Calling all artists: which paint should I use for vintage-style lettering on leather and treated canvas?
February 26, 2012 4:41 PM   Subscribe

Calling all artists: which paint should I use for vintage-style lettering on leather and treated canvas?

I'd like to paint vintage-style "circus" lettering on some leather goods and treated canvas, and was wondering if you know of anything more durable than plain old artist's acrylic. Ideally, the end product would look like this:

Years ago, I did spine re-lettering and gold leaf repair for a bookseller, but since the type was so small, I got away with using Winsor & Newton. But is there any paint out there that would look as smooth and good as the printed ink used above?

If you'd go with acrylic, what kind of matte fixer/finish would you need for flexible surfaces? Should I invest in the Angelus Leather Paint starter kit? Would that even work on treated canvas? All advice welcome... thanks!
posted by aquafortis to Media & Arts (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It would be helpful if you could specify what you mean by treated canvas.

Flexibility will be an issue with the leather. Acrylic will be the most flexible, unless you choose dye. I would choose a transparent acrylic primer and airbrush acrylic range since the pigment load will be high and a large range, and the resin will be clear and flexible. I would finish with a non water soluble matte finish varnish for a vintage look. Golden Artist acrylics has a great product in all of the above materials.
posted by effluvia at 5:24 PM on February 26, 2012

One Shot is the go-to paint of most letterheads and stripers I've known, but this forum posting suggests that oil or wax on the leather or canvas will retard its drying time and suggests House of Kolor urethane striping paint instead. As far as flexibility, I have no further info, but I have seen many leather and denim jackets painted with One-Shot and it does wear, but in a rather controlled way along stress lines.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 9:30 AM on February 27, 2012

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