Are your shoes looking tired and worn? Maybe the color has faded and could do with a spruce up. Choosing the best paint for shoes can give any footwear a new lease on life.
It might be your favorite sneakers, boots, sandals, or heels. Finding the perfect color to match your wardrobe should be a breeze. We’ll give you some tips for painting shoes and detail our top 7 picks.
Here our top 7 picks for the best shoe paint for fabric, sneakers and rubber shoes
1. Crafts 4 All Fabric Paints
With 24 colors to choose from these paints brought to us by Crafts 4 All are good for fabric and canvas shoes. They allow you to create 2D or 3D effects. Complete with three paint brushes, you can personalize your shoes with doodles or writing, or go for all-over coverage.
- Brilliant Spectrum - With 24 attractive shades and 3 brushes, our fabric paint for clothes, sneakers, canvas bags, and more allows you to take fabric decorating to another level.
- 3D or 2D - These fabric paints can be used to create 3D or 2D works of art - paint with them like traditional acrylics or use the easy-squeeze bottles to create doodles and writing.
- Safe - Our textile paint is crafted with a non-toxic composition, making it perfect for kids and adults to use when painting, crafting, or decorating.
- Versatile - This fabric paint for upholstery and clothing can also be used on a variety of plain and textured surfaces including ceramics, glass, wood, paper, and more.
- Tis the season for not only stocking stuffers and eggnog, but to get creative as well. These art supplies would be a great way to keep adults & kids entertained and in the spirit of the season
2. Liquitex Basics Acrylic Paint Set
Liquitex has been producing acrylic paints for over 60 years. This selection contains 48 colors which can be blended and mixed to create your ideal shade. They’re suitable for painting textile and canvas footwear.
- WHY BASICS; Liquitex invented artists' acrylics back in 1955 and we've specialized in acrylics ever since; Basics gives you the perfect balance of quality and economy; Made for all artists; Basics acrylics are student quality
- HIGHEST QUALITY PIGMENTS Basics uses the the same high quality pigments and rigorous manufacturing process as our professional range; Pigments are ground with tiny reinforced ceramic beads to give fine dispersion, great color development, strength, and brightness
- VERSATILE Basics acrylic dries quickly and can be cleaned up with water while wet. It can easily flex, and sticks to almost any surface including canvas, paper & board, wood, masonry, metal, styrofoam, stone, ceramics, and textiles
- ADJUSTABLE Basics comes in a range of opacities, and can be adjusted to use as an undertone, tint, or shade. For futher freedom, our mediums include everything you need to prep and finish your work, and to change your paints character
- SET INCLUDES Forty eight 22 milliliter (0.74 ounce) tubes; Colors are listed in the description
3. Angelus Leather Paint Set
If you’re looking for paint for leather shoes, this selection from Angelus could fit the bill. There are 12 colors in one-ounce bottles, including black, brown, blue and white. You could use them to cover up scuff marks or create a whole new look for your shoes.
- Set of Angelus Leather paint in twelve colors, 1 oz jars, version 1
- Ideal for athletic shoes - boots- jackets - purses - tack
- Non-Toxic 1 oz jars
- Angelus Acrylic Leather Standard Paint
- Made in the USA
4. Zeyar Paint Marker Pens
Finding paint for rubber shoes can be a challenge. It can easily crack and flake if you don’t use the right product. These paint marker pens from Zeyar come in 18 colors, and the finish is weather-resistant. The medium-size tips make it easy to customize and color the rubber sections of your shoes.
- Valve-action Structure: SHAKE WELL BEFORE EVERY USE; Great control of ink and gas, high-technology and reversible pen cap
- Vibrant 18 colors: Metallic Colors—Gold, Sliver, Copper; Neon Colors—Glowing green, Hot orange, Zesty lemon, Hot pink, Brilliant blue; Basic Colors—White, Black, Blue, Red, Yellow, Green, Pink, Violet, Orange, Brown
- Ink Certificated: Conforms to ASTM D-4236 certificate, non-toxic and acid free. No food contact
- Weather Resistant: Water and Scratch resistant, Non-fading in nearly all weather and quick drying
- Smooth Writing: Writes on nearly any surface with your imagination and creation, allowing you to easily write on metal, paper, stone, rubber, ceramics, wood, canvas, glass, plastic and more!
