Acrylic paint on leather

Fantastic, long-lasting, and visually beautiful, leather is a material that can be utilized for various products, including furniture, shoes, coats, baby clothes and other apparel items. Nevertheless, your leather furniture could occasionally need minor touch-ups, or you might decide to customize your shoes or add colour to your leather jacket.

Is it feasible to paint leather using acrylics? Undoubtedly, acrylic paint is the best paint to use on all leather items and is not just terrific for use on leather. We’ll demonstrate how to paint leather using acrylics for consistently excellent results.

What Is the Best Leather Paint?

Depending on the task, you can use either leather or regular acrylic paint to respond to this query. Despite this, acrylic is the primary ingredient in most leather paints. Although it may be cheaper to use acrylic paints designed for paper, canvas, or wood for your leather project, they won’t adhere correctly and will ultimately peel, fracture, and chip.

There aren’t many paints that work well on leather, but acrylic leather paint is one exception. Compared to conventional acrylic and other paints, these non-toxic, water-based paints are more durable and long-lasting. Since leather products must be dry-cleaned, acrylic leather paint is the way to go if your project involves clothing. Your paint needs to be somewhat robust because this entails using heat and steam.

Spray paints made of acrylic are another choice for painting a bigger surface. Spray paints give you more control over how thick each application is and produce a more consistent surface. Leather crafts may also be made with leather dyes with a colour range similar to acrylic paints. As the dye penetrates the leather’s surface, the finish becomes more resilient and long-lasting.

acrylic paint on handbag

Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Leather?

Acrylic paint is suited for painting soft materials such as leather and textiles. Acrylics are similar to leather paint but substantially less costly. Acrylic paint is also available in a large spectrum of rich and bright colours, which broadens the colour pallet.

Your application strategy, however, will decide the success of your project. Paint will not attach to the material over time if it is not adequately prepared. After painting with acrylics on leather, the surface must be sealed.

Let’s look at how to paint leather with acrylics and seal it. We’ll also go through the intricacies of painting leather shoes and jackets.

Checkout: acrylic and tempera paint differences

Painting Leather with Acrylic Paint

Leather that has faded may be revitalized with fresh paint without being harmed. It’s simple to figure out how to paint leather using acrylics.

The following things are necessary:

  • a 24-inch paintbrush, water-soluble acrylic paint, and a wool cloth or towel
  • Tape (optional)

Use the techniques listed below to paint any leather object. Pay attention to the particular shoe and coat changes listed below.

Step 1: Clean the Surface

Before painting the leather, thoroughly clean it: one part of water and one ounce of leather bleach. Use a wool dauber to clean the leather’s surface. The ideal tool for the process is a wool dauber, but if you don’t have one, you may still use a towel.

Step 2: Prep Your Work Area

You should safeguard your workspace since acrylic paint is hard to remove. Spread out tarps or drop cloths to protect surfaces from paint. To ensure the outfit, you’re wearing, put on some protective gear or an apron. It’s also advised to wear gloves.

Step 3: Paint the Leather

Acrylic paint works well as leather paint. Select the ideal water-based leather paint for your project. Apply a single coat of undiluted acrylic paint to the leather surface. Before adding more coats, give the paint at least two hours to cure. For optimal results, apply thin, light applications and paint into direction that the shoe flexes. More cracks might appear if the paint is applied thicker.

To mask off places where paint is not desired, use masking tape. Tape use is not required. Designing or painting a tiny space is helpful. Dilution of the initial layer of water-based acrylic paint with equal parts of water will help the paint adhere to the surface if you’re having difficulties with it. Apply the undiluted paint to the remainder of the body after waiting five minutes.

Step 4: Seal and Dry

Seal the paint as soon as it reaches the desired look and is completely dry to the touch. Be sure to clean the area thoroughly before applying the finisher by removing any dirt or dust.

Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Leather Shoes?

