Best Paint for Shoes: How to Get Started with Shoe Painting & Hydrodipping

Best Paint for Shoes
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Nowadays, everyone wants to try their hand out at shoe painting. And why not? It is a lot of fun. Hand-painting your shoes is a genius way to channel your creativity. It is also an excellent way to infuse your unique personality into your shoes.

Though a reasonably straightforward process, shoe painting requires certain elements to succeed. One of such is the perfect paint.

Imagine using fabric paint for leather shoes. One word – disappointment.

The right type of paint is crucial to getting a perfectly painted pair of shoes.

SEVENWELL 14 Colors Acrylic Leather Paint Kit (35ml/1.2 fl oz.) with 2 Acrylic Finisher for Shoes, Sneakers, Sofa, Jacket, Bag, Wallet, Car Seat, Leather Paint for Repair, DIY, Painting

How to Choose the Best Paint for Shoes

It all depends on the type of shoes you’re looking to paint.

If you are painting canvas shoes, acrylic paint or fabric paint is your perfect choice. Brands like Golden acrylic paint or Angelus acrylic paint are top-quality paints that can get the job done. Good quality fabric markers, like Arteza, also do a great job on canvas shoes.

Shop Acrylic Shoe Paint here on Amazon

Golden Color Mixing Set of 8, Classic Theory

As weird as it sounds, leather paints also work well for fabric shoes. Angelus leather paint is a good choice in this case.

If you are painting leather shoes, then leather paint will do the trick.

For Crocs, acrylic paints are your best bet.

Best Paint for Crocs

Personalized Crocs have come to stay. Furthermore, customizing your Crocs is a fun activity that, if done well, is equally rewarding.

Crocs Unisex Classic American Flags Clogs, White/Multi, 8 Men/10 Women

Crocs are made of a foam resin called Croslite. They make Crocs breathable and discourage odors from sweat. They are also water-friendly. Croslite makes it a bit hard for paints to stick. Thus, your choice of paint must be the right one.

Acrylic paints are highly versatile. If applied properly, they don’t crack, peel or fade. They can last for a long time for your shoes. As such, they are the best options for Crocs. Your unique design should come out beautifully if done with thin layers of paint. Start with a blank canvas of white Crocs to get the best paint coverage.

Shop white Crocs here at Crocs.com

Crocs Kids' Classic Clog , White, 4 Big Kid

However, acrylic paints are not waterproof. So you want to be careful of the places you wear your painted Crocs. Prolonged exposure to water or sun will lead to fading.

To reduce this, make sure to use a sealant after painting. If your sealant is not waterproof, finish off with a waterproof spray when the sealant is dry. You may also use a sealer with UV protection, like the Krylon Sealer Spray.

Shop Krylon Sealer Spray here on Amazon.

Krylon Matte Finish Aerosol Spray 11oz

At one time you could color directly on Crocs with a specific Croc branded paint set, now discontinued you can still find the odd set on Ebay from time to time.

And now we have more things for Croc Lovers who want to paint their crocs.

You can now decorate and re-decorate your Crocs with this Croc-A-Doodles Art Set! Set includes four washable paint pens in fuchsia, lime, orange and yellow; three washable markers in blue, red and black; an awesome stencil set and an artist sponge.

You can color directly on your Crocs to create your own, one of kind, custom shoe. Create again and again.

Crocs Croc-A-Doodles Set have been discontinued but can periodically be found on Ebay.

Best Paint for Canvas Shoes

Thinking of upgrading those old Chuck Taylors? Or start from scratch with a perfect white canvas pair! Acrylic paint should serve you perfectly. Canvas shoes are generally made from cotton or linen. Since canvas is quite porous, not all kinds of paints work on it. Acrylic paint or fabric paint works best for canvas shoes. Leather paints work well too.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top Sneaker, Optical White, 12 Women/10 Men

Shop White Converse here on Converse.com

SEVENWELL 14 Colors Acrylic Leather Paint Kit (35ml/1.2 fl oz.) with 2 Acrylic Finisher for Shoes, Sneakers, Sofa, Jacket, Bag, Wallet, Car Seat, Leather Paint for Repair, DIY, Painting

Acrylic paint dries quickly; it is flexible and beginner-friendly. It should come out fine as long as you follow your outline drawn on the shoes and apply thin layers. Thankfully, canvas shoes do not require a ton of prep work. You may need to rub some acetone on the surface, but not much else.

MATTKANE 20 Pack Acrylic Markers for Shoes Glass Paint Wood Paint Acrylic Marker 0.7mm Extra-fine Colors for Drawing DIY, Metal, Glass, Wood, Stone, Plastic, Paper, Shoes, Clothes

Fabric markers are a great option if you’re not comfortable with a paintbrush. Brands like Arteza make high-quality markers that can withstand washing. Fabric markers also work well for precision-based designs.

Mix the Angelus leather paint half-and-half with Angelus 2-Soft Fabric Medium for best results with leather paint. Doing this will keep the paint flexible and give it a soft feel.

Shop Angelus leather paint supplies on Amazon here.

Angelus Leather Paint Starter Kit with Deglazer and Brush Set

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How to Hydrodip Shoes?

Hydrodipping is the process of transferring a film of paint on water to an object. It may not sound straightforward, but it is relatively easy to carry out. You can either use spray paint or film transfer.

The spray paint technique is the easier option; however, your artistic width is limited. There’s no limit to what designs you can achieve with a film transfer.

The processes for both do not differ so much. For the spray paint method, you would need:

  • Fabric/plastic/leather shoes
  • Oil-based acrylic spray paint (2-3 colors)
  • Primer (acetone)
  • Waterproof sealer
  • A deep tub
  • Warm water
  • Gloves
  • Tape

Prime your shoes with acetone to remove the factory finish. Next, start taping off the parts you don’t want the paint to touch. Fill the tub with warm water. Spray the surface of the water with spray paints. Slowly and steadily, holding the shoe’s sole, dip it in the film. Use your hand to clear out any extra paint. Take out the shoe steadily. Next, take off the tapes and allow them to dry. You can finish up with a waterproof sealing spray.

The film transfer method uses a printed hydrographic film instead of spray paint. Additionally, you would need an activator to dissolve the film.

2. How to Seal Acrylic Paint?

Sealing is vital for longer-lasting wear on hand-painted shoes. If the paint isn’t sealed after drying, cracking and peeling will happen faster.

An acrylic spray sealant applied to the dried shoes in small bursts will do the trick. Just make sure your shoes are fully dry first.

Many prefer to use an acrylic finisher applied with a brush or paper towel over the finished work. Angelus acrylic finishers come in matte, glossy, and satin finishes. Some also come with a duller if you want a less glossy finish.

Allow them to sit for 5 minutes or until completely dry before applying another thin coat of finisher. You would need about three coats of finisher to seal the deal.

It is advisable to use paint and finisher from the same brand to ensure the products mix perfectly.

Shop Angelus Acrylic Finisher on Amazon here.

Angelus Brand Acrylic Leather Paint Matte Finisher No. 620 - 4oz

Final Thoughts

Shoe painting is a fun activity that will leave you craving for more if done right. The most important part of the whole activity is choosing the right paint. With a little bit of creativity and the right paint, you’ll do a great job. But with all the creativity in the world and the wrong paint, you’d never want to wear those shoes again.

Acrylic paints are the most flexible and will work well on almost any type of shoes. Leather and fabric paints are more selective.

Selecting the best paint for shoes will be pretty easy with this guide.

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