5. Neon Nights Fabric Paint Set
When you want your sneakers to stand out from the crowd, Neon Nights has eight glow-in-the-dark colors. They’re great for adding vibrant color on fabric or canvas. These could be the best paint for sneakers so you can see them when you’re out at dusk or at night.
- BRIGHT COLOR TO STAND OUT: Show up to your next party with an instant statement - Our Fabric Paints stand out under Ultra Violet (UV) and blacklights, but are noticeably during daytime too
- USABLE ON ALL BACKGROUNDS: Our Glow in the Dark Fabric Paints are so vibrant, they can be seen on any color shirt or canvas due to their high opacity and vibrancy
- EASY USE FOR DIY PROJECTS: These high-quality and safe-to-use paints are great for festival costumes, party outfits, and are made to impress. Also great for a school project or a tie dye hobby project
- WITHSTANDS WASHING AND IRONING: These powerful paints can survive several wash cycles, allowing you to use your outfit again and again. Avoid the one-time-use you get with other fabric acrylic paint sets
- HOLIDAY ARTS & CRAFTS: These glow paints are a great way for adults and kids to have fun and be festive!
6. Moneysworth & Best Brillo Color Spray
For overall coverage on leather, vinyl or plastic shoes this spray paint from Moneysworth & Best has an array of colors available. There are 51 in total ranging from whites, blues, browns, greys, pinks, greens, and more. They all come in a handy 4.47 ounce can for easy application.
- Will not rub off.
- Repels water, soil and stains.
- New and improved formulation!
- The color should be spot tested in a small inconspicuous area before use.
- Brillo Color Sprays meet California VOC requirements.
7. U.S. Art Supply Acrylic Airbrush
Airbrushing is another great way to paint and rejuvenate shoes. This set of 24 colors comes complete with a bottle of airbrush cleaner and one of airbrush reducer — all suitable for leather, canvas, fabric, and plastics. You would need to buy a spray gun like this one from Badger.
- Kit Contains: 1 oz. Bottles of 12 Primary Opaque Colors, 12 Secondary Opaque Colors, 1 Bottle of Airbrush Cleaner, 1 Bottle of Airbrush Reducer and Extender Base plus a Color Mixing Wheel
- Colors are ready to spray out of the bottle and have outstanding airbrush flow characteristics. Thinning is not required, but optional airbrush reducer is available.
- All colors are made with high quality light-fast pigments. Colors are non-toxic and meet ASTM D-4236 standards
- Our vibrant acrylic airbrush colors are designed for permanent results on most mixed-media & textile surfaces. Achieve beautiful results on paper, canvas, wood, fabric, leather, plastics, metals, ceramic and much more.
- U.S. Art Supply Airbrush Colors are ready to spray professional grade water-based acrylic airbrush colors that are available in opaque, transparent, pearlized and fluorescent color types
Reviews of the Best Paint for Shoes
When it comes to painting shoes, not any old paint will do. You need to make sure it’ll give the coverage you want, and won’t crack or fade. Here are our top 7 picks of the best paint for shoes.
1. Crafts 4 All Fabric Paints
Crafts 4 All brings us a selection of 24 colors of 3D fabric paint for shoes with three paint brushes included. Each easy-squeeze bottle holds one fluid ounce of paint. You can choose from shades of blue, yellow, orange, pink, brown and others.
An extra-thin opening on the bottle lets you create doodles, writings, or drawings on your footwear. You can also use the paint as you would an acrylic paint for a 2D effect using brushes or by spray painting. The paints can also be blended, enabling you to create your unique colors.
The final result should be long-lasting and won’t crack or peel. The company has confidence in its product and promises to replace any item you have an issue with; no questions asked.
All the paints are odorless and non-toxic, making them a safe option if your children want to personalize their sneakers or other fabric shoes.
On the downside, these paints might not be suitable for a larger paint project like boots. It seems the bottles are quite small. Some find the paints also dry up quickly once opened, so be sure to screw the bottle top back on tightly after use.
- Choice of 24 colors.
- 3D painting effect.
- Safe for kids.
- Brushes included.
- Small bottles.
