Caring for Leather Jackets and BagsSaddleback Stain Solutions: Paint Splatters

Saddleback Stain Solutions: Paint Splatters

Saddleback Leather Finishes Quick Clean Score for Paint Splatters (1=uncleanable to 10=easily cleaned)

Chestnut- 10, Tobacco- 9, Cobalt Black- 10, Dark Coffee- 9

Key Takeaway: Drops or splatters of paint seem like a disaster but can be safely removed from the surface of your leather bag.  Once you know how, it is an annoying problem easily solved.  Read more for the details...


Don’t have a Saddleback bag yet?  They’re beautiful.  Check em out at Saddleback’s site by clicking here.

*All links are affiliate links so if this info is helpful to you please click through my links to buy your Saddleback products so I will get commission from the sale… Thanks!!



I’ve heard the story many times.  You hire a contractor to paint some trim in your home or a crew is working in your office.  Mysteriously small splatters of paint end up on your leather.  What a mess.  

But it’s not a permanant problem in most cases.  The worse problem occurs when people use paint thinner or some other harsh chemical to clean the paint off and ruin the leather finish.

I can help you figure the best, and safest, way to remove paint splatters from any Saddleback leather finish.  So let me give you some tips on how:

(You may be thinking who is this guy and why should I listen to his leathercare advice.  So at the end of the article I’ll give you my creds and tell why I am helping the folks at Saddleback)


Tips on caring for paint splatters on your Saddleback leather:


  • Don’t "Google it" for help- I have seen some crazy-bad tips floating out on the web for solving leather problems.  Like this real gem I saw on a website, rub a banana peel on your leather to condition it, Huh?!! Instead find someone who knows leather, specifically Saddleback Leather, and get qualified advice.

  • Don’t start with a paint remover-  If you just rub a rag soaked in a paint thinnner over your Saddleback bag you will cause more long term harm than good.


  • Find out what kind of paint was splattered-  It is important to find out if the paint on your bag is water- based or oil-based.  Once you know that, we can proceed to a solution.
  • Be patient-  The best solution to remove splattered paint is to work very specifically on each drop.  It is slow going but a far better solution than just rubbing something over the entire area.
  • Start out dry-The first, and often most effective, means to remove paint splatters is to carefull pick each dried spot of paint off of the leather. Use either the tip of a thin knife or a pin to flick the paint from the surface of the leather.  It may leave a light spot below where a bit of finish has been removed, but we can fix that later.  This solution works best for water-based paint but many times will also work for oil based paint splatters too.  
  • Oil-based paint may not flick off the leather- If the dry method fails then you need to carefully moisten and dislodge each spot. For water based paint, place rubbing alcohol on a q-tip or small paint brush and touch a bit to the drops.  Let the moisture sit for a minute.  Then try to flick off the spots or dab them off with the q-tip.  For oil-based paint, you may need to use a stronger chemical like Goof-off.  Again use it sparingly and directly on the paint spots.  Pick them off as soon as they soften and then wipe off the cleaner with a soft, dry cloth. 
  • Once the spots are gone, clean over the area-  Even after you remove the paint, there may be lighter areas where the paint took the color from the leather.  For the Chestnut, Dark Coffee and Carbon Black finishes you can apply a good leather conditioner to the surface.  Buff it in firmly and the color will dry evenly.  For the Tobacco, try to buff the surface with a dry cloth to even out the finish.  If it doesn’t work, you can condition the Tobacco leather but a darker patina may result.  Click here to learn more about conditioner and patina on your leather bag.


Especially, when it was you painting nearby, splatters on your beautiful leather bag are upsetting.  But if you follow these steps, and take your time, you can fix the problem.  Of course, if you don’t yet have a Saddleback bag to splatter paint on… click here or on the bag above to go to the Saddleback site and get one, they’re awesome.


Related articles:

"The unique finishes of Saddleback Leather" teaches specific tips on caring for each of the 4 Saddleback finishes.


And as promised, Why listen to me?

My dad says my first word was leather… but since that can’t be confirmed I’ll just say I have 25 years in the leather biz.  I’m now the 2nd generatioin owner of a leather cleaning, repair and refinishing company in the Baltimore/Washington DC area.  I’ve seen every problem imaginable to leather and am glad to share my experience to help you.

Why Saddleback?

I’m the one holding the bag at the left.  Standing next to me is Chuck Bowen the CEO of Saddleback. 

I love Saddleback Leather Bags (Incuding my Light Tobacco Classic Briefcase).  I love their core values.  I love their affiliate program.  So I help you choose and care well for your Saddleback stuff, Saddleback sells more bags and helps more people, and I make a few affiliate bucks when you click through my links… everybody wins.  

Contact me with questions or suggestions.

If you have a Saddleback leather question I haven’t covered yet, please shoot it to me.  Or if you think I’m wrong or want to add to my suggestions, please do.  I can be reached though twitter by @leatherhelpguy or e-mail me at  Thanks.