12 Best Acrylic Paints for Leather & Suede

Last Updated on March 15, 2024 by Masha Eretnova

Looking for the best value for money acrylic paint for leather?

Special leather paint is acrylic-based, affordable, durable, and will cover your needs perfectly. There are very popular and lesser-known brands for any budget.

It was designed to stain the leather and adhere for ages. It doesn’t ruin the faux or real leather, quite the opposite, even if you are not painting the leather, you can even restore a bag with leather acrylic paint!

This article contains affiliate links. It means no extra cost for you but a little commission (2-3%) for me to support my hobby and blog. Thank you!

What kind of paint do you use on leather?

  • acrylic paint
  • acrylic-based leather paint
  • spray
  • dye

Acrylic Paint

Fluid acrylic paint works amazing on both treated and untreated leather allowing you to be as creative as you want as acrylic color chars are usually very big.

Acrylic binder, which acrylics are made of, sticks very well to leather and forms a water-resistant coat on the surface. It still requires sealing but the paint itself is very durable.

Golden High Flow acrylics are the best professional acrylic paint for painting on leather.

At the same time, for kids’ projects or something you won’t wear, you can even use craft acrylic paints from Hobby Lobby, Walmart, or Amazon. They need to be thinned (watered down) and applied in a few layers to make them less transparent.

What is the difference between leather paint and acrylic paint?

The main difference between regular acrylic paint and leather paint is the composition and consistency – the ratio between binders and pigments.

While most leather paints are acrylic-based, they are designed specifically for faux or real leather, vinyl, and furniture to adhere better without cracking. They are more fluid and thin.

All colors are available in painting leather, including metallics, pearls, or neon. No limitations.

Leather dyes

Dyes are usually alcohol-based or acrylic-based and are used for softer nappy leathers like suede because they are applied with a wool applicator, not with a brush and the process is trickier.

Dyes are normally very liquid and highly pigmented.

I will recommend dyes for suede and leather even though one of them is not acrylic.

Spray paints for leather

Leather spray paints are more convenient for large surfaces you paint with a uniform color – like a couch, car seat, etc.

They can be water-based, enamel, or vinyl-based. For painting shoes, jackets, and bags I rarely see spray paints being used, and none of them are acrylics.

However, some dyes, like Fiebing can be sprayed since they are liquid.

Read more: Painting Leather with Acrylics: How to Paint and Seal Leather


👑 Angelus is the best acrylic paint for leather

The official website features diverse paint sets!

Angelus Leather Paint and Supplies became the leader in the industry a while ago. Beginners and pros all over the world love this paint. The brand became popular for its paint quality, but also because it sells all supplies you may need from de-greaser to protective finish or thinner.

The basic set of 12 colors is the most common choice, even though you can buy all colors, or additional colors individually.

I suggest you buy via the official website as then you can choose what 12 colors to get, while on Amazon the set costs slightly more and you can’t change colors that go within. However, I will list both options:

Pros

  • All 12 colors are vibrant because they are mixed with a color base, not a white base.
  • They are truly the world’s best leather care products, paint, and supplies manufacturer since 1907 – you are buying from a reputable brand with a guarantee of quality
  • Both for leather and vinyl, denim, plastic, wood, etc – versatility for your projects from faux leather shoes to sofas.
  • Each bottle comes with a handy brush in the cap – easy to apply
  • Water-based and mixable so you can create as many colors as you wish
  • No cracks on your painted shoes or leather jackets – this paint is flexible, adheres well, and lasts for ages. All items painted with Angelus leather paint are wearable.
  • Angelus paint is waterproof once dried.

Cons

  • a set will cost you something about $50 which is more expensive than simpler alternatives.
  • One set won’t be enough for bulk projects. Each bottle is only 1 oz.
  • Some leather painters think they are too thick.

Check their Instagram to get some inspiration: the sneaker designs they post are WOW! A sneak peek:

Angelus Leather Paint - BEST
Snapshot of the official Angelus Instagram

Angelus Suede Dyes (non-acrylic!)

Suede requires special application and dyes so the paint or ink doesn’t ruin the nap – the finest fibers. Most of the dyes are alcohol-based.

Angelus liquid dyes come with a special Wool Dauber applicator and come in 24 colors plus one transparent to mix or do a clear coat.

This dye will work on any softer leather with a nappy texture and you can even use it to restore a suede bag or shoes so they look completely brand new.


Golden High Flow Acrylics – Runner-Up

Being a non-special paint, Golde Fluid often bears Angelus and many leather painters have preferred Golden over Angelus for years!

The reason is quite simple: Golden is thinner which means easier to apply and control, and, most importantly, cheaper.

As they are easy to flow, you can not only brush them on but spray them on leather.

Highly pigmented, semi-opaque, only professional binder that sticks well to leathers.

They have a crazy variety of colors and on acrylic paint markets, it is the ultimate paint for pro painters. I’m a loyal fan as I use their regular and Open slow-drying acrylics.

Golden acrylics are often used to customize leather shoes: How to Paint & Seal Acrylics on Leather Shoes


Jacquard Lumiere

Jacquard is a professional brand for painting on fabric and leather. Their Lumiere Exciter product line is a series of color sets that work on a variety of surfaces, including leather bags, boots, and jackets.

Jacquard Textile Color Exciter Pack 9 Colors
  • the Textile Color Exciter Pack can be used both on fabric and leather for decoration
  • 9 Metallic colors are all gathered in the Lumiere Exciter pack.
  • Jacquard basic dyes will work on leather but mostly for fibers like wood.

They are very affordable! on-sale metallic colors on Amazon were under 10 dollars.

