Can you use acrylic paint on your shoes- How?

how to acrylic paint on shoesWhat do you plan to do with your old shoes that had their colors faded? Can you throw them in the trash or do you want to revitalize them? If you choose the second option, painting is a way to revive your shoes. There are many possible methods to paint your shoes, such as- Leather paint, spray paint, acrylic paint, etc.

Now the question arises, can you use acrylic paint on your shoes? Yes, you can certainly paint your shoes with acrylic paint, depending on the type of shoes. Although its success ultimately depends on your hands’ skill. Clearly, it is easier to paint with acrylic on cloth or canvas shoes. But you will face some challenges while painting on slick leather. 

How do you paint your shoes with acrylic paint?

There are many possible techniques to paint your shoes with acrylic. Here I have described some of the simplest ways for your convenience.

select plain white shoes for designing with acrylic paint.

The tools that are needed for painting:

  1. Pencil
  2. The pallet
  3. Paint Brushes
  4. Tape
  5. Scissors

1. Remove laces from the shoes

First of all, take out the laces from your shoes.

2. Clean your shoes inside and outside

Secondly, make your shoes are neat and clean thoroughly. Additionally, you can use rubbing alcohol to deep clean your shoes.

3. Tape the rubber soles of your shoes

Thirdly, tape the rubber soles/outsoles so that you can safely paint the fabric parts of your shoes. Make sure your paint does not touch those areas.

4. Paint Your shoes

After that, plan your design and practice the design on a piece of paper. You can color several versions of that design to pick your favorite one. Then draw the lines of the design in the fabric area of your shoes with a pencil and fill them out with acrylic colors using paintbrushes. You can paint with a thick layer to avoid cracking. Once you’re done with the painting let it dry and later paint the shoes with another coat if needed to get a fine polished look. Don’t forget to pull out the tape from the rubber soles while the paint is still wet. You might ruin the coat’s texture if you pull the tape once the paint is dry. So, be careful about that.

5. Add some adhesive mixture

Pour some white adhesive in a bowl and add some water in it to make this mixture thin. Then take a brush and apply this mixture on the shoe. It will make your shoes shiny and give them a natural look. Moreover, it also protects your shoes resistant to dirt.

Which fabrics of your shoes are best for acrylic paint, and which are not?

If your footwear is made of cloth just like canvas shoes, acrylic might also sink quite enough to have flexibility and durability without any additive. But if your shoes are dress shoes, which don’t bend a lot while wearing, it would be a good decision not to use acrylic paint on them. However, if you still have to I will suggest you apply it thinly. Make sure it does not sit on the surface of your shoes.

If you have shoes which are a little bit porous but more flexible than dress shoes, such s tennis shoes or espadrilles or sandals; I will recommend you not to paint your shoes with acrylic. Better safe than regret.

How to Prevent Acrylic Paint from Cracking on your shoes?

Acrylic paint is flexible, but it can lead to crack your shoes as it dries. Hence, I have also discussed some of the best possible ways to prevent acrylic paint from cracking on your shoes.

1. Apply a thin coat on your shoes

Use a very thin layer on the fabric of your shoes. Then let it dry. As acrylic paint dries faster, you won’t have to wait for too long. Once the first layer dries, put on another layer.

2. Don’t mix two or more brands to paint

As different brands have different paint formulas and consistencies, avoid mixing multiple brands of paint together. It can often lead to crack your shoes faster for the combined use of brands.

3. Avoid Direct Heat

Never apply direct heat to dry your shoes faster. Sources of the direct heat can be from the hairdryers or the heat generated by direct sunlight which will affect your shoes negatively. So to be on the safe side, air dry your shoes at a comfortable temperature.

4. Use Acrylic Paint Sealer

When your painting is completed, use an acrylic paint sealer. For that, put some paper towels inside the soles. Then use a sealer to seal acrylic paint. It helps your shoes not to crack easily.

5. Use Waterproof spray

When your sealant is completely dry, use a waterproofing-spray to waterproof your shoes. Simply spray the shoes with a soft coat and let it dry for 24 hours.


Acrylic paint is one of the best options to paint your fabric shoes. You can create any design you want and then paint them beautifully on the shoes. You can get creative and transform the boring old shoes into something completely unique. Here I have mentioned which fabric you should work on and which you should ignore for acrylic painting. Just be a little careful when you’re doing this, otherwise you might end up losing your potential masterpieces.

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