Acrylic Paint on Leather – How to Paint and Seal Leather

Want to make your leather shoes and clothes look new but need to know how to do it? Applying acrylic paint on leather is one of the affordable and excellent ways to do so. However, using this paint on leather shoes, clothes, or other items takes hard work as multiple factors are necessary to consider, including the paint selection and application process.

Here I provided a complete guide and information on how to apply acrylic paint on leather and how to seal it to increase the durability on which you are using this paint.

Keep reading the whole article.

Is Acrylic Paint Suitable For Leather?

Yes, acrylic paint is suitable for leather-based items. The reason is that acrylic paint is the perfect medium for leather products. It updates the leather shoes, jackets, and other items as they are new. Leather-based specific paints are also available in the market but must be improved. Acrylics are easy to use and affordable as well. One thing you should remember is that the acrylic paints’ results depend totally upon your application method.

Note: Read the next section if you need to learn how to apply acrylic paint on leather.

The Procedure for Paint Application

You cannot use acrylic paint on leather, contrary to popular belief. However, this is far from the case. Using a good primer and sealer is the key to preventing paint cracking.

Acrylics are ideal for leather jackets, shoes, and other accessories. However, you must always protect the paint to get a smooth surface that will endure for a long time without cracking or fading. Applying the sealant is the perfect way to protect it.

So, how would you protect the leather from acrylic paint? Regardless of how dense your paint is and what sort of leather you’ve chosen, the processes for sealing acrylic paint on different kinds of leather may differ. In most circumstances, a coat of spray sealer and a waterproof finisher will suffice to complete your job.

Acrylic Paint in Leather
acrylic paint on leather

Materials Required

It might be complex depending on the style you want to achieve and what you’re painting, so let’s look at a step-by-step tutorial on how to protect acrylic paint on leather. Before starting the procedure you need to know the required material which is given below:

  • Water-based acrylic paint
  • 2-inch paintbrush
  • Cleaning cloth or towel
  • Tape (for accurately differentiating border)

1. Start With A Clean Surface

Cleaning the surface is a basic and most important step by using leather bleach. Now, using a cleaning cloth or towel clean the leather surface. Cleaning the leather surface before use is important because acrylic paint sticks better to a clean surface, and if there is debris on the leather surface, the paint layer may not be smooth.

Note: There are many other products you can use to clean the surface; bleaching powder is easy and affordable, however. 

2. Make Sure Your Paint Is Compatible

Acrylic paints are generally denser than paints specific to leather painting. So, it would help if you chose such acrylic paint that you can use on your leather without any issues. The ideal acrylic paint for this type of project is water-based because you can add water to it to lower its viscosity. Water-based acrylic paints stick better to the leather surface.

3. Prepare Your Working Environment

Acrylic paints form a very strong bond with the surface that they fall on. So, you need to take extreme care of the area where you are painting your leather. It is better to use some old cloth or plastic sheet to cover the ground.

Paint fumes can be greatly harmful to your respiratory system. So, you need to perform this painting procedure in an open environment or a ventilated room near a window. It is better to use a face mask and gloves for mouth and skin protection.

4. Paint the Leather

First, try to paint your leather with simply the paint without water. Remember, thick paint is prone to more cracks. You can add multiple layers of coating. But make sure your first coat is dried at least for 2 hours before applying the next coat.

For the greatest results, paint in small, light layers while maintaining the orientation of the shoe’s pattern. More fractures might be caused by thick paint. Mark off where you don’t want the paint to go with tape. Using tape becomes more vital if you want to paint small portions and specific designs.

For the initial layer, combine water-based acrylic paint with identical percent water content if you’re having difficulties getting the paint to stick to the surface. Don’t apply both the diluted and undiluted paints at the same time. Instead, wait to dry the diluted paint and then use the undiluted paint.

