How to Paint Rubber Soles on Sneakers?

Want to complement your look by painting the soles of your sneakers? Maybe you are a little tired of the previous look of your shoes and looking for ways to make them fresh.

One of the most amazing things about sneakers is that you can customize them however you want. Some people love to color their shoe insole, while others also make wonderful designs on them.

If your rubber sole sneakers look dull, then you can paint them. In this post, I will discuss my experience of painting rubber soles on my charming sneakers. Let’s go!

how to paint rubber soles on sneakers

How to Paint Rubber Soles on Sneakers?

  • Wipe the dust and dirt away from the rubber soles on the sneakers
  • Tape off the soles and apply primer on them for extra precautions
  • Use a brush to paint rubber sole shoes and apply another coating after one hour gap for drying
  • Apply sealant to provide double protection to them and apply the second coat after at least 15 minutes
  • Remove the tapes and let them dry

Can you Paint Rubber Soles on Sneakers?

Personalizing the rubber sole sneaker is not a difficult task. You have to buy good quality paints for this purpose. Tire paints are a convenient option, and they are made of rubber tires that make them durable. These paints are available in multiple colors that give you more freedom.

You can apply many coats to get the desired color, and the sealant protects your sneakers from chipping. Make sure to apply it in the end for a neater look.

Keep reading this post to know everything about painting sneaker soles.

Method to Paint Rubber Soles on Sneakers

To get a satisfying result, you will need the following things. These items will be easily available in the local market. I got this material from the nearby store,

Things You Need

  • Alcohol
  • Paint
  • Primer
  • Cotton balls
  • Paintbrush
  • Newspaper
  • Sealant
  • A cup

Step 1. Wash Sneakers Using Alcohol

First, I dipped a cotton ball in the alcohol solution. The alcohol solution is effective in removing the dirt from the sole of sneakers. Then, I rubbed the cotton ball on the shoe’s surface to set the alcohol.

Note: Wait for a few minutes to dry the alcohol completely on the footwear. This step is beneficial for adhering paint on the soles properly.

Step 2. Tape the Edges of Your Sneakers

To avoid the paint from spreading on other parts of the boots, I taped those sides for protection. I cut the tapes in shorter sizes for easy and better sticking. Be careful while applying the tapes on the edges.

Step 3. Use Primer for An Extra Layer of Coating

This step is not much necessary, but if you want to provide double protection, then you should do this. It is very helpful in sticking the paint to the surface of the shoes.

A special rubber-designed primer is available for applying on the rubber sole. If it is unavailable in the store, then order it online.

You can also apply white acrylic paint as a primer. If the sneaker’s material is not labeled, check on the sneakers’ official website.

Step 4. Drying

Read the labeled information on the primer and find how much time is needed to dry the primer. I waited for at least one hour and then touched the sole of the shoes. If it is dry, then you will not notice primer residues on your fingerprints.

Step 5. Select a Suitable Paint for The Soles of The Sneakers

People mostly use acrylic paints for painting their shoes. The reason is that they stay longer than other paints. Different paints are available for painting rubber sneakers.

PlastiDip is also one of the famous sneaker sole paint for rubber material shoes. If your sneakers are made of leather materials, apply Angelus paints on them. I used acrylic paints to customize the sneakers’ soles.

Step 6. Apply the First Coat of The Paint

To apply the shoe paint, I used a clean and soft brush. I spread the shoe sole paint equally on the bottom and edges of the sole of your sneakers. Make sure to move the paintbrush slowly to protect the paint from spreading.

Try placing the newspaper under the shoes so paint drops will not fall on the ground. Don’t use a very large-sized brush because a small-sized brush is good for painting curved surfaces and edges.

Step 7. Extra Coating, if Necessary

I applied almost four to five coatings of shoe color paint on my sneakers. It depends on the color you are choosing to paint. The lighter color is required to apply more coatings than darker colors.

Keep brushing the paint for rubber shoes until the right color is obtained. If you are coating your sneaker sole with black, you will need just two paints coat.

Step 8. Drying Overnight

Then I left my painted sneakers undisturbed and untouched for almost 8 hours. Make sure to place your footwear in a cooler environment to dry faster.

Step 9. Sealing the Shoes by Using Sealant

A sealant protects your footwear from peeling off. These sealants come in both shiny and matte forms. It depends on what type of sealant you prefer for protection.

Step 10. Applying the First Coat

To apply sealant, I used a clean paintbrush and spread a thin layer of it. Make sure to apply it on the whole surface of the sneakers, as the sealant coating is not much prominent.

Step 11. Additional Coating, if It Is Necessary

After a gap of 15 to 20 minutes, I coated another layer of sealant on the sole of the sneakers. Touch your fingers on the sole surface to ensure that it is fully dry.

Step 12. Take Off the Tape

Once my sneakers were dried completely, I took off the tape from the edges. Remove the tape carefully; otherwise, it will ruin your paint design. I removed the tape after one night to ensure extra protection.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

How to Paint Midsoles without Cracking?

To protect the midsole from cracking, apply sealant on the surface before painting them. Use only particular paint for rubber shoe soles. Dry the sneakers’ midsole after each coat; otherwise, it will form cracks.

What is the Best Spray Paint for Rubber Shoes?

Krylon K02732007 is one of the best spray paint for rubber shoes. It provides extra protection and durability to sneakers. It gives a sleek finish to your adorable footwear.

What Paint Will Stick to Rubber?

Acrylic paint, removable paint, commercial-grade marine paint, and exterior paint will stick to the rubber. Use acrylic paint for shoe painting. You can also add detail by using it.

How Do You Change the Color of Rubber Soles?

  • Wrap the entire shoe with tape except the sole and start painting the desirable color on them
  • Dry the shoes after each coat and then apply another coat
  • Use sealant in the end to increase the lifespan of the paint
  • Dry sneakers with colored soles for one night and take off the tape from them

Does Shoe Dye Work on Rubber?

No, shoe dye does not work well on the rubber. Rubber needs special types of paints for dying because it is different than normal shoe fabric material.

Final Thoughts

Customizing the sole of sneakers has become a trend nowadays. Now you know how to paint rubber soles on sneakers and it is better than replacing dull-color sole sneakers with new ones.

Angelus is a very famous and affordable paint brand for sneakers. This type of paint does not even fade in the water. You can also combine different color paints to make the rubber sole of the sneakers attractive.

Comment below if you still have questions about painting the sneakers’ rubber soles.

Daniel Robert is a shoe lover who enjoys writing about all kinds of footwear, including sneakers, Crocs, Vans, and more. He shares his vast knowledge on, a website dedicated to helping people find the perfect pair of shoes. With years of experience and a passion for all things shoe-related, Daniel's easy-to-understand advice has helped countless people make confident and stylish choices.

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