How to paint suede effects

Updated July 20, 2017

It takes just two coats of paint to mimic the light-and-dark effect of suede leather on your walls. Manufacturers make special texture paint designed to reflect light by showing directional patterns to create the suede texture effect. Suede texture paint is basically a flat paint with a slightly sandy appearance. The application of the second coat--specifically, using a crosshatch pattern--is key to achieving a believable faux finish.

Place a dust sheet on the floor near the area that's being painted and cover any furniture.

Tape off areas you don't want painted. Pay special attention to the areas around doors, windows and the ceiling.

Apply flat paint to the narrow areas near the ceiling and trim using a 2-inch brush.

Gradually fill in the rest of the wall with the flat paint for the base coat. Work in 3-foot sections. After each section is painted, use the roller to apply a light floor-to-ceiling sweep. This will help minimise the number of roller marks.

Wait approximately four to six hours for the base coast to dry.

Apply a coat of suede paint using the paintbrush to form overlapping X patterns. Keep the crosshatch marks about 6 inches in length.

Remove the painter's tape while the paint is still wet.

Wait four to six hours for the second coat to dry.


Suede paint can be difficult to touch up. Practice painting on a board or cardboard box before trying to paint a wall of a house.


Suede paint can scratch easily. Think twice before using it in an area high in foot traffic.

Things You'll Need

  • Dust sheets
  • Painter's tape
  • Flat paint
  • 2-inch paintbrush
  • Paint tray
  • Paint roller
  • Suede paint
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About the Author

Wesley Demarest is a newspaper editor in Manteca, Calif. He has worked as a reporter and editor since 1996, with his byline appearing in California newspapers such as the "Manteca Bulletin" and "Turlock Journal." Demarest attended Delta College in Stockton, Calif.