- It can be prone to drying out in the bottle after use.
|With a choice of 24 colors and three paint brushes, you have all you need to start customizing fabric or canvas shoes in this set. The paints are non-toxic and odorless, making them safe for kids to use.|
2. Liquitex Basics Acrylic Paint Set
Liquitex was founded in 1955 with the first water-based acrylic paints going to market in 1957. This new medium in the art world was supplied to the likes of Andy Warhol and David Hockney. So if you’re ready to connect with your inner artist and practice on your shoes, this set could be a good one to start with.
There are 48 tubes, each containing 0.75 fluid ounces of water-based acrylic paint. The array of colors includes whites, reds, greens, browns, copper, gold, and silver. Some colors are transparent, others are semi-opaque, and some opaque.
A medium viscosity of the paint allows you to blend and mix colors easily for a custom look. The pigments used to create the color are high quality so they should give good coverage and finish. They can be watered down for using airbrushing techniques.
Be aware that some people find not all the tubes are filled to the same level, and some tubes were clumpy or dried out. You could also find that some of the paint in the tubes is very thick and hard to squeeze out.
- Choice of 48 colors included.
- Different opacities.
- Easily blended.
- You can use it for air spraying.
- Tubes might be filled inconsistently.
- Some paints might be thick and hard to get out of the tube.
|Produced by a company with years of manufacturing experience for acrylic paints, this set offers 48 color choices. You can use them on fabric or canvas shoes to update or personalize them.|
3. Angelus Leather Paint Set
Angelus has been producing leather and footwear-related products for over 100 years. These include polishes, leather conditioners, protective sprays, and leather paint.
This set of 12 colors are for use on leather shoes. Each jar contains one ounce of acrylic paint in vibrant or muted shades. You can choose from black, brown, white or red, or change it up with lilac, turquoise, orange, pink or yellow.
They also produce other kits; one with seven pearlescent colors and one with six neon colors or 12 neon colors, or one with 12 original colors. With so much choice, you’re sure to find the shade that will work for your leather shoes.
The paint is flexible, so once applied, it shouldn’t peel, fade, crack, or rub off. It’s a water-based acrylic making it easy to clean up and use. You can apply this paint with brushes, sponges, spray painting and airbrushing.
You can use it to cover scuffs and scratches on sneakers, shoes, and boots, to change the color completely. This kit is also a good choice for customizing leather sneakers. You can be as creative as you want, designing and applying color to get a unique look.
These paints can also be used on fabric shoes by adding Angelus 2-Soft to them.
This video shows you Angelus paint being used on a pair of sneakers.
Be prepared to apply several coats of this paint as it appears it’s a little on the thin side. As you need to allow each coat to dry, it could take a day or so to get good coverage when painting all over a pair of shoes or boots.
- Many colors are available.
- Flexible to resist cracking and peeling.
- You can apply it in several ways.
- Should cover scuffs and scratches.
- Might need to apply several coats.
|The Angelus brand has many years of experience in the care of leather shoes. There’s a variety of colors for their leather shoe paint range. The application can be done using brushes, sponges, or by spraying or airbrushing.|
4. Zeyar Paint Marker Pens
Painting rubber shoes can be a challenge. The flexibility of the material often means that any color applied will crack or peel. That shouldn’t be the case with these paint pens from Zeyar.
They’re designed to apply color on many surfaces, including rubber. The paint is water and scratch-resistant and shouldn’t fade. We’re also advised it can stand up to most weather conditions.
This set offers 18 different colors. You have the basics such as black, white, blue, brown, red, green, violet, orange, and pink. Then there are three metallic colors — gold, silver, and copper, as well as five neon colors — glowing green, hot orange, brilliant blue, zesty lemon and hot pink.
These pen tips are medium in size at 25 mm, making them easy to use to write, touch up, color, or create patterns. The paint is oil-based, waterproof, acid-free, and non-toxic. It’s designed to be fast drying and permanent with a good opaque finish.
Getting used to the flow of ink might take a little while as you need to keep shaking the pen and pressing on the tip to get the flow going. It might be a good idea to practice on some scrap paper first before applying to your rubber shoes.
- Medium-size tip.
- Waterproof paint.
- Range of colors.
- Paint flow might take some practice.
