How to Paint Shoe Soles

It’s no secret that painting shoe soles can add a pop of color and personality to any outfit. But before you can start adding paint, you need to know how to prepare the shoes for painting. In this article, we’ll show you how to paint shoe soles! Plus, we’ll give you some tips on creating remarkable and unique designs. Let’s get started!

How to Paint Shoe Soles

Many people don’t think of painting their shoe soles, but it’s a straightforward way to add some personality to your outfit. Painting shoe soles is also a great way to cover up scuffs and scratches on the shoes. Of course, it is a bit more work than just slapping on a coat of paint, but the results are worth it!

What Kind of Paint Do You Use for Shoe Soles?

A few different types of paint can be used on shoe soles. The most crucial factor is to choose a variety of paint that will be durable and withstand wear and tear. Several different types of paints can be used, such as acrylic paint, enamel paint, or spray paint.

When painting the soles of shoes, it is essential to use a type of paint that will stick to the material and will not chip or fade away with regular use. It is also vital to ensure that the shoes are completely dry before wearing them again. Failure to do so may cause the paint to chip or flake off.

For the paint job to last as long as possible, it is essential to properly take care of the shoes. Be sure to avoid exposing them to harsh weather conditions and clean them regularly with a damp cloth.

Things You’ll Need:


Choose a pair of shoes with soles that can be painted. Leather or rubber soles are the best options for painting.


As mentioned earlier, acrylic paint, enamel paint, or spray paint work well for painting shoe soles. Make sure to have enough paint to cover the entire sole and possibly do multiple coats if necessary.


Using a primer can help the paint adhere better to the shoe sole and prevent chipping or flaking.

Painter’s tape:

Using painter’s tape can help create clean lines and prevent getting paint on any other areas of the shoe.


Different sizes of paintbrushes may be needed to cover larger or smaller areas of the sole. Foam brushes can also be used for a smoother application.


If the shoe sole has any scuffs or scratches, using sandpaper can help smooth out the surface before painting.

A Step-by-Step Guide on how to paint shoe soles

Step 1: Determine Shoe Material

The first thing you will need to figure out is what material your shoe is made out of. This is important because it will determine the type of paint you use. For example, if your shoes are made out of a natural material like leather, canvas, or suede, you will want to use water-based paint. On the other hand, if your shoes are made of synthetic material like vinyl or plastic, you will want to use oil-based paint.

Determine the Type of Paint You Use

The material will also determine the type of primer you use. For natural materials, use a water-based primer, and for synthetic materials, use an oil-based primer.

Step 2: Prepare the Area

Next, you will need to prepare the area where you will be painting. For example, if you are working on a carpet or other surface that you do not want paint on, use painter’s tape to section off the area. This will help to avoid any unwanted messes. You may also want to put down some newspaper or a drop cloth to protect your work area.

If you are working with a pair of shoes that already have a design, make sure to clean the soles thoroughly before beginning. This will help the paint adhere better and prevent any unwanted residue from affecting the outcome.

Step 3: Preparing the Soles

Now that the surface has been cleaned and dried, it’s time to prep the soles for painting. If you are using spray paint, you will need to do a light coat of primer first. This will help the paint adhere better to the surface and will also help to prevent any chipping or to peel later on.

If you are using a brush-on paint, you can skip this step. However, it is still recommended that you apply a light coat of sealant or wax to protect the paint job from wear and tear.

Step 4: Painting the Soles

Now it’s time to start painting! First, dip your paintbrush into the paint and shake off any excess. Then, carefully apply the paint to the surface of the shoe sole. Be sure to avoid any areas that are too close to the edges or that have been taped off, as you will not want to get paint on those surfaces.

You will need to apply several light coats for the paint to adhere correctly and look opaque. Let each coat dry completely before applying the next one.

Step 5: Removing the Tape

Once the paint has dried, it’s time to remove the tape. Be very careful when doing this, as you don’t want to damage the paint job. Peel the tape slowly and carefully, ensuring that none of the paint comes off with it. If any paint does come off, touch it up with a brush.

Peel the Tape Slowly

You can also use a small, fine-tipped brush to add any extra details or designs to the shoe sole. It’s a great opportunity to get creative and make your shoes truly unique.

Step 6: Sealing the Soles

Shoe sealers are applied to shoes to protect the surface of the shoes from wear, weathering, and staining. Sealers form a protective barrier on the surface of shoes that can help to prevent water damage, salt stains, scuffing, and other damages.

There are a variety of ways to seal shoes. One popular technique is to use a spray-on sealant such as Scotchgard. This type of sealant can be sprayed directly onto the shoe surface and then allowed to dry. Once it is dry, the sealant will create a protective barrier on the shoe that can help to prevent future damage.

Another option for sealing shoes is to use shoe polish or wax. This option is a bit more time-consuming, but it can provide a longer-lasting seal. Apply a thin layer of shoe polish or wax to the entire shoe surface to use this method. Allow the polish or wax to dry completely, then buff it to a shine. This will help create a protective barrier on the shoe that will last for several months.

Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Each type of sealant will have specific directions on applying it and how long it will take to dry. Make sure you allow enough time for the sealant to dry completely before using your shoes again.

Touch It Up With a Brush

Sealing shoes is an essential step in protecting your investment. By taking the time to seal your shoes properly, you can help to keep them looking their best for years to come.

Step 7: Clean Up

Now that you’re finished painting your shoe soles, it’s time to clean up. Wipe any paint or other residue off your work surface and wash your brushes and other supplies. Make sure everything is dry before putting them away.

It’s also a good idea to let the shoes dry overnight before wearing them. This will ensure that the paint and sealant have fully dried and set. Once dry, your newly painted shoe soles are ready to hit the streets in style! 

