Best Paint for Shoes Reviewed & Rated

Looking for a fun way to personalize a pair of shoes? Hitting up a glow in the dark party this weekend? Or maybe, you’re just looking for a way to fix up those leather dress shoes you love with a scuff on the side. With a list compiled of both leather and fabric shoe paints, you’re sure to find one that will meet your needs without sacrificing quality.

Shoe paint can be a great way to customize your favourite pair of shoes, decorate them for a party or rave, and create your own new designs and patterns. While fabric paints are mainly used for decorative purposes, they also have a variety of other uses, including holding rubber parts together on shoes and sealant for cracks in shoe soles.

Featured Recommendations

Angelus Leather Acrylic Paint
  • Angelus Leather Acrylic Paint
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Leather Specific
  • Non Toxic
 
Jacquard Lumiere
  • Jacquard Lumiere
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Leaves Fabric Soft
  • Metalic
 
Liquitex BASICS Acrylic
  • Liquitex BASICS Acrylic
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Satin Finish
  • Good Pigment Load
  • Price: See Here

Leather paint on the other hand is designed for redoing or touching up leather shoes, boots, jackets and other accessories. Leather paints come in a very wide variety of colors, so finding an exact match is not typically difficult. This can be used to completely redo a pair of leather shoes, whether they’re worn out, or you just want to refresh with a new color!

 

10 Best Paints for Shoes

 

1. Angelus Leather Acrylic Paint

1. Angelus Leather Acrylic Paint
A paint designed and made specifically for leather shoes. This has to be the most useful creation I have ever stumbled upon. Get ready to touch up those favorite leather shoes that you’ve been putting off fixing for months with ease and simplicity. This non-toxic leather paint comes in a very large variety of different colors and shades to ensure that you find the perfect match to your shoe.
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Application
This paint job is only a small task, and is simple to execute and finish properly. For a guaranteed top notch finish, make sure that the top finish of the shoe is removed in the area you are touching up. The next step can be done one of two ways: using a high quality artists brush, or a sponge. Watch out for any streaks left behind when using a brush. A sponge is recommended as it leaves more of an airbrush finish effect. Angelus Leather Paint can also be used alongside Angelus Acrylic Finisher and Satin Finisher to create an unrecognizable DIY paint job.

Multipurpose
This leather paint can be used touch up scuffs, skids, and scrapes on any of your leather shoes that need a little TLC. It can also be used to completely redo an old, beat up pair of shoes you haven't looked sideways at in ages. The paint can be used on a variety of other products, including leather purses and accessories, jackets, boots, and furniture. It can be used on rubber and plastic shoe parts as well.

Cost
Angelus Leather Paint comes in a one ounce jar and is priced accordingly. This brand is known for its superior quality and they did not disappoint in this category. The product quality far exceeds the price point. These paints can also be purchased individually or in larger bundles depending on your needs.
Pros
  • A little goes a long way
  • Stays best when sealed after application
  • Remarkable coverage
  • True to color
  • Long-lasting
Cons
  • Requires more than one layer
  • Poor packaging

2. Jacquard Lumiere

If you’re unfamiliar with Lumiere paint, they are usually metallic in color, with a pearlescent quality and sheen about them. They tend not to peel, crack, or chip, especially on fabrics, textiles, and a multitude of other materials shoes are constructed from. Jacquards’ Lumiere paint is weather resistant, and especially work well to stick to non-porous materials like metal buckles that may adorn your shoes. Perfect for the artist at heart who wants to bump up and old pair of cowboy boots or dress shoe.
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Application
Jacquard Textile Color Fabric Paint offers a couple of different options for easy application. A brush can be used for steady strokes, or to add a stippled effect to your canvas. A stamp can be used for perfect patterns, and a sponge can be of use when creating a flawless blend.

Textile Use
This fabric paint can be used on natural and synthetic fibers, as well as leather and metals. This can be used to touch up scuffs and scratches on your shoes. And it comes in a wide variety of colors and shades, so you’re bound to find just the one you need.

Color
Jacquard Fabric Paint is relatively cheap compared to some of the others on the list, although the product quality is up to par. They are typically sold in 2.25 ounce bottles, and with the shimmer and sheen that comes from these paints, they are ideal to add some flair to your footwear.

