Painting Crocs: Can I Paint My Crocs Shoes?

Crocs shoes are loved by many for their comfort and casual style. The iconic clog design features ventilation holes and a lightweight, foam resin material. While Crocs come in a rainbow of fun colors, many people want to customize their Crocs even further with unique patterns and designs. Painting or dyeing your Crocs allows you to create a one-of-a-kind pair to match your style.

Can I Paint My Crocs Shoes

Can You Paint Crocs?

The good news is yes, you can successfully paint or dye Crocs! With the right type of paint and proper preparation, acrylic craft paint, spray paint, and other mediums will adhere to the Crocs resin material. Custom painting or hydro-dipping Crocs in creative designs takes them from basic to bold.

The Crocs material is a cross-linked closed-cell resin, which means the foam has a smooth, sealed surface. This smooth plastic-like finish makes it challenging for paint to properly adhere. However, there are tricks to help the paint grip. As long as you prep the surface and use paints designed for plastics, you can easily customize your Crocs.

Best Paint for Crocs

painting crocs shoes

Choosing a paint made for plastics is key when painting Crocs. Here are the best options:

Acrylic Craft Paint

Acrylic paint is a top choice for painting Crocs. Acrylics are water-based and dry to a plastic-like finish, so they bond well to the Crocs material. They flex as the shoes move without cracking. Look for acrylic paints designed for plastic, vinyl or similar materials.

Spray Paint

Spray paint formulated for painting plastics also works well on Crocs. The spray nozzle delivers an even fine mist layer of paint to cover the curved surfaces. Using light coats allows the paint to fully adhere to the shoes. Krylon Fusion spray paint for plastic is a top option.

Puff Paint

Puff paint, or dimensional fabric paint, can be used to add raised 3D designs on Crocs. This acrylic craft paint dries with a smooth puffy finish on fabrics or plastic. Use it freehand or with stencils to create designs.

Paint Pens

Paint pens let you draw directly onto the Crocs surface. Oil-based or acrylic paint pens for plastic create flowing designs or fine details. Let the paint fully dry between layers to prevent smearing.

Alcohol Inks

Alcohol inks contain alcohol solvents that allow the colors to adhere to non-porous surfaces like plastics. These vibrant inks work well on Crocs. Blend the inks for marbled effects. Seal with a finish to prevent fading.

Hydro-dipping Kits

For multi-color designs, hydro-dipping Crocs gives fun results. Kits designed for plastics or shoes contain special dyed water and spray paints. Simply dip the Crocs into the mixed paint for instant designs.

How to Prep and Paint Crocs

Prepping the Crocs surface correctly before painting is a crucial step for the paint to properly adhere. Here is the process:

Clean Surface

Wiping Crocs down with alcohol or acetone removes any oils or dirt. This helps the paint grip the clean surface better. Avoid soaps which leave residue.

Lightly Sand

Using 220 grit sandpaper, gently scuff the Crocs surface. This sands off the glossy top layer and enables the paint to cling. Focus on sanding areas you’ll paint.

Apply Primer

Spraying a plastic primer formulated for polyvinyl surfaces helps the paint stick. Allow the primer to fully dry before painting. Krylon Fusion and Rust-Oleum work well.

Paint in Layers

Apply acrylic, spray paint or puff paint in smooth, light layers allowing drying time between coats. This prevents drips and helps the paint cure evenly. Use multiple coats for best coverage.

Seal Paint

Once the paint is completely dry, use a sealant or finishing spray like Krylon Clear to protect the painted designs. This prevents chipping, fading or peeling.

Allow to Fully Cure

Let painted Crocs cure 24-48 hours before wearing so the paint has time to fully adhere as it dries. The shoes should not feel tacky if the paint has cured properly.

Painting Techniques for Crocs

From ombre dip-dyeing to freehand designs, get creative with these techniques for painting Crocs:

Ombre Dyeing

Create an ombre fade effect by dipping the heels and toes in diluted acrylic paint, leaving the center natural. Use painter’s tape for clean lines. Rinse to remove excess.


