Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Hofstra chapter.

Have you ever wanted to flaunt your style with a customized shoe, but weren’t satisfied with a company’s idea of “custom?” Are you tired of painting on the same, flat canvas? 

Painting your own Converse is the perfect way to deal with both of those dilemmas. While the process may seem intimidating at first, when you take the process one step at a time, you’ll find that it’s easier than you think!

This works with any fabric shoe, so feel free to try out other styles, too.

gather materials

You’ll need a pair of shoes of your choice, acrylic paint (if you’re unsure of what brand to pick, Apple Barrel is easy to find in stores), brushes, masking tape, and sealing spray. If you want to test your design, buy a cheap pair of shoes and paint those before going for the real thing.

I used a matte art sealing spray like this one from Amazon.

You can buy paint colors individually here.

Recommended: shoes with a neutral canvas color that fits with your design. The example shoes were black Converse to start.

Choose A design

If you’re an artist yourself, you can skip this step and paint from the heart!

For people with less painting experience, choose a painting tutorial from YouTube or an inspiration picture that you can follow. Keep in mind that you’ll need to adapt the design to fit the shape of a shoe. Abstract designs will look good no matter what, while more complex drawings might be hard to proportion correctly.

I used this tutorial.

If you’re worried about whether or not you’ll like the look, try replicating the design on a normal canvas before starting your shoes!

Prepare the shoes

Remove the laces and cover the parts of the shoe you want to preserve (ex: the logo and soles) with masking tape.

Converse painting tape guideline
Anna DeGoede

Here’s the fun part! Paint your shoes as you would a canvas. Follow along with a tutorial if desired.

Important: let the paint dry completely before moving to the next step.

Seal the shoes

Spray the entirety of the shoe with sealing spray. Make sure to cover the entire canvas. This spray is used to “lock in” your design and keep it from getting damaged by water and the elements.

While it might be hard to tell what areas you’ve sprayed and what areas you haven’t. Generally, the sealed fabric will look stiffer than the non-sealed fabric when it’s dry.

You can always go back with a second round of spray if you notice that you’ve missed some areas, but don’t overdo it- your design might start looking crusty.


Remove the masking tape, re-lace your shoes, and voila!

painted Converse shoes
Anna DeGoede

Congratulations! You now have a one-of-a-kind pair of shoes to show off to your friends. Now that you’ve painted these shoes, what design are you going to try next?

Anna DeGoede

Hofstra '24

Anna is a journalism major with a passion for true crime, Minecraft and good food. When she isn't writing for HerCampus or The Hofstra Chronicle, Anna plays the trumpet and crochets.