How to Paint Sneakers Yourself

How to paint your own sneakers

Wouldn’t it be cool to have a design idea for a pair of sneakers and be able to go out to your local shoe store and be able to find that design on your favourite pair of runners? Or how about checking online for your favourite pair of sneakers and finding the design you want. The design that says these sneakers are me! Well that would be very cool but reality is that it is not always going to happen. Most times we find a pair of sneakers we like and can live with, but maybe don’t look the exact way you would want them to but they will do. Sometimes we just have a color scheme and design in our minds that we just can’t find on a cool pair of sneakers. If you knew how to paint sneakers this wouldn’t be a problem anymore.

Painting sneakers has never been more popular. Hip hop fans and just people with a special need starting really making a statement with their sneaker painting in the 1980’s and carried into the 1990’s. Now in the 2000’s and beyond manufacturers of paint and manufacturers of sneakers have made it possible for regular people to buy a pair of sneakers and paint their sneakers to meet and match their personalities making the statement they want. Now with all of that being said before you can paint your sneakers you need to go buy a pair of sneakers for painting. White sneakers are the perfect canvas for sneaker painting but any colored sneakers can be painted.

Supplies needed for this sneaker painting project are; Sneakers, nail polish remover or paint thinner, clean rags and Q-Tips, paint markers or leather paint which can be found at your local crafting store or online at places like, different sized small paint brushes if you purchased leather paint instead of paint markers, sealant or clear coat spray to protect your wickedly cool paint job. That’s it.

Step 1 – Prepare your Sneakers

Make sure there is no excess dirt on the sneakers if you have worn them already. Take out the shoe laces if applicable. Using nail polish remover or a paint thinner pour some onto a clean rag and wipe any clear coat and everything else off of your sneakers so the leather or material is clean and bare. Your paint will adhere optimally if you are diligent with this procedure. Let the sneakers dry before moving to the next step. Wipe the sneakers a few times to make sure you get everything off of the,.

Step 2 – Make your Design

If you have a design to trace or tape onto your shoes do so now or if you are just painting or detailing the different sections of the sneaker different colors then move on to the next step. If you are using paint markers you can use them to also trace your design so you don’t have pencil or another type of marker wrecking your creation.

Step 3 – Paint your Sneakers

Once you have your designs traced out it is time to start painting your sneakers using your paint markers or leather paint with a paint brush. Make sure to color the insides of designs first so you don’t smear any of your hard work by accident. After one coat of paint let dry for the stated amount of time on the paint marker or can of paint. It might be necessary to give your sneakers a second coat of paint to get the desired thickness and color you require. Once you are happy with the results of your paint job you can move on to step 4.

Step 4 – Protecting your Paint Job

After you have finished painting and the paint has dried on your sneakers you will want to apply a clear coating to seal and protect the paint so it will last as long as possible. This is not the same as weather protector for shoes. You can use an acrylic resolene found at a craft store or online. Any acrylic coating will do. you might have to touch up with clear once in a while if it cracks. Not a big deal. You can search for fabric sealer and see if you can find one that protects the way you want. There are many choices on the market. Apply more than one coat if necessary.

That is it for your painting sneakers project. Just let the clear coat dry for the required amount of time and re-lace your sneakers. Now it is time to put on your shoes and go show the world your hard work.