1.Clean the leather thoroughly before applying paint to the surface. Add 1 oz. leather bleach to a pint of water to make a gentle leather cleanser. Apply the cleanser with a soft-bristled brush or wool dauber.
2.Use acrylics to paint on leather. Make sure that the label of the acrylic paint container states that the paint is safe for use with leather.
3.Apply paint over a large area or use it to embellish only small portions of the leather project.
4.Cover a large surface area with paint by first applying a solution of paint and water to the leather's surface. This will prepare the leather's surface for the application of undiluted paint.
5.Mix a solution of one part water to one part paint and use a wool dauber to apply the solution to the leather's surface. Apply with long, even strokes.
6.Add more water to the solution if you see that it is not being absorbed into the leather's surface. Add more paint if you see that the solution is not adding much color to the surface.
7.Apply one or two coats of the solution, allowing the paint to be completely absorbed into the leather between coats. The leather should remain slightly damp, not dry.
8.Apply the undiluted acrylic paint with a large paintbrush or wool dauber. Make sure that the coats of paint are applied evenly. Use long, even strokes.
9.Embellish small areas on the leather's surface by applying undiluted acrylic paint with a small paintbrush.
1..Flex the leather several times during the drying process. This will help prevent the paint from cracking when the piece is completely dry. Flex the leather in between coats of paint as well.
Follow the instructions given on the leather bleach container.
Consider using leather dye rather than paint to cover large areas.
Test the paint/water solution on a piece of scrap leather before applying it to your project.
Lightly sponge the surface of the leather with water before you paint it. This will help the color to be absorbed evenly into the leather.
Use vegetable-tanned leather if you are going to paint the entire surface of your project. The tanning processes that other types of leather go through prohibit paint or dye from adequately penetrating the surface. Steps:
1.Use a finishing product or sealant at the end of your leatherworking project. Make sure that the finishing product you choose is safe for the type of leather and materials you’ve used. If necessary, use finishes that are meant to be used with leather dyes and paints.
2.Finish projects made with vegetable-tanned leather by working saddle soap or neat’s-foot oil into the surface of the piece. Polish and then buff off the excess with newspaper or rag paper.
3.Keep your leather products as clean as possible. Dust, dirt and oils will cause damage (i.e. scratches) to the surface of the leather. Use cleaners made especially for leather, if necessary.
4.Maintain your leather pieces so that professional cleaning is not necessary. Even professional cleaning will alter the color somewhat.
5.Keep all leather products from getting wet. If something is spilled on the leather, blot the area dry with a clean cloth as soon as possible, and allow the area to dry thoroughly.
6.Remove dirt from soiled suede before the dirt has time to set in. Allow the piece to dry completely, if necessary, and then brush thoroughly with a suede brush.
7.Keep leather pieces soft and supple with a conditioner designed specifically for leather. Apply the conditioner with a clean cloth, work it into the leather and then buff the piece until the excess conditioner has been removed.
Make sure to apply any finishing products as recommended by the manufacturer. Some types of leather need special products.
Purchase leather finishing and care supplies at a leather supply store.