoon and acrylic sealer. Now, see the next step. 

Step 2

So, start by removing the laces. You don’t want glitter over them. So, it’s easy to glitter shows without them. Also, it gives a clean and easy look. Now, clean the area. So, you may use the alcohol. Take a cotton ball. Now, dip it into the solution. 

Clean the shoe area. Yet, don’t use the dirty cotton. However, clean the area even if it looks neat. Now, use painter’s tape. 

Cover any area that doesn’t want glitter. It makes the shoe crisper. Yet, stuffing the shoe interior with glitter is better. So the glitter doesn’t spread over the shoes. 

Step 3

Now, take a bowl. Fill it with Mod Podge. Also, put some glitter. Stir the content well. You may use a spoon. Also, using a stick is appropriate. Yet, using more glitter is better. It ensures fewer coats. Also, it’s the opposite for less glitter. 

Then you have to give more coats. Yet, don’t mix extra glitter. That’s because the solution becomes chunky. Yet, you don’t want it! Now, use a foam brush. Also, you may use a paintbrush. Apply glitter over the shoe. 

The first coat is not sparkling. Also, it’s not thick. So, don’t worry. It’s normal. Therefore, add more coats. So it becomes more shiny. Let it dry. Also, apply glitter glue over other shoe surfaces. Now, let the surface dry. Also, remember to wash the brushes. 

However, you can apply many glitter coats. Now, apply a Mod Podge coat again. However, it should be without glitter. It helps in securing the shoes. Now remove the newspaper and painter’s tape. 

Let it completely dry. It may take a few hours. Now, apply acrylic sealer. Also, you may use waterproofing spray. It provides a glossy finish. 

4. Walk in Style: Inspiring Ideas for Custom-Painted Shoes

There are many fun ideas. So, you may go beyond this article. Also, express your style uniquely. Let’s see some custom paint shoe ideas. 

4.1 Galaxy Theme

It is one of the most popular themes. So, create a galaxy pattern with purple and deep blue. Also, using white and silver to create stars is amazing. Yet you may add glow-in-the-dark paint. It gives an extra cool effect.

4.2 Pop Art 

Creating pop art with vibrant colors is a popular idea. So, you create comic book illustrations. Also, you may create pop art images. So, the custom shoes show pop culture.

4.3 Animal Print 

It never goes out of custom shoe style. It gives a wild statement. For example, using leopard print or tiger stripes is stunning. Also, you may use Zebra stripes. So you may use classic pattern colors. Also, you may use a colorful twist.

Two legs with blue stockings and coloured heels in the air.
Image by songbird839 from Unlimphotos

4.4 Graffiti Style

It’s like the street style. You may use graffiti fonts. So write a name. Also, drawing a character is appropriate. 

4.5 Floral Design

People love floral design. So paint flowers or a garden on the shoes. You may draw the same flower. Also, drawing different flowers with different colours is a great way. 

4.6 Abstract Art

Go beyond imagination. So, create an abstract style. It involves many colourful designs. So, you may experiment with different patterns and shapes. It creates a unique and custom shoe masterpiece.

4.7 Retro Style

You may paint a retro style custom shoes. It can belong to a specific era. For example, you may draw neon colors. It represents 80s. Also, draw grunge artwork that represents the 90s. 

4.8 Space and Music Inspiration

Take inspiration from the space and music. Start painting rockets and planets on the custom shoes. Also, explore the universe by drawing astronauts. It’s a great and popular theme. 

In addition, music lovers Like musical patterns. So drawing musical notes or instruments is the best idea. Moreover, you can paint your favourite lyrics. 

4.9 Cartoon and Nature

So you can paint shoes with your favourite character. Bring the cartoon character to custom shoes. For example, drawing a Disney or anime character is popular. 

A vector art for coloured and customized shoes.
Image by Kapitosh from Unlimphotos

However, the options are infinite. You can also draw classic characters. There are nature-inspired custom shoes. So start creating mountains or oceans on the shoes. It gives a calm vibe. 

4.10 Superhero and Watercolor Effect

Another custom shoe paint idea is superhero inspiration. Paint a favourite superhero. Also, you may paint from movies or comic books. Watercolour effects are dreaming. So mix pastel colours to develop a beautiful effect. 

4.11 Doodle Art and Inspiration Quotes

Start by creating doodle art. Also, painting sketches and personal doodling are appropriate. In addition, you can paint inspirational quotes. Paint your favorite Mantra on the shoe surface. It is a personal touch. Also, it’s a daily reminder. 

Follow the above steps. However, start preparing for painting. Also, it’s important to choose the right paint. Also, seal the design with liquids.

They make sure that the design is durable. Customizing shoes is fun. Also, it’s artistic that helps you to stand out from the world. 

5. Ways of Customizing Shoes with Paints

You are aware of the steps. The possibility of being creative is infinite. Yet you can use different styles. Also, customizing shoes with paint use techniques. Let’s see! 

The first technique is solid colour blocking. It involves a single colour that creates a bold look. Also, it may involve multiple solid colours. So, using tape between colour sections is important. The second technique is gradient. 

You can also call it an ombre. It creates different colour transitions. This transition is very smooth. So you may transform from top to bottom. Also, you may use side to side pattern.

The third technique is platter paint. So dip a toothbrush or a brush into the paint. Now, flick it on the shoe surface. It gives a splatter effect. However, using more colours gives a dynamic look. Stamps and stencils are the fourth technique. 

It helps in creating patterns. Also, using a sponge is appropriate. Another technique is drip paint. It gives an artistic and unique look. Drip the shoes in Paint. So you can use many colors. Also, the natural flow of colors gives a new look. 

However, you can change the drip direction. So, rotate the shoe surface. Another popular method is the tie-dye effect. So, apply multiple colors. Now, create a soft effect with a sponge. 

In addition, acid wash is another technique. Apply Paint on the shoe surface. It is an uneven pattern. Also, use a cloth to remove some paint. It gives a vintage appearance. Also, you can customize shoes with 3D effects. 

6. Key Note

So, this was the full guide on how to custom paint shoes. It’s easy! Also, it’s cheap. Give your shoes a new look. Make them alive. Acrylic paint is all you require. So, don’t throw old shoes. Why is that? It’s because they will not be old anymore. Turn them into fun! 

Last Updated on by Navami Prasad


  • Mehakjot Kaur

    I am a copywriter and content writer with a passion for telling stories via posts, news, articles, blogs, business content, etc that grab readers attention and make them to take action. For the past 2 years, I have been working with creativity and hardwork to create content that not only looks great but also drives conversions.

  • Navami Prasad

    I am Navami Prasad S, currently a MCA student at SCMS School of Technology and Management in Ernakulam, Kerala and a passionate content writer. Being born and raised up in a small town in Kerala, India, I have a love for words and a keen eye for crafting compelling and engaging content. Being a student in Integrated program of Computer Applications and few experiences in the content writing field, I have honed my skills to create content that captivates readers and drives results.

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