And that’s it! You’ve now learned how to paint shoe soles in whatever color or design you choose. So have fun with it and be creative!

Tips and Warnings:


– Before painting your shoes, make sure that the surface is clean and dry.

– If you are using spray paint, hold the can about 6-8 inches away from the shoe and spray in a steady back-and-forth motion.

– To get even coverage, use several light coats rather than one heavy coat.

– Let the paint dry completely before wearing your shoes.


Ensure to avoid getting paint on the other parts of your shoe, as it will be difficult to remove.

– Don’t use too much paint, or it may seep through the seams of your shoes and cause them to peel.

Painted shoes can be an enjoyable way to show your personality and style. They are a great way to add some color and character to an outfit, but they can also be a fun DIY project. If you’re looking for a way to give your old shoes a new lease on life, painting the soles is a great option.

Can You Paint Rubber Shoe Soles?

Yes, you can paint rubber shoe soles. There are a few different ways that you can do it. The easiest way is to use spray paint specifically designed for rubber. You can find this at most hardware stores.

Another option is to use a permanent marker. This will give your shoes a solid color and is a good option if you want to avoid using chemicals. However, it’s essential to make sure the surface is completely dry before you start painting, or the ink may run.

If you’re feeling creative, you can also try using fabric paint. This will give your shoes a unique look and is perfect for adding patterns or designs. Just make sure the surface is completely dry before you start painting.

No matter which method you choose, it’s essential to make sure the surface is clean and dry before you start. If necessary, use a damp cloth to remove any dirt or dust. Then, wait for the surface to dry completely before beginning to paint.

​Is Acrylic a Good Type of Paint for Sneakers?

Many types of paint can be used on sneakers. Acrylic paint is one option that can be good for sneakers because it is affordable and comes in many colors. However, it is essential to make sure that the acrylic paint is specifically designed for use on shoes since other types of acrylic paints may not be as durable. Additionally, acrylic paint can be tricky since it dries quickly. Therefore, it is essential to have a steady hand and work in a well-ventilated area when using this type of paint.​

 Acrylic Paint Can Be Used on Sneakers

Another option for painting sneakers is using spray paint. This type of paint is easy to use and comes in various colors. However, getting an even coat with a spray paint can be challenging, so it is important to take your time and be careful when using it. Additionally, spray paint can be harmful, so working in a well-ventilated area is essential when using it.​

Finally, some people choose to use fabric paint to paint their sneakers. Fabric paint is available in many colors and can be used on various materials. It is essential to make sure that the fabric paint is designed for use on shoes since other types may not be as durable. Additionally, fabric paint can be tricky since it dries quickly. It is essential to have a steady hand and work in a well-ventilated area when using this type of paint.​

How Much Will It Cost?

The cost of painting your shoe soles will depend on the method and supplies you choose. If you already have paint and sealant at home, it can be a relatively inexpensive project. However, if you need to purchase these items, expect to spend around $10-20 for spray paint or fabric paint and another $5-10 for a sealant.

Overall, painting your shoe soles is an affordable way to add some personality and style to your shoes. Plus, it’s a fun and creative DIY project that anyone can do. So why not give it a try and see the difference it makes?  Check out our other guides for more tips on how to maintain, clean, and customize your shoes.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: How Long Does It Take for the Paint to Dry on My Shoes?

A: The drying time will depend on the type of paint and sealant you use. Generally, most paints will dry within 24 hours, but it is best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for specific drying times. You want to make sure the paint is completely dry before wearing your shoes again. It is recommended to wait at least 24 hours before wearing your shoes after painting them.

Q: Can I Use Any Type of Paint for My Shoes?

A: It is best to use a paint specifically designed for use on shoes. These paints are more durable and flexible, making them better suited for the movement and wear of shoes. However, you can also use other types of paint such as acrylic or fabric paint if they are labeled as suitable for use on shoes. It is important to make sure the paint is completely dry and sealed before wearing your shoes.

Q: Can I Use a Hairdryer to Speed Up the Drying Process?

A: Using a hairdryer may seem like a quick solution, but it is not recommended. The heat from the dryer can cause the paint to dry unevenly and may result in cracks or peeling. It is best to allow the paint to air dry naturally for the best results. The drying process can also be affected by the temperature and humidity of your environment, so it is best to plan ahead and give your shoes plenty of time to dry.

Q: How Do I Seal My Painted Shoe Soles?

A: You can use a clear acrylic sealant or a waterproofing spray to seal your painted shoe soles. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and allow the sealant to dry completely before wearing your shoes again. This will help protect the paint from chipping or peeling and make your shoes more durable.

Q: Can I Paint Over the Soles if I Want to Change the Design?

A: Yes, you can paint over the soles of your shoes if you want to change the design. However, it is important to properly clean and dry the surface before painting again. You may also need to sand down any previous layers of paint to ensure a smooth and even surface. It is also recommended to seal the new design with a clear sealant for added protection.  ​


It is essential to have the correct supplies and follow the proper steps to achieve the best results when painting your shoe soles. By using this article on how to paint shoe soles, you will be able to create a unique and stylish look for your shoes that will set them apart from the rest. So have fun experimenting with different colors and designs, and enjoy wearing your new creations!

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Jennifer Branett

I am Jennifer, a passionate blogger since 2016. I like to write informative articles to help peoples in my free time. I am a family person. I have two kids who keep me busy all the time. I always try to give importance to my family. Sometimes it becomes challenging for me to maintain the time along with my family. But I never lose hope. I hope my articles are helping you in some way. If so, You can give me a thumbs up to my inbox, which means a lot to me. Thank you. You can email me at

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