Do you want a new look for your leather furniture without the hassle of reupholstering or the expense of buying new pieces? Then pick up a brush and some paint. You must take great care when painting leather upholstery, but with the proper tools and technique, the results can last for many years.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Gentle dish soap
- Rubbing alcohol
- Emery cloth or fine sandpaper
- Leather paint
Clean the leather thoroughly by wiping it down with a little mild dish soap and a damp cloth. Use a toothbrush to get into crevices. Have towels handy to dry off the leather a section at a time as you work.
Wipe the upholstery with a fresh cloth and rubbing alcohol. This will remove any coating applied to the leather to make it shiny. (Skip this step for brushed leather or suede.)
Sand the leather using an emery cloth or fine sandpaper. This will remove any other finishes and make the paint adhere better.
Wipe down the leather again. Any debris left behind from sanding must be removed.
Apply a base coat of paint according to the manufacturer's directions. Typically, water is added to the paint and the mixture is applied using long, even strokes of a brush. This acts as a base coat and at least two coats are usually required. Flex the upholstery with your hands between coats to discourage cracking.
Apply the final coat of paint, following the manufacturer's instructions. This is usually the only coat of undiluted paint applied.
Tips and warnings
- Always test the paint in an inconspicuous spot before beginning.
- Keep coats of paint thin and--unless otherwise specified by the paint manufacturer--do not allow the paint to dry out between coats.
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