How to remove paint stains from shoes


Paint stains on shoes might seem impossible to remove especially if they have dried up. Luckily, you can remove paint stains on your shoes using different removal techniques based on the type of paint. 

Whether it is an oil or water-based paint, getting rid of splattered paint on your shoes can be a difficult task. Some stains will harder to remove, depending on the type of material your shoes are made of. If you have new shoes, a favorite pair or an expensive brand, it might be worth the effort to try removing the paint stains. Remember that patience and perseverance on your part, along with the right cleaning products are the keys to success. Read further to learn ways to remove paint stains from shoes effectively.

Methods on how to remove paint stains from shoes made of fabric or canvas

Let’s look at the steps to get rid of an acrylic or latex water-based paint on fabric or canvas shoes. 

Take note that getting rid of wet paint from canvas or fabric shoes is a simpler task and can yield a better outcome than removing dry paint. Make sure that you keep the paint wet while cleaning. If the paint is already dry, scour away using a stiff-bristled brush before moistening the site. 

  • Soak a clean cloth in water. Use this to wipe off any leftover wet paint from the shoe. 
  • Place the shoe under warm water to rinse away any leftover paint.
  • With an old toothbrush, brush away paint on the sole of the shoe.
  • Prepare a solution by mixing 1 part dish soap, along with 1 part warm water in a bucket. Moisten a sponge or cloth in the soapy solution and wring out the excess moisture before blotting the stain forcefully. Repeat the procedure until most of the paint is removed.
  • Pour a small amount of nail polish remover on a cotton ball and gently blot until all the paint is removed. Rinse the shoe under warm water.
  • Wash the shoes in the washer with cold water on a delicate cycle
  • Allow the shoes to air dry.

How to remove oil-based paint on canvas or fabric shoes

  • Soak a clean cloth or towel in water and wipe away any leftover wet paint from the shoe. 
  • Dip a cotton swab or ball in rubbing alcohol and carefully squeeze out the excess. Dab on the paint stain until it loosens and lightens. For stubborn oil-based paint, switch between mineral spirits and water on the stain using a toothbrush or cloth and blotting thoroughly after every application.
  • Blot a cloth moistened with warm, soapy water on the site before washing under warm water until the paint is eliminated.
  • Wash the shoes in a washing machine in cold water on a delicate cycle.
  • Air dry the shoes.

How do you get paint off Nike shoes?

When your Nike shoes end up with paint, it is vital to remove the stain right away. Luckily, there are various ways to remove dry paint from your Nike shoes. 

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Method 1

If you want to remove dry paint from your Nike shoes, simply follow these steps.

  • Remove any excess paint using a spoon or knife to scrape it away. 
  • Moisten the site to make it easier to flush out the stain. Keep the fabric wet so that the fabric stays flexible.
  • Apply detergent using a wet sponge. Make sure to rub the stained area while applying pressure. 
  • Position the shoe under cold flowing water to rinse off the detergent. You can repeat the steps as needed until the paint is removed.
  • If a trace of the stain lingers, apply nail polish remover, and dab the site until the stain vanishes. 

Method 2

This is another method that you can use to eliminate a dry paint stain.

  • Use a spoon or knife to remove the leftover stain. Hold the fabric and carefully scoop away the paint. 
  • Moisten the site with water. The site must be kept as moist as possible to increase the flexibility of the fabric and allow easier removal of the paint. 
  • With paper towels or a clean cloth, place the stained area facing down.
  • Apply turpentine on the interior of the shoe behind the stain. Use a sponge and rub turpentine on the inside of the shoe along with pressure. The paint will later come off on the cloth or paper towel you placed outside. 
  • Apply detergent on a cloth or towel and rub on the site to remove any leftover dry paint. 
  • Immerse the shoe in warm water and let it soak for at least 6 hours.
  • Rinse the shoe with cold water and the stain should be gone at this point. 

How do you remove paint from leather shoes?

When removing paint from leather shoes, avoid rubbing the paint into the leather. With the methods described below, simply use dapping or swiping motions. Remember that rubbing the paint will drive it further into the leather and result in lasting damage. 

Cooking or baby oil

  • Use a cotton swab or cloth and dip into the oil.
  • Lightly dab the paint with the oil.
  • Let the oil sit on the paint for a few minutes to allow it to penetrate and loosen the paint.
  • Use a dull knife or your fingernail to gently peel off the paint. You might need to repeat the steps a few times to remove all the paint.
  • If the paint leaves behind a dark discoloration on the leather, gently wash with soap and water and polish the shoe.

Vaseline or petroleum jelly

  • Dab some petroleum jelly on the paint.
  • Let it sit for a few minutes.
  • Peel the paint away using a dull knife or your fingernail.
  • Wash the site with soap and water and polish to remove any leftover Vaseline.

Nail polish remover

  • With a cloth or cotton swab, dab the nail polish remover onto the paint.
  • Continue dabbing until the paint starts to transfer on the cloth or cotton swab. 
  • You might need to use several pieces of cloth or cotton swabs to remove all the paint. You can gently wipe the paint off but remember not to rub.

This process can remove the dye on some leather shoes so you have to polish the shoe after the paint has been removed.

Rubbing alcohol

  • Saturate a cloth or cotton swab with alcohol
  • Dab gently onto the paint
  • Carefully wipe away the paint.
  • Apply a leather conditioner on the site.

Soap and water

It is recommended to use saddle soap along with warm water and a soft-bristled brush.

  • Soak a cloth in warm water and work the soap to produce a lather.
  • Apply the lather onto the paint by dabbing. You can also place the soapy cloth onto the paint and let it sit for a few seconds. The aim is to moisten it enough to loosen the paint. 
  • Use a soft-bristled brush to swipe across the paint gently. 
  • Continue dabbing and swiping until the paint is gone.
  • Allow the shoes to dry.
  • Apply a leather conditioner.

How do you clean painted shoes?

If you have painted canvas shoes, you might be wondering how to clean them. Simply follow these steps on cleaning painted shoes.

  • Apply warm foamy water on the painted design on your shoes using an old toothbrush. Avoid using any products that contain bleach.
  • Use an old cloth or rag that is soaked in rubbing alcohol to wipe the rubber part. 
  • Air dry your shoes.

Final thoughts

Once you discover that your favorite pair of shoes have undesirable paint stains, you might think it’s a lost cause to get rid of the dried up stains, but its not. You can still remove the paint stains. With the techniques described on how to remove paint stains from your shoes, you can readily deal with the stain and keep your shoes looking as good as new.

teammichael

Michael René, consultant, is the leading stain removal expert in Denmark. Read about him and the rest of the team here

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