- Can be prone to leak from the tip.
|These paint pens are a good choice for rubber shoes or soles. The oil-based paint is waterproof, non-toxic, and acid-free. You can choose from 18 different colors, including neons and metallics.|
5. Neon Nights Fabric Paint Set
Let your sneakers light up your life with this selection of neon, luminous paints from Neon Nights. This German-based company produces many glow-in-the-dark products. They use pigments that are strong for daytime, and vibrant and radiant at night.
This set of eight paints gives you a choice from red, orange, green, blue, yellow, pink, white and purple. You can add accents to your sneakers and fabric shoes, or paint whole sections. These could be a great choice for jazzing up shoes for an event like Comic-Con, or any other festival or party outfit.
The paints are designed to last a long time so you can use them on your shoes with confidence. Each pot contains 0.7 fluid ounces.
While the company assures us these paints work even without blacklight, this doesn’t always seem to be the case. Some also find the paint can be a bit thick and gooey.
- Choice of eight neon colors.
- Strong pigmentation.
- Some find the paints thick and gooey.
- Might not always glow without a blacklight.
|Made by German-based company Neon Nights these paints are designed to glow in the dark. They could be a good choice for jazzing up shoes for festivals and events. You have eight neon colors to choose from.|
6. Moneysworth & Best Brillo Color Spray
Moneysworth & Best is a Canadian-based company with over 30 years of experience in the shoe care market. Its Brillo color spray is designed for use on leather, vinyl, and plastics. This makes it an ideal choice for shoes, sandals or boots made from those materials.
Its color range on offer is vast, with 51 shades to choose from. You can select from 12-ounce cans in different shades of brown, blue, green, yellow, red, pink, or grey. There are also metallic colors like gold, champagne, and silver; from neutral shades to vibrant colors there’s sure to be one to suit.
Each spray is formulated to renew the existing color of your footwear or completely change it. You could choose a color to match for touching up scuffs or decide on a new look.
The pigment in the color should give good coverage and be flexible, preventing cracking, peeling, and flaking. It’s designed to repel water, stains, and soiling to keep your newly-painted shoes in tip-top condition too.
It’s also toluene-free, so you don’t get any of the nasty effects of this colorless, odorous liquid that’s often added to spray paint.
While many find this spray color is a great option for revamping a pair of shoes, it might take more than one coat to get the color you want. Some also find that one can isn’t enough as it’s smaller than they anticipated it would be.
- Easy to use 12-ounce spray can.
- Choice of 51 colors.
- Prevents stains.
- Water repellent.
- May need to apply multiple coats.
- Might need more than one can.
|With a vast array of colors to choose from, this spray paint is suitable for leather, vinyl or plastic shoes. It’s water, stain and soil repellent to keep shoes looking good.|
7. U.S. Art Supply Acrylic Airbrush
These U.S. Art Supply paints are one of many products brought to us by TCP Global. This company was founded in 1974 as a decorating store in Lakeside, California and has now grown into a large online supplier.
This set of acrylic airbrush paints for leather shoes supplies 24 one-ounce bottles of paint, a bottle each of airbrush cleaner and airbrush thinner. There’s also a handy color mixing wheel so you can create a unique look for your shoes.
The paint comes in 12 primary colors which are black, white, yellow, green, pink, red, purple, orange, brown, pink, sapphire blue, and flesh. Then there are 12 secondary colors: chartreuse, canary yellow, ochre, vermillion, crimson, dark brown, phthalo blue, aqua blue, lake blue, phthalo green, magenta, and lavender.
If you want more choice, there’s a 36 color or 54 color set on offer, as well as fluorescent colors. All the colors come from high-quality pigments for opaque coverage. The paints are non-toxic and ready to spray straight out of the bottle without being thinned down.
You will need to buy an airbrush gun to use this kit. You could choose one like this from Badger which comes complete with a paint jar. If you need extra paint jars these from Master Airbrush will fit the Badger and other airbrush guns.
Although the company advises that the paints are thin enough to use out of the pot, some find they need to add thinner. Luckily, there’s a bottle included in the kit.
- 24 colors.
- Cleaner and thinner included.
- Handy color mixing wheel.
- Need to buy an airbrush gun.
- Paint might need to be thinned down.
|This set of 24 airbrush paints for leather shoes includes a bottle of thinner and a bottle of cleaner. There’s also a color mixing wheel to tell you how to blend the exact color you want.|
Tips for Using Paint for Shoes
There are many reasons you might want to paint your shoes. Maybe you want to match your existing color to rejuvenate your favorite footwear, paint a design on your sneakers, or match some shoes to an outfit.
