How to Paint Sneakers at Home? – DIY Fashion

How to Paint Sneakers

Sustainability is soaring high recently due to all the natural destruction and unavailability of finite resources for the future generation’s use. Revitalizing the existing fashion pieces is the best option. You might have seen people wearing the recycled or re-made apparel, but what about the shoes?

The painted or customized sneakers you see online on websites like are nothing but hand-painted by the artisans.

It was only a few years back when everyone went mad after thepainted sneakers and shoes. Even I tried painting one myself. Deciding is easy but not to actually make.

So here I am with the DIY fashion blog on how to paint sneakers. Here in the blog, I have mentioned A to Zs of painting your existing sneakers. So let’s dive in!

How to Paint Sneakers

How to Paint Sneakers? (DIY)

Materials Needed:


Fabric or leather paint

Paint pen markers

Masking tape


Acrylic Sealer Spray


Tools Needed:

Craft knife

Heat gun

Time Required: 1 hour in making, 2 to 3 hours for drying, and 2 to 3 days for it being ready to wear.

Costing: Around $100

The costing will vary with the availability of the materials and tools with you. If you are reusing your existing sneaker, then your more than half cost is saved. However, if you are buying the shoes, they may cost more than stated.

Step 1: Prep the Shoes

The first step should always be prepping the base, no matter what DIY project you are handing. For now, sneakers are our base material. Whether you are getting the new factory finish shoes or the one you are already wearing, both will need prepping. For a used one, washing them will do the work.

New sneakers come with a factory finish that doesn’t allow the paint to absorb in the fabric and forms a cracky layer on them. First, you will have to remove that finish, and acetone will help you in the process.

Soak the cloth or cotton ball in acetone and wipe on the areas you will paint. Don’t worry if you see the paste-like substance forming on the sneaker, as it is the finish coming off. Also, don’t overuse acetone, or it will sodden the cloth.

Step 2: Prep the Materials and Do the Masking

The next step is to prep the materials. Once you have cleaned the shoes, let them dry and arrange the materials for further process. If possible get the materials before you start painting sneakers. The colors will depend on the type of sneakers or shoes you are planning to customize.

Things to keep in mind while buying supplies for hand painting the sneakers:

  • If you have the fabric shoes, then simple acrylic colors will work, but for leather ones get the leather paint.
  • Get the spray paint, if your motive is to change the entire color of the footwear.
  • If you plan on adding the detailing, get your hands on the paint markers.
  • Get the set of brushes of every size, from 0 to 28.
  • Buying masking tape. Don’t go with the newspaper for covering the remaining area, and newspapers can also leave some colors.

Once you have all the materials on hand, keep them around the working place. Take masking tape and stick it on the areas you want to keep safe from colors, especially soles, eyestay, and eyelets.

Step 3: Decide the Design You Want to Paint

Decide the Design You Want to Paint

No matter how much you have planned or went through the design ideas. It is also necessary to have it physically. You can draw the design on paper or create it using software like Photoshop. From tye-dye to 3D pokemon or minion, you can paint whatever you want, but take care of the color combination.

Step 4: Start Painting

Take a pencil and draw the design on the sneakers. If you are not so good at sketching the perfect design make use of the stencil. Now, take acrylic colors and mix them with a textile medium to make the consistency thinner. With this color, you can easily paint on the surface and it will be absorbed quickly as well.

Step 5: Leave for Drying

The first paint coat should be light in color. Once that is done, leave it for at least 2 to 3 hours for drying. During that time, you can prepare for the application of a second coat. Wash the color mixing plate and brushes, and refill them with a new color. Once they are dry enough take them for another painting round.

Step 6: Paint Second Coat

Paint Second Coat

Practically, this isn’t the last step but technically it is! Here at this step you will paint the exact design with the perfect color (the one you wanted), and give finishing to the entire piece. The second coat of paint should always be done with a darker color. Now let it dry!

Step 7: Apply Acrylic Sealer Spray

Last step for how to paint sneakers is about sealing the design and color on the sneaker. I have seen many people who do DIY customized sneakers but forgets to seal the final appearance. This is what makes the color of the sneaker fade or washes off with time.

To protect your painted sneakers for years spray acrylic sealer spray. What do you think, why hand-painted sneakers from brands and websites stay as it is for years? That is the secret of retention.

Slay the Look With Beautifully Painted Sneakers:

Yes! It is that easy to paint sneakers. I tried to provide you with the best guide on how to paint sneakers at home without spending much. You can also go with the brands selling hand-painted shoes by artisans around the world. You won’t just help in sustaining the environment but you can also slay the hippie look.

Outfit Idea with Hand Painted Sneakers: Wear the hand painted sneakers with the black ripped jeans, graphic tee, and denim or leather jacket for the classy look. Accessorize the outfit with rings and chains for the perfect hipster OOTD.

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