Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Leather? Prime – Paint – Seal

Are you done with wearing the same shoes and want to redesign them instead of spending on new ones? Do you wish to make your purse, wallet, and bag attractive or add a spark to your sofa set?

No matter what leather item you have, acrylic paint will never disappoint you. But using the paint on leather the right way to get promising results needs guidance. No worries, the post will direct you step by step to prime, paint, and seal any leather item. 

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Leather?
Yes, you can use acrylic paint on leather shoes, jackets, purses, sofas, and other items. The paint gives a permanent, long-lasting, durable, and compelling finish as long as you know how to use the dye on leather. 

Which Paint Is Good For Leather?

Acrylic paint is an affordable choice if you want to colour or design your leather items. Moreover, it is effective on both faux and genuine leather. However, another dye is known as acrylic leather paint, specifically synthesised to be used on leather surfaces. It is costly and needs more expertise and preparation as compared. 

How To Use Acrylic Paint On Leather Items?

Let’s come to the point and be straightforward. There are three significant steps to paint leather for successful results and durability. I’ll go through these steps in sequence and detail so that you don’t get confused.

  1. Priming
  2. Painting
  3. Sealing

How To Prime Leather Items?

Priming a surface before applying paint is optional, but believe me, it is the step that decides many factors and the success of your drawings, designs, and decorations with acrylic paint. Below is the complete procedure to prime leather.

Supplies Needed


Step 1: Clean the Leather Surface

Prepare the surface properly to accept the primer and paint. Clean the leather item with alcohol and deglaze. Alcohol will remove dust, dirt, grease, and oil content, while deglazed is a chemical to remove the upper coating of leather. 

The manufacturing factories do this coating to protect the leather from stains and damage. You will need to get rid of this coating to make the primer and paint stick to the leather surface strongly.

Step 2: Mark Sections On Leather

Mark sections on the leather that you want to paint and prime with the help of a pencil. You can draw a rough design as well. It will give you an idea of how much area you need with the primer.

Step 3: Apply Primer To Leather

Take a small amount of the primer in a bowl and mix with a stirrer. Dip your fine-haired brush into the bowl and begin priming the leather surface marked with a pencil. A single thin layer is enough, as leather is already sticky to acrylic paint. 

Step 4: Allow To Dry

Allow the leather surface to get dry in the air. The primer may take up to 2 hours to be fully hard and evaporate water. Proceed to paint after drying. 

How To Paint Leather Items? Step By Step

Painting leather is the second stage after priming. There are two things you can go for. Simple painting and colouring the leather items or drawing different designs, characters, or shapes on the surface. Here is how you can do it.

Step 1: Sand The Primed Surface

Sometimes the primed surface gets a bump or becomes uneven, which needs to be sanded down with ultra-fine sandpaper. Sanding provides a smooth and adhesive base for acrylic paint. 

Step 2: Pour Acrylic Paint Into the Bowl

Take your favourite acrylic colours and pour them into an empty bowl. You can blend two or more colours for new colour tones. You can add paint thinner to the bowl if you want to thin down the acrylic paint.  

Step 3: Begin Painting the Leather Surface

Take a brush and dip it into the paint bowl. Begin applying the paint to the primed sections. I recommend you apply the dye in thin but multiple coats.

Provide enough time for drying to touch between the successive layers. Leave the surface for drying after you’re done with painting. 

If you want to reduce the shine of the final surface, you may try out sanding lightly or make the acrylic paint matte before application.

Step 4: Seal Painted Leather

It is one of the most crucial steps to getting a finish of your choice. It is the reason why I’ve explained it in detail below. 

How To Seal Acrylic Paint On Leather Items?

Sealing the paint on leather items is necessary for adhesion and a smooth and glitter finish. Moreover, it sticks the colour to the surface and provides resistance. Here is how you can seal acrylic paint on leather items. 

  • You can choose between a spray sealant and a brush-on sealer. I recommend brushing on sealant as it is more controllable. 
  • Take some sealant in an empty cup and mix well to make it consistent. You can also thin down the sealant by mixing a thinner. 
  • Start applying it over the painted leather. Keep a gentle hand and cover the surface thoroughly.  
  • Leave the sealed leather surface for drying. Two to three hours are enough to get your surface dry. 
  • Congrats, you’re done! 

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Leather Shoes?

Acrylic paint is an excellent option to be used on leather shoes. You can renew your aged joggers by painting and designing them. You can add a spark of colour to your sneakers with acrylic. The process is relatively easy and simple. 

But how to paint leather shoes with acrylic? It is not rocket science; even a beginner can do it if he has the supplies and basic guidance about painting shoes especially while dealing with leather materials. I’ve explained the procedure above. 

How To Seal Acrylic Paint On Leather Shoes? 

You can seal acrylic paint on leather shoes by using a clear sealant spray or brush on the sealer. It is pretty simple and comfortable. Apply the finisher or sealer over a completely dried painted surface in 2-3 thin layers with the help of a flat brush. Sealing acrylic paint on leather shoes helps prevent cracks.

If you’re going for spray sealant, hold it at a suitable distance from the leather surface and press the piston gently. Keep moving the shoes in front of the coming vapours until they are covered entirely.

Make sure you wear a mask and goggles to protect your eyes, mouth, and nose. 

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Leather Jackets?

Yes, Acrylic paint can be used on leather jackets. The colour is sometimes used by manufacturers to produce customised designs and names on jackets. You can do it at home and give a new look to your biker jacket or a casual one. 

Some painting ideas on leather jackets include a skull or wings on the back side, lettering or naming, logos, branding, and detailing. The best way is to draw a light design with a marker or pencil and then prime, paint and seal the dye.   

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On a Leather Sofa?

Yes, acrylic paint can be used to colour your sofa set. You’ll need some preparations, like removing the silicon coat on the leather with a deglazer and washing the surface with alcohol. 

After then, you can apply the paint in the form of a sprayer to save you time. Moreover, the sprayer is suitable for covering cracks in oldened leather. 

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Leather Purse And Bags?

Acrylic paint is good to use on leather purses and bags. Your bag and purse are part of your personality. If you’re done with the same colour, why don’t you change it using acrylics? Just a few affordable supplies from the nearby store and guidance can help you renew your leather bags for your kids. 

You can also read: Can you use acrylic paint on a phone case?


What can I use to seal acrylic paint on leather?

To seal acrylic paint on leather items, you can use a clear acrylic sealant available in spray and brush-on forms. A varnish-like polyurethane can be used too as a sealer.

Will acrylic paint crack on leather? 

Unfortunately, acrylic paint cracks on leather with time, but sealing the dye and using a base coat of primer will enhance the paint’s lifespan. Moreover, applying the dye in thin coats also prevents cracking. 

What paint to use on leather shoes?

Acrylic paint is an excellent choice to use on leather shoes if you’re looking for a budget-friendly, durable, and easy-to-use dye. 


I hope you are well up on whether acrylic paint can be used on leather. I suggest you try the painting once on your aged leather shoes, jacket, bags, etc. When you’re confident and get the expected results, you can alter new leather items too. 

Please leave a comment below for suggestions, queries, and appreciation. Thank You for reading!  

Jose Scott

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