Ok friends, this is probably going to be the easiest thing you will ever do and will give you such gratification.  My daughter loves her Van’s shoes.  They are made out of Canvas and as you might already know, pick up stains easily.  Now you can go ahead and buy stain guards but let’s be real, how many of us actually do that and do they really work?  Well, let’s just say that we did not and living here in Green Bay, Wisconsin we get snowy, wet weather which can be a nightmare to shoes.  My daughter was so bummed when she came home from school one day with mud stains on her shoes.  We tried to stain treat them and wash them, which resulted in the yellow stains you see below.

So like any mom, my first thought was “oh great, there went money down the drain”. I knew she would want to replace them and shoes are not cheap these days.  So then I was thinking.  When we first went shoe shopping she wanted Maroon ones.  They did not have any in her size so her second choice was the white.  Well, I just happen to retail a paint line that is amazing and I knew it was great for not only on furniture but could also work on fabric.  I figured that if they did not turn out, they were headed to the trash anyways so why not have some fun. 

I chose a tester of Fusion Mineral Paint in the color Cranberry because it is our “maroon” in the line.  I also chose Fusion because it’s water resistant and I knew it would absorb amazingly into the canvas fabric.  Check out how great the coverage is with only one coat!  As far as prep goes, the shoes were already clean from going through the washing machine so I painted directly onto them.  Let’s say you were painting your leather sandals, I would recommend using our TSP substitute to clean them first. You want to make sure that the surface you are painting is free of dirt and oils.  I used the Fusion Cranberry directly over the shoes.  I did not water it down or add any fabric softeners or anything.  Just strait paint. 

So I chose to use artist brushes for this project so I could get in all those hard to reach spots and be careful around the soles of the shoes.  I had my trusty baby wipes on hand in case I bumped into them so I could quickly remove the paint.  If you are not comfortable edging, then I would suggest you tape around the soles. I did bump into the branded tag a little so I decided to tape that.  I also did not want it to get stained as I had to paint both in front of it and behind it.  No matter what, if you are painting Van’s I would recommend taping off the little tag. 

See how I bumped into the tag?  Fusion will stain the fabric so you won’t be able to get that off easily.  Just tape.  Learn from my mini mistake on that one. 

By taping all the way around, I don’t have to worry now about accidental bumping with my brush. 

Now with any project, I always say do a test spot first.  Let’s say you get inspired by this post and you want to refresh your high heels.  Sometimes vinyls can react to paint.  If you are not sure what your shoe is made out of, do a test spot first.  If it is a vinyl that has a reaction, the surface will become sticky.  No one wants sticky shoes so test spots on those “unknown” materials is a good idea. 

You might also be thinking “well how will they feel or how will they hold up”?  So Fusion has a 28 day cure time.  That means after 28 days it’s hard as nails and also water resistant.  I always tell people when using Fusion for outdoor surfaces that could be exposed to rain, wait at least 2 weeks prior to exposure.  Well my 11 year old was not about to wait 2 weeks.  In fact, she insisted on wearing them to school the next day.  I was pretty confident that she would not have issues as the Fusion absorbed into the fabric beautifully and drying overnight gave them some time to allow the water in the paint to evaporate.  Now by all means they were not “cured” but we were willing to risk it.  

I took this picture as soon as she came home from school that day.  They held up beautifully in our snowy, wet Wisconsin winter weather.  I asked her how they felt.  She said they are more stiff now then before but they don’t feel bad.  I would say this $5 Fusion tester worth of paint was worth it.  She can still wear her shoes and we just saved them from the garbage.  I hope this post inspires you to maybe refresh a pair yourself and save our landfills from some unnecessary waste.

As always,

Happy painting-Denell