Have you ever wanted to try painting on leather?

Painting was always a passion of mine growing up, and acrylics were my favorite medium. So once my mom started working with leather, it was really cool to see how I could apply those same techniques to leather!

We use acrylic paints on leather. I typically use Angelus leather paint, but you can use any acrylic paints. 

The key to painting leather is adding the paint in THIN coats. If you apply a thick glob at one time, the paint will peel off.

Shown below are the stages of adding the layers of paint:

On darker leather, the color can be a bit dull and dark. If you want the colors more brilliant, you can first paint the image with white paint then add the color on top. Even on lighter colored leather, the lighter the color, the more coats you will need to make that color shine. I've found that yellow in particular can take 5 or more coats to show up. 

Blending and shading with paints on leather is completely different than working on a canvas. Because you are adding thin coats, the paint dries very quickly. I first apply a base color, then add a thin coat of the darker color where I want to shade. This will create a hard line, so then I add a thin coat of the lighter color over that line to blend it.

I hope this gives you some ideas for your next leather project!

- Olivia

Olivia Wiggins


You were mentioned on a Ricky Tim’s podcast last Saturday and since I love quilting I wanted to see your work. The painting on leather is intriguing.

— Joanne Colgate