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How to Tape Up a Sneaker

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How to Tape Up a Sneaker

How to Tape Mask a Sneaker

Painting your sneakers is a fun and creative way to customize them to your own style. However, before you can start painting, it is important to tape mask your sneakers to prevent paint from going where you don't want it. Follow these steps to learn how to tape mask a sneaker so it's ready to paint!

Air Force One White Taped Up. Picture by Graure

What You Will Need

  • Masking Tape
  • X-Acto knife or other precision knife

Step 1: Make sure your sneakers are clean and dry before starting. Begin with a long strip of masking tape, and tape around the base of the shoe, making sure the tape covers the bottom edge.

Step 2: Smooth out the tape with your finger, pressing it into all the edges and curves of the sneaker. You want the tape to be flush with every surface of the sneaker.

Step 3: Continue to add strips of masking tape, covering the whole sneaker and smoothing the tape into all the grooves. Take your time, ensuring the whole sneaker is covered. You don't want the paint to go anywhere that you don't want it.

Step 4: Once the whole shoe is covered with tape, it's time to start cutting out your design. Use the X-Acto knife to cut out the spaces you want your paint to go, whether this is the bottom edge, the tongue, or the shoe's logo. Be gentle with this; you don't want to cut the shoe, so press just lightly enough to cut the tape.

Step 5: Slowly peel off the tape you have cut. If you mess up, you can always add more tape and cut again.

Japanese_Masking_Tape   Masking_Tape_Layer

When in doubt, use multiple layers of tape.    

Now that you know how to mask a sneaker, you are ready to paint! If you are using an airbrush, use light coats and spray directly at the spot so no paint leaks under the tape. Wait until the paint is almost dry, but not completely dry, to peel off the tape. Now your painted sneakers are done!

Recommended Products

Some products we love for this project are LCS Colored Masking Tape, which you can tear off with your teeth, or a stronger LCS Colored Vinyl Tape. These are the best masking tape for sneakers. Not only are these tapes different colors to help separate different aspects of your design, but they will give you the precision you need to make clean and crispy lines.

Thanks to @graure for the cover picture. 

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  • Alex Pop
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