How to Paint Vans Shoes - Step by Step Custom Painting Vans Old Skool Sneakers

How to Paint Vans Shoes - Step by Step Custom Painting Vans Old Skool Sneakers

Recently Angelus did a tutorial on their Instagram showing how to paint Vans Old Skool sneakers. The questions you might have are:

What paint should I use to customize Vans?

Do I need a base coat of paint when painting Vans?

Do I need a protective top coat when painting my Vans sneakers?

All of that is answered in the IG Reel they posted and we are going to break it down step by step here.

1. The first step is drawing an outline of your design onto the shoe. You can do this with a pencil. Another good option if you want the outline to be less visible is a white gel roller. You can buy those on Amazon here:  

2. After you have your designed outlined onto the shoes, take Angelus White paint and Angelus 2-Soft  and mix it together using a 1:1 ratio. Half your cup should be paint, half should be the 2-soft. 

how to paint vans shoes how to paint vans shoes 

And mix it:

how to paint vans shoes

3. Once you've mixed the white paint and 2-soft, you will carefully paint it onto the design you've sketched onto the shoe. multiple thin coats are your friend. No need to put it on too thick. 

Sneaker Queen Customs did this demo for Angelus, and you can see a shot of her with the design outline on the Vans in the image below. Yes you can paint on both the fabric and the leather. 

how to paint vans shoes

4. Heat-set the paint/2-soft onto the shoe. Although you can use a hair blow dryer, the 2-soft needs to heat up to 300 degrees ferinheight for 3-5 minutes to really be considered permanent. That is difficult to achieve with a blow dryer. It's the same concept as airbrushing on a t-shirt. If you have ever gotten a custom airbrushed t-shirt, you'll notice the artist generally uses a heat-press to heat-set the paint into the fabric.

Caution! Heat guns are strong and HOT! Be careful not to touch the tip of the gun. You can burn your hand. Make sure you move the heat gun around so you're not sitting over one spot on the shoe. This can cause a white shoe to turn yellow. So as you're painting onto your design, if you're seeing any yellowing, make sure you stop using the heat gun in that area immediately. The Wagner Heat gun on Amazon is our favorite. It has just the right strength for the shoes and the price is low at only $22. You can buy that from the link below.

5. Once you have the design outlined onto the shoe and it has been heat-set, you can use Angelus leather paints to color in your design. YES, we understand it says leather paint on the bottle. But this paint works great on all surfaces including fabric on Vans. Canvas, Mesh, Leather and even wood are all great surfaces to use this versatile paint. Checkout all the colors on their website.

We love the Basics Kit because it comes with all the primary colors.

paint for vans shoes

Artist Hack: You can make any color you want from primary colors. If you Google search color chart, you'll see what colors you need to mix to achieve the color you want. An easy example would be you mix red and yellow to make orange. Or blue and yellow paint to make green. Buy the Angelus Basics kit HERE


which paint should I use for vans shoes

6. LAST STEP! After you've completed your painting, you can seal the paint with a protective coat. Although there are many different options out there, The Sneaker Queen uses the Angelus Matte 4-COAT. If you're looking for a shiny gloss finish, this would be the finisher you would want to buy: 

cleat coat paint for shoes

how to paint vans old skool shoes

And that's it! Your shoes are now painted and sealed for protection. 

To clean them, the Angelus Easy Clean Kit is a great option. 

Want to see the entire Instagram video: You can check it out here:

Please let us know how it went for you and comment below!


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