How to Change Shoe Color

Changing the color of your shoes can be a great way to express yourself and create a unique style. Changing the colors of your shoes can also save you money by allowing you to use an existing pair of shoes in different ways. Whether you want to give an old pair of shoes a new look or make something totally unique, changing your shoes’ color is easy.

How to Change Shoe Color

One of the advantages of learning to change shoe color is that you can customize your shoes to match any outfit. Whether it’s a professional suit or a night out look, you can find the right hue for every occasion.

Additionally, changing shoe color adds a unique touch to any style and can help make certain outfits stand out even more. You can find step-by-step instructions on how to change shoe color in this blog article.

Materials You Will Need

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Paintbrush
  • Liquid leather dye
  • Cotton swab
  • White cloth
  • Soft cloth or sponge
  • Water
  • Bowl for mixing dye and water
  • Paper towel
  • Masking tape
  • Shoe polish of desired color (neutral shades work best)
  • Old toothbrush

You can change your shoe color once you have gathered all the materials.

Step-by-step Instructions for How to Change Shoe Color

Step 1: Inspect Your Shoes

Inspect the shoes you want to change the color of and ensure they are in good condition. If there is any damage, such as scuff marks or cracks, repair it before attempting to dye them; otherwise, the dye will not take to the shoes properly.

Step 2: Choose a Dye

For leather shoes, select a leather dye or shoe polish specifically made for the material. For synthetic shoes, select a fabric dye specifically designed for plastic or rubber. Clean the surface of your shoes with a clean cloth and dampen it slightly with water. Ensure all the dirt and debris are removed from the surface so that the dye will adhere properly.

Select a Leather Dye or Shoe Polish

Step 3: Test Your Dye

Test the dye on a small, inconspicuous area of your shoes. This will allow you to ensure that the color is what you want before completely committing to it. Apply an even layer of the dye onto your shoes using a brush or sponge. Make sure to cover all areas and avoid getting any dye on other materials or clothes.

Step 4: Let It Sit

Allow the dye to sit on your shoes for 10-15 minutes, then wipe away any excess with a damp cloth. To help set the dye, use a blow dryer or heat gun to heat up your shoes. This will ensure that the dye will not come off easily when cleaning.

Step 5: Finish with a Sealant

After heating your shoes, apply a sealant to lock in the color and provide protection against scuffs or water damage. Let your shoes dry completely before wearing them or putting them away. This will give the dye time to fully set and ensure it does not rub off your clothes or other materials.

Now you can enjoy wearing your new shoes with their fresh color. Be sure to continue caring for them properly, such as cleaning regularly and using a leather conditioner, to help them look their best for years.

Safety Precautions for How to Change Shoe Color

Apply a Sealant to Lock in the Color
  1. Read and follow the directions of any shoe dyeing product you use, as exact measurements are essential for successful results.
  2. Wear protective gloves when working with shoe dye, as this can prevent skin staining from occurring if contact is made with bare hands.
  3. Test a small shoe area in an inconspicuous spot before applying the dye to the shoe. This will indicate how the finished product will look.
  4. Before beginning, ensure that your shoes’ entire surface area is free from dirt and dust particles. This will ensure that the dye adheres evenly to the material.
  5. Use a soft brush or cloth to apply the dye onto your shoes, giving more even coverage.
  6. After applying the dye, let it dry for the time specified on the product label. This will help to prevent any smearing or smudging of the color.
  7. Keep your newly dyed shoes away from direct sunlight or heat sources, which can cause colors to fade prematurely. 

By following these seven safety precautions, you can successfully change the color of your shoes without any damage or mishaps. Be sure to read all directions carefully and wear protective gloves when working with shoe dye, as this can help to keep your skin safe from staining.

Is There Anything Else You Should Consider When Changing the Color of a Shoe? 

Yes, there are a few other things you should consider when changing the color of a shoe. Firstly, ensure that any dyes or paints used on the shoe are appropriate for the material. Leather shoes must be treated differently than canvas shoes, and synthetic materials like vinyl have their specific requirements.

Paints Used on the Shoe Are Appropriate

Additionally, ensure that any products used to dye or paint the shoe are safe to use on footwear. Also, remember that if you’re using more than one color of dye or paint, you should experiment with a spare piece of material first.

This will help avoid any unwanted bleeds and streaks. Additionally, it is important to ensure the shoes are properly sealed with a waterproof sealant. This will help ensure that the new color doesn’t wear away easily with rain, sweat, and dirt exposure.

Finally, consider whether the shoes need other modifications or repairs before applying dyes or paints. Some materials may require special preparation or repair before dyeing them to achieve the best results.

What is the Best Way to Protect a Newly Painted or Dyed Shoe? 

The best way to protect a newly painted or dyed shoe is to apply a sealant. Sealants are designed to protect the paint and dye from damage caused by water, dirt, scrapes, and other sources. A sealant will also help preserve the paint color or dye on your shoes for longer. After applying the sealant, let it dry and apply a second coat. This will further protect your shoes from any damage over time.

Additionally, invest in a good shoe cleaner and conditioner to help keep your shoes looking their best for longer. Regular cleaning and conditioning of the shoes is important to ensure they stay in great condition for years. Overall, changing the color of your shoes can be fun and rewarding.

It is important to remember that if you have painted or dyed your shoes, you need to take extra steps to protect them from damage. Applying sealant and regularly cleaning and conditioning your shoes will help to preserve their color and condition for years to come.

Apply a Waterproof Sealer

How Can You Make Sure Your New Shoe Color Lasts as Long as Possible? 

When changing the color of your shoes, there are some things that you can do to make sure that your new shoe color lasts as long as possible. First, ensure the surface is immaculate and free of dirt before beginning.

This will help ensure a better bond between the shoe material and the dye or paint you use for coloring. Secondly, allow the dye or paint to dry fully before wearing or exposing it to moisture.

To help extend your new shoe color’s life, regularly apply a waterproof sealer specifically designed for shoes. This will create a barrier between the material and any water-based elements that could damage its color.

Additionally, avoid overly harsh cleaning products when caring for your shoes, as these can strip away the newly applied color. By following these tips, you can ensure your new shoe color will last longer.


One of the main disadvantages of changing shoe color is that it requires a lot of time and effort to do it properly. The shoes must be cleaned and prepped before any dyeing can begin, often by using a cleaner or brush to remove dirt and scuffs from the shoe material.

In conclusion, shoe color can be changed in various ways. With some basic materials and tools, doing these steps yourself as a DIY project is possible. Having a professional do the job for you is also possible if you aren’t comfortable doing it yourself.

Whether you do it yourself or hire a pro, changing your shoe color can be a great way to give your shoes a fresh look. I hope reading this post has helped you learn how to change shoe color. Make sure the safety precautions are carried out in the order listed.

Photo of author

Matt Clark

Hi, this is Matt, and I am a leathercraft hobbyist. I have been working with leather for quite a bit of time. When I was a teenager, my father taught me the basics of leathercraft. Along the way I have learned a lot of things about leather work leather items, restoring leather, and creating leather accessories. I started this blog to share my knowledge of leatherworking with others and help people learn about this amazing craft. I also wanted to create a community of like-minded people who could share ideas and support each other in their leatherworking journey.

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