Removing Paint From Shoes

Whether it's water- or oil-based, removing splattered paint from shoes is a difficult task that can get even tougher depending on the type of material the shoes are made of. If the shoes are new, an old favorite or an expensive pair, it may be worth the effort it takes to attempt paint removal. Patience and persistence, in addition to the right cleaning materials, are the secrets to success.

Fabric or Canvas Shoes

Leather Shoes


Removing paint from suede shoes is the most difficult, but the treatment is the same for oil-based or water-based paint stains.

Things You'll Need

  • Clean cloth

  • Dish soap

  • Pencil eraser

  • Clean toothbrush or shoe brush

  • Fingernail file

Step 1: Blot Wet Paint

Remove as much of the wet paint as possible by blotting gently with a clean cloth.

Step 2: Clean With Soap

Mix a small amount of dish soap in warm water to create foaming bubbles and suds. Scoop up the soap suds and place them on the paint, rubbing them in gently with a clean cloth to remove the paint. Wipe with a dry cloth and allow to dry completely.

Step 3: Erase

Rub a pencil eraser in the direction of the suede's grain to lift away paint. Brush off eraser crumbs by hand.

Step 4: Dry Brush

Gently swipe a clean, dry toothbrush, fingernail brush or shoe brush on the stain to loosen dried paint.

Step 5: File

Run a fingernail file or fine-grit -- 220 or higher -- sandpaper over the spot gently to remove remaining paint.

Step 6: Dry Brush

Brush with a shoe brush or dry toothbrush to lift and restore the nap.

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