Whatever the reason, there are some things you need to think about when painting your shoes. It’s not just a case of applying the paint, and you’re ready to go.
Most paint for shoes is acrylic-based. If you don’t prepare your shoes properly or seal them afterward you risk the chances of the paint peeling or cracking.
1. Prepare Your Shoes for Painting
This is an important step to take before applying paint to any footwear.
When the shoes come from the factory, they’re usually sealed to protect them, especially leather shoes. You’ll need to remove the finish first, so your new paint will adhere well to the surface of the shoes. You can use 100 percent acetone or a deglazer like this one from Angelus.
For fabric or canvas shoes, a damp cloth and some dishwashing soap will remove dirt and debris. You can find a step-by-step guide on preparing shoes for painting in our article How to Spray Paint Shoes.
2. Protect the Soles and Embellishments
Unless you’re painting the soles of your shoes as well, you will need to protect them from the paint you’re using. Likewise, think about buckles, zips, and other decorations or embellishments. Cover them with painter’s tape before you begin your painting project.
Don’t forget to remove shoelaces either.
3. Plan Your Design
Getting in touch with your inner Picasso is tempting when it comes to customizing a pair of shoes by applying a unique design. However, before going for the real thing, it might be prudent to practice on some paper first.
Draw out your design and make sure that you like it. Test out your color combinations, so you know they’re what you want. Don’t rush the process, it’s a big decision, after all.
Do you need some inspiration? The World Wide Web is at your service here.
This video from Will the Artist might give you some ideas.
Once you’ve nailed it, draw your design lightly with a pencil on your shoes and then fill in with paint.
4. Use the Right Paint
Make sure you choose the right paint for the specific shoes you’ve chosen. Canvas and fabric paints might not work on leather, and vice versa.
Rubber can be even harder to find paint for. The only solution might be to use tire marker pens designed to adhere to rubber and not crack or peel off.
5. Dry the Paint Between Applications
Drying each layer of paint after applying it can help stop it cracking afterward. This might be time-consuming but should be worth the extra effort to get a good finish.
6. Seal the Shoes When You Finish
While it might be tempting to pop your new shoes on and wear them as soon as they’re painted, don’t. Protecting them with a sealant will make sure the paint stays intact and help stop the new paint peeling, cracking or chipping.
You could choose a matte finish like this one from Angelus, or they also make a gloss finish sealant. Applying these as directed by the manufacturer will make sure your hard work has not been in vain.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Is Better for Shoes, Spray Paint or Brush Paint?
This is a matter of taste and also the material of your shoes. Spray painting or airbrushing might give better coverage on leather, while brush paints and markers could be better for canvas and fabric.
There’s a good selection of colors in the types of paints for either of these applications. Find the one you like the best and enjoy creating.
How Long Will Paint Last on Shoes?
Provided you prepare and seal your shoes, and choose a good quality paint, it should last a long time. It’s things like rain, sun, dirt, and water that could cause damage or fade the color on any shoes, painted or not.
Can You Paint and Customize Cleats?
Yes, you can. The same as you would with any other shoes; make sure they’re prepared first to ensure the paint will adhere to them. Choose the correct type of paint for the material and seal them after painting.
This video shows you some cool ways to customize cleats.
Can You Paint the Soles of Your Shoes?
The answer to that would be “yes!” It’s possible to paint the soles of your shoes. As with the remainder portion of your footwear, you’ll need to choose the appropriate medium for the material. Using acrylic would be the most common option here.
Time to Get Creative
Now it’s time to raid your wardrobe and find that old pair of shoes that you want to rejuvenate. Maybe there’s a pair of boots or sneakers you never wear because they don’t match your clothes. Once you have them, choose your favorite from the best paint for shoes and get creative.
The paint you select will depend on the material your shoes are made from, but our top picks cover all options. Each one has a wide choice of colors, or you can blend colors to create your unique look.
We hope you enjoyed our guide and found it informative. Let us know how you get on with using the best paint for shoes by leaving us a comment. Also, don’t forget to share so others can benefit from newly painted footwear as well.