Acrylic paint on leather (How to Apply & Seal)

Acrylic paints have been used for many years to customize leather items due to their versatility and wide range of colors and shades.

In fact, in one of our previous articles, we suggested using acrylic paint as one of the best ways to fix your peeling leather furniture.

So if you have a leather item that needs a little touch, consider using acrylic paints.

In this article, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide on how to apply and seal acrylic paint on leather. We’ll also suggest some of the best acrylic paints you should consider for your leather projects.

can you use acrylic paint on leather?

Does acrylic paint work on leather?

Yes, acrylic paint works quite well on leather whether real or faux. It is commonly used for crafting as well as other non-leather projects since it is available in a wide range of colors and is relatively inexpensive.

Which acrylic paint for leather should you use?

There is a common misconception that acrylic paint is not suitable for leather.

This of course is not true because acrylic paint is specially designed to be used on leather items. It is also easy to use and lasts longer than normal paint.

So which one should you get?

There is no definitive answer to this question since there are many factors to consider when choosing acrylic paint for leather. Some of these include the type of leather you are working with, the desired finish, and your personal preference.

That said, some acrylic paints that may be suitable for leather include;

What I like about these three types of acrylic paints is that they dry quickly and are quite flexible. Also, they do not peel or crack after drying.

Additionally, they do not contain hazardous chemicals since they are water-based.

If you are like me, your nose is probably very sensitive to nasty smells. So the fact that the above acrylic paints don’t have a strong odor is a plus.

Furthermore, they can be used on any leather surface and they come in a variety of colors to match your desired color to restore your leather items.

How to paint leather with acrylic paint properly

Acrylic paints are a lot easier to use on leather than normal paints but you need to do it right to achieve the desired results.

So we prepared the following step-by-step guide for you.

Step 1: Prepare your leather item

The first step is to prepare the leather item you want to paint. You’ll want to make sure the leather is clean and free of any dirt or debris, which can cause an inconsistent surface after painting.

Also, it’s important that you sand down the surface of the leather using 100-200 grit sandpaper so that the paint will have something to grip onto. This will also help to remove residue especially if the leather is peeled.

Additionally, you will need to remove any silicone coating, wax, or grease on the leather surface using isopropyl alcohol.

You can also use a leather deglazer to strip off the finish or any top coat on the leather surface while restoring its original softness.

Step 2: Test the acrylic paint

The second step is to test the paint on a small inconspicuous part of your leather item. This is to make sure that the paint is right for the type of leather you have.

If it adheres properly to the leather without causing any damage, then move on to the next step.

Step 3: Painting the leather

The painting should be done one coat at a time to get the best results.

Some people prefer to prime the leather first to ensure the paint adheres to the surface better. But this might not be necessary since you have already sanded and stripped the finish as required.

If you opt to prime the surface, you can purchase a specialized primer or simply dilute the acrylic paint to use it as an undercoat and let it dry. If you don’t want to prime, just go ahead and start painting.

Acrylic paints meant for leather do not need to be diluted since they have the right consistency; so just apply the first coat. Leave it to dry before applying the second coat.

We normally apply a maximum of two coats because too many layers cause the paint to crack after a while. Keep in mind that you need to apply even coats of paint so that the leather doesn’t get too stiff.

You can also add patterns or designs that you desire to enhance the appearance of your items.

Step 4: Sealing

Once done with painting, you need to seal your leather item for that smooth and seamless final look.

The sealant adds a protective finish over the painted surface to prevent cracking and peeling over time.

Depending on the kind of look you want, you can choose matt, high gloss, gloss, satin, or deep matt sealant finish for your leather.

How to seal acrylic paint on leather 

Sealing your leather after painting or dyeing is a great way to protect your painted designs and prevent the paint from coming off, peeling off, or fading.

Here is a step-by-step guide to follow on how to do it properly:

1. Wait for the acrylic paint to dry completely before sealing. This usually takes around 24 hours.

2. Choose a sealant that is specifically designed for leather. Some popular options include acrylic sealant, leather finish, or leather sealant. Make sure to read the label carefully to ensure that the product is suitable for use on acrylic paint.

3. Apply the sealant in a thin and even layer over the painted surface using a soft-bristled brush or a foam brush. Make sure to apply the sealant in a well-ventilated area and to wear protective gloves.

4. Allow the sealant to dry completely according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This may take several hours.

5. If desired, apply a second coat of sealant to provide extra protection.

6. Once the sealant is completely dry, buff the surface with a soft cloth to remove any excess sealant and give the painted surface a shiny finish.

FAQs about how to paint on leather with acrylic paint 

Will acrylic paint crack on leather?

Acrylic paint can crack on leather if it is applied too thickly or if the leather is flexible and the paint cannot move with it. It is important to prepare the leather properly and to use a flexible acrylic paint designed for use on leather to minimize the risk of cracking. Additionally, sealing the acrylic paint with a leather sealant can help to protect it from cracking over time.

What can I use to seal acrylic paint on leather?

You can use a sealant specifically designed for use on leather, such as an acrylic sealant, leather finish, or leather sealant, to seal acrylic paint on leather. These products are formulated to protect the paint and prevent it from peeling or fading over time.

How do you get acrylic paint to stick to leather?

To get acrylic paint to stick to leather, it is important to prepare the leather surface properly before applying the paint. Ensure the leather surface is clean and completely dry or use sandpaper or a deglaze to roughen the surface in order to remove any remaining dirt or oils. Using a flexible acrylic paint specifically designed for use on leather can also help ensure good adhesion.

Can you use regular acrylic paint on faux leather?

Yes, you can use regular acrylic paint on faux leather. However, the adhesion can vary depending on the quality of the faux leather and the type of paint used.

It is also important to note that while regular acrylic paint can adhere to faux leather, it may not be as durable or long-lasting as using paint specifically formulated for use on faux leather or vinyl.

Using a flexible acrylic paint designed for use on faux leather, along with proper surface preparation, can help ensure good adhesion and durability of the paint


We hope this article has answered your question regarding whether you can use acrylic paint on leather.

Acrylic edge paint is a great option for leather because it’s specially designed for that purpose. It is also affordable, durable, and available in a wide range of colors that can match any leather color.

Additionally, it dries fast and is easy to work since it does not need to be diluted. So if you have a leather project, go ahead and give acrylic paint a try.

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