3. Liquitex BASICS Acrylic

The Liquitex BASICS is a pigmented, long-wearing acrylic paint. Designed for canvas paintings, this also serves as a fabric paint quite well. The strong acrylic has a buttery consistency to it, making blending less of a chore. It can also be mixed with other colors, glosses, and finishes smoothly.
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Intermixable
Liquitex BASICS acrylic paint can be mixed with all other Liquitex Professional Acrylic Colors and Mediums. The buttery consistency also assists in blending the product, as it smoothly swirls together. The brand offers a wide variety of shades and finishes to guarantee seamless canvas masterpieces.

Pigmentation
One of the most crucial things when considering and choosing a paint of any kind - how vibrant and true to color the shade is. Pigmentation is a key factor in colors, and Liquitex BASICS acrylic paints offer just this. The paint contains permanent artist pigments, ensuring the perfect shade every time.

Cost
Liquitex BASICS products are very affordable, but not cheaply made. These paints can be purchased in large bundles, or individually. The quality of the product will more than likely exceed your expectations. Ideal for those newer to painting their shoes to try.
Pros
  • Seamless blending
  • Vibrant shades
  • Large color variety
  • Opaque finish
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Consistency is slightly runny
  • Paint is thin

4. Tulip Party Dimensional

This paint specifically designed for fabric offers 6 different brightly colored shades including white, purple, blue, green, yellow, and pink. These non-toxic paints dry permanently and get puffy when steamed or ironed. They do not crack or peel and are even washing machine safe. The small easy squeeze bottles with small tips mean hassle free, mess free fun, and makes it super simple to design and decorate shoes with intricate detail.
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Easy Squeeze Bottle
Tulip’s packaging really makes this paint great for shoes, as the small tip allows easy access to edges, creases, and cracks. It also makes detail a simple, fun task. With these paints, you can turn any pair of canvas shoes into your own masterpiece.

Puffy Paint
After the fabric paint dries, it can be steamed to produce a three dimensional effect. The paint puffs up when heated and has the ability to stay that way when desired. The fabric paint dries flexible in order to prevent it from cracking and peeling off of your shoe. Tulip Party Dimensional Fabric Paint makes customizing your favourite sneakers a breeze.

Cost
This shoe paint is both affordable and durable. The performance of the product is well worth the price. Thankfully, they can be purchased individually for specific color needs, or in larger packages to ensure you meet all color requirements for your project!
Pros
  • Glow in the dark makes this ideal for parties and raves   
  • Smooth application
  • Ultra vibrant colors
  • Very fine tip
  • Good amount of product for the price
Cons
  • Excessive drying time            
  • Must leave in sunlight for glow in the dark effect to work

5. Scribbles 3D Fabric Paint

5. Scribbles 3D Fabric Paint
Scribbles 3D Fabric Paint is both non-toxic and super easy to use. Featuring an ultra fine tip for precision detail and writing, an easy squeeze flexible bottle, and a wide variety of colors, this is just what you’ve been looking for to decorate those Converse for that party.
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Versatility
These fabric paints are designed to be compatible with many different surfaces. These surfaces include wood, fabric, paper, canvas, and even glass, making them ideal for so much more than just shoes. Scribbles 3D Fabric Paint will not peel or crack from any surface, even if washed. Your opportunities and possibilities are endless!

Variety
Scribbles 3D Fabric Paints come in a wide selection of colors, shades, and even finishes. They offer iridescent, shiny, and glitter finishes. The colors are bright, vibrant, and bold. Get ready to make a statement with these excellent quality paints.

Cost
These can be purchased either separately, or in different sized bundles for maximum customizing options. While fairly inexpensive and actually one of the cheapest on the list, they are wonderful quality paints designed for long lasting wear and durability.
Pros
  • Different finishes
  • Thick consistency
  • Good for personalization
  • Easy to mix
  • Fine point tip
Cons
  • Paint comes out too fast
  • Comes out a bit gloppy

6. Angelus Walk On

6. Angelus Walk On
Angelus is also well known for their variety of shoe polishes, but their Shoe Restorer is a specifically designed product for the bottom, or sole, of shoes. Pictured above, for example, is the red color, typically found on several highly acclaimed brand high heels, but can tend to scuff or chip over time and wear. Angelus Shoe Restorer is the ideal option for bringing back that luxe red undersole for your statement making shoes.
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Sole Paint
Specifically designed to help cover scuff marks, chips, or scratches found on the most vulnerable part of the shoe, the sole, this product is sure to breathe new life into a well worn pair of Louboutin’s. And fear not, this paint restorer also comes in black to help with other dress shoe styles that need some tender loving care. It has a stain type of quality similar to what you may use to stain wood, but specifically made for shoes.

