3 Tips to Make Paint Stick to Leather – Colorbond Paint

3 Tips to Make Paint Stick to Leather

February 22, 2023


Leather paint is great for making old or stained leather look new, or to completely change the color of leather. Whether it’s used to make repairs to cars seats, change the color of leather furniture, or used as part of a craft project, leather paint can work miracles. However, the acrylic paint can sometimes loosen from leather and start to peel. But it can be avoided. Here are 3 tips to make paint stick to leather.

Why Can Leather Paint Peel?

A primary reason leather paint peels, assuming a quality paint is being used, is that the surface of the leather hasn’t been properly prepared before painting. The paint needs to firmly grab onto the leather, and if there is a barrier between the paint and leather, like dirt, grease, skin oil, or leather conditioners or dressings, it won’t be able to do that.

Tip 1: Use a Quality Leather Paint

Other important considerations for making paint stay on leather is that the paint is formulated for use on leather, and it’s high-quality. The paint must bond strongly with the leather and the paint film must not be so thick that it hiders the paint’s ability to flex with the leather. ColorBond LVP is known for a superior bond with leather and a big part of that is its thin film thickness. Because of ColorBond LVP’s high pigmentation the film can be thin yet have excellent opaque coverage. 

Tip 2: Prepare Leather for Paint

The key to make paint stick to leather is deep cleaning. Loose dirt and debris should be removed with a brush or wet sponge. Next, the leather needs to be cleaned with a solvent that will completely remove the afore mentioned dirt, grease, skin oil, leather conditioners, dressings, etc. Remember, the goal is to remove any barrier between the leather and the leather paint. So, while a cleaner may do a fantastic job of cleaning, it may leave a barrier of its own; residue. To stop leather paint from peeling the cleaner must not leave a residue. Isopropyl alcohol works well, Windex too. We recommend ColorBond Prep Cleaner which is specifically formulated for use on leather.

Cleaning with ColorBond Prep Cleaner

Tip 3: Painting the Leather  

As previously mentioned, applying a thick coat of leather paint is sure way to experience peeling. Cracking can also occur as the paint breaks rather than bending when the leather is flexed. A thin coat is what is needed to make paint stick to leather. Apply leather paint in thin light coats, rather than in a single heavy coat. Typically, with ColorBond LVP 3 to 4 mist coats are needed. 

ColorBond LVP being applied.

A Sticky Situation, but in a Good Way

Making paint stick to leather is a matter of taking time to properly prepare the leather surface, choosing a high-quality paint, and not applying it too thick. ColorBond products provide what you need for a beautiful and long-lasting result.

ColorBond LVP applied to Infiniti Q40 seat. Available Infiniti OEM correct color matches perfectly. See how it was done here