Leather dye and leather paint are terms that are sometimes used loosely. In the purest sense, a leather dye is a true stain, penetrating and coloring the leather. A stain type dye is called an aniline dye in the leather industry. Aniline finishes are usually reserved for the best quality leather, since an aniline finish allows inperfections and other subtle features to show through. A true aniline finish has no protective layer. A drop of water will quickly absorb into an aniline leather, as will any liquid staining agent.
Aniline leathers that receive a thin protective coating are termed semi-aniline leathers.
Almost all auto leather and the vast majority of the leather furniture are pigmented leathers. While pigmented finishes allow the leather grain to show through, they are distinct coatings that largely sit on top of the leather. So, while these leather coatings have characteristics of a paint, they are usually still called a dye. Our leather dye colorant is a pigmented coating. It is a versatile product available in hundreds of standard colors for both auto and furniture leather,
Acrylic paints are sometimes used on leather, especially for craft type projects. The downside of acrylic finishes is that they tend to be less flexible and more prone to cracking. You may find our dye colorant product to be a good alternative to acrylic paints for your leather projects.
Pull-up leather uses aniline dyes with a protective coating consisting of natural oils or waxes.