Can Fabric Paint Transform Leather?

Hey! Friends! Have you ever tried fabric painting on leather? If not, then this blog will help answer all your queries about fabric paint and its results.

Even though fabric paint is made to work with fabric, it does not act the same on all fabric types. Fabric paint, if you try on leather, will give you shocking results because when leather is painted with the fabric paint, it does not absorb the paint, and your design is not much clear and attractive on the leather as it should have been on the chosen fabric or leather.

I know you want to paint with the fabric paint on your leather shoes, bags, etc., as I do too. A few days ago, I tried to paint my leather bag, but I faced some difficulties, and I found some issues that I am going to share with you in this interesting read.

Does Fabric Paint Work On Leather?

As I answered above, Fabric paint does not properly work on leather. It is not an ideal paint for painting your leather projects. 

I bet you have a bundle of questions that are worrying. And well, don’t worry, I’m here to answer all your questions. What are the reasons for the incompatibility of simple fabric paint and leather?

Why Is Fabric Paint Not Good For Leather?

The answer lies in the fabric paint and the leatheGolden Model Theory Color Acrylicsr itself. Fabric paint is itself composed in a way that loosely woven fabric or leather-like fabric cannot properly absorb the paint. If in case, you paint with the fabric paint on leather, it will result in a rough kind of design that is randomly designed, not showing a clear image of the painted stuff.

Fabric paint is derived from Acrylic Polymer, which is emulsified and makes the paint durable for usage in daily life.

The leather is composed of collagen-based animal hides; it is not a suitable fabric that will produce simple fabric paint results better. Most paints showcase their best results on stiff and tightly woven fabrics. But there are specifically designed paints for leather. Fabric paint, no doubt, is suitable for painting on so many other fabrics and leather also gives excellent results on painting with suitable paints. If you’re interested to know about those paint types and fabrics, keep reading!

Which Paint Is Compatible With Leather?

Well! It is exciting to find a solution. The answer is Acrylic paints! Yes! Acrylic paints are the best and most compatible with painting on leather. Painting your leather with acrylics is possible just because acrylic paints are absorbance in the fabric become stiff and show up the paint clearly.

Are you bothered by the question of how you can paint with acrylics? So, I am going to give you some tricks and ways of painting.

No doubt, fabric paint is also absorbed, but acrylic paint’s capability is more with leather than fabric paint. So, there are two things whether you should use water-based acrylics or oil-based. The thing is, a glossy and shiny surface means the oily surface of leather, resists to stick the paint. Leather, if dry and rough, is suitable for painting because it welcomes paint to stay and adhere to its surface. I found Golden Model Theory Color Acrylics very useful for coloring my leather jacket.

Does Fabric Paint Work On Leather?

So, water-based acrylics are best to use on leather. Water-based acrylics are at the least risk of cracking. That’s why they are commonly used for long-lasting of paint on fabric. Sometimes leather is covered or glared with the silicone coating, and it prevents the acrylic paint from adhering. For perfect results, first of all, deglare the leather by using a leather de-glazer and then use paint on the leather.

How To Prepare Leather Before Painting?

The surface of the leather can be prepared by wiping it with alcohol to prevent any damage while painting; because alcohol removes the oil, wax, or any other germ from the leather. Every fabric before painting is completely dried to produce expected results.

Leather shoes and bags can also be painted with acrylics to change the old and weary look of them into shiny and new ones.

Is Fabric Paint Compatible With Other Fabrics?

Does Fabric Paint Work On Leather?

If fabric paint isn’t suitable for leather, it does not mean that it is not ideal for any other type of fabric. On cotton, when you use fabric paint for any design, it will show up more than your expectations. Fabric paint is designed for daily usage products or for the products (fabrics) you daily, like clothes. Because it is soft paint, you can design your clothes with fabric paint.

What Is The Difference Between Fabric Paint And Acrylic Paint?

Here are some major differences between the two,

  • Acrylic paint and fabric paint differ in their hardness and softness. Acrylic paints are hard, while fabric paints are soft.
  • Acrylic paint can work on synthetic fibers e.g., faux leather, as well as on natural fabrics, but fabric paint can only be ideal for natural fabrics, e.g., silk.
  • Fabric paint needs to be fixed by using iron or high temperature so that there is no risk of lifting off, but acrylic paint doesn’t need it.
  • You can use fabric paint for wearing clothes because it does not make your fabric stiff. In contrast, acrylic paint is not recommended because it makes the fabric hard, but both are fast-drying paints.


To sum up the whole discussion, fabric paint is not ideal for working on leather because leather and fabric paint compositions are incompatible with each other. Acrylic paint works best while painting leather, either faux leather (synthetic ) or (natural) traditional leather. Leather shoes and bags can also be painted with acrylics. Fabric paint is suitable for natural fabrics like cotton, silk, etc., because it doesn’t affect the texture of the fabric and keeps daily usage products soft and wearable, while acrylic paint cannot. So, the best to paint leather is acrylic paint and try fabric paint on natural materials.

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