Painting in finely embossed areas

Is there a way to easily paint in finely embossed areas? I was wondering if there is a dry paint or dye that could brushed into the embossing and then heated or wetted to coat just the deep areas? In the image below I thought it’d be rad if the initials were hotrod red and the wheel and wings black. Obviously, it’d take a forever to hand paint the wings.

BTW this is for a bifold wallet for my Pop.

Also BTW, this is my first post! I’ve found a lot of great info!

Welcome to the community! Glad you’ve found some helpful info, and wow, for a first post you are coming in amazing!

That’s a very cool design, and creative thought on the powdered pigment that changes to a liquid when heated. Also get’s me thinking, I wonder if there’s a paint that can be sanded easily once poured and dried, so the sanding only meets the raised levels, and leaves it within the recessed spaces. Yet, it would be tricky not to sand the leather surface while doing that.

There is acrylic paint powder, maybe that can in some way be the start of some experimenting: https://www.amazon.com/Rolio-Mica-Powder-Colorant-Cosmetic/dp/B07YNW3GC2

Maybe the powder, heated, and water lightly applied with a spray bottle, will allow it to sit. Not sure if it would mix. Very cool idea and I’m sure there’s some way to do it.

Another option, if the design has a file made or could be made, is to laser cut a paint screen template from the design (only cutting out the areas you’d want colored), then aligning, and painting (maybe with a spray). This, too, would likely take some experimenting, and some time, though might be a path.

And maybe some other folks have ideas they have experience with and have worked. Definitely a great concept and really cool design!

I had a similar project, also a wallet. I have an assortment of brushes with various tips and Angelus acrylic paints. A good night’s sleep for a steady hand really helps. I also use styluses to paint really thin spaces. The bottom line is there is no high-tech substitute for hand painting detailed tooling.

You also might want to experiment with thin Sharpie markers. But I wouldn’t use dye, because it is meant to penetrate the leather and, therefore, will bleed into unintended areas if the space is really small. Finally, to emphasize the separation of different colored areas, I would apply Tan Kote as a resist over the entire exterior, then dark brown or black antique finish over the same area. Be sure to apply Resolene last as a water-resistant finish to the wallet exterior to protect your paint job.

I really like your idea about red-hot initials and black wheel. If you’re going to paint the wings black, as well, I don’t think you need to worry that much about detail. Just be careful about brushing outside of the wings.

With all due respect, if this was my project, I would go for contrast and flash by opting for gold feathers. black background on the wings, and silver rims (you can get acrylic paint with metal effects, which I’m using for samurai armor that I’m building). Judging by the quality of the embossing, alignment of the holes, and the cut of the edges, I think you could handle that paint job.

It’s ultimately your call, Dusty, and I think whatever you decide to do, your pop is gonna love this wallet!

Thank you both for your advice. I’ve decided that since I’m still really green at leathercraft, I’m going to let it the same color. Somehow I let myself get roped into making 3 custom wallets for Pop and my brothers and they’re due in less than a couple months! I’ve finished Dad’s and I have the inside of both my brothers finished. 2 more outers and some stitching and then I’m finished.

I’ve ordered both some fine tip Sharpies and some mica powders for experimentation.

I have some ideas for multitool belt cases rattling around in my head that I’m anxious to try but until these wallets are done they’re only going to exist as sketches on scrap paper!

BTW that phoenix engraving is really impressive!

Your pop and bros are going to be impressed!

That sounds like a solid plan, and will come out looking sharp

It’s funny how one leather project turns into another into many more :grinning: