Painting on faux leather furniture is a great way to give old dated pieces a whole new look fast and for very little money! It may sound scary but you CAN paint on faux leather or real leather and get a great, lasting finish. I tested it myself on a faux leather bench – a piece that gets sat on a lot – to see how well it would hold up. I used Cottage Paint’s Serenity paint line and I love the results! Below are the 3 easy steps to take to paint on faux leather!
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This red, faux leather bench was is good condition (no rips or scratches) but really didn’t suit our taste. I did love it’s large scale and decided it was the perfect piece to test out Cottage Paint’s Serenity line on textiles. Painting leather is a totally doable do-it-yourself project for beginners!
Step 1 – clean the faux leather
Before you paint on faux leather, you will need to make sure it is very clean. Begin by vacuuming out all the crevices and nooks and crannies where dust, dirt and crumbs hide in textile furniture.
Once all the loose dirt is removed, clean the faux leather surface to remove all the oils and greases. We recommend using a TSP substitute like this. After you have cleaned the faux leather surface, use a damp cloth to make sure there is no residue left from your cleaning solution.
Step 2 – let it dry
This is probably the easiest step – let your faux leather surface dry before painting! Is this even a real step? Okay, so maybe you can paint leather furniture in only 2 steps!
Step 3 – paint on faux leather
The best part of painting on faux leather is what you don’t have to do! You don’t have to do anything else to prep the surface of your faux leather furniture before painting. That’s right – no sanding, no priming!
I chose a beautiful light blue from Cottage Paint called Juniper to really give the faux leather bench a whole new look.
If you are using mineral paint you do not have to water down the paint like with some other acrylic paints. Mineral paint is the perfect consistency for painting on leather furniture already.
You can use a regular paint brush, foam brush or roller to apply the paint to the faux leather. Mini paint rollers like these are perfect for painting furniture. The best technique is to apply the paint in long, even strokes. In our experience, it is easy to get a smooth finish on your painted faux leather furniture for several reasons:
- Faux leather is already smooth so there are no natural inconsistencies highlighted by paint;
- Mineral paint has excellent self leveling properties that help eliminate brush strokes.
The second best part of painting faux leather with mineral paint, other than the minimal prep work, is that you don’t need a top coat.
If you want to take your painted leather furniture to the next level, consider added a detail like nail head trim.
How durable is painted faux leather?
I am pleased to report the painted bench has held up really well in our house. Despite a dog and three young kids, the faux leather painted finish has not cracked or scratched! The acrylic base of mineral paint provides such strong adhesion and flexibility that it really is ideal for transforming dated leather or faux leather furniture.