Dye Painted Sneakers

January 12 2015

Want to have some fun dyeing your old sneakers? These sneakers started out white and we dye-painted them with a sponge brush in some of our favorite Rit colors. This is so easy and the eyelet stitching on the canvas gives them a 2-tone look!

  • Keds White Eyelet Canvas Sneakers
  • Rit All Purpose Liquid Dye (We Used Hyacinth, Emerald, Flame, Camel and Harvest)
  • 4-Cup Container or Measuring Cup
  • 1" Wide Sponge Brushes
  • Measuring Cup
  • Large Metal Spoon
  • Painters Tape
  • Paper Towels
  • Plastic Table Cover
  • Rubber Gloves
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  1. Cover work area with a plastic table cover and have paper towels handy to protect against any possible spills.
  2. Remove the shoe laces and soak them in warm, soapy water.
  3. Tape the white rubber edging around each sneaker with painter’s tape. This will keep the rubber clean and white as you do the dye-painting. 
  4. Stuff the sneakers with paper towels. This will prevent the dye from going into unwanted areas.
  5. Heat 4 to 6 cups water in a tea kettle or in a pot on the stove. The water should ideally be 140ºF.
  6. Shake dye bottle before measuring. Wearing latex gloves, measure 1/4 cup dye and pour into a 4 to 6-cup container or glass bowl. Add 4 cups very hot water; stir well.
  7. Fold a paper towel and dip it into the dye solution to be sure you are satisfied with the color. If the color is too dark, add more water; if the color is too light, add more dye. 
  8. Remove the shoe laces from the soapy water. Rinse and drop into the dye solution; stir.
  9. Using a foam brush, paint dye over the entire surface of the sneakers. 
  10. After dye-painting the sneakers, immediately spray them with Rit ColorStay Dye Fixative. This will help reduce color bleeding and improve color retention.
  11. Let sneakers and laces set for 20 – 30 minutes. Then rinse in cold water. Dry overnight on paper towels. 
  12. Save dye until sneakers dry in case you need to do any touch ups or make the sneakers darker. The color will look lighter when dry.
  13. Hyacinth color:
  14. Emerald color:
  15. Flame color:
  16. Camel color: 
  17. Harvest color:
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