Acrylic Paint On Leather: How To Paint, Seal & Lot More

This is the complete guide on using acrylic paint on leather where we have discussed everything about it including how to paint, how to seal it, choosing right paint, prevention, ways to remove paint and more.

Although leather is a long-lasting and beautiful material, there are occasions when you’d like to give it a personal touch. Maybe a nice design on those leather shoes is in order?

Alternatively, perhaps your leather couch is in desperate need of a new coat of paint. When it comes to painting, what type of paint should you use?

There are lots of questions that come to your mind while you have a plan to renovate your leather items – be it a shoe or a couch.

Is it possible to use acrylic paint on leather surface for painting? Well, it is possible to paint with acrylics on leather, regardless of the fact that it is thicker than leather paints, and thus the paint must be diluted prior to use.

In order to have a better final product appearance without the headache of diluting paint, leather-specific paint would be the ideal choice.

Here, we are going to shed light on everything that you need to know before you take up the DIY project – painting a leather surface with acrylic.

As we said before that it is possible, you can do it by following some instructions. Read the entire article and gather all information using acrylic paint on leather surface and more.

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Choosing The Best Paint For Leather

You can use leather paint or regular acrylic paint to answer this issue; it all depends on the project you’re working on. Acrylic is, of course, the most common type of paint used to color leather.

Standard acrylic paints made for paper, canvas, or wood will be far less expensive, but you’ll quickly discover that they don’t adhere well to leather and will gradually peel, crack, and chip away.

Acrylic leather paint is made specifically for leather and should not be used on anything else. These paints are water-based, non-toxic, and far more long-lasting and hard-wearing than the average acrylic.

It’s best to use acrylic leather paint if your project involves leather clothes because it must be dry-cleaned. You’ll need paint that’s resistant to heat and steam because of this.

Acrylic spray paints are another choice if you need to cover a greater surface area. You have better control over the thickness of each coat when using spray paints because of this, and you also get a more level surface.

The same colors that are available in acrylic paints may also be found in leather dyes, which you can opt for your leather creations.

A more durable and long-lasting finish is achieved by allowing the dye to penetrate deep into the leather’s surface.

When it comes to painting leather, it should come as natural that acrylics can also be utilized. The type of leather and how it was treated in the past determine which paint type to use and if or not an additive is required.

In order to establish which procedure is appropriate for your particular use, it is crucial to test first on an unnoticeable region of the leather.

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Why You Should Use Acrylic Paint On Leather

Kids can use these paint pens for their school projects. Also, the pens can be used by the family to decorate items around the house, such as rocks, leather, or anything else that you may like to contemplate.

Water-based cosmetics are becoming increasingly popular since they are safer to use. Many acrylic painters prefer to work with them rather than with a brush and a palette.

Felt-tipped acrylic paint pens and markers have a vast supply of acrylic paint in their barrels, which makes them ideal for painting large areas.

The acrylic paint has been thinned out so that it flows more freely and evenly out of the pen than the original acrylic paint did.

The same characteristics as the actual acrylic paint, such as short drying time and high coverage, are included in this product.

The little felt tip of the acrylic pen paint allows you to apply only a small amount of paint at a time, making it ideal for complex and detailed artwork.

Excellent coverage and long-lasting artwork are provided here. These acrylic paint pens also have the following features that make them appealing.

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Using acrylic paint pens on a wide variety of surfaces, from smooth to rough, from light to dark, from plastic to glass to wood to metal to leather and even rubber, is a breeze. There are no restrictions on what you can paint on with it.


All ages can safely use acrylic paint pens because of their water-based formula; however, younger children should avoid using them.

When using the pens, please have your children wear an apron to protect their clothes from the paint, which is permanent once it has dried.

After that, all you have to do to clean is use soap and water. In general, ornamental acrylic paint pens should not be used on food or drink items, as they are primarily intended to be used for decoration.

Please make sure the pens you use are non-toxic and safe to eat before using them. To avoid destroying your hard work, do not put your artwork in a dishwasher or washing machine.

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Easy To Use

Acrylic paint pens, as opposed to traditional brush-on acrylic paints, have the major advantage of being much less messy; there is no need to clean brushes or palettes; you simply get the pen and begin painting.

Acrylic paint pens eliminate the need for brushes and palettes because they can simply be washed away, saving both paint and money.

With paint pens, you have more control than with a brush, and getting started is as simple as shaking the pens and pressing down on the nib.

Paint pens come in a variety of sizes and nibs, and you can swap them out for varied effects. One drawback is that you can’t see how much paint is left in pen, so you may not get enough paint to finish your piece.

It’s easy to see how much paint you have left in your pen, thanks to a transparent barrel built by some of the most renowned paint pen makers.

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The majority of acrylic paint pens and markers dry to a permanent finish, but this assertion must be clarified. Painting on porous surfaces, such as wood, leather, fabric, paper, or stone can ensure that your creation will remain for a long time.

Non-porous surfaces, such as glass, ceramics, and metal, can cause the paint to fracture and wear off over time if it is applied to them.

You may prevent this from happening to your ceramic or porcelain goods by baking them, which permanently sets the paint.