Hardening Agent
Since this won’t go atop your beloved footwear, there is an added hardening agent in the paint that helps it to maintain its color and luster after application. This helps to prevent further chips and scuffs from appearing right after you use it, and will help the color endure for extended wear.

Cost and Value
By no means expensive on our list, Angelus Walk On is a great purchase for those who are looking to refinish their statement making soles on their favorite shoes. No need to worry about chipping or scuff marks again on red-bottom or black-bottom soles. A must have for any shoe lover!
Pros
  • Sole Paint
  • Covers Scuffs
  • Hardening Agent
  • Color Restorer
Cons
  • Price
  • Limited Colors

7. Daniel Smith Acrylic Gesso

7. Daniel Smith Acrylic Gesso
Daniel Smith Acrylic Gesso is best suited for fabric or canvas shoes, and with its thick luxurious texture and density, will coat evenly and plentiful. Although this acrylic gesso paint comes in a variety of colors, the metallic hues have a shimmer property that is due to Mica in the paint, that can dress up an old pair of chucks, or give a kick to mesh inlays on sneakers.
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Texture
This Acrylic Gesso is thick and rich, so you’ll need to stir it well before use, especially if purchasing a metallic color to resuspend the Mica in the paint evenly. It coats beautifully across canvas to keep an even coloring, and once dry, can be covered with a transparent paint to protect it better from chipping. An additional transparent coat also helps bring about an even more iridescence to the Mica in metallic colors.

Protection
The base of the paint is acrylic, but it contains no oil acids that can tend to eat away at canvas or other cotton like textiles. The last thing you want is to paint your shoes in a beautiful new design, only to have the shoe itself start to deteriorate! Add a layer of transparent paint to protect the color, and you’ll have your refurbished shoes for quite some time!

Cost and Value
Slightly more expensive per ounce, and depending on color selected, Daniel Smith Acrylic Gesso comes in a 16 ounce container in a variety of hues and metallic colors. With its rich texture and even application, it’s best suited to those looking to update their canvas shoes, or give a pop of personality to mesh inlays on sneakers.
Pros
  • Thick Coverage
  • Color Options
  • Luxurious Look
  • Canvas Paint
Cons
  • Price
  • Not For Leather

8. DecoArt SoSoft Fabric Acrylics

8. DecoArt SoSoft Fabric Acrylics
This shoe paint offers amazing coverage, super fast dry time, and a non-toxic formula. This paint dries both permanent and soft, so it’s perfect for last minute projects. Unlike a majority of fabric paints, this one also bonds to almost all surfaces, including canvas, wood, plastic, and even silk. It is long lasting, durable, and simple to work with.
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Colors
This water based paint offers a large color palette. There are 43 colors to choose from, featuring Tangerine, Bright Avocado, Santa Red, Baby Pink Deep, Antique Gold and Mediterranean Blue. The brand also offers two metallic shades, Glorious Gold and Silver Platinum, as well as a Glimmer Glitter paint and a White Pearl one.

Application
It is suggested that the paint goes on better as a wet to wet application, meaning you will want to wet your brush for a smoother, simpler painting experience. As a general rule, users found one coat was sufficient, two coats was the maximum needed.

Cost
This is the perfect fabric paint if you’re looking for superior quality without breaking the bank. While it adheres to all surfaces, you’ll find a use for it even after you’re done with your shoes and there’s still some left. DecoArt SoSoft Fabric Acrylics Paint is worth the purchase.
Pros
  • Dye does not run
  • Keeps both shoes and clothes from becoming stiff unlike most paints
  • Does not fade after being watched
  • Works well with stencils
  • Does not require an acrylic medium
Cons
  • Relatively small bottle
  • Feels leathery when dry

9. US Art Supply Acrylic

9. US Art Supply Acrylic
This shoe paint delivers consistently bold colors, an opaque finish, and lightfast pigments. Best purchased in a set, which includes 24 one ounce bottles, two bottles of airbrush cleaner, two bottles of airbrush reducer and extender base, and finally, a color wheel. They are non-toxic and meet the ASTM standards, ensuring a safe, hassle free project.
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Professional grade
The US Art Supply Acrylic Shoe Paint set features water based paints, all of which have either an opaque, fluorescent, pearlized, matte or transparent finish. They are permanent and made with the highest quality lightfast pigments. These high quality paints offer high coverage and are long lasting.

