top of page

Mixing and Layering Colors



One of the many ways you can let your creativity shine through art is by creating your own custom colors. In this article, we’ll give you some of the tips and tricks in mixing and layering colors as well as a rough guide on what colors you can produce using the standard colors that come in Creative Nation leather paint  6-packs and 12-packs. 


Lighten or darken colors using white and black.

Value is defined as how close a color is to white or black. You can make a color lighter by mixing in a bit of white or make it darker by mixing in a tiny bit of black. Black tends to make colors muddy so make sure to only use a little at a time!

Create various skin tones using primary colors.
Try different combinations of red, blue, and yellow to create that perfect skin shade you’re looking for! However, skin is not just one tone. You can also try mixing in a tiny bit of pink and green to get more variation. Make sure to only add small amounts of paint each time to avoid overdoing it.

Always go a shade or two lighter when creating a new color.
Paint can dry slightly darker so make sure to keep this in mind while you’re mixing new colors.


Create a family of colors.
Whenever you’re creating a new color that’s going to be the main component of your design, you can build a family of colors around it to get shades that more naturally blend into shadows and highlights. Say you’ve created the perfect shade of red that you like, create a new mixture of that shade of red with a little bit of blue, another mixture with a little bit of yellow, etc.


Use multiple thin layers.
For best results, it is highly recommended to paint in multiple thin layers instead of just one thick layer. Using thick layers will result in a lumpy and uneven surface, and may cause the paint to crack, so make sure to avoid this. The number of layers you use will depend on the color and the feel you’re going for, but you can expect to use up to 3 layers of paint to get the best results.

Let the paint dry before adding a new layer.
If you’re eager to get that next layer on already, you can help speed up the drying time by using a heat gun or hair dryer.

Paint a layer of white beneath light colors to make them pop.
If you paint directly on a dark colored leather, your lighter paint colors will come out muted and dull. For example, dark color leather like blue, brown and red will overpower light colors like yellow and pink. But don’t worry! To make these lighter colors stand out in your design, just paint a base layer of white first. Once the white layer dries, then you can add lighter colors on top of the white. 

Have airtight containers ready for any leftover custom colors.
Did you create that perfect shade of blue that you really love? The good news is that you can preserve these mixtures simply by storing them in airtight containers!

And that’s it! Keep these tips in mind while creating your new leather art designs and you’re good to go. To make things easier for you, here's an online color mixing tool you can play around with.

lighten or darken
skin tone
shade lighter
family of colors
thin layers
let paint dry
layer of white beneath
bottom of page