In a tray, swirl together acrylic paint colors with a toothpick. Dip the Crocs into the paint to transfer the design. This gives a marbled stone look.

Sponge Dabbing

Cut a sponge into different shapes. Dip in paint and dab onto Crocs to make polka dots, stripes or other patterns.


Use plastic stencils and sponge brushes to paint designs like flowers, words or geometric shapes. Place the stencil, dab with paint, then remove.

Freehand Painting

Get creative drawing designs freehand with paint pens or fine brushes. Paint pens allow you to easily draw details or doodles.


With hydro-dipping kits, simply dipping Crocs into the paint mixture transfers colorful designs like tie-dye or camouflage instantly.

Inspiring Crocs Paint Ideas

Need some inspiration for dressing up your Crocs? Here are fun paint ideas to spark your creativity:

Tropical Brights

Paint tropical flowers, leaves or pineapples in sunny yellows, oranges and greens for a punch of color. Outline with black paint pens.

Wild Animal Prints

Mimic zebra stripes, leopard spots or tiger prints using paint pens, sponges and stencils. Add accents like animal faces or ears.

Marbled Magic

Swirl together paint in a marbled pattern, then dip or sponge the design onto Crocs for artsy stone-like effects.

Pastel Tie-Dye

Use soft pastels like mint, peach, and lilac diluted with water to create an ombre tie-dye design on Crocs for a cute, colorful look.

Galaxy Night Sky

Paint a starry night sky with glittered blues, purples and blacks. Add splatters of white for stars using a paint brush or toothbrush.


Paint chunky rainbow stripes or colorful ombre fading from toe to heel. Outline in black for a bold pop art style.

Camo Combat

Use stencils, sponges and paint pens to create camouflage prints. Try digital camo or woodland designs in army greens, blacks and browns.

Retro 80’s

80’s style bright neon colors, geometric shapes, squiggles and splatters give a fun retro vibe. Use puffy paint for 3D designs.


Paint black and white checkerboard squares for a mod checker look. Use tape to create clean lines and squares.

Personalized Portraits

Paint your pet, favorite place, initials or self-portrait on Crocs for a personalized touch. Use stencils or draw freehand.

Maintenance Tips for Painted Crocs

Follow these tips to help your painted Crocs last a long time looking like new:

  • Avoid soaking or submerging painted Crocs in water to prevent paint damage.
  • Spot clean painted areas with a damp cloth to remove dirt. Avoid scrubbing.
  • Stuff with paper towels and air dry when wet instead of machine drying to prevent cracking.
  • Reapply sealant spray every few months to protect painted designs from wear.
  • Use touch up paint to quickly fix any chips in the painted areas as needed.
  • Consider wearing your custom Crocs less often to keep them looking fresh longer.
  • Store with shoe trees or stuffed with paper to retain shape and prevent paint creasing when not wearing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of paint adheres best to Crocs?

Acrylic craft paints designed for painting plastic provide the best adherence and flexibility as Crocs flex during wear. Avoid oil-based enamels.

Can you use Sharpie markers to decorate Crocs?

Sharpies aren’t recommended as they will eventually fade, smear and rub off Crocs with wear. Acrylic paint pens specifically for plastic work better.

How long does painted Crocs paint last?

With proper preparation and sealing, the paint can last for years with minimal cracking or chipping. Touch up paint helps cover any damaged areas.

What can be used as a sealer for painted Crocs?

A clear matte sealer like Krylon Clear Acrylic Coating helps protect painted Crocs designs from damage and fading.

Can Crocs be dyed using fabric dye?

No, fabric dyes don’t work well on the Crocs.

Can you paint over the Crocs logo?

Yes, the Crocs logo can be painted over, however it may show through lighter colors of paint. Using a few coats of primer first helps block it out.

What kind of primer should be used?

Plastic primer sprays made for polyvinyl surfaces like Krylon Fusion work best to help paint adhere to Crocs.

How long does it take for painted Crocs to dry?

