Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Shoes: Quick Guide When Painting Your Shoes

Yes, acrylic paint can be a great way to add color to your shoes. However, before you start, test the paint on a small shoe area to ensure it won’t damage the surface. Seal the paint with a sealant to protect it from moisture and wear. When applying acrylic paint to sneakers, be sure to use flexible paint that is non-tacky.

Guide When Painting Shoes With Acrylic Paints

Prepare the Shoes

When painting shoes, the process is simple but requires a lot of attention to detail. First and foremost, ensure the boots are spotless – there can be no dirt, dust, or debris. Then remove any old paint or polish using a solvent such as acetone or methylated spirits. Then, use mild soap and water to wipe down the shoes, and allow them to dry completely before proceeding.

Use fine-grit sandpaper to sand the surface of the shoes lightly. This will help to create a rough surface that will allow the acrylic paint to adhere better. Then, use a clean, dry cloth to wipe down the shoes to remove any dust or debris created by sanding.

Use a shoe primer to prime the shoes. This will help create an even surface for the paint to adhere to and help prevent the color from chipping or flaking off. Follow the instructions on the primer to determine how long it needs to dry before you start painting.

Draw the Designs

Undoubtedly, shoes can be a perfect canvas for creative expression. Whether you want to paint simple flowers or more intricate designs, acrylic paint is the ideal medium. Start by painting simple shapes using light strokes and then gradually introduce more detailed elements as you become more confident with the technique.

Alternatively, use a pencil to sketch out your design on paper first. This will allow you to experiment with different ideas and make necessary changes before painting. Once your design is finalized, use a light-colored pencil or chalk to transfer your design onto the shoes. You can do this by placing the shoes on top of your sketch and tracing the lines onto the shoes.

Try Painting on an Old Pair of Shoes

Painting shoes can be a great way to use your creative skills and have some fun at the same time. For example, if you’re new to the hobby, practicing on an old pair of shoes will help make your painting go much smoother.

Before painting any shoes, you’ll want to choose a color that goes well with your outfit and paint it on in thin layers. Be sure to brush the paint evenly so that the shoe looks polished and like it has been professionally painted. Remember not to overdo it – too much paint might make the shoe look tacky or cheap instead of beautiful!

Cover the Inside and Sole With Tape

Covering the inside and sole of shoes with tape when painting with acrylic can help to protect these areas and make it easier to achieve clean lines and a professional-looking finish. To cover the inside and sole of your shoes with acrylic paint, start by cleaning them with soap and water. 

Afterward, coat the insides of the boots with painter’s tape to ensure a smooth surface. You can also use masking tape to cover the inside and soles of the shoes. Press firmly on the tape to ensure it adheres well and creates a clean line.

Let the Shoes Dry

It is essential to dry the shoes properly before painting them. This will prevent paint from peeling or cracking later on. Also, acrylic paint will not adhere well to wet shoes, resulting in a poor finish and potentially damaging the shoes.

To ensure that your shoes are dry before painting, it is an excellent idea to let them air dry in a well-ventilated area away from heat sources. If your shoes are damp, you can also use a hairdryer to dry them, but be sure to use a low heat setting and keep the dryer moving to avoid overheating the shoes.

Apply the Acrylic Paints

Acrylic is a versatile paint that can create different effects on shoes. Here are some painting tips that will help you get the most out of this type of paint:

  • Please make sure the shoes are completely dry before starting to paint them. Wet shoes won’t hold acrylic paint well and will run when you brush or roll it onto the shoe surface.
  • Apply a thin layer of paint to the shoe and let it dry for a few minutes so the canvas is ready for your artwork. Refrain from over-painting as this might result in cracking or peeling of the finish on your shoes later.
  • Use a brush or roller to apply acrylic paints evenly onto every part of your shoe – including under heels, around straps, etc. Allow all layers of paint to dry thoroughly before storing your painted footwear in an airtight container for future use. (note: acrylic paints tend not to work with leather).

Acrylic Paints and Shoes


Acrylic paint is a great way to add color and personality to your sneakers. Acrylic paint is a popular choice for painting sneakers because it is water-based, easy to work with, and can be used on various surfaces, including canvas, leather, and rubber. It can be used on the soles of sneakers, so long as the paint is safe to use on shoes. 

Inks that are safe to use on shoes include latex and oil-based paints. Make sure to test a small area before applying a large quantity to your sneakers, as acrylic paint can be messy.

Leather Shoes

Acrylic paint is a great shoe option because it’s low-odor, water-resistant, and can be easily applied with a sealant. However, it’s essential to ensure the paint is safe before using acrylic paint on leather shoes. 

To do this, apply a sealant to the shoes to protect them from the paint. Then, paint the shoes with acrylic paint using a brush. Use caution as acrylic paint can be messy and easily remove paint if not applied correctly. Lastly, seal the stain with a sealant to protect the shoes in the future.

Canvas Shoes

Canvas shoes are a great way to add color and style to any outfit. However, knowing if acrylic paint is appropriate before painting your shoes is essential. Acrylic paint is water-based and will not damage the surface of your shoes. Additionally, acrylic paint is non-toxic, so you can feel comfortable wearing it around children or pets. 

As long as you follow a few guidelines, acrylic paint is generally safe on canvas shoes. For example, test a small section first to ensure the paint will dry entirely and won’t cause damage or discoloration. So go ahead and paint your shoes with acrylic paint – it’s safe, stylish, and just the correct dose of fun!

Vinyl Shoes

Undoubtedly, acrylic paint is famous for artists and hobbyists of all skill levels. However, is acrylic paint safe to use on vinyl shoes? The short answer is yes, acrylic paint is safe to use on vinyl shoes if the paint is directly applied to the shoe. 

However, it’s always best to take precautions and apply the paint smoothly without any bubbles. For example, if the color gets onto the shoe surface, remove it with a cloth or brush, as it may be difficult to remove later. 

Alternatively, some people apply decals or stickers to their shoes made from vinyl materials. So, whatever your painting needs may be, acrylic paint is a versatile and safe medium that you can use successfully on vinyl shoes.

Fabric Shoes

Painting fabric shoes with acrylic is a fun and easy way to spruce up your look. Acrylic paint is versatile and can be used on various surfaces, including fabric shoes. Spray the desired color onto a piece of cardboard or paper. Then, place the cardboard or paper over the shoe and spray again with water until the paint is thoroughly wetted down. 

Carefully remove the cardboard or paper and finish painting the shoe using your favorite method (spray, brush, etc.). With acrylic paint, you can paint any design you want on your shoes – whether a simple design or something more complex. So go ahead and paint your shoes some fun colors!