Over time, leather shoes accumulate dust and stains. It’s alluring to repaint a beloved pair of old shoes or add a touch of paint to highlight a minor detail. So, is it possible to paint leather shoes using acrylic? Absolutely! Both genuine and fake leather shoes look fantastic painted with acrylic paint.

leather shoes with acrylics

How to Paint Leather Shoes with Acrylic Paint?

For painting leather shoes, there are several internet guides available. The kind of leather used and the manner of application may decide what works best for your project. For instance, what works well for leather shoes might not work well for a blazer.

Step 1: Prep the Shoes

The shoes must first be thoroughly cleaned. Use isopropyl alcohol or a leather bleach and water solution to clean the leather.

With an alcohol-soaked cloth, remove any oils, waxes, or other coatings from the surface of the leather. The surface should be made more paint-friendly by the isopropyl alcohol. Sand your shoes if this is insufficient to remove the finish.

Sand the shoes before painting them if the material is glossy after being exposed to alcohol. Your shoes’ shiny lustre should be removed using sandpaper with a grain of 100 to 200. Before wiping them off with a moist towel, your shoes should be polished with sandpaper.

Make sure the leather is immaculate before painting it. Use a moist towel or a microfiber cloth to clean it. Otherwise, the paint would pick up the grit and dust. Also, take off your shoelaces.

Step 2: Try a Leather Preparer and Deglaze

Start by rubbing a leather preparation and deglaze onto it to assist the paint clinging to the leather surface. This product is readily accessible at craft stores and quickly dries thanks to its alcohol-based makeup.

Apply the preparation and deglaze on a cloth, then massage it into the leather’s surface. Make extensive use of it. If the old leather’s colour changes, don’t be alarmed. Some businesses could be unaware.

Step 3: Apply the Paint

You may buy acrylic leather paint online or at craft stores. Any other paint might not penetrate the leather or alter the material’s flexibility over time, leading to breaking. Combine the paint and water in an equal ratio to thin it out. This process enhances the leather’s ability to absorb paint. Maybe you ought to use a mixing bowl.

Next, dab your paintbrush in the bowl and apply layers of paint that are thin and even. It’s usual to observe the oil paint showing through initially. Always aim for thorough coverage and lengthy strokes.

There’s a chance that two coatings will be necessary. If you think you’ll need more than one application, wait until the first coat is dry before adding the second. To avoid cracking, flex the shoes back and forth and reapply the paint as necessary. Repeat the process until the desired hue is achieved. It could take seven coats for solid, dark shades.

Step 4: Finish the Leather

The acrylic leather finish can be applied when the shoes have thoroughly dried. The substance helps the paint stick to the substrate, producing a smooth surface. Additionally, it shields the paint from moisture and other environmental factors (but not as much as a waterproofing spray).

Both offline and online, there are several possibilities. You may select between high gloss, satin, and matte finishes based on your preferences. After application, matte and satin finishes seem glossy, whereas gloss is always gleaming.

Using a sponge brush, apply the leather finisher over the paint in small amounts. Fill in any seams to create a level, smooth surface. Twenty-four hours must pass for the sealant to dry.


How to Prevent Cracking of Acrylic Paint on Shoes

Using the advice provided below, you may prevent your freshly painted shoes from cracking. Although acrylics are less prone to fracture or peel than other choices, leather paint is still preferred in this regard.

The best advice for acrylic shoe painting is to apply thin layers of paint. It can eventually crack if you use it too quickly or heavily. To prevent cracks, paint shoes in the direction of the flex coatings.

Avoid combining different paints when painting shoes made of leather or synthetic leather. Paint might break if other paint brands are used. You should also prevent heat exposure as the paint dries in addition to direct sunshine and heat.

Can You Paint on Leather Jackets with Acrylics?

Leather jacket designs may also be created with acrylics. Surprisingly, acrylic paints are used to hand-paint most leather jacket designs. It’s a fantastic method to customize your coat and give it a unique appearance.


How long does leather take to dry after being painted with acrylic?

