Ever wanted a custom painted pair of shoes? Personalizing a pair of shoes is a great activity for the kids and also a great gift idea. In this post by Protect America, we will discuss the instructions and materials you will need to make your very own pair of DIY painted shoes.

Things to Consider

Before beginning this project, you will want to consider some design principals for your shoes. You’ll definitely want to have a basic idea of what you are going to draw. Take careful consideration when buying your shoes, the most important factor is the fabric and color. Do not buy athletic shoes, leather shoes, or shoes with a lot of texture. If you want to do an intricate pattern, we suggest any closed-toe shoe with a plain white or tan canvas material. Vans, Converse, or Toms are excellent choices because they will offer a large flat space on both sides on the shoe as well as canvas material.


Now that you have a concept for what you might want to paint on your shoes, collect the following materials to begin working on this project:

  1. White or tan canvas shoes
  2. Acrylic paint in various colors – available at any craft store
  3. A paper plate or palette
  4. A cup of water to clean brushes
  5. A paper towel
  6. Paint brushes is various sizes for different details
  7. A permanent marker
  8. A pencil to sketch your design
  9. Clear matte spray paint – Krylon is a good brand.



After you have purchased your canvas shoes, take them out of the box and remove the laces if applicable. Prepare your work station by setting up a glass of water to clean your paint brushes with a paper towel to blot them dry. When you buy your paint, make sure it is acrylic. As stated before, acrylic paint can be found at any craft store and sometimes in the craft section of a department store. It is very inexpensive and dries quickly.

You can sketch your idea onto your shoes with the pencil. Be sure to sketch it lightly. Most paint colors will cover your pencil marks. However, it is more difficult to conceal them with lighter hues such as yellows and orange. Once you have your work station set up and your design sketched out onto the shoes, it’s time to paint!

  • With an appropriately sized brush, choose which color you want to start with first. It is important to blot your paint brush when you dip it into the water. Any excess water on the brush might cause your colors to bleed on the canvas shoe while you’re painting. If this does happen, wait a few minutes for it to dry. Then you can cover the mistake with another or the same color depending on what design you want to complete. Something to note: Do not use more than two or three thin coats of paint maximum. Layering the acrylic paint too thick will cause it to crack or peel off the shoe.
  • Be patient and do all of one kind of color first to conserve paint, otherwise you will constantly be cleaning your brush and by the time you come back to the other colors, they will dry up.
  • Continue to paint the shoes while letting each color dry periodically. Drying should only take a few minutes. Once you have painted your design onto the shoes, you will want to let them dry completely before you spray them.
  • Once the shoes are dry. You can take a sharpie or permanent marker to outline your shapes if you want. This definitely gives the design a different look. Using the permanent marker on the dry paint is fine. However using it on the canvas shoe alone will definitely cause the marker to bleed.
  • Once you are all finished and the shoes are dry, you can take them outside or into a well ventilated area. Stuff the inside of the shoes with newspaper so that the spray paint sealant doesn’t get inside the shoes. Use the clear matte spray paint to cover the shoes completely. Let them dry for an hour. Then spray them completely again and let them dry. After a couple hours, your shoes will be ready to wear.
  • Without the sealant spray, the acrylic will fade in normal wear and tear. Using the sealant will preserve the colors and make them so that you can walk through rain or shine without worrying about your designs washing away.

Clear Spray Sealant Suggestions

We hope you have enjoyed this DIY post by Protect America, a leader in wireless home security technology. For as low as $19.99 a month, you can get professional monitoring and all of your start up equipment for free! With so many choices, equipment and services, deciding on the right home security company can be a tough decision. Our goal is to empower people and make it easy to choose the right decision for their home and family, whether that’s Protect America or not. When you choose a home security company, make sure it’s one you can trust – after all, you’re placing your most valued items in its care.

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