How to dye shoes at home with textile paint

red brogues

I’ve had these fugly red brogues in my closet for years. I got them for free in a buy 1 get 2 deal years ago. I never had time to reflect on my choice for the second pair and remember just grabbing the first pair I saw thinking that I could re-paint them when I got home. I never got around doing it until now.

The material is some type of faux leather. I decided to not use paint specially made for shoes, but instead use regular screen print fabric paint. I have used shoe paint before and have never felt that excited about the result. The fabric paint did not let me down and when it dries there will be no cracks as it will still be a bit rubbery and can even be stretched a little. Ideal for shoes! The textile paint I used sets with heat, but I solved that problem by breaking out my hair dryer.


I began the project using sand paper on the shoes.

water paint

After that I had a stroke of genius. What if I decided to mix the paint with water for the first layers of paint? If I soaked the surface with water+paint, wouldn’t that mean that the paint would sink in too?

painting first layer

I think it worked! The sponge brush I use in this photo is homemade. I used half of a kitchen sponge and taped it onto the end of a paint brush. Very useful!

dry paint with hairdryer

After doing the first couple of layers like this, and after every layer heat up the surface with the hair dryer, I added only paint to the last couple of layers (With a “couple ” I mean five or six) and heated each of them with the hair dryer.

coloring shoe laces

I also colored the shoe laces with the same textile paint. I added some of the paint in a plastic glass that I use for crafts, put in the laces and stirred with a paint brush.

shoe laces

However, the plastic ends on the laces did not take the paint at all. I solved that temporarily by wrapping a layer of black tape around them.

final result

This is the result. I think I missed a spot!


How to dye shoes at home with textile paint — 8 Comments

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    • The paint I was using was really old and from a brand probably only found in Scandinavia. It was just some regular textile paint that you can find in any craft store, nothing special! :)

  3. Hi sir! can i ask a question. Is just heating with hair dryer enough for the paint to hold on the leather? coz i have a canvas shoe and i put some textile paint on it. After a couple of days i tested if the paint wont come off but unluckily it went off. Nice shoes you have there.