Acrylic paint dries in about 1-2 hours between coats. Allow painted Crocs to cure for 24-48 hours before wearing to ensure paint is fully set.

Do you need to sand Crocs before painting?

Lightly sanding with 220 grit sandpaper allows paint to grip better. Focus on sanding the areas you’ll paint.

Can you use a hair dryer or heat to speed up drying?

No, heat can cause cracking or bubbling of the paint. Acrylic paint dries best slowly at room temperature.

How do you get a smooth coat of paint on Crocs?

Use thin, even coats of spray paint or lightly dabbed acrylic paint. Waiting for each layer to dry prevents drips and uneven paint.

Should Crocs be stuffed while painting?

Yes, lightly stuffing Crocs with paper towels helps them hold their shape for more even coverage while painting.

Mistakes to Avoid When Painting Crocs

Painting Crocs opens up many creative possibilities, but there are some mistakes to avoid:

Skipping Surface Prep

Not properly preparing the surface by cleaning and lightly sanding can lead to paint that flakes or peels off. Always start with prepping for best results.

Applying Paint Too Thick

Using excessive paint causes dripping and uneven coverage. Lightly spraying or dabbing with thin coats allows better adhesion.

Not Allowing Proper Dry Time

Rushing the process can lead to messes. Be patient and let each coat fully dry before adding more paint. This prevents smearing or smudging.

Using the Wrong Paint Type

Paint not specifically designed for plastics may chip, crack or rub off Crocs with wear. Stick to acrylics, spray paint for plastic and puff paint.

No Clear Top Coat

A clear sealant finish helps protect painted Crocs. Skipping this step makes designs more prone to damage. Use a plastic sealer for best results.

Wearing Before Fully Cured

It takes 24-48 hours for painted Crocs to fully cure and adhere well. Wearing too soon can cause the paint to peel or rub off. Let them cure!

Removing Paint from Crocs

Should you make a mess while painting or want to remove old painted designs from your Crocs, follow these tips:

  • Soft scrub with baking soda and a stiff nylon brush to lift some paint. Rinse.
  • Apply rubbing alcohol to paint spots and let sit 5 minutes before rubbing with a cloth.
  • Use a cotton ball and nail polish remover containing acetone to spot clean paint.
  • For heavy paint coverage, use a paint stripper formulated for plastic and follow instructions.
  • Lightly sand painted areas to remove paint drips or top layers of paint.
  • Repaint using the proper prep and paint methods for longer lasting results.

Advanced Hydro-dipping Techniques

Get extra creative with hydro-dipping Crocs using these cool techniques:

Hot Water Marbling

Add drops of nail polish to a bowl of hot water for unique swirling patterns. Dip Crocs in the polish design.

Ombre Dip-Dye

Spray paint ombre blends on surface of water, then dip for gradients. Try bright fades like pink to orange.

Double Dip

Dip one half of shoe, let dry, then tape off and redip other half in a different design. Creates split designs.

Sparkle Dips

Mix holographic glitter, iridescent powder or mica powder into the paint water before dipping for dazzling results.

Faux Drips

Use a small brush to add “drips” of paint extending from dipped design for abstract painterly effects.

Matte Finishes

Spray Crocs with matte finish to turn high-gloss dipped designs into trendy, modern matte looks.

Show Off Your Custom Crocs!

Now that you’ve transformed basic Crocs into wearable art for your feet, it’s time to show them off!

  • Wear your personalized Crocs everywhere and get ready for compliments.
  • Post photos of your designs on social media and tag the brand @Crocs.
  • Join Crocs fan groups on Facebook to share your custom designs and get more inspiration from others.
  • Attend Croctober fests and other Crocs events to meet fellow shoe art enthusiasts.
  • Display your Crocs collection on your wall or a bookshelf when not wearing them.

With the right paints and techniques, you can create one-of-a-kind Crocs to express your unique style. Bring your creativity to life on your comfortable shoes with DIY painting and hydro-dipping. Your feet will love the cushion and your eyes will love the designs!

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