5. Apply Protective Layer

Seal the surface after the paint has dried completely. Sealers and finishers work as the best protective items. Before sealing the acrylic paint layer, ensure there is no debris.

acrylic paint on leather

Applying Sealant on Acrylic Paint

You must seal acrylic paint to the leather to prevent it from breaking. Multiple products are available in the market for this purpose; however, acrylic finisher and sealer are ideal and recommended based on our experience.

1. Start With A Clean, Dry Surface

Before applying the paint, check to see if the leather is clean and dried completely. Any dust or particles on the surface will be stuck under the sealant layer, and you might not get smooth results if you skip this step.

2. Start Applying The Protective Layer

Use a liquid painting finish or an aerosol sealer to keep acrylic paint on the leather. The finisher application process works similarly to the acrylic paint. Aerosol sprays do not work similarly.

Mix a small amount of acrylic paint finisher with one part of water if you’re using it. Using a wool dauber, apply a light layer of the diluted substance. Make sure the leather is dry. Each coat needs at least five minutes to dry. You can apply the finisher coats as much as you want. However, I recommend using 20 coats for smooth surface results.

On the other hand, you can spray to coat the surface swiftly. The transparent guard has three finishes: clear glaze, satin, and matte. They may be found in most shops.

Note: Don’t buy any spray finisher; ensure it is compatible with leather, and apply it slowly. 

2. Apply A Waterproof Layer

Applying a waterproof spray layer is essential if you want to make the paint durable for a long time. A spray also helps to keep the surface protected from extreme weather conditions, including moisture, temperature, and water.

In my experience, Before spraying on the painted surface, ensure it is compatible with your specific paint type. Do not go into a rush; instead, use the spray paint slowly by reading the instructions available on the bottle label.

Note: If you face any issues while applying the spray, feel free to ask us anytime.

acrylic paint on leather shoes

Is Acrylic Paint Suitable For Leather Shoes?

Yes, acrylic paint is suitable for leather shoes. Although it may fade and discolor with time, you can repaint it after an interval. Overall acrylic paint works well on all types of leather shoes, including faux ones.

Painting Leather Shoes with Acrylic Paint

How to paint leather shoes may be found in various web instructions. The sort of leather you’re dealing with, and your painting technique may determine what suits your project.

I have discussed the complete procedure for painting your leather shoes using acrylic paints below.

Step 1: Get Your Shoes Ready

Preparing your shoes is the first essential step for a smooth and shiny layer. Using bleaching powder and isopropyl is a perfect way to do so.

Clean the shoe’s layer by implementing natural products or chemicals available in the market. I recommend using alcohol to remove all the oil, axes, and dust particles. Now see if the shoe layer is acceptable or if you need to work on it. You can use sandpaper (100 to 200 grit sandpaper) for a perfect shiner layer.
Still, you need to check if the shoe layer is shiny enough. Also, use a towel or smooth cloth to wipe away the surface so it may dry.

Step 2: Apply A Pre-Painting Product

To help the paint stay, start applying a leather preparation product to the leather surface. A deglazer is an ideal choice for it. This product is readily available in the market and dries quickly because of the alcohol base.

Take some amount of deglazer in the beaker. Soak a towel in it and apply it gently on the shoe’s surface. Now see if the character gets shiny and ready to paint. You can also use a deglazer with a towel for a second time according to your need.

Step 3: Applying the Paint

It is a crucial step, and you must be prepared for it. Don’t try to divert your attention from outdoor things once you start applying paint.

After deciding the paint you want on shoes, mix 1 part of the paint with 3 equal parts of water in a bowl. Take a paintbrush and start making paint layers on your shoes slowly. Once you have applied a layer, wait a few minutes until it is absorbed on the surface, and apply a thin layer of paint again.

Now again, allow the shoes to dry and apply a paint layer on the shoes just like a coating layer. Move the shoes back and forth such that paint is absorbed fully. Apply as many layers as possible until your desired paint shade is there.

Step 4: Finishing the Leather

Finishing the leather after the paint is important. This is because the chances of fading up the paint are eliminated using a sealer finisher. This finisher is water and chemicals-proof, and hence the advantage is that leather shoes remain protective. Take a sponge and pour a finisher on it. Now start applying finisher on the leather shoes. Now allow the shoes to dry and see the results.

