What’s the Best Paint for Canvas Shoes?

Spunk's Chucks Painted up with POSCAS

Chick's Kicks for Spunk!

Karoleen, a graphic designer in Santa Barbara, had about 5 million questions in an e-mail.  I’ll answer one here and the rest will have to wait!

What kind of markers do you use for painting canvas shoes?  I’ve heard acrylic mixed with acetone 5:2 should work.  Do you think POSCAS would be more sufficient?”

I like the POSCA water-based paint pens best because they are quick & easy.  I’ve tried acrylics and found it to be tedious.   Check out a video of me painting a pair of Maria’s Chuck Taylor’s: 


You can also get detailed instruction of how I paint canvas shoes with paint pens in my DVD “Paint Pen Technqiues“.  Check it out here.

I want to see what you’re doing.  Send me a photo of shoes you’ve painted!

Life is Good – Drew

About Drew

Artist, Surfer, World Traveler, ancient history buff.


  1. Hello Ken, can you please assist with the sealer, what kind is needed to seal an artwork on a canvass?

  2. i just finished painting on my vans shoe…could you tell me what kind of sealer do you use?…thanks

  3. Hey I was wondering what kind of sealer you use on canvas shoes? I have painted some for my kids and sealed them with clear enamel. That does not work so well… Any suggestions?
    Thanks! Melissa

  4. My 5th Grade Girl Scouts want to decorate canvas Vans sneakers. What paint would be the easiest for them to use giving them the best results? I was thinking they could use fabric tulle to take the pattern from paper, to tulle then to the sneaker. Will this work. In addition, do they need to tape off the sole? Thank you for any help you can provide.

  5. Cool work! I got a question.
    I messed up my canvas checkered Vans. Would the white Posca paint pen work to cover up some permanent black ink that bled onto the white squares?

  6. is this good on papers as well ?

  7. Drew Brophy says:

    Sometimes I use regular sharpie markers on the rubber so I do not need to spray clear.

  8. i think you should tape off the canvas and do an overcoat of clear. just a thought

  9. I was wondering what kind of paint or sealer to use if I’m going to paint on rubber… like that rubber part at the tip of converse shoes.

  10. Hi i am Kapil from Mumbai,India i really like ur art work even i kinda do all this stuff.. i really like it.. would like to learn more from a pro like u…..U rock

  11. Guy Birger says:

    I love your work Drew, i stopped painting years ago and you’ve inspired me back to it.
    Your care about others and your love for this art is shown, love the site

  12. nice site! Just finished my 1st pair with regular markers and some deco markers. what do you recomend as a sealer

  13. Hey tehre. Great site. I do custom shoes as well. Check out my site if you like. I look forward to hearing some comments and/or suggestions.


    Ken Turner

  14. I wouldn’t throw them in the washing machine – just gently use a sponge and make sure the paint stays intact.

  15. christie says:

    so, if we use poscas… they paint won’t wear off when we wash them(the shoes)??

  16. Hey Tony, Drew says that they will probably be fine on denim or leather as long as you seal it properly. For t-shirts, you are probably better off with a fabric paint that can be heat sealed. You can usually find these at your local hobby or craft stores.

  17. Would Poscas also work for denim jackets, and t-shirts?

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