Hand painting custom designs is a long process, and one I find very therapeutic. You will often find me in my workshop with a bluesy tune playing, while I meticulously paint using a wisp of a paintbrush. I can see why artists get absorbed into their paintings over months and years.
I often get asked about hand-painted custom designs and how I get my whites so bright and my colours to really pop…. the secret isn’t a secret at all.
It’s using the right tool for the job.
Angelus Leather paints are my go-to for almost all my hand-painted custom leather creations. I’ve tried plenty of other products, and while Fiebings paints are a backup solution, my main man is Angelus (and no, this post is not sponsored – but hey Angelus if you are reading this you could always help a sister out with a few bottles!)
The key to success and to really get those whites to pop is starting with a great base. Clean and free from any debris. I mainly work with veg tan, so my base is often a pale cream, or slightly tan depending on the ageing process I have put the leather through.
I apply thin coats, sometimes up to three times to get that really white look. I’ve tried using a spray gun but still end up coming back to the hand-painted technique. It seems to give the best coverage in the end.
Patience is key people…. let it go a few hours between coats, and you will find it adheres to the last layer better.
How do you help Angelus metallic paint pop on white leather?
I always use a solid thinned down colour of the metallic paint I am using as a base. So if I am using the pale purple metallic, I use a light coat of a regular pale purple first. This helps give it a base for the metallic to shimmer on without taking away from the desired colour.
How many coats of Angelus are too many?
I wouldn’t ever go over three. The paint starts to get a thickness about it that can succumb to cracking. This depends on the actual piece too. A belt being worn day in day out will need more care than say a flat cover on a book that is kept flat and smooth throughout its life.
So thats my little tip for all the budding leather artists out there. Get your hands on Angelus paints on their website. They have a ridiculously huge range to suit every rainbow!