To answer this question, first, we need to understand what painting leather actually means. People might get confused between dyeing and painting a leather accessory but these are two totally different things. Painting on leather is a supercool process that can totally transform your mediocre leather accessory and give it a trendy twist. You can literally paint anything; from shoes to clothing, to furniture, to car seats, however, this process is not for all kinds of leather. The way leather reacts to the paint may vary depending on its grade and final finishing. It’s important to deglaze the leather to get rid of the finishing for the paint to set better and have an even texture.
After regular use, when a leather couch starts to show signs of tearing and fading, some people buy a new one, others try polishing it but some creative ones paint it. Nonetheless, this exciting yet cheap process of turning your leather accessory into a masterpiece is worth a shot. We recommend that as a beginner, you should try it on a smaller piece i.e. a wallet or a keychain. Let’s go through some of the guidelines one must keep in mind while painting leather.
Tools Needed For Leather Painting
For a chef, the right kind of knives can elevate and enhance the overall taste and look of the dish. For a designer, the right set of scissors and sewing machine can take the dress to whole new heights. Similarly, for a leather painter, the right tools are absolutely necessary for an exquisite outcome. They are the key elements for success and will make the application of paint much more effective and smooth.
It is often said that no matter how good is your leather jacket, unless and until it’s not a right fit for you, it is of no use. Basically, your extraordinary painting skills won’t matter if the wrong tools mess up the final product. Hence, each and every step of leather painting is important and should be paid proper undivided attention. Here’s a list of tools that you need to have before getting started with the painting;
- Make sure that you use leather paints specially made for leather products. Any other kind of paint can be damaging and may not hold on for a longer period of time.
- Use a leather deglaze to rid of leather finishing. You can get your hands on a good one i.e. Fieblings Deglazer online as well as at a store around the corner. You can also use other ingredients such as lemon juice or rubbing alcohol but be careful because they might cause irreparable damage.
- To apply the deglaze solution, you’re gonna have to use cotton pads or a soft piece of cotton cloth. Use the same pads for finishing the leather at the end of the process.
- The brush or brushes you’re going to need for your project may vary in size depending on your leather accessory. You may get by with one brush but it’s better to have a spare brush handy just in case.
- A finishing agent is an essential element when it comes to leather paint to seal and protect the strokes.
- You may or may not be interested in waterproofing the leather accessory at the end to keep it protected in case of water exposure.
- Use masking tape to cover the areas you want to leave out while painting. This can help protect the leather from any smudging stains.
Steps Of Painting Leather
Before you start with the painting, there are a few pre-ops that need to be taken care of for a better outcome. Each and every step is crucial and holds great importance when it comes to the tone and texture of your final leather product. Firstly, get your tools ready and choose a table or a wooden floor with a smooth surface as your base for this project. Clean the leather to get rid of any dust or solid particles using a paper towel or cotton cloth. As mentioned above, the next would be to get rid of the finishing using de-glazer.
Let it rest for new minutes to dry completely while you get your paints ready. Remember, don't apply the paint directly on leather, instead, use a mixing tray to make sure that the color is right and the consistency is not too thick. If you’re aiming to paint a specific shape, it’s better to draw it using a pencil and protect the rest of the spots using tape. Finally, apply a thin layer of paint and let it dry naturally for about 24 hours.
Leather Care After Painting
Don't call it a day after applying paint on your leather, if you want to make it last for a long time, make to apply the finishing agent. Depending on the type of leather and paint you have just applied on it, the finishing agent may be different. Pick the right type to ensure smooth texture and even tone. Apply a thin coat and let it dry for at least 24 hours before using your painted leather accessory.