Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Leather?

acrylic leather paint

Can you use acrylic paint on leather? Yes, you can. But remember to learn the tips on how to seal acrylic paint on leather. Additionally, it would help to seal the paint with a suitable sealer and primer to prevent cracks from forming on the leather item later. Without a perfect job that ensures a smooth finish, you’ll also notice that the paint will fade away in no time. 

Using acrylic paint on leather is not new in the painting industry; the innovation has been there for decades. The truth is that acrylic is an excellent fit for your leather bags, shoes, coats, and other materials. When it comes to the types of paints to use on a leather item, acrylic paint comes atop. 

Why is Acrylic Paint Good for Leather?

Apart from its color richness and vibrancy, acrylic paint is also popular among painters for its budget-friendliness. While it offers an array of shades, you won’t have to break the bank to buy the paint or complete sealing it on a leather item. 

What’s more, acrylic paint offers a high gloss top finish to your leather bag. You won’t need any extra substance to clean it. Once dirty, you can use soap and water to clean the surface, and the paint won’t streak, peel, or crack.   

What makes acrylic paint different from leather paint? Acrylic paints are made from a craft store. Acrylics typically form part of the material for making leather paints. Leather paint often comes from acrylic-based paints. Painters prefer acrylics because they neither chip nor peel. 

What is The Best Acrylic Paint on Leather?

The paint market is bursting with a wide range of acrylic paints for leather paint. But it takes a curious and careful shopper to know the best acrylic paint for leather. Atop the guys out there is Angelus Leather Paint Set of 12 1 oz.

The Angelus acrylic leather paint comes as the best acrylic paint for leather shoes. If you’re intent on creating a custom look for all your leather items, including shoes, purses, jackets, boots, and tacks, this combo paint comes in handy.

Made with a non-toxic substance, the Angelus paint is famous for its flexibility and gentleness on your items. Being water-based, the Angelus paint won’t fade, peel, or fade in the future. 

What’s more, the acrylic paint comes incredibly pliable and won’t rub off. Also, it is easy to use and clean on leather items. It comes in a wide variety of colors, including orange, pink, black, green, turquoise, red, and more. 

Highlight features:

  • Non-toxic and water-based
  • Won’t rub off, fade, crack, or peel
  • Perfect for a variety of leather items
  • 1 oz bottles
  • Waterproof
  • Affordable and multicolor

Pick your best acrylic paint.

How to Paint on Leather with Acrylic Paints?

Do you want to stick paint on leather with acrylic paints? Here’s how:

Step 1: Clean the Leather item with Degreaser

You’ll need to clean the leather surface and eliminate any coating, sealants, dirt, or debris on it. This way, you won’t have to face the issue of dirt sticking to paint and disfiguring the finish.

To achieve proper cleaning, you should use isopropyl-based ethanol and rub it down on the leather item. The rationale behind alcohol is that it helps to decrease and rid the leather item of any oils, waxes, or coatings that may be hiding on the item’s surface.

Step 2: Treat the Surface with Deglazers

Sometimes, the paint may not stick properly on the surface due to the presence of silicone coating. In this instance, you should apply leather deglaze to the leatherwork area before you apply the paint. 

Alternatively, you can sand the leather with some sandpaper to achieve a fine and smooth surface.

Step 3: Apply Acrylic Paint on the Leather 

The next step is to apply the acrylic paint. Applying the acrylic paint has to be in thin layers. As already noted, thick layers won’t help to prevent the peeling or cracking of paint. Something like a lap mark on a deck.

When you’re painting, ensure you paint in the direction of the item. For instance, if you’re a shoe, follow the shoe flex and paint in its direction. In addition, allow a layer to dry before forming another layer. This will prevent paint hardening. Allow natural drying and don’t use heat or any other unnatural source.

Step 4: Apply Protective Coating 

With an acrylic paint finisher, you can keep your paint from cracking. The final step is to apply the sealant to prevent cracking. 

How to Seal Acrylic Paint on Leather?

Knowing that you can apply acrylic paint on leather is essential, but learning to seal the paint is more important. Don’t forget; you can refresh old leather with acrylic paint or paint a new leather item entirely with acrylics. 

The type of acrylic leather paint to use depends on the type of leather you’re painting. Both your chosen leather item and the thickness of the acrylic paint will inform the painting technique you’ll use to apply the paint to any leather item.  

