You may be surprised to learn that you can paint soft, malleable surfaces like fabric and leather as long as you understand the proper preparation and application techniques that promote adhesion. If you don't follow the correct steps, you're likely to have problems getting the paint to stick and hold up over time. If you are having problems getting paint to seal to a leather surface, there are a few tricks that will help you achieve your goal.
Add 1 oz. of leather bleach to 1 pt. of water. Clean the surface of the leather using the solution and a wool dauber.
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Mix a solution of 1 part water-based acrylic paint and 1 part water. Apply the diluted paint to the leather using a wool dauber. Apply only a light coat. Do not over-soak the leather. Allow the leather to sit for about five minutes.
Apply undiluted water-based acrylic paint using a 2-inch paintbrush. Allow the surface to dry for two hours. Apply another coat if necessary.