I will highlight that they need to be heat set to be permanent, we cannot iron leather or put it in the dryer so this paint is only for decoration.


Kaps Super Color Dye Paint For Leather & Suede

Dye Paint for Leather Shoes and Bags with Sponge and Brush, Kaps Super Color, 70 Colors (101 - White)

A Polish family business Kaps produces specialized color dyes for both natural and synthetic leather. A special series was designed for suede.

As a dye, this product doesn’t simply stain but also restores – no matter what color the surface is, if the defect or scratch is not deep, Kaps will hide it.

Dries fast to a water-repellent coating and this is why it is good for bags or shoes.

Apart from dyes, they have all the needed products to prep and seal painted leather.


Createx Airbrush Colors and Wicked Colors

Createx makes amazing paints for airbrushing and those paints work great on leather goods.

Createx Colors 5803-00 2 oz Opaque Airbrush Paint Set, 2 Ounce (Pack of 6), Multicolor, 12 Fl Oz

Both series – Airbrush and Wicked Colors stick to leather and can be applied straight from the bottle, but the brand recommends thinning each color with their 4030 Balancing Clear medium.

If you struggle to make paint stick (rare case but still), you can make a base layer with 5092 Adhesion Promoter.

Once the final paint layer is dry, you should apply a clear top coat to seal the painted leather.

A nice bonus is a color range: they have regular colors, Wicked colors, metallics, pearl, neons, cool colors, and warm colors sets.


Colorful Acrylic Leather Paint

Another cheap yet performant craft leather paint is this simple Colorful paint set.

The colors are semi-opaque so require a few layers, dry to a more flat finish, and remain vibrant. However, they are better for teenagers and kids to customize their clothes.

For pros, the thickness, coverage, as well as durability may be lacking.


Smalltongue Acrylic Leather Paint

Smalltongue 24 Colors Metal Acrylic Leather Paint Kit, Each (30 ml/1 fl oz.), for Shoes, Sneaker, Couches, Bags, Car Seat, Acrylic Leather Dye Set for Beginner, Perfect for Airbrush
Smalltongue 24 Colors Metal Acrylic Leather Paint Kit, Each (30 ml/1 fl oz.), for Shoes, Sneaker, Couches, Bags, Car Seat, Acrylic Leather Dye Set for Beginner, Perfect for Airbrush

A craft alternative to Angelus leather paint is Smalltongue Acrylic Leather Paint – it is a cheap craft quality all-in-one leather painting kit.

For under 25 dollars – almost twice as cheap as Angelus or Golden, you are getting 12 colors, a Leather Preparer-Deglazer, and an Acrylic Finisher – basically, you are getting all you need to start painting on leather. Bonus: this set includes a storage box perfect for organizing your workspace.

However, you should not expect professional quality. Yet, some customizers say this paint spreads better than Angelus. I would personally doubt it.

Cons

  • it is cheap, you get what you are paying for and it quickly went from a Bestseller to a Frequently returned item.

Hippie Crafter Paint for Fabric & Leather

Hippie Crafter Paint for Fabric & Leather – good quality fabric paint from a young brand. Works on shoes, denim, linen, and leather. Washing machine safe.

It is a good craft and beginner-level brand, I used them a lot for pouring.

I do think that for the level, they are quite expensive.


FineMade Acrylic Leather Paint

FineMade Acrylic Leather Paint is another craft leather paint, quick-drying, waterproof, and very affordable!

Yet, it is a craft paint, so while it is quite flexible it can crack if you use it on a leather bag or jacket you wear and use a lot. So despite what the brand says I won’t use it on shoes – they will peel off fast.

Compared to Smalltongue it has better results. Will be great for small projects with kids.

FineMade Acrylic Leather Paint Kit 12 Colors Ideal…
  • 12 POPULAR COLORS: White, Black, Red, Yellow, Blue, Green, Pink, Purple, Lilac, Brown, Turquoise, Orange.
  • IDEAL FOR: Painting Shoes, Sneakers, Boots, Jackets, Handbags, Purses, Tack.
  • WATERPROOF: Will be Waterproof after Dry for 24 Hours.
  • FOLD RESISTANT: Each Thin Coat Lays on Leather Firmly, Will NOT Craze or Peel Off.
  • COLOR OVERLAY: Each Color Overlays on others Finely.

Fiebing’s Acrylic Leather Dye

Fiebing’s Acrylic Leather Dye is an unpopular but good-quality choice.

It is also not a paint, but a fast-drying dye. So it will work both on firm and hard leather and softer leathers like suede.

The paints and dyes are of very good quality and have a nice selection of colors that dry to a water-resistant coat yet remain flexible. As it is a dye, you may need to have 2 coats.

However, the price is also in a “pro” range. A 2 oz bottle can cost around $7-9.

And in general, I would highly recommend browsing their website, they have tons of products for leather painting and sealing. All professional.


Furniture Clinic Leather Paint

best leather paint

A 12-color range to paint any leather from sneakers to car seats, including vinyl. It is not exactly acrylic paint but it is water-based polyurethane paint, which is quite close.

They come in little bottles of 50 or 125 ml. According to the brand 50 ml bottle covers up to 50 cm2 and 125ml covers 1m².

If you thin it you can spray it as well.


Don’t forget to seal your paint on leather

No matter what acrylic paint you choose to use on your leather garment, you will have to seal it.

It makes the painted area waterproof and flexible. You can also add a water-repellent spray on top if it is shoes or a jacket you may wear on a rainy day.

What project you’re planning to do and what paint will you choose? Comment below.

Got your paints? Let’s paint on leather or leather shoes.

Last update on 2024-06-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API