How to Paint Leather Furniture

Do you have a piece of leather furniture that could use a makeover? If you’re looking for an easy and affordable way to update your tired furniture, look no further than painting leather! Splashes of color can change the whole look of a room, and painting leather furniture is one great way to add some color! Not only is it a great way to refresh old pieces of furniture.

How to Paint Leather Furniture

But it’s also surprisingly straightforward. With the right know-how and some elbow grease, even the most inexperienced DIYers can succeed at transforming their tired leather sofa or armchair into something chic and fashionable. 

Painting your leather furniture gives it an entirely new look, plus making the process yourself means you get creative freedom over your final project. However, certain steps are needed before starting to ensure successful results.

In this blog post, we’ll walk through all the supplies and processes necessary for creating beautiful painted leather designs – let’s begin! We’ll walk you through everything you need about how to paint leather furniture so you can show off your new masterpiece in no time!

Necessary Items

Before you begin painting your leather furniture, gathering all the necessary supplies and materials is important. This will ensure that once you get started, you won’t have to stop midway due to a lack of tools or materials. Some essential items you’ll need include:

  • Leather cleaner: Before you start painting, clean your leather thoroughly. Any dirt, grime, or oils on the surface can prevent the paint from adhering properly.
  • Sandpaper: This will be used to roughen up the leather’s surface gently. It helps the paint adhere better and creates an even base for your design.
  • Leather primer: A good quality leather primer is essential for creating a smooth base that allows the paint to stick without peeling off later.
  • Acrylic paint: This is the ideal paint type for leather furniture. It provides excellent coverage and is flexible enough to move with the leather, preventing cracking or peeling.
  • Paintbrushes: Invest in a good set of brushes that can handle acrylic paints. Make sure to have different sizes for detailed areas and larger sections.
  • Sealant: A sealant will protect your newly painted leather furniture from any scratches, spills, or wear and tear.
Invest in a Good Set of Brushes

10 Steps on How to Paint Leather Furniture

Once you’ve gathered all the necessary supplies, it’s time to start painting! Here are some key tips to follow for a successful painting process:

1. Start With a Clean Surface

Using a leather cleaner, remove any dirt or oils from the surface of your furniture. Make sure to dry it completely before moving on to the next step.

2. Sand Down the Leather Surface

Gently sand down the leather surface with fine-grit sandpaper, creating a slightly textured and rough surface. This will help the primer and paint adhere better.

3. Prime the Leather

Apply a thin layer of leather primer using a paintbrush, following the grain of the leather. Let it dry completely before proceeding.

4. Choose Your Colors and Design

Decide on your design and choose your colors accordingly. You can use stencils or freehand to create your desired pattern.

5. Start Painting

Using a paintbrush, start painting your design onto the leather surface. Stay within the lines and use thin layers for better coverage.

6. Allow Paint to Dry

Let each layer of paint dry completely before adding another one on top. This will prevent any smudging or mixing of colors.

7. Add Details and Touch-Ups

Once the base coat is dry, add any additional details or touch-ups to perfect your design.

8. Seal the Paint

Once you’re happy with your design, seal it with a clear acrylic sealant. This will protect your painted leather furniture from any damage.

Seal It With a Clear Acrylic Sealant

9. Let It Cure

Allow your furniture to cure for at least 24 hours before using it. This ensures that the paint and sealant have fully dried and adhered to the leather.

10. Enjoy Your New Furniture!

Once your furniture has fully cured, it’s time to enjoy your newly painted leather masterpiece! Show off your unique design and add a pop of color to any room in your home.

Painting leather furniture can be a fun and rewarding DIY project, allowing you to personalize your home decor and breathe new life into old pieces. You can create a unique and beautiful design that reflects your style with the right supplies, techniques, and patience. So gather your materials, follow these tips, and embrace your creativity to transform your furniture into something extraordinary.

8 Additional Tips

1. Light Coats of Paint Work Best

It’s better to use light coats instead of heavy ones when painting leather furniture. This will prevent any cracking or peeling and also provide a smoother finish.

2. Experiment With Different Techniques

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different painting techniques, such as sponging, blending, or using multiple colors. This will add depth and interest to your design.

3. Let Your Creativity Flow

With painting leather furniture, the sky’s the limit! Use your imagination and let your creativity flow to create a one-of-a-kind piece that fits your style.

4. Protect Your Workspace

Cover any surrounding areas or objects with plastic sheets or drop cloths to protect them from paint splatters or spills.

Cover Any Surrounding Areas or Objects

5. Take Breaks

Painting furniture can be a time-consuming process, so make sure to take breaks and stretch to avoid any strain or cramping.

6. Test the Paint on a Small Area First

If you’re unsure how the paint will look or adhere, test it out on a small, inconspicuous area before painting the entire piece.

7. Use a High-Quality Leather Primer

Invest in a good quality leather primer to ensure your paint adheres properly and lasts long.

8. Don’t Rush

Take your time with each step of the process for best results. Rushing through the painting process can lead to mistakes or uneven coverage.

Overall, painting leather furniture is a fun and creative way to add personality to your home decor. You can transform your old leather furniture into a unique and colorful statement piece with the right supplies, techniques, and patience. So grab your paintbrushes and get ready to create something exceptional!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Any Type of Paint on Leather Furniture?

No, it’s best to stick with acrylic paint as it provides the best coverage and flexibility for leather surfaces. Other types of paint may crack or peel over time.

Do I Need to Sand the Leather Before Painting?

Yes, gently sanding the leather surface is important for creating a base that allows the paint to adhere properly. However, be careful not to sand too hard, as it can damage the leather.

How Long Will the Paint Last on My Furniture?

Proper care and maintenance allow the paint on your leather furniture to last several years. However, it’s always a good idea to touch up any areas that may begin to show wear and tear over time.

Is Painting Leather Furniture Permanent?

No, painting leather furniture is not permanent and can be removed with certain products if desired. However, with proper preparation and sealing, your painted design should last long.

Painting Leather Furniture is Not Permanent

Can You Paint Directly on Leather?

We highly recommend using a leather primer before painting to ensure the paint adheres properly and lasts longer. This also helps to prevent any cracking or peeling of the paint. Remember to always follow the instructions on your chosen products for best results.

So go ahead and get creative with your leather furniture, and have fun adding a personal touch to your home décor! There’s no limit to what you can create with paint and some imagination. Happy painting! And remember, always use the appropriate sealing products to protect it from scratches or spills.


In conclusion, painting leather furniture is a simple and fun DIY project that can transform your old pieces into unique and personalized works of art. With the right supplies, techniques on how to paint leather furniture, and patience, you can create beautiful designs that reflect your style and add a pop of color to any room in your home.

Therefore, when painting leather furniture, be confident with the challenge. With some background research, practice, and careful execution, you can create an amazing new look to enhance the beauty and durability of your leather couch or chair.

If you want to back up that transformation with professional expertise, find a reliable upholstery specialist with plenty of experience customizing and restoring leather furniture. Of course, if this kind of undertaking is still too difficult for you to try yourself – or you simply don’t have the time – it may be worth investing in quality interior design services from an expert in-home designer.

Ultimately, whatever look you choose for your sofa will bring joy and give your space some character – so have fun decorating it! Share your favorite painting techniques or stories with us – we’d love to hear from you! So gather your materials, follow these tips, and let your creativity flow to create a unique masterpiece you can be proud of.

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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