Since 2016


May 12, 2023 4 min read

by April Quibido

A wife, a mom, and a definite homebody who loves writing about all sorts of interesting things online. She loves fashion, interior design, and other creative pursuits—writing included. She also has entrepreneurial endeavors and, like everyone else, wants to thrive and grow in all aspects of life.


It’s always fun to start a new painting project and leather is a popular choice for artists who want to create something different. Since leather comes in many forms, there are multiple options for them to choose from. From jackets to belts to shoes, the potential painting projects are extensive.

However, leather jackets are usually the more common choice, especially if you want to add fun and creativity to your look. So, how do you paint leather jackets?

Overview of Leather

Before beginning, it’s important to understand the material of leather jackets.

Leather is manufactured from animal hides and skins that have gone through a tanning process, which allows them to be resistant to rot. Ideally, the tanning agents are completely absorbed in the leather’s structure. However, it’s possible that contaminants or other residues could be left behind, which affects the character and aging of the leather.

These impurities do not exactly chemically attack your paint. However, anything that undermines your leather support could put your paint layers physically at risk. For instance, the tanning process could have left acid and alkaline residues that could cause the leather to be brittle and more prone to cracking.

Painting Your Leather Jacket

Now that you have a better understanding of the material of your leather, follow these steps to successfully paint your leather jacket.

Choosing The Paint

There are three options available to you when painting on your leather jacket. You could either go for acrylic paints, full-color spray paint, or a metallic permanent marker.

Acrylic paint is generally the best option for painting your leather jacket. Any oil-based, fabric paints and watercolors aren’t advisable since they likely won’t show up on the leather and will run.

If possible, it’s better to go for acrylic paints that have been specially designed for the skin. Make sure to choose the colors that will go well with your jacket too!

Spray paints also work on leather jackets. However, they cover a wider area so this is better used if you plan on creating an entirely painted look. You can use spray paints to add a stencil message or paint a large area of the jacket.

On the other hand, metallic permanent markers are great for adding bold designs and creating precision lines on your jacket. People might also find it easier to use than actual paint.

PHYSICAL - The Admiral Moto

PHYSICAL - The Suede Double Rider

PHYSICAL - The Technical Bomber

Preparing The Leather

Make sure to wipe the jacket with an alcohol pad first. The paint will adhere to the material of your jacket better if you get rid of any oils, hats or wax coating it. Wipe the area you plan to paint thoroughly. You can even do it multiple times to be sure.

For removing hard pores, use a piece of fine sandpaper. If the material of your jacket looks like it has a cover in it, for instance, if there is a visible light when the light hits it, then use the sandpaper to scrape it off. Apply the sandpaper in a small circular motion on the area that you plan to paint.

Be careful not to apply too much pressure. Otherwise, you’ll end up damaging your jacket.

You can also check the color of your paint by applying it to the inner flap first. This lets you see what it’ll look like before you have to commit to it.

Creating Designs

Now, it’s time for the fun part. Decide what type of design you want to paint on your leather jacket.

Flowers are usually a popular choice since they tend to soften the look of a leather jacket. From roses to daisies to sunflowers, you can paint any flower you want on any part of the leather jacket.

Another popular design option is the name or logo of your favorite band. Paint the name or logo on the back of the jacket, then add other designs to really emphasize it.

There are also other fun options such as a tattoo you’ve always wanted, a phrase or sentence that means a lot to you, or even your own name. It’s basically all up to you.

How to paint leather

Final Words

There are all sorts of ways to paint your leather jacket and all types of paints you can use. However, acrylic paint is generally the better option. If you’re someone who likes adding your own unique style to your look, then this is one way to do it.

Have you thought of what to paint on your own leather jacket? Let us know in the comments below! If you liked this article, then feel free to share it with your friends!

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