A sealant of varnish may be necessary to keep the paint from chipping or peeling.

Finish & Versatility Of Colors

Your paint pens’ vivid colors can be harmed if you use too much water in them. In addition, you can’t layer your paint well unless you use paint pens with high-quality colors. If you want a matte or gloss finish, you’ll need to choose one of these pens.

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Paint Supplies Required

  • Leather conditioner for drying out the leather
  • A deglosser
  • A leather item
  • Paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paint sealer

Depending on the type of item you’re painting and the sealing of your leather, you’ll need a variety of leather painting tools and equipment.

When painting an entire leather couch or shoes, you’ll need a different set of tools than when painting an occasional pair of earrings or an evening purse.

Aside from the time and money spent on prepping and finishing, painting a leather surface that will be practical requires a significant amount of work and money upfront as well as after.

If you don’t, your work won’t stand the test of time. First, you’ll need to condition your leather if it’s dry and hard. For leather with silicone finishings, you’ll also need to use isopropyl alcohol to make it more acceptable for painting.

For the most remarkable results, don’t use your “ordinary” acrylic paints that you’d normally use on canvas, paper, or wood with your leather paint.

Leather paints are more durable since they are made specifically for leather. Leather artists love Angelus paint the most.

Some paintings require a foam brush or sponge, while others require a regular brush. Check the manufacturer’s directions for leather paint.

The Preparation

A few pointers can help your application go smoothly. Use Isopropyl alcohol to clean and degrease the leather before painting to ensure that any waxes or oils are removed.

For those times when alcohol isn’t enough, you may need to sand the surface lightly. Applying paint thin enough to soak into leather is essential for effective paint adherence.

It’s possible that the paint will break more easily if it’s applied or built up too thickly. Acrylics are thermoplastics, which means they change their properties depending on the temperature of the environment.

If the temperature is too low, the paint will become more brittle, adding to the risk of breaking, while the paint will become sticky and tacky when it is too high.

The effects of temperature variations may be more pronounced if the paint is thickly applied to the surface. In this case, fluid acrylic and high-flow acrylic lines are the ideal choices.

They can be applied directly to the leather or blended with Fabric Painting Medium, which can be heated to set and offer flexibility and a softer feel, depending on the type of leather, nubuck, suede used.

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How To Paint Leather With Acrylic

If you want to protect your work from wear and tear, here are the procedures for painting on leather with acrylics and then sealing it.

Clean The Surface

Cleaning your leather is a prerequisite before beginning any painting. Wipe everything down with a sponge or towel dipped in a bleach solution to remove any dust, lint, or other debris that could damage the finish.

Prepare The Surface

When it is time for painting with acrylic paints, preparation is as crucial as anything else. Tarps and drop cloths are excellent tools for keeping your work environment safe from spills.

You’ll have peace of mind knowing that you won’t unintentionally paint over your gorgeous deck, patio, table, or counter this way because paint can’t get anywhere else.

Protective clothes like apron dresses should be worn to avoid ruining any fabric in the event of a spill.

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Choosing The Right Paint

You should only use leather-safe acrylic paint on your projects. Selecting a good water-based acrylic paint is essential for a successful outcome on your project.

Painting The Leather

The best results can be achieved with acrylic paint specifically designed for leather. The proper water-based paint for your leather project should be chosen with care.

One single coat of undiluted acrylic paint on leather will be enough. Apply additional coats as needed; however, wait for a minimum of two hours between each application to allow the previous coating to dry completely.

Use light coats and follow the bend of the shoe for optimal results when painting. This could lead to even additional cracks.

Mark the places you don’t want to be painted with masking tape. The use of tape is optional. If you’re be working on a design or just painting a little area, it’s useful.

First, mix equal parts acrylic paint with equal amounts of water for the first coat if you’re having difficulties adhering to the paint. Paint the rest undiluted after waiting for five minutes.

Sealing The Paint

It’s time for sealing the paint when you’ve completed painting. Protective and long-lasting properties are provided by a transparent coat of varnish that is free of dust or grime. Sealing the paint requires either a suitable sealer or an acrylic paint finisher.

Steps To Follow For Sealing Your Paint:

Adding a waterproof sealant to acrylic paint will help prevent cracking. Your local craft store or internet retailer can supply you with a sealer or a paint finisher.

Leather should be Clean and Dry: Before applying the paint, ensure that the leather is clean. In the absence of this step, dust or dirt on the surface of the material will be trapped.

Seal the Paint: When applying acrylic paint to leather, you can use either a spray sealer or a liquid paint finisher. For the most part, finishes have to be painted in the same manner as acrylics. There aren’t as many sprays as there were.

It’s best to mix an ounce of an acrylic paint sealer with one part of water. Using a wool dauber, apply a thin coat of the diluted substance.

Leather should not be soaked. Before applying a second layer, let the previous coat dry for about five minutes. In a burst, apply roughly 20 applications of sealant.

Alternatively, you can use a spray to coat the area quickly. Clear glaze, satin, and matte finishes are all available for the clear guard.

They can be found in most supermarkets. You should check the product’s compatibility with leather before you get a spray sealant.

