Can You Spray Paint Leather?

Revive old shoes with a fresh coat of paint.
Revive old shoes with a fresh coat of paint. (Image: MaleWitch/iStock/Getty Images)

It is possible to give leather a great look without dying it. Change up the look of your leather upholstery, shoes or accessories with the judicious application of leather spray paint. You'll need to carefully prepare the leather surface for painting.

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Preparing the Leather Surface

Preparation is the most important part of spray painting leather. Before painting, lightly sand or scrub the leather to give it some tooth. This allows the paint to soak into the leather and prevents cracking in the future. Afterwards, wipe the leather clean with mineral spirits or a special color preparer. This removes the dust and debris -- and prevents cracking. Work in an area with an average temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit for best results.

Applying the Leather Spray Paint

Before spraying, shake the can well to mix the paint and hold the can about 10 - 12 inches from the surface. You will want to color the leather with two coats of paint. Start with a light coat that only covers about 50 percent of the leather surface overall. Allow this to dry -- about five minutes. Apply the second coat with the aim of providing more complete coverage. It is better to err on the side of less paint to avoid paint streaks and drips. You can always apply a third coat later, if needed. Allow the paint to dry before use.

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