How Can You Avoid Paint from Cracking On Leather?

How Can You Avoid Paint from Cracking On Leather?

Painting over leather is not frequent, but it isn’t that rare either. Many [people love to customize their favorite shoes or bags and express themselves. So to prevent the paint from cracking or stressing over the leather, you must take care of a few things. Know about how can you Avoid Paint from Cracking On Leather.

Since leather is one of the trickier surfaces to paint upon, you would need to do a few steps before and after painting to ensure that the paint doesn’t crack. But after you follow them, you will be able to draw and seal your artwork well.

Why Does Paint Crack Over Leather?

Leather surfaces like shoes and bags look perfect for customizing in your style. And you might want to do it but may not find leather paint. Leather paint is originally difficult to find. Even if you do, you might not get all the colors you may require.

And the leather paint is far more expensive, so one would prefer to use acrylics. Acrylic paints are readily available in various colors at cheap rates. There are two main reasons why the paint may crack over your leather surface. 

The first reason is that the surface of the leather might have dirt and impurities which can cause the paint to crack. The second is that the paint is not appropriately sealed after drying, making it crack. Know about how can you Avoid Paint from Cracking On Leather.

Tips for Preparing the Leather Before Painting

To obtain the best results from craft paints over leather, you must follow a few tips. Some of them are before you paint the surface, and some for after you paint the surface. Here are the steps you must follow before painting over leather surfaces:

  • Use a damp cloth or similar material to thoroughly clean the surface of the leather. Make sure you cover every nook and cranny so there is no dust left over the item.
  • If your leather item is still damp, place it in an area and let it dry completely. Do not apply paint over a damp leather surface or it will crack.
  • Even just before painting, take a dry clean cloth to run over the surface of the leather. Do your best to ensure no dust particles are left.
  • Then apply the paint in a thin layer using a sponge or similar tool if you use acrylic paints.
  • You must ensure that you do not put too much paint as it will make it stiff and lead to cracking.

Tips for Sealing the Paint After Painting 

Once you take care of the prepping process before painting, you can proceed with painting the leather. You might need a few coats depending on the opacity you are going for since you would need to dilute the acrylic.

After completing the process, you must dry the paint completely before moving on to the priming process. Here are the steps you must follow to seal in the paint and avoid it from cracking on the leather:

  • Make sure that all the layers of paint on your leather surface are fully dry before you apply the primer.
  • Dry the paint and purchase the desired primer for your paint. You can buy such primers online or even in a craft store near you.
  • Apply a thin coat of primer and let it dry completely before applying the next coat. Do not add too many coats either, just enough to protect the artwork.
  • Use a waterproof primer for the best results on the leather. It would also help your leather material be usable in the rain.
  • Ensure that you do not bend or crease the leather surface too much. Such tension in an area may lead to paint cracking.


Leather is a rather difficult surface to paint over, even with craft paints like acrylic paints. Even though you might be able to get an opaque picture painted, there might be some cracks that may emerge after some time.

To avoid such cracks on leather, you could follow our guide on how to prep and finish your artwork over leather. By taking care of a few things, you will be able to make your artworks last even on a leather surface.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why do cracks appear in paint applied over leather?

Cracks may appear in paint applied over leather after it dries. It happens due to dirt trapped in the surface of the leather which can cause the paint to split here and there. It could also happen due to having no primer over the pain to finish it.

  1. Which paint is ideal for painting over leather?

If you can afford them, leather-specific craft paints are the best ones for painting over leather surfaces. However, they are on the expensive side and have less variety too. So you can use acrylic paints with a high-quality primer for the purpose.

  1. What primer should you use to finish the paint?

Various primers are available in shops, and you can easily find a leather primer or paint primer. If you are using acrylic paints, you can search for a primer you would use with it. And try to go for a waterproof primer to increase the longevity of the artwork even more.

How Can You Avoid Paint from Cracking On Leather?

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