Acrylic Paint Vs Leather Paint

Have you ever wanted a new look for your home furniture or wanted to give your leather items like shoes, bags, and jackets a personalized touch? Well, it’s time to get creative with paints. But before you start, it is crucial to understand the difference between Acrylic Paint and Leather Paint.

Both acrylic and leather paints are water-based, but acrylic paint has pigment suspended in an acrylic polymer emulsion, plasticizers, silicone oils, defoamers, stabilizers, and metal soaps. Conversely, leather paint is specially designed for painting on leather and faux material.

Acrylic Paint Vs Leather Paint
Acrylic Paint Vs Leather Paint

You’ll be able to accomplish the desired effects much easier if you know the differences between these paints. Now let’s find out.

Here Are the Differences Between Acrylic Paint Vs Leather Paint

Regarding leather painting projects, acrylic and leather paint are two of the most popular options. Here, we’ll discuss the key characteristics that differentiate these two paints so you can decide which one is right for your project.

Type of Paint

Acrylic paint is the most commonly used type of paint for crafting and can be found in various forms, such as liquid acrylics, gels, and pastes. Leather paints are generally composed of oils and dyes specifically designed for use on leather surfaces. 

Drying Time

Thin films of professional acrylic paint will dry in 20 to 30 minutes, while thicker films may take an hour or two. Leather paint usually takes more time to dry fully, each coat should dry for 10 to 25 minutes, with the final coat needing 24 hours before it is ready. 


Acrylic paints are generally not very flexible once they are dry, which makes them prone to cracking or chipping over time. On the other hand, leather paints tend to be much more flexible due to their unique formulation, which helps them retain their shape over long periods, even when exposed to movement, like when you sit down on your sofa or open a bag. 


Leather paint is extremely durable due to its natural chemical composition. This makes it resistant to cracking or chipping even after prolonged use of the item. Acrylic paint can become brittle over time and may crack or chip more easily than leather paint when exposed to moisture or friction.

And leather paint is more resistant to fading from sunlight exposure due to its pigment density. 

Refinishing Potential

When it comes time to refinish a leather item like furniture or shoes, leather paint offers a great solution because it can be worked over multiple times with different types of solvents until you achieve the desired color or finish.

Differences Between Acrylic Paint Vs Leather Paint
Differences Between Acrylic Paint Vs Leather Paint

Acrylic paints are also easy to work with, but they are not as strong as leather paints when it comes to withstanding multiple coats of solvent-based products.

Color Range and Variety

Both leather and acrylic paints come in a variety of colors ranging from subtle neutrals to vibrant hues and everything in between.

But, when it comes to customizing colors or achieving unique finishes, acrylics offer much more flexibility than leather paints since they can be mixed together easily without any extra tools or equipment needed. You can use acrylic paint for a variety of purposes. Acrylic paint can be used as finger paint as well.

Application Method

Leather paints offer a cost-efficient and easy option for giving life to surfaces made from natural materials, such as leather and suede. This is because these kinds of paints are specifically designed to bond with fabrics with an oil content already present, eliminating the need for any additional preparation required in the case of acrylic painting.

Moreover, a similar preparation isn’t necessary when achieving specific types and colors of finish required when working with leather surfaces either. Therefore, leather paint is best suited for leather projects as it offers a more straightforward application process and a time-saving technique.


Both leather paints and acrylics are relatively inexpensive compared to other craft supplies like oils or watercolors. But, if cost is your primary concern, then you will find that acrylics tend to be less expensive overall than their counterpart since they require minimal investment while still offering countless possibilities in colors and finishes.

Select the Ideal Paint for Your Next Project: Acrylic and Leather Paint

Whether you’re painting a piece of furniture or customizing a pair of shoes, you must know the difference between acrylic paint and leather paint.

Acrylic paint is fast drying, has great flexibility, and has various colors. Leather paint provides greater durability and a higher level of refinishing potential.

Ultimately, it comes down to understanding what type of project you plan to undertake before deciding which product is right for you. With this knowledge, you can select the ideal product for your next project.

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