A STEP BY STEP ON HOW TO PAINT A FAUX LEATHER FINISH ON UPHOLSTERY FABRIC
Do you have an old chair that’s still in good shape but the fabric is super dated? I have the perfect solution! With a little paint, you can turn it into a high-end leather [looking] beauty!
Today I’m sharing How To Make Fabric Look Like Leather.
I absolutely L•O•V•E this makeover and I can’t wait to hear what YOU think!
Here’s what I started with. This floral wingback chair from the ’90s. It was my dog’s favorite. She used to clean her face and dirty paws on it like it was her personal face cloth… can you tell?…lol.
Here’s the painted faux leather chair now… what do you think?
If I didn’t paint this myself, I almost wouldn’t believe it was the same chair!
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HOW TO PAINT FABRIC INTO FAUX LEATHER
Here’s the full video tutorial. If you are having any problems viewing, feel free to visit my channel here.
STEP 1 Prep Chair For Paint
I started by giving this chair a good vacuum. I was going to clean the upholstery but then decided the majority of the dirt was on the skirt which was coming off anyway.
The skirt was held on with staples. I used a screwdriver and pliers to remove them. Once I got into the groove they came out fairly easy which I share in the video. There were a few staples that broke off and were too hard to take out, so I hammered back into the wood. This is important because the staples are sharp. They can be dangerous to your pets and/or your legs. Make sure ALL the staples are removed or hammered back in for safety!
To keep the paint off the legs and underbelly, I masked off the areas with painters tape. Well, my sister, Andrea did. I had her help at the start of this project. 🙂
STEP 2 Paint Fabric
Painting fabric is really easy to do. The key is to get your fabric wet enough to absorb the pigment of the paint. This way it dyes the fabric instead of just sitting on top of the fabric.
I picked this Terracotta and Chocolate Chalk Mineral Paint to create the base color for the wingback. I mixed approximately a 3:1 ratio which is about 75% Terracotta and 25% Chocolate. Using my big 3″ Wooster brush, I dipped it in a bowl of water to get the bristles it nice and wet, and then dipped it into the paint.
- Dip Brush in Water
- Dip Brush in Paint
- Paint Fabric and Repeat
Some people prefer to use a water mister and spray the fabric before painting.
I tried both methods on this Granny Chair I painted 4 years ago and I find dipping the brush MUCH easier and faster than spraying the fabric. It’s a good idea to try both methods and see which works better for you.
Here’s what the chair looked like after the first coat…
STEP 3 Repeat
After the first coat was almost dry (still slightly damp) I applied a second coat. I repeated for a total of three coats to totally cover the floral pattern.
If you were to stop right there and give it a waxing, the results are still impressive! But I thought I’d try a faux leather finish with a little more detail on this one.
STEP 4 Glaze
After my third coat of paint was dry, I added some Chocolate to the leftover paint I had in the container along with a little VanDyke Brown Glaze. I didn’t measure but I’m guessing it was around 10-15% glaze to 85-90% paint. The glaze was added to give me a little more playtime to create some texture.
I applied a coat of this paint/glaze mixture working in sections.
To get the leather texture look, I crumpled up a piece of tissue paper and then laid it on the wet paint/glaze mixture.
Using a soft dry brush, I gently brushed the tissue paper onto the wet paint/glaze.
Once all the tissue paper had made contact, I pulled it up right away. Isn’t this amazing?! I was so impressed by how authentic it looked!
STEP 5 Wax and Sand
To finish this faux leather chair, I used this brown wax to darken up the seams and random areas on the leather. I like using a cheap dollar store brush which I keep on hand for dark waxing.
The wax was applied heavier in some areas, lighter in others and then I gently wiped the excess off with a shop towel. Because I didn’t rub and buff the wax, it will take longer to dry. I’ll check it periodically but I probably won’t be sitting on it for the next 1-2 weeks just to be sure.
To soften everything up, I gave the chair a light sanding with a 220 sanding pad.
I’m loving my “new” wingback leather chair!
It really does look and have a similar feel to leather.
Here’s another look at the before and after.
LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK OF THIS FAUX LEATHER CHAIR MAKEOVER… OR FEEL FREE TO ASK ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE… I ALWAYS LOVE HEARING FROM YOU!
Happy furniture painting my friends!
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