How to Paint a Leather Belt

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Belts are a great accessory that can complete any outfit. These days, people are wearing belts with dresses, shorts and skirts in addition to pants. The more unique the belt, the more style and flair it adds to an ensemble. Paint a leather belt to give this utilitarian accessory your own special style and unique look.

  • Choose an adequate work surface. You need a flat surface long enough to stretch the belt out to its full length and still have enough room to spread your paints and brushes out, too.

  • Sketch your design ahead of time. Use a piece of paper the same size as the belt and draw it out, then stencil your design carefully on the belt. It will be easier to paint a stenciled design than to paint it freehand.

  • Wash the belt gently with a damp sponge before painting. Don't immerse the belt completely. Don't soak it--just to get off any excess dirt or oil that will prevent the paint from absorbing into the leather.

  • Brush on a diluted solution of 1 part paint, 1 part water. The diluted paint will absorb into the belt and make it easier for the regular paint to absorb later. Let this primer layer dry completely before painting the final layer.

  • Paint the design on the belt working from one end of the belt to the other. Work your way down the length of the belt and paint one color, then let it dry before painting another color. This method will reduce the risk of putting your hand in wet paint or the wet paint bleeding together on the leather and ruining your design.

  • Treat the painted belt with a sealant to seal in the paint. This will help the leather absorb the paint and keep the belt in good condition too. If your craft store doesn't have leather sealant, try a western store. Cowboys use similar sealant to protect the decorative bands on their hats.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure the work area is well-ventilated so the paint fumes will dissipate.

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