How to choose a topcoat

Professional grade clear topcoats are beautiful to touch, soft and flexible. They deliver a desirable ‘finished’ look that resembles a tannery finish.

The job of a topcoat is to ‘seal’ and protect the colour coatings. Topcoats act as a physical barrier between the leather and damaging factors such as body oil, perspiration, soiling and abrasion. They have additional physical properties that lend rub resistance and thereby help to slow colour wear. They also provide a degree of water resistance.

As wear and tear take their toll over time, the manufacturer’s original topcoat can wear thin or become compromised. Refreshing the colour coatings and replacing the worn topcoat can go a long way to extending the life of your leather whilst also making it look much, much better.

Why use topcoat?

Purpose: Seals & protects the colour coatings and dyes. Protects the leather by slowing absorbsion of spills and other contaminants. Optimises the look, feel and durability of leather and leather coatings.

Characteristics: Topcoats are flexible, mixable, durable, abrasion resistent, transparent, self-leveling, water-based, non-toxic, fast-drying, and low odour.

Options: Matte, Satin, Gloss and High Gloss.

Application: Sponge or spray gun. Matte is best applied by spray.


Topcoats, from Matte to High Gloss, absorb and reflect lights.

satin finish

A satin topcoat was used to protect this soft, quilted aniline leather jacket

Gloss accenturates features

A glossy finish on this piece of leather helps to highlight the beautiful textural markings

Level of sheen

Leather paint is satin finish and can be adjusted to gloss or matte as needed.

Important: It is best to match the sheen of your colourant to the sheen of your topcoat ( or vice versa).

- If you want a glossy result, choose Topcoat Gloss or High Gloss. Adjust your paint by adding10-20% Topcoat Gloss or Hight Gloss to your last 2 coats of colour.

- If you want a satin or low sheen finish, choose Topcoat Satin.

- If you want a matte result, choose Topcoat Matte and mix Dulling Agent (No.30) into your paint untill you create a matte finish paint. Note: Matte finishes are best applied by spray gun. If you find that hand application is giving a streaky result, try mixing 10-20% paint into your topcoat, then apply another 2 coats.

Comparing Options

Comparing options

Matte: Extra flat. Occassionally used on furnishing, often used on car leathers. Best applied by spray gun to avoid streaking. Can make colours seem lighter/cloudier/dusty.

Satin: The all rounder. Found on lots of furnishings, apparel and cars. The finish is soft, low sheen, and subtle. If you like shine, this may not be the finish for you.

Gloss: Ideal if you are looking for some shine. Occassionally found on furnishings and accessories but rarely in cars. Shiny finishes can highlight textural features & imperfections.

High Gloss: Very shiny. Not commonly found on car or furnishings (except older Chesterfields). Shiny finishes can highlight textural features & imperfections

Product compatibility

Topcoat can be mixed with some other Leather Hero products, including:

- Leather Paint Colour (No.6).

- Dulling Agent (No.3)

- Aniline Dye Stain (No.29)

- Colour Restoration Cream (No.32)