How to Remove Paint From a Leather Jacket

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Things You'll Need

  • Cloths

  • Butter knife

  • Bucket

  • Liquid dish soap

  • Whisk

  • Sponge

  • Lint-free cloths

  • Leather cleaner and conditioner

  • Small bowl

  • Rubbing alcohol

  • Cotton balls

The hide of animals such as cows and deer are used to make leather items.

Leather jackets provide warmth, durability and a sleek design. Unfortunately, when paint is exposed to your leather jacket, your once elegant and modern garment can turn into a stained mess. Many of the items typically used to remove paint from surfaces can damage your leather jacket beyond repair. However, not all hope is lost and you may still be able to save your leather jacket. However, if the paint remains on your leather jacket, consider hiring a professional leather cleaner to restore your jacket.


Dishwashing Liquid

Step 1

Wipe wet paint off the jacket with a damp cloth or paper towel. Scrape dried paint off the leather jacket gently with the back of a butter knife.

Step 2

Fill a small bucket with 2 cups of warm water. Add 1/4 cup mild dishwashing liquid and mix with a whisk until a sudsy foam forms.

Step 3

Use a sponge to scoop up only the suds. Gently rub the paint with the suds and sponge in a circular motion. Rinse the sponge clean with cool running water when it becomes soiled. Continue rubbing only the suds into the leather jacket until you have removed the paint.


Step 4

Wipe the leather jacket clean with a damp cloth and let air-dry. Add one to two drops of leather cleaner and conditioner to a lint-free cloth. Buff the leather jacket with the damp cloth as you normally would.

Rubbing Alcohol

Step 1

Fill a small bowl with 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol. Saturate a cotton ball in the rubbing alcohol. Alternatively, saturate a cotton ball with a water-displacing spray, such as WD-40.

Step 2

Rub the paint with the saturated cotton ball in a circular motion. Use a new cotton ball dampened with rubbing alcohol when the old one becomes soiled. Continue rubbing the leather jacket gently until you have removed the paint.


Step 3

Dampen a lint-free cloth with cool water and wipe the rubbing alcohol off the jacket. Add one to two drops of leather cleaner and conditioner to a clean, lint-free cloth and buff the jacket as you normally would.


Test the paint removal method on an inconspicuous area of the leather jacket. If damage or discoloration occurs, discontinue use.



Amanda Flanigan

Amanda Flanigan began writing professionally in 2007. Flanigan has written for various publications, including WV Living and American Craft Council, and has published several eBooks on craft and garden-related subjects. Flanigan completed two writing courses at Pierpont Community and Technical College.