Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

Can you use Acrylic Paint on Leather?

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

This is a fast-drying, water-based paint that you can use on wood, metal, glass, and more. It is made of pigment and particles of plastic acrylic resin. Generally, it is non-toxic. When it is completely dry, the paint will become water-resistant and robust.

The question is, when mentioning what you can use acrylic paint on, nothing is said about it being used on leather. And if it can be, how do you do it and what type of leather products can you use acrylic paint on.

Read on to see if you can use acrylic paint on leather and how to do it. We will cover in detail how to paint leather with acrylic paint and how to seal it. We will also tell you what leather products it can be used on.

Can you use Acrylic Paint on Leather?

Yes, you can refresh leather with a coat of acrylic paint but there are preparations you will need to do in order to not cause your leather any damage. Before you start, you will need some supplies.

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Leather

  • Acrylic paint that is water-based
  • Tape
  • Two-inch brush
  • Wool dauber or towel

There are other paints that you can use on leather, but acrylic paint or leather paint are the best. Acrylic paint is manufactured specifically for leather. You should make sure that it states for leather because you can get acrylic paint to be used on wood or canvas, but it may not stick to the leather properly. That type of acrylic is cheaper but eventually, it will start to crack, chip, or peel.

1. Clean the leather

It is important that before you begin painting on your leather item that it is clean. To clean this type of surface, you have to mix equal parts water and leather bleach, which is oxalic acid. This is not regular bleach, which you cannot use because it will fade the leather, possibly damage it. Use the dauber or towel to clean the leather.

2. Prep the area where you are going to work

It is hard to get rid of this type of paint from any surface so you need to make sure that you are protecting the area where you will be working. It is advisable to use a drop cloth to cover the area. You will also need to protect yourself by wearing protective clothing and gloves. You can even wear protective eyewear and a mask if you want.

3. Paint on your leather

Before you begin to paint, double-check that the acrylic paint you bought is water-based. When you put the acrylic paint on the leather, do one coat. Before you add the second coat, it needs to dry in the air for two hours. You can add as many layers as needed to get the look you desire but always be sure that it is dry before adding another coat.

4. Dry and seal

Once the paint has cured completely on the leather surface, you will be ready to move on to the next step. This would be to seal the paint. Make sure before you move to this step that there is no dust or dirt on the leather surface.

How do I Seal Acrylic Paint on Leather?

The reason that you want to make sure that the acrylic paint does not crack you will have to seal it as soon as it is dried or cured. To do this you can use an acrylic paint finisher or sealant. When you use an acrylic paint finisher, you will put it you did with the paint. This time though, you will only need to wait five minutes between coats.

How Do I Seal Acrylic Paint On Leather

It is easier and faster if you use a spray sealant. Either way, you can apply up to twenty coats of sealant. To give your leather more protection, moisture resistance, and durability, you will have to finish the sealant procedure with a waterproofing sealant. Before buying the waterproof sealant, make sure that you can use it with acrylic paint.

Can I Use Acrylic Paint On Leather Shoes?

Yes, you can as you can with other leather products. You will need to prepare them just as you would any other leather product you are going to paint.

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Leather Shoes

Preparing the shoes

As with anything you are going to paint, you need to have a clean surface for the paint to adhere to properly. To clean your leather shoes, use an ounce of both water and leather bleach. If you do not have this type of bleach, you can use isopropyl alcohol in the same proportions. If after cleaning your leather shoes the surface is still shiny, you may have to sand them.

For the acrylic paint to adhere and the finished product to look great, double-check to make sure you have a clean surface and there is no dirt or dust on it. You should also remove the shoelaces if there are any before painting.

Get the right products

In addition to having a clean surface, you should get some leather preparer and deglazer. Adding them to the surface of your shoes will also help the acrylic paint to adhere. Due to the base being alcohol, it will dry quickly.

Paint the shoes

Mix one part water with one part acrylic paint to thin it. Doing this will help your leather shoes to absorb the acrylic paint easier. The layers should be applied evenly by using a paintbrush. To avoid having the shoes crack, keep flexing them back and forth. Add coats until you get the shade you desire.


The shoes have to be completely dry before you finish them by putting on an acrylic paint finisher. This will help to seal and protect the acrylic paint against weather conditions and water. It will also give your shoes a smooth finish. One thing to remember is that it can take up to twenty-four hours for the acrylic paint finisher to dry.

If you want the acrylic paint to last on your shoes,make sure that you seal them properly. If they are sealed properly, the paint can be damaged by weather conditions such as rain and snow. They should also be waterproofed.

Can You Paint On Leather Jackets With Acrylics?

Yes, you can but as with any leather product you are using acrylic paint on, you need to follow these steps. Using acrylic paint on your leather jack is one way you can personalize it and give it a unique look.

Can You Paint On Leather Jackets With Acrylics


To prep the jacket for painting, you have to clean it using isopropyl alcohol. After you have wiped it down and it is still shiny you will have to use sandpaper. This is to gently buff the jacket using circular motions. You will only need to do it for three minutes. Once this is finished, just wipe it off with a slightly wet cloth. This is to remove any residue from the sanding off your jacket so you can paint. The jacket has to be clean of dirt, dust, and debris for the paint to adhere.

Protect The Work Area

Before you start to paint you should cover the area where you are working with a drop cloth. Make sure you are wearing protective clothing and glasses along with gloves. You can also wear a face mask if you want. To make it easier for you to paint on the leather jacket, zip a throw pillow inside.

Create A Design

You can stencil a design on your jacket or freehand your design. To keep the acrylic paint from the areas of the jacket you dont want paint on, you can tape it off.


Once the design is in place and the areas where you dont want paint marked off, it is time to get to work. The best brush for this project would be a small round one. You thin strokes when applying the acrylic paint. You should have a damp cloth available to wipe up any paint mistakes immediately before they dry.

Let it dry between coats. For the best results, you should put on at least four coats.

How Long Does it Take for Acrylic Paint to dry on Leather?

When you use acrylic paint on leather, you need to be patient because it can take at least twenty-four hours to dry, especially since you used waterproofing or sealant. You should never try to hurry up the drying time by using direct sunlight or heat when using this type of paint.

Final Verdict

Yes, you can use acrylic paint on leather. In fact, acrylic paint has been manufactured specifically for leather. You have also learned how to prepare the leather and what leather items you can paint on. Follow the instructions and you will have beautiful, unique leather items that will last a long time.

Randy CharlesProfessional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years of experience in the painting industry, Randy has become an expert in the field and is passionate about helping others learn more about painting. He has written numerous articles on the subject and is committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information to his readers.

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