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Yes, You Can Paint Leather And Here's How In 9 Steps

In addition to furniture, you can paint leather shoes, jackets, belts and bags in much the same way.

Yes, You Can Paint Leather And Here's How In 9 Steps

Transform an old piece of leather furniture into a modern showstopper with easy to use leather paint.

1. Gather your materials - leather paint, prep and finisher
1. Gather your materials - leather paint, prep and finisher
The Family Handyman

To transform this old espresso brown leather dining bench into a modern grey that matched the look of my home, I used Angelus brand leather paint, prep and finisher.

These paint materials were bought direct from the manufacturer and very reasonably priced.

However, the paint cannot withstand cold weather, so plan your shipping method accordingly.

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2. Get ready - clean and prep
2. Get ready - clean and prep
The Family Handyman

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.

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3. Prepare and deglaze - help the paint adhere
3. Prepare and deglaze - help the paint adhere
The Family Handyman

Prep the leather surface with Angelus Leather Preparer and Deglazer.

This first step helps the paint adhere to the surface and is especially important if the leather piece you are working with has a glossy or vinyl sealant.

This step is not recommended for suede.

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4. Be generous with preparer - wipe on
4. Be generous with preparer - wipe on
The Family Handyman

Rub the preparer and deglazer generously across the leather surface with a rag.

This will dry quickly.

This process of cleaning took a little of the colour off the piece, but since the point is to change the colour of the leather I didn’t find it an issue.

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5. Grab your paint
5. Grab your paint
The Family Handyman

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 colours before applying (similar to testing paint swatches).

The manufacturer suggests applying the leather paint with a household sponge or sponge brush.

 

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6. Multiple coats are key
6. Multiple coats are key
The Family Handyman

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.

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7. Don’t skip the details (or do)
7. Don’t skip the details (or do)
The Family Handyman

Depending on your furniture style, you may need a small detail paint brush to fully cover seams and creases. If a more rustic, weathered look is desired, you might skip this step (like I did).

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8. Be patient
8. Be patient
The Family Handyman

Apply paint in multiple, thin coats, allowing time to try between (1-2 hours).

Depending on the degree of colour 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 colour and number of paint coats are achieved, allow ample time to dry.

I waited 6 hours to be safe.

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9. Choose your sealant
9. Choose your sealant
The Family Handyman

Lastly, apply the sealant over whole piece. I choose matte for a more natural leather look. Apply in thin strokes with a foam paint brush until entire area is covered, making sure to seal all seams. Don’t panic if the finisher has a glossy blue hue when applied, mine disappeared when dried. Allow a full day for finisher coat to dry before using.

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10. Easy process
10. Easy process
The Family Handyman

This dining bench is actually my dog’s favourite 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.

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