Don’t touch the object while the paint is curing to avoid the paint spreading or breaking. Wait at least a few hours after acrylic paint has dried on leather before moving the object. The leather finish or sealer needs around 24 hours to thoroughly dry.

Similar to this, it is common for waterproofing sprays to take 24 hours to dry. Others advise delaying handling the item for at least 48 hours and cleaning it for 72 hours. Never use heat or direct sunshine to hasten the drying of the paint. This might be harmful. 

Know more about acrylic paint drying in detailed post here.

Best Acrylic Leather Paint

Whether you have little to no experience painting or are an experienced painter, it doesn’t matter. The ability to recycle or embellish used clothing or furniture makes painting on leather a delightful hobby. The ideal paint to use because it was made specifically for leather is acrylic leather paint.

Still, it must be shielded from the elements to ensure a smooth surface and long-lasting effect without cracking or fading. Now let’s examine the best acrylic leather paint brand on the market.

Angelus Leather Paint

Non-toxic acrylic paint that works nicely on leather is called Angelus Leather Paint. The versatility of Angelus paints is its greatest asset. With the twelve bright colors in this paint kit, you may design whatever pattern you choose. Additionally, it works well to conceal scratches and scuffs on leather.

The paint is simple to clean after use and may be mixed with other colours or created by layering several distinct colours together to produce a new hue. Any leather product may be decorated with high-quality designs thanks to the paint’s reasonable price.

Golden High Flow Acrylics

For accurate calligraphy or designs on a leather jacket or shoe, among other things, High Flow acrylic paints are perfect. If you want to balance colours or create a staining appearance, use this paint. The paint, however, is flexible enough to be applied to any leather product.

The High Flow Acrylic kit is available in ten distinct hues. The paint is simpler to use in fine lines because of its ink-like viscosity. Apply this paint to a brush or market to create an airbrushed look.

Leather Max

Leather Max is a beautiful liquid sealer with a satin finish. It is simple to clean and use. The sealer safeguarded any leather item’s topcoat, which keeps moisture out and seals in the overcoat. It may be used on leather clothing, furniture, purses, shoes, jackets, and other products.

Your leather goods will be revitalized by this sealant, which dries transparent. Additionally, it may be used to restore and revitalize faded colours. Scratches on leather can also be repaired with the material.


As long as you apply a sealer, acrylics may be used to paint any leather object. The steps you take may be very different from one stage to another, depending on the nature of your project. The technique is straightforward for novices yet.

Just like leather if you want to know weather you can use acrylic paint on wood objects then read this guide.

leather painting with acrylics


  • How much time does it take for acrylic paint to dry on leather?

Although acrylic paint can dry quickly, it typically takes 15 to 30 minutes. Please wait at least 24 hours before finishing it since it will still be sticky to the touch. You must wait 72 hours before washing the item after that.

  • How Can You Prevent Acrylic Paints on Leather Shoes From Cracking?

Apply the paint in thin layers, then wait to add the next coat until the one underneath has completely dried. Since each brand of acrylic paint has unique characteristics, avoid using many different kinds on the same job. Permanently seal the paint once it has been applied, and paint your shoes only in the direction of any known creases in the leather.

  • Is leather able to have acrylic paint removed from it?

If applied and appropriately treated, acrylic paint won’t come off leather which makes it somewhat permanent on many different surfaces. Make sure you only purchase acrylic paint designed for use on leather.

  • Is Acrylic paint better than leather paint?

Although most leather paints are water-based, leather paint is specifically made for use on leather, unlike acrylic paint. If the leather is prepped correctly, regular acrylic paint should work just fine because leather paint won’t flake or peel.

  • Can Acrylic Paint Be Used To Paint Shoes?

It is advised to use acrylic paint while painting leather shoes. Many shoemakers colour their footwear with acrylic paint. If you take the advice in the last section and apply the acrylic paint in tiny layers, it will adhere to the leather of your shoes.