How to Paint Vans Shoes?

Do you also want to customize your vans shoes and wondering a difficult task to paint yourself?

Frankly speaking, it’s easy and fun to paint shoes. Van shoes are built with heat-resistant materials that make it easier for us to paint them. If you don’t like the color of your shoes then you can change their color by painting them white first.

I love art and DIY projects, and I can spend hours on fun activities. When I painted my vans sneakers, I was excited and also a little nervous because I was doing it for the first time.

But thankfully, everything went very well. In this post, I will explain “how to paint vans shoes”

how to paint vans

How to Paint Vans Shoes?

  • Remove the shoelaces and prepare all paints, shoes, glue gun, brush, and tape and placed them all together in one place.
  • Stuff the shoes with plastic bags to make the sneakers look smooth.
  • Tape the outer sole to prevent the dripping of paint on the sole.
  • Mix the paint and start to paint the white layer on them. Then use the heat gun for drying the paint fully.
  • Coat them again with white paint and add details to.
  • After completing my work, I applied the finisher to protect it from cracking.

Things & Materials Required

I made a list of the things needed to paint the brown van’s old skool. You can also add some extra things for your ease during painting. You can order these items online or purchase them from a nearby stationary store.

Here are the listed materials that are required:

  • Vans
  • Glass cup
  • Plastic Bags
  • Soft Brushes
  • Finisher
  • Water
  • Fabric or cloth
  • Painter’s tape
  • Heat setting Gun
  • Fabric Additive
  • Tissue
  • Acrylic leather paints

What Type of Paint to Use?

Are you confused because of the different varieties of paint and don’t know what to use for vans classic old skool?

I used acrylic leather paint for coloring my shoes. It is one of the most popular paints that sets easily and comes at an affordable price.

Steps for Painting Vans Shoes

You will find many painting techniques on the internet, but my method is very easy, and less effort needed.

Just follow my instruction carefully to make your vans old skool suede aesthetic:

Step 1. Prepare Things

I put all my brushes and paints in one place. Then, I rearranged the shoes with tape and placed the water bowl near me.

After that, I picked white vans with black stripes and removed the laces. Before painting, I started to untighten my shoes and removed the eyelets one by one.

Step 2. Stuff the Soles

I took many small plastic bags and began to push them into the toe side. I did this to make a firm shape of my shoes. If you don’t have these bags then you can also use old cloth or fabrics and stuff them.

Step 3. Apply the Painter’s Tape

To prevent the paint from spreading, I took a long strip of the tape and started to roll the tape in a circular motion on the sole of the shoes.

I tapped them twice to make them firmly tight. If you are more protective, then you can also put newspaper beneath the shoes.

Step 4. Prepare the Base Color

I added three to four tablespoons of acrylic paint to the glass cup, and then I mixed three to four tablespoons of fabric additive. I added this additive because it allows the paint to adhere quickly to the shoes.

Make sure that the quantity of both ingredients is the same. If these supplies were not available in store then order them online because they are very important.

Step 5. Applying the White Primer

I used the brush to paint the first white layer on the shoes. I first applied on the upper sides of the toe to the back sides. Remember to paint this layer equally on all parts of the shoes. Otherwise, it can cause the formation of lumps and it looks ugly.

Step 6. Heat Gun

I placed my black and white vans on the table then I plugged in the heat gun. Now set the temperature to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

I heated each pair of shoes for 3 minutes. It took a total of six minutes and this step is essential for making the material soft and preventing the paint from becoming rigid.

Note: Keep your gun a little far away from the shoes otherwise, it can damage them.

Step 7. Paint the Edges with The Base Color

After coating another layer of white, I used a light color for a decent look. I started painting the edges of the shoes first in a straight line. Be careful while coloring the edges and prevent it from dripping on the sole. I gave the outlines to the edges successfully.

Now it was easier to color the bottom of the shoes. Make sure to dip your paintbrush in the water after a few minutes. It will paint the vans smoothly. I mixed the base color with light blue and designed my shoes.

Step 8. Drying Off

I waited for 24 hours to dry completely. If you want to design your shoes, then sketch your design first. After that, paint it. I made the flower of pink color and decorated its side with green paint. It looked lovely.

Of course, it is not necessary to paint the flower. You can make whatever you want. Also, add details to hide the shadows from the footwear.

Step 9. Apply the Finisher

Once your painted design is fully dried, apply the acrylic finisher to make your adorable design last longer. This last step is very important for your painting. I applied this finisher to protect my design from cracking.

Now it’s time to show your masterpiece to your friends.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Paint Over Vans?

Of course, you can paint over vans by using acrylic paint. Painting leather shoes with acrylic paint is simple. Don’t forget to apply the finisher after painting them.

What Kind of Paint Do You Use on Vans?

There are many types of paints that you can use like Enamel paint, acrylic paint, and metallic paint use. I use acrylic leather paint for customizing my shoes.

Can You Paint a Van with A Roller?

I tried to paint my vans with a roller. I used sandpaper for doing this and surprisingly, they turned out wonderful.

How Do You Seal Shoes After Painting?

You can seal your shoes after painting by applying the finisher. Make sure to use the finisher after the van’s sneakers are fully dried.


Lastly, I wanna say that avoid wearing your painted shoes in harsh weather like rain. But still, if you want to wear them outside, use high-quality paints that stick with your vans even in extreme temperatures.

I hope this guide assists you in understanding the technique to customize your shoes.

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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