permanent marker with lots of color choices?
July 21, 2014 11:33 AM   Subscribe

Marker or fabric paint that will last well on flexible, heavy-use surfaces? Difficulty: I need it in a really unsaturated color like a soft medium grey or greyish blue.

I want to color two different parts of these Nike shoes a solid medium grey:

1) the swoosh (pic A shows how it's reflective / pic B shows its off-white color more accurately) and

2) the words "nike airmax" on the soft rubbery tongue.

I asked a similar question in 2009 and got the great answer of Dykem markers, but the color I needed then was black. I'm now looking for a permanent marker with a color available much closer to this shoe's colors.
posted by kalapierson to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Sharpies? Allison Freer writes an occasional series on XOJane about what's in her toolkit as a professional costume designer and she mentions them for bleach stains, scuffs, and even recoloring grommets. The last time I was at a big box office store I noticed they had a really wide variety of colors and a testing pad out. I remember seeing grey because I am a weirdo who loves all things to be grey.
posted by Lardmitten at 11:51 AM on July 21, 2014

I would suggest sneaker paint. The main issue is that I don't think they have a color like what you're going for, but I could be wrong. Maybe the silver? And maybe you could mix some...
posted by Madamina at 11:51 AM on July 21, 2014

Copic markers have a huge selection of colors and dry to a permanent finish.
posted by corey flood at 12:01 PM on July 21, 2014

Response by poster: Woah, Copic has All The Greys! And a quick google suggests they are very permanent on fabrics. I'll look a little more to see how they do on rubbery surfaces.

(Sharpies are something I've tried for un-logoing other stuff, but they tend to rub off too easily with high-use items like shoes or bags.)
posted by kalapierson at 12:05 PM on July 21, 2014

I have Copic markers but I don think they'll work on those shoes. The gray ranges for the markers are very translucent. They are alcohol based and meant to be used as a blended set. So the mid gray is only mid gray because there's less pigment and more alcohol than the dark gray.

Unfortunately I don't have any shoes to try them out on, but I do think they would show up on rubber other than maybe making them slightly dingy. You're welcome to try. Amazon has them for less money.
posted by Crystalinne at 12:11 PM on July 21, 2014

Response by poster: Ah, thank you! Do you think I should use some opaque paint?
posted by kalapierson at 12:12 PM on July 21, 2014

I would get a the black and the white shoe paint and mix them to get the colour you want - markers aren't going to totally cover up the reflectiveness of the swoosh.

when mixing the paint, by the way, start by putting a fair bit of the lighter colour into a clean paint pot (small jar, whatever) and then add little dollops of the darker paint until it is the shade you want.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:41 PM on July 21, 2014

I carefully cover rubbery surfaces like this with nailpolish.
posted by quince at 2:23 PM on July 21, 2014

You can use acrylic paint on fabrics and of course the color choices are endless, some people use a waterproofing spray after painting (such as for tents)
There is a Professional Angelus Leather Acrylic Paint, it doesn't crack or chip easily which a nail polish would surely do.

Take a look at Pinterest and search shoe painting, lots of ideas there too.
posted by IpsoFacto at 5:26 PM on July 21, 2014

Check out Montana acrylic paint markers. Dick Blick sells them, but I would search your local art store too. They have some subtle colors as well.
posted by Bunglegirl at 9:35 AM on July 22, 2014

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