Customize Your Vans & Chucks: Guide to Painting Canvas Shoes

Are you tired of wearing the same old canvas shoes as everyone else? Why not customize them with a fresh coat of paint? Whether you’re a seasoned artist or just starting out, painting canvas shoes from HeyDude!, Vans and Converse can be a fun and creative way to express your personal style. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll show you how to prep your shoes, sketch your design, and apply the paint to create a unique and personalized pair of kicks. So grab your paint gun, airbrush & paint brushes…let’s get started!

Materials Needed

  • Shoes
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Paint brushes & Airbrush
  • Sealant
  • Tape
  • Razor Blade
  • Heat Gun
white vans canvas slip on shoes for painting canvas shoes


Prepping canvas shoes, such as Vans, for acrylic paint is a slightly different process compared to prepping leather shoes. Here are the steps involved:

  • Clean the shoes: Start by cleaning the shoes with a mixture of warm water and mild soap. Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the surface of the shoes gently. Rinse thoroughly and let them dry completely.
  • Apply a base coat: Once the shoes are dry, apply a base coat (of 1:1 mix of your preferred base color & the 2 soft) to the canvas surface. This creates a smooth surface for painting and helps the acrylic paint adhere better to the canvas. Apply a thin, even layer with a brush.
  • Heat set this by using a heat gun for 3-5 minutes (at 300 degrees F).
  • Now you’re ready for the design process.


Sketch the design: Use a pencil to sketch your design onto the shoes. You can either draw the design freehand or use stencils or tracing paper to create a more precise image.


Once you have sketched the design, start painting with acrylic paint. Use a fine brush or an airbrush to apply the paint in thin, even layers. You can use multiple colors and layer them to create depth and texture. Be patient and allow each layer to dry completely before applying the next one.

Add Finishing Touches

Once the design is complete, let the shoes dry completely. You can then add any finishing touches such as highlights, shading, or details with a fine brush.


Finally, apply a sealant to protect the shoes from water, dirt, and wear and tear. You can use a clear acrylic spray or brush-on sealer to seal the design. Let the sealant dry completely before wearing the shoes.

By following these steps, you can turn a plain pair of canvas shoes into a unique and personalized work of art.

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