9 Effortless Steps on How to Paint Leather

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Have you been wondering how to paint leather? It might be your jacket, belt, handbags, shoes or even a leather sofa? Yes, it’s possible to paint that leather item, and it can be so effortless if you follow the right instructions. However, before you get into work, it’s important to know the right paint and which color to choose.

I know it’s hard to imagine your leather couch, jacket or belt having a new coat of paint that will last for a great length of time. It is possible but will only happen if you use the right paint. No matter how leather is a flexible material, originally leather is made from animal skins usually treated by a tanning process. Therefore, the good news is that when you paint your leather item, the color will stick. So, how do you paint your leather without damaging it? Below is an effortless step by step guide to help you out.

How to Paint Leather step by step Guide

There are several basic materials and tools you need before you start painting your leather item. This Include:

  • Drop cloths
  • Isopropyl alcohol or bucket and soap
  • Acrylic leather paint
  • Flat paintbrush
  • Bowl/2 paint trays
  • Soft cloth
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Gloves
  • Fine-Grained sandpaper
  • Stir stick
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Dust mask

Here are the effortless steps to follow

1. Lay Down Drop Cloths

Before you start to paint your leather item, first prepare your painting area by putting drop cloths. For example, if you are painting a leather couch, first place it over the drop cloths on the floor to avoid getting paint everywhere. However, make sure you paint the leather in a well-ventilated room or open garage to prevent inhaling the paint fumes. Note that, if you need more information on painting your couch, then check out this video on how to paint leather furniture for further information.

2. Wipe the Leather Item

The second step you should take for any leather item is to wipe it clean before applying the paint. For instance, you can use a leather cleaner such as Isopropyl alcohol to clean your leather jacket or leather belt to remove any ink stains or oils. Simply dilute the Isopropyl with water and spray the solution gently onto a lint-free cloth and wipe the affected area. On the other hand, if your leather item only has dirt and debris, just wipe it down with a piece of soft cloth dampened with soap and water.

3. Mix the Paint with Water

After you wipe your leather, now it’s time to paint it. Most people ask if acrylic paint works on leather. Yes, it does, and it’s one of the best paint to use since it is specifically made for leather. That’s because it absorbs into any leather without affecting its flexibility.  So, how do you mix the paint with water? Simple just add water to the acrylic paint to make it thinner and also enable the leather to absorb the paint. After, use a stir stick to ensure the paint mixes completely. Most noteworthy, never use oil paint on leather because the leather will soak in it. This usually leads to it turning very dull after it dries.

4. Apply the Paint to the Leather

After mixing the paint, dip the flat paintbrush into the paint and start applying on the leather surface in long even strokes. During the first application, the paint will look faint, and the old color will still be visible, but that’s okay. Since the first stroke is quickly absorbed by the leather, continue applying the paint until the old color disappears. Just make sure the entire leather is completely covered with a uniform coating. For example, let’s check out the simple steps on how to paint a leather purse.

  • Use fine-grained sandpaper to lightly sand the area to roughen up the leather purse.
  • Soak a soft cloth or cotton wool in Isopropyl alcohol and use it to wipe any coating left by the sandpaper. This is necessary to make sure the coating does not prevent the paint from being absorbed properly. Also, it moistens the leather.
  • Apply the acrylic paint using a paintbrush.
  • Afterward, continue with the below steps how to paint on leather.

5. Allow the Paint to Dry

Allow the first paint coat to dry for some minutes before applying the next coat. For a leather purse or leather belt, it might take 15 to 30 minutes to dry. Nevertheless, if you were painting leather furniture, be sure to wait for two or three hours for it dry.

Keep in mind, to confirm the first coat of the leather furniture is dry, touch the surface gently with your hand. If it feels wet or the color transfers to your hand, then give it some more time to dry. However, for a leather purse or leather belt, just touch with a tip of the finger.

6. Flex the Leather before Applying another Coat

If you are painting a leather purse or leather belt, flex the leatherback and forth several times before you apply another coat of paint. This is to ensure the purse or belt does not crack later on. So, how do you achieve this? By using both of your hands to pull the painted surface several times during the drying phase and keep it smooth.

7. Apply Additional Coat Until Satisfied

After the first coat is dry, then it’s time to apply another coat in your leather item. Apply again with long even strokes until you achieve a uniform coating then let it dry. Afterward, just repeat the flex process. Remember that it may take up to seven coats to get a dark, solid color on leather furniture.

8. Apply the acrylic Leather Finisher to the Leather Item

Don’t forget, before you let the leather finally dry, it’s important to apply the acrylic leather finisher on the leather item. So, how you seal acrylic paint on leather?

  • First and foremost, add acrylic paint leather finisher to some water.
  • Then Soak a sponge brush into the diluted leather finisher and apply it in thin coats over the painted leather.
  • Finally, give the leather time to dry without any disturbance.

Keep in mind, by applying the leather finisher; you get to help seal in the paint, which gives your leather furniture, purse, or belt a nicer look. Note that, the high gloss finisher is great for PU leather belts or leather handbags.

9. Let the Leather Dry for 24 Hours

If you are done with applying the last coat, put the leather item in a dust-free area and let the leather dry for 24 hours. Make sure you don’t touch or handle it in any way. After hours are over, come back and check by touching the surface gently to make sure it’s not wet or sticky. If it happens to be either, let it dry a little longer. Note that; keep the children away from the painted leather to prevent them from messing with it.

Final Words

There are so many options available on how to paint leather, from blog posts to YouTube videos. For example, you can watch this interesting video on how to paint a leather belt, and in minutes you will be able to paint your vegan leather belt or your bonded leather belt. Furthermore, if you have an old leather couch tucked away in your garage or left in the backyard. You only need a well-ventilated room or just open your garage, and you are good to go. Don’t forget you need to follow the instructions keenly to get the best results. Well, good luck.

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