How to Paint Shoes a Different Color

Shoes are a must in our life. But buying shoes on a regular basis can put a considerable dent on your wallet.

An alternative is important. Painting your shoes to make them look brand new is a great one.

Based on what type of shoes you own, you can choose from options such as leather paint, spray paint, and acrylic paint and sometimes even markers to bring out a better look for your old pair.

So, let’s find out how you can paint your shoes in a different color.

Pointers to Keep in Mind

Here are a few pointers to keep in mind:

  • Before beginning this project, clean your shoes with leather or ammonia cleaner and rubbing alcohol. Do not make it too wet. Otherwise, it could have a negative impact on the entire project. Let them dry naturally and if necessary, rub it again.
  • If you want to add designs to your shoe, test the colors on paper first. It will help you to avoid mistakes.
  • Ensure that you paint your shoe evenly and apply a second coat if you wish.


  • Steady and covered worktop: Make you’re your workspace is not wobbly and always cover the top, usually with old newspaper. This will save your worktop from stray paint drips or spills.
  • Use a pencil to sketch your desired design: To avoid mistakes, it is wise to make a light outline of the design you want with a pencil. If the design is light enough, it won’t be noticeable after you paint. You can also use a marker to outline this design to make it pop out.
  • Practice first before you do the deed: If you’re new to this DIY project, then it’s definitely safer if you paint a pair you don’t use anymore. This isn’t absolutely necessary, but just an option to stay safe. After all, better be safe than sorry they say!
  • Shiny leather shoes need to be sanded: It is difficult for paint to set on shiny surfaces, usually leather shoes. Use sandpaper to rub the surface. Move in a circular Rub until the surface becomes dull and is even on all sides. Because if it’s not even, after result of the paint will look weird.
  • Tape the inside and sole: You can use a painter’s tape to secure the insides and sole of your shoes to ensure that they keep their shape.

Painting Your Shoes

Here is the step-by-step guide for painting your old shoes.

Step 1: Fabric or Leather Paint

Dip your brush in the paint and use short strokes/dabs to cover the shoe until the original color cannot be seen.

Step 2: Brushes

For painting the edge of a shoe use no. 6 or no.8. For detailing, use no. 0 or no. 1. Use no. 1 and no. 2 to spread the color on the shoe’s surface faster.

Step 3: Sponge for A Moderately Covered Look

Use a sponge along with fabric or leather paint to layer colors. Dab the sponge in the paint and keep a spare paper nearby or get rid of excess paint from the sponge.

Step 4: Spray Paint

If you want just one color instead of layers or designs, use spray paint. Position the nozzle of the paint can 4 to 6” from the shoe and press firmly for even application.

Step 5: Glitter Dust

If you’re repainting heels/stilettoes, you can jazz it up with glitter. Use 1or 2 cups (4 ounces) of Mod Podge and mix it with a small bottle of glitter in a plastic cup. Let the shoe dry and then dab it on.

Step 6: Dry the Shoes

Let the shoe sit for at least an hour. Wait 2 or 3 days before you wear them to make sure it’s fully dry in case any paint seeped inside.

Step 7: Peel Off the Tape

Gently peel off the tape and use tweezers if any small tape remains.

Step 8: Acrylic Spray

Use this spray for cloth shoes and clear matte spray paint for leather shoes to protect the color from water in case of rain.


There! See how easy the entire process was!

Follow these steps and pointers to give your old or boring pairs a new make-over and flaunt your DIY skills!

And if you still have some queries, please leave them in the comments section.

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