Airbrush
While originally designed for use with an airbrush, these can be used both with a bristle brush or an airbrush. While paint can get clogged and sputter through an airbrush, most recommend using a high quality bristle brush to avoid running into this problem.

Cost
These shoe paints are higher end, both in relation to quality and price. While being a bit pricier than average, they are guaranteed to impress and get the job done flawlessly and effortlessly. They are by far the most expensive on the list, but are definitely worth investing in.
Pros
  • Set comes with brush cleaners
  • Easy to use on a variety of surfaces
  • Wide selection of colors
  • Easily blendable and mixable
  • Can be applied with an airbrush or bristle brush
Cons
  • Can become clogged
  • Poor packaging

10. Springfield Leather Acrylic

10. Springfield Leather Acrylic
This water based acrylic paint is excellent for touching up leather shoes. The bottle of paint comes with a brush built into the cap for easy application. It is ideal for leather shoes and boots, tennis shoes, and other leather products. Springfield Leather Acrylic Paint does not peel, crack, dry or rub off.
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Quantity
Usually sold in one ounce bottles, this little jar will go a long way. Despite needing multiple layers, this will last you a while. On average, most users needed 3 coats, while some others only needed 2. It all depends on how vibrant, solid, and bold you want your colors to show up. With a brush built in to the cap, it will take you no time at all to effortlessly paint your project shoes.

Multipurpose
While this was originally designed for leather material, the paint also works wonders on plastic and rubber. It can be used to hold together rubber materials, and can be used to paint plastic as well. This paint works to restore and update shoes in a variety of ways!

Cost
Springfield Leather Acrylic Paint is fairly priced, both on Angelus official website and off brand retailers. The paint can be purchased individually or in larger bundles depending on your painting needs. The price is definitely worth the quality of the product.
Pros
  • Matte finish
  • Non-cracking 
  • Dries fast
  • A small bottle goes a long way
  • Has no odor
Cons
  • Visible brush streaks when done with a brush
  • Will permanently stain other surfaces

 

In conclusion, shoe paint is a wonderful way to create your own styles, patterns, and designs. Looking for affordability without having to sacrifice quality, quantity, and ease?  Whether you want to express yourself by decorating your shoes a certain way, or you want to renovate and completely redo the shoe, or you just need to touch up a worn out patch, you’re sure to find one that suits your needs and desires on this list.

Ranging from metallic to glitter, matte to shiny, and opalescent to opaque, these shoe paints should suit just about everyone’s needs. While some are definitely more expensive than others, they are all top notch quality and are guaranteed to meet your wants and needs. So next time you’re looking for a project, or you come across that worn out pair of shoes in your closet, remember this, shoe paint works miracles.

 

Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Paints for Shoes

Coverage

One of the most important aspects to consider when looking into purchasing shoe paint is the amount of coverage it will supply you with. The volume of coverage you use can make or break a masterpiece. One coat can seem almost transparent, and often makes brush strokes much more visible. Now, waiting for that first coat to dry and applying a second truly will make all the difference. Patience is key in this procedure.

There are few paints on the market that guarantee coverage satisfaction after only one coat. As a general rule, you will need two coats, if not three. Using a paint primer will also give you much better, cleaner coverage for your artistic needs. This applies to painting walls, clothes, shoes, or anything else for that matter. Primers ensure your paint job will turn out bold and vibrant, plus it will aid in paint lasting much longer. Primer also prevents chipping, cracking, and peeling.  

When using fabric paints like Scribbles 3D or Tulip Party Dimensional, only one coat should be needed, mainly because this paint is generally used for decoration, intricate designs, or writing. By all means though, if you use these to paint an entire shoe, you may need more than one layer.

  Exposure will also play a part in coverage. Wearing your new painted shoes daily, through all kinds of weather and terrain, may make paint wear off faster. It is recommended you use a top coat, which are offered in different finishes including clear and matte. The top coat will protect your paint job and make it last so much longer. In the long run, a prep and primer paint are highly recommended.

