You've just completed a DIY project, and you're feeling accomplished! Unfortunately, you were wearing your favourite kicks, and they are now covered in paint, looking like a relic from another era. Since the last thing you want is to throw them away, we will show you how to remove paint from shoes without damaging the uppers.
As we get ready, think of this for a second: what if you didn't have to worry about your shoes getting stained in the first place? What if the shoes are waterproof and can withstand any challenge you put them through?
Cleaning paint off your shoes would be easier in this case, and we recommend our pair of Vessi shoes that are 100% waterproof. And the best part? They're stylish, supportive, well-cushioned, eco-friendly, and versatile- you can use them as walking or running shoes.
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But if you already have another pair stained with paint, you can still salvage it using the following paint removal tips. With just a few household items and patience, you can make your paint-stained shoes look as good as new again. Let's get started below!
How to Remove Paint from Your Shoes
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Paint stains can permanently damage your kicks, so it is good to remove the stain as fast as you see them. Still, you will consider a few things before you start, including;
The upper material
The type of paint: It can be acrylic, oil-based, or latex paint
If the paint is wet or dry
So, to ensure we cover all these topics, let's see how you can clean different types of shoes below.
1. How to Remove Paint from Fabric or Canvas Shoes
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Fabric and canvas kicks have a delicate upper; while thick and durable, the canvas contains many fibres that easily soak paint. So, you should start cleaning the shoe fabric immediately after you spot the stained area. Here are the supplies you need for the job:
A soft-bristled brush or toothbrush
Rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover (for oil-based stains)
Cotton balls (for oil-based stains)
A clean cloth
I. How to Remove Latex or Acrylic Paint from Canvas Fabric Shoes
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If you've accidentally gotten acrylic or latex paint on your canvas or fabric shoes, don't panic! Here's how to remove the paint from your shoes:
Step 1: If the paint is wet, gently blot the paint stains using a clean cloth or paper towel. While doing so, be careful not to spread the paint to other parts of the shoe. Also, do not scrub the paint to prevent feeding it deeper into the fabric. If you face a large spill, you can use a spoon to scoop off the excess paint. You can skip the step if you want to remove spray paint or dry paint stain.
Step 2: Soak the shoes in warm water for about 10 minutes to loosen the paint.
Step 3: Use the toothbrush to remove paint from the soles after soaking. Then, add a small amount of dish soap to another bowl with warm water and mix it in.
Step 4: Dip a clean cloth into the soapy water, wring it out, then blot the stained area to remove all the loose paint. Repeat this step until you remove all the paint. Also, depending on your upper fabric's toughness, you can use a toothbrush to scrub the area gently. If using a toothbrush, avoid exerting too much pressure so as not to damage the material.
Step 5: Once all the stains are gone, clean the shoes as you normally do. Here is our guide on how to clean canvas shoes. Alternatively, see how to wash sneakers in a washing machine and how to wash shoelaces for the best results.
Step 6: Let the pair air dry. If that's not an option, here is our guide on machine-drying your shoes.
II. How to Remove Oil-Based Paint from Fabric and Canvas Shoes
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When removing oil-based or spray paint, you need rubbing alcohol to loosen the paint. Here are the steps to remove oil-based paint from your shoes:
Step 1: Wet a clean cloth and wipe off as much extra paint from the shoe as possible. This step is applicable if your paint stain has not dried. If it is a large spill, scoop it off with a spoon.
Step 2: Dip a cotton ball into the nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol and use it to blot the stained area gently. Ensure the cotton swab is not dripping with rubbing alcohol to prevent spreading the paint further. Repeat the blotting until all the paint is loose. However, if the stain is stubborn, you can also gently brush the area with a mineral spirit. You can use a toothbrush or soft-bristled brush.
Step 3: When you have blotted all the paint stains, launder your shoes in the basin or washing machine as usual. Then, leave the shoes to air dry in a cool place.
2. How to Remove Paint Stains from Leather Shoes
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Removing paint from leather kicks is easier than canvas or fabric shoes. Here are the supplies you will need:
Clean cloth or paper towel
Mineral spirits or turpentine (for oil-based stains)
I. How to Remove Chemical or Water-Based Paint Stains from Leather Shoes
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Here are the steps to remove acrylic or latex paint stains from your leather kicks:
Step 1: If you are cleaning wet paint, use a clean cloth or paper towel to blot the area gently. Avoid rubbing the paint, as this can spread it further.
Step 2: Dip a cotton ball into the rubbing alcohol and dab on the stained area until the paint loosens.
Step 3: Wipe off the loosened paint with a clean cloth until it disappears. You can repeat the step- dabbing the stain with rubbing alcohol and wiping it off as many times as necessary.
Step 4: Once you remove all the paint, apply the leather conditioner to restore the leather's natural moisture and suppleness. Then, use a soft, clean cloth to buff the shoes to a shine.
II. How to Remove Oil-Based Paint Stains from Leather Shoes
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To remove oil-based paints from your leather pair, you need to use turpentine or mineral spirits to loosen the stains. Here are the steps to follow:
Step 1: Use a dry cloth or paper towel to blot the excess paint from your shoes. This step is only applicable to wet paint.
Step 2: Dampen a cotton ball with turpentine or mineral spirits and gently dab the paint stain. Be sure to work in small, circular motions and avoid rubbing too hard, as this can damage the leather.
Step 3: Allow the solvent to sit on the paint stain for a few minutes to dissolve it, then use a clean, damp cloth to wipe away the dissolved paint and solvent. Repeat the process until you remove the stain.
Step 4: Let the shoes air dry overnight, then apply a leather conditioner to restore the leather's health. Finally, buff the shoes to a shine.
3. How to Remove Paint from Suede Shoes
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Since suede is a delicate material compared to leather or canvas, removing paint stains will be a bit more challenging. For instance, you will not use solvents or a paint thinner, scrub the shoes, or apply water directly. So, remove the stain while the paint is wet; otherwise, the material could be too far gone.
Here are the supplies you will need to remove oil-based, acrylic, or latex paint from suede shoes:
A suede brush
A pencil eraser
A clean cloth
Follow these steps to remove the pain stains from your suede shoes;
Step 1: Use the clean cloth to blot as much paint from the shoe as possible.
Step 2: Add enough dish soap to warm water and mix vigorously to create bubbles and suds. Then, scoop up the bubbles and suds, apply them to the stained area, and rub them gently using a soft cloth.
Step 3: Wipe the area with a dry cloth to remove all the paint. Repeat the step as many times as necessary, ensuring not to wet the suede with water.
Step 4: Check the suede grain, then run the pencil eraser following the grain's direction. Then, gently scrub the area with a suede brush to loosen any dried paint.
Step 5: Use a fingernail file to gently rub the affected area, thus removing any leftover paint stain.
Step 6: Finally, use the suede brush to gently brush the nap of the suede back into place.
Removing paint from shoes can be tricky, but with the right supplies and tips, you can do it in a few minutes. By following the steps for each shoe material and paint type, you can restore your shoes to their former glory. Hopefully, the tips and techniques above will help you successfully remove paint stains from your shoes without damaging them to keep them looking great for years to come.