Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Leather

While there are many options when it comes to painting soft surfaces such as leather and fabric, acrylic paint is much popular and less expensive. Moreover, Acrylic paint comes in rich vibrant colors giving you many shades to choose from.

However, how well your project turns out depends on the technique you will apply. You need proper preparation and to seal the paint after you are done; otherwise, the paint won’t stick to the material for long. In this article, we will give a guide on how to paint with Acrylic and seal leather materials.

Painting Leather

You can refresh your old leather with a new coat of Acrylic paint without causing any damage to it.

What you need:

  • Water-based Acrylic paint
  • 2-inch brush
  • Towel or wool dauber
  • Tape
  1. Clean the Surface

Start by cleaning the leather before painting. To clean a leather surface, mix an ounce of leather bleach with an ounce of water, Use a towel or wool dauber to wipe the leather surface clean.

  • Prep Your Work Area

Because Acrylic paint is hard to remove, you need to protect your work area before painting. Lay down drop cloths or tarps to prevent the paint from getting on other surfaces. You also need to wear gloves and protective clothing.

  • Paint the Leather

Before you begin, make sure you have the right water-based Acrylic paint for your project.

Apply the Acrylic paint to the leather surface in a single coat. Allow the paint to air dry for 2 hours before adding another coat. Add additional coats if needed until you are satisfied with your project.

In case you have trouble with the paint adhering to the surface, begin by mixing The Acrylic paint with an equal amount of water for the first coat. Give it 5 minutes then paint the rest of the surface with undiluted paint.

  • Seal and Dry

Once the paint has fully cured on the surface, it’s time to move to the next step and seal the paint. Ensure there is no dirt or dust on the surface before applying the sealant.

How to Seal Acrylic Paint on Leather

To keep the Acrylic paint from cracking soon after, you will need to seal the paint to the leather. You can use a sealant or an Acrylic paint finisher for this job.

  1. To avoid trapping any dirt or debris, ensure that the leather surface is clean before applying the sealant.
  2. If you are using an acrylic paint finisher, apply it as you would Acrylic paint. Allow 5 minutes between coats applying up to 20 coats in bursts. A spray will allow you to work much quicker.
  3. For increased durability, protection, and moisture resistance, you will need to finish with a waterproofing spray. Water-proofing sprays are available in general stores. However, before choosing one, make sure that it is compatible with your Acrylic paint.

Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Leather Shoes?

Over time, leather shoes become rather faded and dingy. Luckily, you can refresh your leather shoes easily using Acrylic paint. Here is how:

  1. Prep the Shoes

Begin by cleaning your shoes thoroughly. Use leather bleach and water to wipe the leather shoes. If you don’t have leather bleach, you can as well use isopropyl alcohol. You might have to sand your shoes if the leather surface is still shiny after wiping it with bleach or alcohol. Double-check to ensure that the surface is clean and free from dust and dirt before you can begin painting. This is also a good time to remove the shoelaces as well.

  • Use a Leather preparer and deglazer

To help the paint stick, you can start by applying a leather preparer and deglazer to the surface. This product is easily available and it dries quickly because of its alcohol base.

  •  Apply the Paint

Thin the Acrylic paint by mixing it with one part of water. This helps the leather absorb the paint much easier. Apply the paint in even layers using a paintbrush. Keep flexing the shoes back and forth to avoid cracking. Continue adding coats until you achieve your desired shade.

  • Finish the Leather

Wait for the shoes to dry completely before applying an acrylic paint finisher. The finisher helps seal the paint into the leather giving your shoes a smooth finish. Moreover, the finisher will protect the paint against water and other weather conditions. The sealant might take up to 24 hours to dry.

How can you Prevent Acrylic Paint from Cracking on Shoes?

Although Acrylic paint is less likely to crack on your shoes when compared to many other options, there are few tips that can help you keep your shoes from cracking.

To begin with, when painting with acrylics, ensure to use thin coats of paint. Thick coats or quickly adding a coat over another is likely to cause cracking over time. In addition, you are likely to prevent cracking if you paint your shoes in the direction of the flex coats.

The other way you can avoid cracking when painting leather shoes is by avoiding mixing multiple brands of paint.

Additionally, avoid exposing your shoes to heat or direct sunlight while the paint is drying.

Can You Paint on Leather Jackets with Acrylics?

Yes, you can use Acrylic paint on your leather jackets. Interestingly, painting using acrylics is an excellent way you can use them to personalize your jacket creating a unique look. Here is how to go about it:

  1. Prep the Jacket

Start by cleaning your jacket using isopropyl alcohol. If it is shiny after wiping it, use fine sandpaper to buff it off gently in circular motions for a couple of minutes. Wipe your jacket using a damp piece of cloth to remove any residues left before you can begin painting.

  • Protect your work area

To protect yourself and your work area wear gloves and protective clothing. You may also want to lay down a tarp to protect your floor or work surface. In addition, zip a throw pillow inside your jacket to make it easier for you to paint.

  • Create your design

Tape off different sections you don’t want to paint over or use a stencil to create a unique design.

  • Paint your jacket

Once the design guidelines are in place, you can begin painting your jacket. A small round brush is the most ideal for this project. Apply the paint in thin strokes. Have a damp towel in hand to clean the paint immediately in case you make a mistake. Allow the jacket to dry after the first coat before applying the next coat. Apply a minimum of 3 coats for the best results.

How Long Does It Take for Acrylic Paint to Dry on Leather?

You may be excited to use your leather product after giving it a fresh lease of life using Acrylic paint. But how long should you wait before using it? This is the time you really need to be patient. If you used a sealant or waterproofing, you will need to wait for at least 24 hours after the last application before you can use your item. Never try to quicken the drying process by use heat or direct sunlight when using acrylic paint.

There you have it! It can be fun and exciting working with acrylic paints. All you need to do is follow the guidelines we have provided you here to recreate and refresh your leather products. It is our hope that your enjoyed using our guide.

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