 Note: there are multiple finishes available in the market. Read our section for the best acrylic paint finisher to narrow down your choice. 

Painting Faux Leather Shoes

If you are trying enough and still unable to paint leather shoes, I recommend using an alternative way. Painting Faux leather shoes is the best idea. You can easily paint faux leather shoes by following these steps.

Step 1: Cleaning the Shoes

The first step is cleaning your shoes so that they can offer high-quality shining once you paint them. Our professionals recommend using isopropyl alcohol to remove grease, dust, and other chemicals from the shoes based on their experience. Moreover, ensure the shoes are cleaned to their maximum extent for gleaming results.

On the other hand, some people have an issue with removing coats from their shoes. For this purpose, I recommend using a leather deglazer which helps remove shoe coating quickly.

Now, most people don’t know how to use a leather deglazed. To implement it, use a cloth and apply the material quickly from the shoes just as you polish your shoes with the brush. However, you need to give an opposite force that can remove the coating layer from it in this case.

Step 2: Paint the Shoes

Now use acrylic paint on the shoes with a good paintbrush on faux shoe leather. Apply the paint to the shoes gradually with the brush by the force of vertical strokes of the hand.

The next tip is to leave the paint so it can dry for 20-30 minutes. After the paint is dried enough, again, use a layer of paint gradually on the shoes and allow it to dry. This way, the paint layer is enough to eliminate all types of spots and other unwanted particles from faux shoes.

 Note: Applying the paint two times in this stage helps get enough color which looks very real. It also prevents your effort to repaint shoes after a short time interval. 

Want to know how to seal acrylic paint on leather shoes? You must be happy knowing that sealing acrylic paint shoes has the same method I mentioned above.

Paint the shoes

Acrylic Paint is Cracking on the Shoes- How to Prevent It?

Most people are curious whether the acrylic paint is cracking on the shoes. Don’t worry; it’s straightforward to prevent cracking on the faux shoes. Firstly, you should know that cracking paint on the shoes is one of the leading issues each beginner and professional painter faces. So, you need to remove it as soon as possible. Don’t worry; here are some easy ways to fix it easily with little effort.

The first solution is to keep the paint layer very thin on the faux shoes. A thick paint layer is enough to welcome the cracks of paint on shoes specifically. Additionally, apply the paint in vertical strokes very slowly, as the quick painting activity can create spots on the shoes.

The next tip is not to mix more than one type of paint. Each painting has its qualities, so it’s not good at mixing different brands simultaneously. Instead, make multiple layers of the same paint brand.

 Note: These tips are necessary to follow, whether you are painting on shoes or faux shoes. 

Can You Paint Leather Jackets Using Acrylic Paint?

Yes, you can paint leather jackets with acrylic paint. Additionally, you must be happy knowing that acrylic paint is good to use on jackets. Most leather jacket brands use it to enhance these jackets’ shining appearance and uniqueness.

Now the question is how to paint leather jackets with acrylic paints. The first step is to gather the necessary equipment, which is given below:

  • Paintbrush
  • Ruler
  • Paint
  • Stencil
  • Tape

Steps to Paint Leather Jackets using Acrylic Paint

Here is now a step-by-step guide for you on how to paint acrylic jackets using acrylic paint.

Step 1: Preparing the Jacket for Paint

The first and most important step is to prepare the jacket for paint. Use isopropyl alcohol to clean the jacket. After you have applied the alcohol, use a piece of sandpaper quickly in a circular motion on the jacket so that the alcohol can finely clean the jacket.

Lastly, use an old or damp cloth to clean the jacket; this way, all the alcohol particles are removed, which is another positive point.

Step 2: Select Your Working Area

Now the next important step is to select your working area. For this purpose, wear gloves and paint-proof clothes. (If you have old clothes for which you are not worried about paint spots, you can go with them).