 

Application

There are a variety of different paint application methods. These include but are certainly not limited to airbrush, paint brush, and sponging. There are many painting techniques within each method, ensuring you get the desired look.

When using a paint brush, there are several ways to go about it. You may use a dry paintbrush or a wet paint brush. You could use a small brush or a large brush. You could also use a flat or rounded brush. There are endless options. When using a paintbrush, there are many different brush stroke techniques that may come in handy, including stippling and scumbling.

Another thing that has a big effect on the paint procedure and outcome is whether you are using a dry or wet brush. While many agree that wet on wet works better, some swear by using a dry paintbrush. Dry brushing will typically require more layers than wet brushing. Using a wet brush also offers more of a seamless airbrush effect.

When using a paintbrush to create magic on your shoes, the larger the better when going for coverage. A larger brush also gets the job done faster. On the other hand, smaller brushes are extremely useful for intricate details and lettering.

While the difference between flat and rounded brushes is minimal, you may want to know what that difference is. A flat brush is generally used for going over larger areas and creating bolder, more vibrant strokes. A round brush is more so used for thick or thin lines, depending on the size of the brush itself.

An airbrush is not as common a method when painting shoes, but could definitely get the job done. Airbrushing is a painting favorite, and for good reason. It is quick, efficient, and reliable. The only issue with airbrushes is that they can become unclogged, but can also easily become unclogged if necessary.

A sponge can be used to add depth and texture. When applying, you may choose to do multiple layers to create depth. The sponge can also be stippled on the shoe for adding a textured look. The sponge will work best when damp, so make sure to wet it and then ring it out for beautiful results.

 

Color Variety

When you decide to paint a shoe, you’ve got a lot of decisions coming your way. What color do I want? Do I want a fancy finish? Do I want a dull or bold color?  Luckily, these 10 shoe paint expert companies have you covered (no pun intended).

Color is the most important aspect in painting a shoe. If you’re completely redoing a shoe, it shouldn’t be overly difficult to find a color you prefer. If you are touching up a leather shoe for example, it could be a bit trickier to find just the right shade so that the two look right together. Luckily, these paint brands have a very wide color selection for you to choose from.

Different colors are a great way to liven up a shoes appearance and style. Paints and dyes are fairly cheap, making them a great way to transform and renovate! Deciding on a color you love is crucial as it will save you time and money when you don’t need to do them again in a couple of months.

Along with different colors, hues, and shades, brands offer different types of finishes. A couple of finishes would include matte, opaque, metallic, or pearlescent. It may be hard to find an all in one paint that offers the color you need as well as the finish you’d like. For this reason, top coats are also sold separately, so that you can add an additional coat of it for your desired effect. These paints can also be sold with different textures such as a glitter top coat.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can you paint shoe laces?

A: Kind of. Painting shoe laces will make them stiff and difficult to tie and move around flexibly like shoe laces should. Although, a method that works much better would be to dye your shoe laces instead of opting for paint.

Q: Is it possible to paint the sole of a shoe?

A: While it is possible, it can prove to be tricky. The best way to paint shoe soles is to use spray paint. Acrylic and fabric paints will peel and chip almost instantly, but spray paint seems to last more permanently. But, be careful to cover up the rest of the shoe with plastic and tape to ensure you don’t ruin them.

Q: Where can I buy shoe paint?

A: Shoe paint can be found at stores like Walmart, Target, and Michael’s, and can also be found on online vendors such as the brand website itself or an online market such as Amazon.

Q: How can I remove shoe paint?

A: There are multiple methods to removing shoe paint from shoes. The most commonly used method requires a toothbrush, laundry detergent, nail polish remover, a cotton swab, and a clean cloth. Using a water damp cloth, carefully wipe the paint to remove as much as possible. Then go in with a toothbrush to scrub the area, followed by washing the shoe with an equal dose of warm water and laundry detergent.  After letting the shoe soak for several minutes, use a cotton swab and nail polish remover or spot stain remover to go over the affected areas to ensure it is all removed. It is suggested you then wash the shoes once more to eliminate a chemically odor, and let dry.

Q: How can I paint shoe mesh?

A: A good brand to have on hand while doing this is Angelus.  Using Angelus Acrylic Leather Paint and a fabric painting medium of your choosing, you will make a 1:1 ratio mix, and proceed to apply as many layers as you see fit. Again, be cautious to avoid sections of the shoe you do not intend to paint!

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