Painting Leather Furniture

funkyartNovember 15, 2012

I know a number of people have painted fabric furniture.. but has anyone painted leather?

I had a guy from a local consignment store come look at furniture I need to clear out of my grandparents' house-- and we ended up chatting about a number of projects I'll be doing in the house. When I asked him for a recommendation for a local reupholster for my leather sofa-- he said, "you need to check into painting it!" He didnt know details but he'd seen a sofa someone had painted and he said it was gorgeous-- and cheap and easy.

Sure enough, there's lots of info on the internet.. you can paint with acrylics, chalk paint or spray vinyl/fabric paint (which seems to be the easiest). Paint won't solve all my problems with my sofa but I am tempted to give it a try.

The link below shows a sofa painted black.. but I've seen pink leather office chairs, blue sofa/chair.. the possibilities are endless!

I would love to hear from someone who has done it. I'll likely pick up something inexpensive on CL to give it a try.. but would love to know how long it will last and if you have any tips!

Here is a link that might be useful: The Before/After and Steps for painting leather sofa

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Funky, that is a fabric sofa, not leather. I have attached a link below that came up after I Googled 'can leather furniture be painted'.

Here is a link that might be useful: You can certainly recolor leather furniture, either using special dyes or paints

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 6:55AM
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"Gorgeous---cheap and easy?"

Sounds like that comes under the heading Too Good to be True, lol.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 7:47AM
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Hi My3dogs--yes, there is fabric on the backing but the seats are leather. That was but one example.. there were others on different sites/blogs. As I said, they used a variety of paints--not the dyes or repair kits. (the eHow link was also the first I read).

Kswl.. I agree! lol.. that's why I posted here. I wouldnt have thought painting a fabric chair would work either.. and people here have done it with apparently good results!

Like I said, it's not the solution for my leather sofa which also needs new/redesigned seat cushions for me to love it again.. but I'd do it on an office chair or something that is cheap and worn on CL but has good lines.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 9:03AM
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I used Magic Mender to try to hide damage to a leather headboard. It's a nice product but in my case, it didn't match well enough.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 9:20AM
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Oh! I didn't see any mention that the seats were leather, and they so didn't look like it in the before shot where the covering is shown drawn across the cushions from front to back. I even read it in the 'doer's' blog, and she just mentioned fabric.

Here is a link that might be useful: we PAINTED our SOFA.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 9:47AM
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I don't think those cushions are leather, either.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 9:56AM
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Yeah, now that I have some time.. and the sleep out of my eyes. I see that they painted fabric. My apologies.

Here's a link to one of the other.. definitely leather this time :) and they used chalk paint.

I still think that it can't last very long..but I'd be interested in trying it. I just don't have the right piece or the right inspiration for it right now.

Here is a link that might be useful: for real this time! ;)

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 10:13AM
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She says.....Here again, is one month later, you can see the rugged aged look developing on the seat cushions where the dogs climb up and sit.

I dunno..... "rugged aged look" is not what comes too my mind. She's seems to be trying to spin it into a good look and it just looks cracked and flaking. Painting fabric is one thing but leather can't absorb paint so I don't understand how it can work on something that gives like upholstery. Perhaps something static like a leather frame can be painted but i wouldn't put the effort into a sofa.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 12:02PM
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I'm very experienced at painting leather sofas. :) I painted mine (actually, air brushed) once every six months over a period of 5 years. It was easy and cheap compared to buying a new one. The problem was, after about 5 months the paint would flake off. I've used three different types of paint that was meant specifically for painting leather, all did the same thing. I wrote to one company to find out what I was doing wrong and they told me that the process used in the original tanning of the hide might have been the problem and because of that the leather dye would not stick. That sofa was made in China. When we moved to our new house I gave that sofa away and bought a new one that was made right here in the United States - Hancock & Moore. Lesson learned!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 12:44PM
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I've been considering this same thing on a Room & Board sofa I have that needs recoloring. I haven't taken the plunge yet with any of the kits made for leather recoloring but...

I tried a plain ol' can of spray paint on a piece I found in the garbage and it worked well but with a slight tacky feel. The paint stood up to attempts to make it peel or crack.
If the leather is in good shape, the final product should look good.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 11:03AM
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Hey, FA! I've not painted former leather sofas but I did have a company do so on some worn seats with the appropriate dye/paint. Like noted above, it flaked off much sooner than the expense warranted & our sofas were US constructed from Italian leather.

I do know that auto collision shops often contract with leather dyers who can sometimes restore the original color for a while. I had to have this done on a seat once but it was just before getting rid of the car so I can't attest to how long it might last. I'd talk with car folks to get the best advice.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 1:53PM
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