Can You Paint Leather With Acrylic Paint?

One of the most common questions we get asked here at The Leather Guy is whether or not you can paint leather with acrylic paint. The answer is yes, you can! Here’s a quick guide on how to do it.

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leather is a smooth, tough material made from the hide of an animal. It’s used to make furniture, clothing, shoes, and many other items. You can usually identify leather by its characteristic smell and feel.

Acrylic paint is a type of synthetic polymer paint. It’s made from a plastic base that’s combined with pigments to create color. Acrylic paint is commonly used by artists and hobbyists for its versatility and vibrant colors.

So, can you paint leather with acrylic paint? Yes, you can! Painting leather with acrylic paint is a great way to add color and personality to your favorite leather items. Keep reading to learn how to prep your leather for painting and what type of paint to use.

What is Leather?

Leather is a material made from the skin of an animal, typically cattle hide. It can also be made from the skin of other animals, including goats, sheep, pigs, and buffalo. The process of making leather begins by removing the hair from the animal skin and then soaking it in a mixture of water and chemicals. This process is known as tanning. After the skin has been tanned, it is then dyed and finally sealed with a coating of oil or wax.

What is Acrylic Paint?

Acrylic paint is a fast-drying paint made of pigment suspended in acrylic resin. Unlike oil paints, it is not flammable and can be cleaned up with water. It can be used on a variety of surfaces, including canvas, glass, wood, metal, and plastic.

Advantages of Painting Leather With Acrylic Paint

One of the main advantages of painting leather with acrylic paint is that it will not crack or peel like other types of paint. It is also very flexible, so it will not chip or flake off. This makes it ideal for use on items that will be frequently used or abused, such as furniture, shoes, purses, and belts. Acrylic paint is also very resistant to fading and staining, so it is a good choice for painting leather goods that will be exposed to sunlight or other harsh conditions.

Disadvantages of Painting Leather With Acrylic Paint

Although you can paint over leather with acrylic paint, it’s important to be aware of a few disadvantages before doing so. Acrylic paint can cracks and peel over time, especially if it’s not applied properly or if the leather is not properly prepared beforehand. Leather is also a porous material, so the paint may not adhere as well as it would to a non-porous surface. In addition, acrylic paint will change the appearance and feel of the leather, so it’s important to consider whether you’re willing to sacrifice the original look and feel of the piece before proceeding.

How to Paint Leather With Acrylic Paint

Yes, you can paint leather with acrylic paint, but there are a few things you need to take into account before you start.

For one, leather is a porous material, so you’ll need to use a primer before painting it. Otherwise, the paint will just soak into the leather and not adhere properly.

Secondly, since leather is pliable, you’ll need to choose a flexibilizer to add to your paint so that it doesn’t crack when the leather moves.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to paint leather with acrylic paint:

1. Start by cleaning the leather with a mild soap and water solution. This will remove any dirt or oils that could prevent the paint from adhering properly.

2. Once the leather is dry, sand it lightly with a fine-grit sandpaper. This will help create a smooth surface for the paint to adhere to.

3. Apply a primer designed for use on porous surfaces like leather. This will help the paint stick better and prevent it from soaking into the leather.

4. Choose an acrylic paint that is specifically designed for use on fabric or leather. These paints usually come in spray form, which makes them easy to apply evenly over the surface of the leather.

5. Mix the flexibilizer into the paint according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This will help prevent the paint from cracking as the Leather moves and bends.

6. Apply the paint to the leather in thin, even coats until you’ve achieved desired coverage. Allow each coat of paint to dry completely before applying additional coats.


So, can you paint leather with acrylic paint? The short answer is yes, but it’s not as simple as just painting any other piece of furniture. You need to take into account the type of leather and the condition of the surface before you start painting. You also need to use the right kind of paint and apply a few extra coats for protection.