What’s the Best Paint for Canvas Shoes?

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

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  • Debbie Marlin
    Posted at 17:15h, 11 January

    I just want to paint my tennis shoes turquoise…what extra steps are needed?

  • David
    Posted at 23:54h, 15 August

    White acrylic paint works well to hide stains on white canvas shoes. Wet shoes in sink with cold water clean up a little bit around the bottom of the shoe where the rubber meets the canvas. Dawn soap seems to work well. Remove shoes from sink and rinse off soap. then apply white acrylic paint not much just a dab will do onto the toothbrush. While shoes are wet not dripping wet but wet quickly work paint into the canvas part of the shoe the water and paint seem to spread quicker and cover large areas use as much as you need until stain is gone medium bristle brush works the best.

  • Sello
    Posted at 11:08h, 29 January

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

  • Randa
    Posted at 03:35h, 07 April

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

  • Melissa
    Posted at 11:47h, 06 March

    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

  • SusanB
    Posted at 13:16h, 14 February

    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.

  • Shawn
    Posted at 18:07h, 16 January

    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?

  • sasha
    Posted at 14:16h, 23 September

    is this good on papers as well ?

  • Drew Brophy
    Posted at 09:55h, 11 March

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

  • bj
    Posted at 07:08h, 11 March

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

  • Diego
    Posted at 14:36h, 10 March

    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.

  • kapil
    Posted at 08:23h, 18 August

    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

  • Guy Birger
    Posted at 14:51h, 06 June

    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

  • julio
    Posted at 09:42h, 03 June

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

  • Ken Turner
    Posted at 04:10h, 25 May

    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

  • Maria "Spunk" Brophy
    Posted at 12:38h, 19 May

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

  • christie
    Posted at 01:09h, 19 May

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

  • admin
    Posted at 18:05h, 02 December

    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.

  • Tony Ross
    Posted at 11:16h, 27 November

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

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