Get a Waterproofing Spray: Apply a waterproofing spray final to help the paint endure longer. In terms of durability, protection, and resistance to moisture, the topcoat is essential.

These fluids and aerosols are readily available at most grocery and drug stores. Any kind of water-resistant spray will do.

Consider whether or not the company you select is compatible with your acrylic paint before you buy it. To use the waterproof coat, follow the directions on the bottle.

You should only have to point and spray with an aerosol. Allow 24 hours minimum for the coat to dry.

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How To Paint Leather Shoes

Faux leather shoes are frequently embellished with colorful motifs created with acrylic paint. You may make strong patterns and designs on a bright, smooth surface.

In contrast to natural leather, which absorbs acrylic paint due to its porous nature, shoe-quality imitation or vegan leather has a surface that repels water.

In addition, the exterior layer is constructed of silicon or polymers, making it tough to clean. As a result, it will not allow the paint to adhere to it.

In order to get rid of the silicone and grease covering before sealing acrylic paint to imitation leather, you’ll need isopropyl alcohol.

Make The Leather Clean

Isopropyl alcohol wipes are a quick and easy solution to clean your faux leather. As a last resort, use deglazing agents to remove stubborn silicone coatings by rubbing them into the surface until they disappear.

Paint Shoes

Acrylic paints can be applied to faux leather shoes with a sponge or a brush. Implement the paint with long strokes and distribute it evenly around the shoe to ensure full-color saturation.

Each layer of paint should dry for about 20 minutes before applying the next. When it comes to your painting endeavor, don’t be afraid to make a few blunders.

As a last resort, you might use nail polish remover to fix your blunders. Applying tiny coats of paint that sink into the synthetic leather keeps the paint sealed.

Your work will crack more quickly if you use thicker paints or create the thickness of your piece.

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How To Prevent Acrylic Paint From Cracking

Applying thin layers of acrylic paint on shoes is the most excellent approach to prevent them from cracking. The paint chips and cracks because of thick layers. When painting a pair of shoes, here are six simple methods to keep the paint from cracking:

  • Paints of different brands will have a varied consistency, so don’t combine them.
  • Apply the paint in thin, even layers; uneven coats will appear as if they have been slapped on a porch.
  • Make sure the paint is dry prior to applying the next layer, then paint in the direction your shoes flex.
  • Flex the shoe with your hands after the paint dries and before applying new layers of paint to avoid the paint from solidifying in the patterns of flex of the shoe.
  • Instead of allowing the paint to dry so rapidly without having enough time for it to be absorbed, heat should never be used to dry it.
  • Protective coatings are applied at the end of the process. Maintain the integrity of your painted footwear by using an acrylic paint sealant.

Acrylic Paint On Leather Jacket

Using acrylic paint, a leather jacket may be decorated and painted in a variety of ways. In fact, acrylic paint is used exclusively for the majority of the design work on leather jackets.

You can experiment with a wide range of colors to achieve a stunning result. To begin, everything you need is a set of leather acrylic paints and brushes, as well as an idea for a design.

When it comes to leather painting, an excellent acrylic paint seal is essential. Acrylic on leather can fade, crack, flake, and otherwise become ugly if it is not sealed correctly.

Time Required For Acrylic Paint to Dry

You should avoid touching dried items to avoid cracking or smearing paint on your hands. For the most outstanding results, you should leave acrylic paint on leather to cure for a few hours minimum before moving it.

It takes a more or less 24 hours for the sealer or leather finisher to cure completely. The drying time for waterproofing sprays is also around 24 hours.

Some individuals recommend that you let the item alone for at minimum 72 hours before washing it or touching it.

Avoid applying heat or direct sunshine to speed up the drying process of your paints. It’s possible that doing so will have negative consequences.

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Ways To Remove Paint From Leather

Is it possible to remove leather paint with soap and water? No, that’s all we can say. It’s much more difficult to remove paint from leather than it is to prevent it from being applied in the first place.

If you do something wrong and want to know how to remove paint from the leather, avoid using a solvent that damages leather, such as paint thinner.

Use a paper tissue to remove the paint off the surface. Apply a leather conditioner after removing the excess paint with a sponge and a mild detergent.

If the paint is already dry, use the point of a knife to carefully scrape it off. To remove the paint, spritz it with a light citrus cleaner, and then wipe it off with a dry towel, if necessary.

A leather conditioner should then be used after that.

Final Verdict

We hope this guide on using acrylic paint on leather was helpful. Acrylics perform well on any type of leather object as long as a sealer is used.

This is the bottom line of the read. Acrylic paint has several myths, but this kind of paint is actually beneficial for several purposes.

You just have to know how to use them and what are those associated things are required to complete the painting with success.

It is possible that the processes you perform will differ significantly depending on your project. It’s also relatively straightforward for beginners.

Your leather furniture, jacket, shoes, and even purses can be transformed into works of art by following the directions provided here. You’ve got nothing to lose.

Go your hands on some tools and get to work. However, if you are not confident enough to start the job or you have made a mess out of it, don’t hesitate to call the professionals to get your out of the situation.

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