Now keep the trap in enough place where you can keep the jacket by spreading it widely. Please keep it so that the inside and outside of the jacket are easy to paint.

Step 3: Creating Design

Now, this is the most important and time-consuming step. Make sure to have full time and concentration following this step. Create a design that you want on your jacket with the help of chalk, or use a stencil or tapping. However, any type of pencil or metallic material that best marks the design is good enough to use.

Step 4: Paint Your Jacket

Painting the jacket is another step that is the last yet most important step to follow. After completing the design marks and highlights, start painting the jacket slowly. Firstly, paint a small inner part to check its quality.

Now start painting the whole jacket using a small brush. As mentioned above, ensure enough time and don’t leave the jacket until you fully complete the paint.

Don’t worry; if any paint drops fall on the unwanted part of the jacket, remove it with a damp cloth and start painting it.

How Much Time Does Leather Take to Dry the Acrylic Paint?

The time that leather takes to dry acrylic paint depends upon the type and quality of the paint. Here are some highlights that show the drying time of specific paint on the jacket:

  • A sealer or pure leather paint dries within 24 hours
  • Waterproofing sprays dry for 24 hours
 Note: You can also wait for 48-72 hours so that the jacket dries fully and is ready to wear after this interval. 
Here are some tips you should follow for quick dry:

Don’t keep or move the jacket from one place to another until it dries fully.
Prevent direct sunlight or heat from drying the acrylic paint on the jacket. Instead, allow it to dry naturally.

acrylic paint on leather

Best Acrylic Paints for Leather

Some of the best acrylic paints for leather based on their high quality and budget-friendly features are given below:

Angelus Acrylic Leather Paint

Angelus is a well-reputed acrylic paint brand that offers permanent and high-quality painting results on leather jackets. It is available in 12 colors, including all the primary colors. This angelus paint can paint any design that you have marked on the leather jacket paint.

The plus point about this paint is that it works well even if you mix it with other types of paint. Additionally, making more than one painting layer makes its usage easy and 100% free of spots. It is an advantage compared to many other acrylic paints, even of high price and high quality. So, I highly suggest using this paint for leather jackets.

Golden High Flow Acrylics

Another of the highest quality paints is golden high flow acrylic paints available for any paint or calligraphy designs on jackets. Even if you want to mark a small stop or line using paint that works so finely that each item looks clear, this paint should be your main priority.

This paint has 10 colors, and these colors offer highly bright painting results on leather jackets. Additionally, this is prepared paint, and one doesn’t need to mix any other substance. It is another painting which is well famous in the market as painting leather jackets best paint.

Best Acrylic Sealing Finishers for Leather Jackets

Once you have completed the acrylic paint job on leather jackets, an acrylic sealing finisher is one of the best things to use. Some of the top-rated sealing finishers are given below:

Angelus Acrylic Leather Finisher

Most professionals recommend Angelus acrylic finisher because of the lower price and high quality of results. This finisher easily cleans off any unwanted particles from the painted leather, including soap and alcohol remains. The best point is that it does not create any cracks and does not rub off the jacket. Moreover, this is useful for the other items prepared by jackets apart from the simple jackets.

Leather Max

Another well-reputed acrylic sealing finisher is easy to apply on any leather-made item, including a jacket. Sometimes people use it right after completing the jacket acrylic paint due to its fast cleaning work. Moreover, it dries up quickly as compared to many other finishers. It is useful for bags, jackets, shoes, furniture, and other leather-made items.

Frequently Asked Questions

The procedure to get paint out of leather seats is straightforward. Just take a cotton piece and then soak it in olive oil. Now use this piece on the leather seat where the paint is attached. After some time, rub the paint and clean it with a cloth.

Yes, you can use fabric paint on leather. However, it’s not recommended as leather-specific paints are prepared.

Wrapping Up- Acrylic Paint on Leather

I hope that now you understand enough about acrylic leather paint. I also covered how to paint and seal leather jackets and shoes specifically. It does not mean that the methods are limited to jackets and shoes. However, these are useful for any leather-made items in your daily life.