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How to Revamp an Old Pair of Shoes with Spray Paint and Fabric Scraps!

Updated on January 16, 2015

Quick and Easy Weekend Fabric Scrapbuster Project!

This is a quick and easy step-by-step tutorial to show you how to make a beat-up old pair of shoes new and fabulous again with a little spray paint and some scrap fabric. You need only a few hours to complete this project and you'll have tons of fun from start to finish...PLUS you'll have a cute new pair of shoes to wear when you're done!

Are you ready to Revamp? Grab those old shoes and let's go!

spray painted shoes (before)
spray painted shoes (before)

Tools and Supplies

One old pair of shoes, desperately in need of saving

large piece of cardboard or newspaper to paint on

Spray paint (color of choice) (I used Rustoleum Universal "Aged Copper")

Clear spray coat (I used Krylon Acrylic Crystal Clear)

1 square foot of fabric

fine tip felt marker

fabric scissors

Fray Check (optional)


fabric glue


Prepare the Surface

Start by cleaning the shoes. Use a damp cloth to wipe away any dirt from the surface of the shoes, including the inside. Make sure to dry the cleaned areas thoroughly after wiping before you begin to paint.

Spread out your cardboard or newspaper on a flat surface in a well-ventilated area. Outdoors is best (though not on a windy day!). Weight the corners if necessary to hold the paper or cardboard in place while you are working.

Paint Your Shoes!

spray painted shoes, bronze metallic color
spray painted shoes, bronze metallic color

Shake the can of spray paint as directed on the back of the can. Usually, about a minute is just right.

Spray the shoes from a distance of 8-12 inches, holding the can upright and using short one-second spurts on the trigger.

Always keep the can moving while painting, using a quick right-to-left motion for one pass, and a left-to-right motion for the next pass, slightly overlapping your strokes.


Holding the can still while spraying will cause the paint to run and leave you with drip marks. Always keep the can moving while spraying!

Continue moving the can back and forth and using quick pulls of the trigger to paint the entire shoe from all angles until you have a full coat on both shoes.

After about 5 to 8 minutes, apply a second coat of color to both shoes in the same manner. If desired, repeat a third time after waiting another 5 to 8 minutes for the second coat to dry.

It's okay to get the paint inside of the shoes because we are going to cover the bottom with fabric, but if you don't want paint inside, you can use masking tape to protect the parts you want to keep from being sprayed.

Wait at least 30 to 45 minutes for your color to dry (or as directed on your particular can of spray paint) and keep in mind that drying times vary depending on temperature and humidity.

Finish with a Clear Coat

When the color coat has dried completely, you will need to add 2 to 3 coats of clear acrylic spray. Use the same technique for spraying as you used before, and follow the instructions on the can for drying times between coats, etc.

Create the lovely lining for your new shoes!

trace soles of shoes and cut out fabric lining
trace soles of shoes and cut out fabric lining

Mark the fabric for cutting

After the clear coat is totally dry, spread out your fabric face down on a hard flat surface and place one shoe on top of it. Trace around the sole of the shoe as closely as possible, using a fine felt-tip marker. Your markings don't have to be perfect; remember you can always trim away any excess fabric later before gluing into place.

Repeat with the second shoe, and then you're ready to cut out the lining for your shoes! You may want to iron the fabric at this stage if there are any wrinkles.

Cut out the Fabric Lining

cut out the fabric lining for your cool new shoes
cut out the fabric lining for your cool new shoes

Using a nice, sharp pair of fabric scissors will make this job easier and will help you avoid snags and fraying edges. As a precaution, and depending on the type of fabric you have chosen, you may want to use some Fray Check around the edges of your fabric anyway.

Check the fit of both pieces of fabric by placing them inside the corresponding shoe and moving them into place as they should be. If the fit is good, remove them and proceed to the next step. If not, trim away any excess fabric until the pieces fit in place nicely.

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Affix the fabric lining to the bottom of the inside of the shoe

cover the inside of the bottom of shoe with glue to affix fabric
cover the inside of the bottom of shoe with glue to affix fabric

Drizzle an ample amount of fabric glue in the middle of the bottom of the shoe inside, and squeeze a nice thin bead around the edges as well. Spread the glue as evenly as possible with a paint brush (something cheap! Don't ruin a nice brush).

Beginning with the toe, insert the fabric into the shoe and smooth down any wrinkles or lumps as much as possible. Continue smoothing down the fabric from toe to heel until all edges are securely in place and the fabric seems well adhered. Wipe any excess glue from around the edges of the fabric with a damp cloth. Any remaining glue residue can be peeled off after it has dried completely.

All Done! - Great job! Can't wait to wear them now, can you??

spray painted shoe with fabric lining, finished
spray painted shoe with fabric lining, finished

Repeat this for the second shoe, and our super fun project is finished!

It is best to wait several hours before trying on your new shoes so that the fabric glue can dry completely. Wait a full day at least for the paint to cure as well, to avoid any smudges. Then you're ready to strut your stuff!

Spray painted shoes with fabric lining, before and after. Wow, what a difference!

Spray painted shoes with fabric lining, before and after. Wow, what a difference!
Spray painted shoes with fabric lining, before and after. Wow, what a difference!

Thanks for reading! - I hope you had fun.

You may also enjoy my recent project, How to Make a No-Sew Braided Headband from Old Clothes or Scrap Fabric, another quick and easy instant gratification crafty project!

make a no-sew braided headband from scrap fabric
make a no-sew braided headband from scrap fabric | Source

© 2012 Jessica Barst

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  • kburns421 lm profile image

    kburns421 lm 5 years ago

    Super cute! I've been wanting to go to a Goodwill or consignment type store and get some old shoes to try a couple different projects like this.

  • GypsyPirate LM profile image

    GypsyPirate LM 5 years ago

    Well, I do love my shoes...and I love the idea of giving them a facelift even more! Thanks for making it look so easy, I can't wait to try it!!