Things You'll Need
Water-based acrylic paints
Step 2 is very important to ensure adhesion, as it allows the leather to soak up paint, creating a surface more suitable to bonding. Never skip this step or you will have problems with adhesion.
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.
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.
Ryan Lawrence is a freelance writer based in Boulder, Colorado. He has been writing professionally since 1999. He has 10 years of experience as a professional painting contractor. Lawrence writes for High Class Blogs and Yodle. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and public relations with a minor in history from the University of Oklahoma.