Angelus Tutorials: Custom Canvas Vans

Angelus Tutorials: Custom Canvas Vans

While you might be familiar with the process of customizing leather sneakers, canvas sneakers are great for customizing too. @sneakerqueenscustoms stopped by Angelus Direct to show how she does her swirl design on a pair of classic Ward Low canvas Vans.

Follow these steps to create your own.


-Masking tape

-A shoe tree, tissue paper or something else to give the shoe structure

-Angelus White Paint

-Angelus Purple Paint

-Angelus Light Blue Paint

-Angelus Pale Blue Paint

-Angelus Lilac Paint

-Angelus 2-Soft Fabric Medium

-Angelus Paint Brush - #6 Filbert

-Leather Preparer and Deglazer

-Flat 4-Coat

1. Prep

Canvas shoes don't require as much prep work as a leather shoe since you don't need to do anything to the canvas to get it ready for painting. Simply remove the laces and tape off any area you want to keep from getting painted. @sneakerqueenscustoms likes to put a shoe tree inside the shoe to give a little more support since the canvas isn't very thick and can be hard to keep from moving. You could also fill the shoe with tissue paper or whatever you have on hand to make the shoe more firm.

2. Mix Your Paint

For this swirled design @sneakerqueenscustoms uses Angelus Lilac Paint for the purple base paint and an 80 percent and 20 percent mix of Angelus Pale Blue Paint and Angelus Light Blue Paint for the blue base color.

Both base colors get a one to one ratio of the Angelus 2-Soft Fabric Medium added to them so they properly adhere to the fabric. When you add Angelus 2-Soft Fabric Medium make sure you heat set your design with a heat gun or hair dryer for three to five minutes.

 3. Paint

Using an Angelus Paint Brush - #6 Filbert @sneakerqueenscustoms covers the uppers with her base colors. Don't be surprised if the canvas soaks up more paint than leather shoes normally do. Be careful not to put too much paint on your brush, the the canvas can soak up a lot of paint and cause your design to bleed. Heat set each layer of paint. Touch up any areas that need more paint and heat set again.

While you can't fix any mistakes on canvas with Leather Preparer and Deglazer, you can use it to clean up any paint you get on the eyelets.

4. Swirls

For the purples swirls @sneakerqueenscustoms uses a fifty-fifty mix of Angelus Purple Paint and Angelus Lilac Paint. For the blue swirls she uses a seventy-five and twenty-five mixture of Angelus Light Blue Paint and Angelus Pale Blue Paint. She doesn't feel the need to add Angelus 2-Soft Fabric Medium to this paint as it's not going to cover as much of the shoe.

She paints on an abstract swirl design using a combination of thin and thick lines for variation.

5. Finishing

Finish with a layer of Flat 4-Coat to keep your design protected and there you have it, your own custom canvas Vans!

More Custom Tutorials

If you want to see more custom tutorials like this one, make sure to subscribe to the Angelus YouTube channel to learn tips and techniques.

Also, make sure to follow Angelus on Instagram and check out our online store to grab the materials you need to create your own custom designs!