How to Paint a Leather Purse

by B.T. Alo

Spruce up a leather purse with some decorative paint work.

Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images

Add an individual touch to a leather purse by painting a design on it. Acrylic paints are best for use on leather, as they are more flexible than other sorts, and many state on the label that the product is safe for use on leather. Preparing the purse to take the paint is crucial when painting a leather purse, as most leather has been coated and treated to be absorption resistant.

Items you will need

  • Old toothbrush
  • Mild detergent
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton balls
  • Fine-grained sandpaper
  • Water-based acrylic paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Clear water-based leather varnish
Step 1

Clean the areas on the purse you want to paint with an old toothbrush and a mild detergent solution.

Step 2

Dip a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and rub it over the area you are painting to remove any shiny coatings that may prevent the paint from absorbing properly.

Step 3

Lightly sand the area with fine-grained sandpaper to roughen up the leather and get it ready to take the paint.

Step 4

Moisten the prepared leather with a damp cotton ball, then apply the chosen design in water-based acrylic paint using a paintbrush. It may help to dilute the paint slightly in water and then apply multiple coats of paint to achieve the desired color strength.

Step 5

Flex the purse a couple of times as the paint is drying to ensure that the paint takes without cracking, then apply a second coat of paint over the first. Flex the second coat as you did the first. Apply a third coat if needed.

Step 6

Paint over the purse with a clear leather varnish that is water-based to protect the paint work.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images

About the Author

B.T. Alo is media director, chief writer and editor for a U.S.-based marketing and consulting firm. He holds a bachelor's degree in business and communications. Alo's interests include business, investments, electronics, personal finance, health, communication, popular trends and travel.