How to Dye Rubber Boots

by David Lipscomb ; Updated September 28, 2017

Dye your rubber boots to give them new life.

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Rubber, plastic, and other flexible nonporous surfaces do not respond well to paint. As a result, conventional techniques using using acrylic, lacquer, or other paints will typically not yield long-lasting results. Painting rubber surfaces, like boots, essentially coats it with another form of plastic, causing cracking and peeling over time. Therefore, the solution is to dye the boot with a specialized spray that seeps into the rubber, coloring it from the inside out.

Items you will need

  • Alcohol wipes or degreaser
  • Vinyl spray dye
Step 1

Thoroughly clean the boots using the alcohol or degreaser. Remove any dirt or contamination that will interfere with the dye soaking in.

Step 2

Apply a light spray of dye, following the dye maker's directions. Only spray a thin coating. You will see the original color through the first coat.

Step 3

Spray each additional layer in the same manner as the first, waiting 30 minutes between coats. Resist the temptation to spray a thick coating; runs and drips will result.

Step 4

Inspect the boots after at least 30 minutes after the last application. Apply short bursts of spray to cover any gaps.


  • It will take so many coats of light-colored dye to change dark colored rubber boots that it may be more economical to simply replace them. Dying from light to dark is recommended.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images

About the Author

David Lipscomb is a professional writer and public relations practitioner. Lipscomb brings more than a decade of experience in the consumer electronics and advertising industries. Lipscomb holds a degree in public relations from Webster University.