Painted Leather Boots

Wendy Barrish
by Wendy Barrish
4 Materials
4 Hours

I purchased these boots awhile ago, and while I did wear them, they lacked a fun edge. I wanted to give them a new life and feel excited to wear them again. I scrolled through the internet stumbling across a few cool ideas. What I found most interesting is that you can in fact paint leather, and there are a few techniques that sounded like they were worth a shot. Take a look to see how I use some acrylic paint to give my boots a rocker chic makeover! I swear, they look so good!

Prep the Leather

The first, and I feel most important step is to inspect the leather you are working with to see how you should go about painting it. I read that leather is really good at soaking up paint, but most leather products have a layer of varnish. It is best to wipe down the leather- first to clean the surface from any dust or dirt, and secondly to try and wipe off the varnish. Some blogs recommended using alcohol and then to lightly sand down the surface.

I cleaned my leather, and got the boots ready to be painted!

Tape Off the Edges

Next, I used painters tape to tape off the areas I did not want to be painted silver. I covered the elastic band and the heel.

Paint the Bottom Layer

The next thing I did was I chose a dark grey color to cover the leather with. This way, the brown leather won't show through the silver paint. I suggest you choose your base color according to how light or dark you'd like your shade of silver to be. I wanted a dark tone, so went with a dark grey.

Start to paint! Another important thing to keep in mind is that with change in temperature, acrylic paint can crack and crackle. Unless that is the look you are going for, you want to avoid that. The way to do that is to apply VERY thin layers of paint. This way, the leather will soak up the paint, and you won't be left with visible paint strokes that can crack. I used a dry brush (no water) the entire time.

Another tip that I read online was to start off with painting only one area. This way you can try it out and see how it reacts with the leather. I painted this one area of the boot first.

Top Layer

Once my base coat was dry, I pulled out the silver paint. I used Brushed Metal from Folk Art.

Using the same dry brush method, I brushed a layer of silver over the grey. Keep those layers thin!

I could see as I went along, that I'd need to paint on another layer of silver. At this point, I was happy with how the leather was soaking up the paint, and decided to go for it and paint the entire boot!

Here is the first layer of silver finished. I let that dry, but the leather really soaks it up so it only takes a few minutes for each coat to dry.

Paint the rest of the boot

The next thing I needed to do was paint the elastic band and the heel. The band was a dark brown which clashed horribly with the silver. The heel was a light wood. I decided to paint both black.

It's okay if you get black paint on the leather, because another coat of silver is on it's way!

Then I painted the heel...

Done! Now on to painting the second coat of silver, and then to tackle the second boot.

Tah Dah!!

They look amazing!

I couldn't wait to get them on. It may not be boot-weather yet, but I love how rocker chic they are. What's great is that I'm excited about wearing them again!

Thanks for dropping by, and feel free to check out my Instagram @wendydaring to see how they keep up...

Suggested materials:
  • Leather boots
  • Black acrylic paint
  • Silver acrylic paint
See all materials

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2 of 8 comments
  • C Kellems C Kellems on Sep 08, 2021

    You're entire outfit is so cute! Wish my mom-to-be look was that awesome.

    Gonna thrift some boots for this one.

  • TheSeamstress TheSeamstress on Oct 08, 2021

    I have almost the exact same boots, same colour and I bought some galvanized metal spray paint recently....hmmmm, might have a go at this