Apply the fluid acrylic paint to organic, unconditioned, and undyed leather material as a general rule of thumb. In contrast, the best acrylic paint for leather such as garment, jacket, and dyed and treated belt leather is the high flow acrylics. However, painting deerskin, nubuck, and suede leather items with acrylic paint can be tricky.  

Let’s look at this step-by-step guide on how you can seal acrylic paint on leather.


  • Wear protective gloves to protect your skin from chemical damage. 
  • Put on protective clothing such as an apron to protect your cloth from getting contaminated. 
  • Lay out the work area bedding to ensure the whole place is not littered with acrylic paint. Don’t forget, acrylic leather paint is hard to remove, so using drop cloths or lay-down tarps will serve a great deal.
  • Cover the nostrils with a face mask to avoid inhaling paint fumes. They’re toxic and can potentially damage some organs in the body if inhaled. 

Materials and tools needed:

  • Acrylic painter finisher
  • Water
  • Paint sealer
  • Isopropyl alcohol-based Deglosser
  • Paintbrushes
  • Wool towel or dauber
  • Measuring tape

Step 1: Prepare the surface

The first step is to prepare the surface of the item before you add the acrylic leather paint. Preparing the surface starts with cleaning it with a water solution. Make sure you also remove all debris and dirt to avoid screeching while painting. 

Step 2: Mix leather with water

Mix a measured ounce of leather bleach with water. Wipe the surface with a towel or wool dauber and ensure it’s spotless and free from dirt.

Step 3: Apply the acrylic Paint finisher

Now that you’re set and have adequately prepared the work area, it’s time to start applying the acrylic paint. Make sure you use the most suitable product on the market. We’ll highlight the best water-based acrylic leather paints as we move on.

Apply the diluted acrylic leather paint finisher to the leather material in a single coat and use a wool dauber. The technique of applying the coat to a leather bag will differ from that of a shoe or coat, and so on. Please ensure the leather item doesn’t get overt-soaked in the paint, but it can stay for about five minutes. 

Step 4: Dry the leather

After soaking in the coat and removing the leather, it’s time to dry the item for a few hours. This will prevent the leather from cracking or peeling the paint off the leather. Being thermoplastics, acrylics are sensitive to environmental temperatures and so should be applied thinly on the leather. 

Step 5: Add the sealant

The next step is to add the sealant to the dried leather. Although some consider this step optional, it’s in no way unimportant. Adding the sealant protects the leather from chipping or damaging in the future. Additionally, the sealant also adds some aesthetics and provides a clean glossy look. Alternatively, you can add bright matte-looking acrylic paint. This provides a great look at the item. 

How To Remove Acrylic Leather Paint?

The process of removing acrylic paint from leather items depends on the thickness of the paint on the material and the type of leather article you’re working on. For instance, the procedure of getting rid of the paint from leather shoes will be different from the way you would for bags. 

Don’t forget, leather can be pretty temperamental when cleaning it or removing dirt or paint from it. The good thing is that acrylic paint is easy to remove from leather furniture.

Here’s the step-by-step guide on how to remove acrylic paint from leather furniture. You’ll need a soft toothbrush, dauber wool or clean, soft cloth, and olive oil.

  1. Drop olive oil onto a ball of dauber wool (or clean soft towel) and stained area
  2. Wait a few minutes (about 15) for the olive oil to soak up the paint 
  3. Use a toothbrush to gently scrub the paint area 
  4. Add more olive oil until you’ve completely scrubbed the entire paint
  5. After finishing, wipe the area with a clean, dry cloth 


Does Acrylic Paint Work on Leather? 

From our discussion above, there’s no doubt that acrylic paint is a perfect fit for a wide range of leather effects, including shoes, bags, jackets, furniture, and more. You can use this paint on other leather-friendly surfaces too. 

How Long Does Acrylic Paint Last on Leather?

Acrylic paint can last for a long time on your leather material. However, make sure you follow the correct method and buy a quality product like Angelus leather paint. Angelus is certified by ACMI and made from top-quality materials. 

Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Leather Shoes?

Yes, acrylic paint is ideal for your leather shoes. It will neither peel nor crack. Acrylic paint on leather jackets, bags, furniture, and more also works the same way. So, it would help if you rest assured you’ll get value for money.

Final Thoughts

Information is power. Learning how to keep acrylic paint on leather will require that you apply the paint in thin layers. Please don’t make it thick. Otherwise, it will peel or rub off within a short time. Although you can make your acrylic paint thicker on some other materials, leather items are readily produced. Because acrylic paints are made from thermoplastic materials, they produce a lot of heat and could peel off if not adequately mixed with thickened.

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