How to paint rubber boots

How to Paint Rubber Boots

Almost anything can be given a good coat of paint, and this includes rubber boots. That being said, you have to know what type of paint to use, not all paints will work on rubber items. Learning how to paint rubber boots isn’t that difficult.

First off, not all rubber boots are made from rubber. Many cheaper ‘rubber’ boots are actually made from plastic (PVC). Although much of what we discuss in this article is relevant to plastic boots, it is rubber boots (actually made from rubber) that this article is targeted towards.

What Type of Paint Do you use on Rubber Boots?

Its vitally important that you use the correct type of paint when painting your rubber boots. If you use the wrong sort of paint, you will find that you are wasting your time as the paint won’t bond, flakes off, cracks or simply doesn’t look good.

Spray Paint for Rubber Boots
Spray paint is probably the most popular option for painting rubber boots. Its relatively cheap, available in a wide range of colours and is suitable for covering the entire boots. Most spray paints have good bonding properties meaning that the paint won’t wear off quickly.

Things to look out for when buying spray paint are for rubber boots are:

1) Check that it is suitable for spraying plastics. I know the boots are rubber, but spray paints that are suitable for plastic work well on rubber.

2) Try and get a spray paint that is both a primer and paint in one. This saves time as you don’t have to use a primer before painting. The primer helps the paint bond on to the rubber, which gives longer lasting and better results.

Best Spray Paint for Rubber boots

Last update on 2024-05-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Acrylic Paint for Rubber Boots
Acrylic paint is another popular option for painting rubber boots. Probably better suited for painting sections of the boots and creating patterns. If you want to paint the entire boot then a spray paint is going to be a better option.

Things to look for when buying Acrylic paint are:

1) As general rule try and buy from a well known brand. Cheaper acrylic paints tend not to bond very well. Which means that the paint will start flaking of the boots very quickly.

2) Acrylic paints come in different thicknesses (viscosity). Painting rubber boots it is better to go for a paint that has a lower viscosity

3) Since rubber boots are often used outside and exposed to sun light, it is a good idea to look for a paint with a high lightfastness (aka permanence) rating. The higher the rating the slower the paint will fade when exposed to light.

Best Acrylic Paint for Rubber Boots

Last update on 2024-05-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Waterproof Permanent Paint Pens
Paint pens are great for creating patterns and designs on rubber boots. They are not suitable for covering the entire boot.

1) The best paint pens for rubber contain Xylene, which bonds well with rubber and creates protective film which means that it will last. However, a word of warning, Xylene is a toxic chemical and should not be used by children

Best Paint Pens for Rubber Boots

Last update on 2024-05-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How to prepare rubber boots for painting

Before you go ahead and paint your boots it is a good idea to prepare the boots first. No matter which type of paint you’re using the following tips will help you get the best results.

Clean the boots with warm water and a strong detergent, make sure there is no dirt. This will ensure the boots are super clean and help the paint bond.

Take an extra fine sand paper and sand all the areas of the boots that you intend to paint. By doing this it will increase the surface area and the paint will bond better to the rubber

How to paint rubber boots

To get the most out of painting your rubber boots follow the tips below, you’ll be pleased you did!

Tip 1 – Make sure that you paint the boots at the recommended temperature. People often go outside to paint their boots, but if it is a cold day and the temperature is below the recommended minimum temperature the paint will not apply well or dry correctly.

Tips 2 – Ensure the boots are completely dry before you start painting. If the boots have any moisture on them the paint will not apply correctly.

Tip 3 – It is much better to apply many thin layers of paint, rather than try to apply one or two thick layers. Not only will it look much better, but the paint will bond better.

Tip 4 – Before applying the next layer of paint make sure that the previous layer has fully dried. If it hasn’t you risk the chance of peeling of the previous layer.

Tip 5 – Use a primer as the first coat. Primer helps the paint bond with the rubber.


Painting boots is fun and can revitalize an old pair of boots that you had given up on. It is a great option for people who are looking to stick out from the crowd or going to a festival. If done correctly painted boots can last a long time, but it takes time and effort.

Richard Cutts

Richard Cutts

I've been working with rubber boots (aka rain boots, wellies) in one way or another, since 2009. So, i've seen a lot of wellington boots in my time. I create most of the content for the website, which i hope you find useful.


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