How to Paint Leather FurnitureUpdated: Jan. 21, 2020
Transform an old piece of leather furniture into a modern showstopper with easy to use leather paint. We'll show you the best paint for leather and how to apply it.
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- A full day
Gather Your Materials
Leather Paint, Prep and Finisher
To transform this old espresso brown leather dining bench into a modern grey that matched the look of my home, I used the best paint for leather, Angelus Brand Leather Paint, prep and finisher. These paint materials were bought direct from the manufacture and very reasonably priced at about $6 per bottle. However, the paint cannot withstand cold weather, so plan your shipping method accordingly.
Another option is leather paint from Michaels
Clean and Prep
The first step is to prep the area by wiping the leather clean with a damp cloth and laying a drop cloth down to protect your floors. Depending on your furniture piece, you might want to disassemble the furniture to separate leather parts or protect non-painted areas with painters tape.
Prepare and Deglaze
Be Generous with Preparer
Grab Your Paint
A Rainbow of Colors
Next apply the acrylic leather paint. Angelus Brand offers more than 30 shades, and for this project I chose Grey Taupe. They also sell small 1 oz. bottles if you’d like to test a few colors before applying (similar to testing paint swatches). White leather paint is also a popular choice, so is black leather paint. The manufacturer suggests applying the leather paint with a household sponge or sponge brush.
Multiple Coats are Key
A Little Goes a Long Way
Apply paint to surface in multiple, thin coats with sponge. This goes on a lot like liquid shoe polish, and coated really easily. A little goes a long way, but keep in mind, the consistency is thinner than house or craft paint, so be prepared for runs and drips, and try to keep the surface level.
Don’t Skip the Details (or Do)
2 Hours Between Coats
Apply paint in mulitple, thin coats, allowing time to try between (1-2 hours). Depedning on the degree of color change and your desired look, you can cater the number of layers to your preference. Because the bench started so dark, I needed three coats for full coverage. Once your desired color and number of paint coats are achieved, allow ample time to dry. I waited 6 hours to be safe.
Choose Your Sealant
Apply and Wait
Holding Up Well
This dining bench is actually my dog’s favorite window perch, and after 4 days of use, it has held up perfectly, not a single scratch. The surface feels a little stiff and tacky compared to the well worn previous surface, but I think with time and use it will soften up. Overall I’m very pleased with the process and feel like it would work well for larger pieces of furniture too.