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Paint and dye leather – here’s how to get the best results!

Do you want to dye an old pair of leather shoes or create beautiful details on a leather jacket? Painting and dyeing leather is easy and fun. Follow our instructions and get inspired!

To paint or dye leather, you will need a product intended especially for leather. There are various options, depending on what you want to make and the results you want to achieve. We can help you get the best results!

Clean the leather first

Before you start painting or dyeing the leather, clean it with a detergent. If you don’t clean it, the paint might not be able to adhere. If you clean leather with acetone, be sure to use a chemically pure acetone with no additives (such as oil, for example). You can also gently sand the leather with fine sandpaper to rough up the surface. It’s a good idea to test-paint a small, invisible area first.

Leather’s Choice Leather Dye – for entire surfaces

Leather’s Choice Leather Dye is an alcohol-based dye for fully dyeing shoes or an item of clothing. The dye permeates the surface of the leather. Results may vary depending on the quality of the material. Because the dye is transparent, it would be difficult to turn a black shoe light brown, for example.

1. Shake the bottle well and apply plenty of dye with a sponge or cloth.
2. Repeat until you’ve achieved the desired depth of colour.
3. Polish the leather with a clean, soft cloth to remove excess dye.
4. Finish with Leather’s Choice leather grease.

Leather’s Choice Quick Color Dye – hide flaws and apply decoration

Leather’s Choice Quick Color Dye is applied with a brush. It is perfect for hiding flaws on smaller areas, or for painting decoration.

1. Apply the dye in thin layers.
2. Repeat until you have achieved the desired result.
3. Finally, the design must be treated with Leather’s Choice leather grease for the colour to be permanent.

Posca pens – draw patterns

You can draw on leather with Posca pens. How well the ink will adhere depends on the material – i.e., how shiny or oily the surface is. Give it a try and see how it goes. Posca pens will be visible on light and dark leather materials. Spray the design with a water-based protective varnish when you are finished.

Will the results always be good?

Results can vary when painting and dyeing leather, which depends on a few factors. For example, the paint can crack where the leather is already cracking or may begin to do so, for example at creases. It is also difficult for paint to adhere to faux leather and synthetics, which means the result will not last. Suede, nubuck and patent leather shoes are not suitable for dyeing or painting.


We hope you enjoy rejuvenating your leather goods with paint!