Recreated Designs
Recreated Designs
  • Hometalker
  • Canada

Turning Micro-Suede Into the Look of Leather With Paint


This is one of those times I wish you could just pop by my living room and see for yourself the transformation that happened to this foot stool/storage cube. I can describe the process for painting micro-suede here, but I know you won't get the full effect of the finish product; and it is truly amazing!
turning micro suede into the look of leather with paint, chalk paint, painted furniture
I have been wanting a foot stool to go with my oversized armchair in my living room for quite awhile. As with the rest of my projects, I didn't want to spend a ton of money, but wanted something that looked classic and beautiful. After searching for some time, I finally came across this very bright, very teenager-ish turquoise storage cube at the Salvation Army and for some reason if felt "right". It was in great condition and only $10 so I figured why not and carted it home.
turning micro suede into the look of leather with paint, chalk paint, painted furniture
I set out to paint the micro-suede fabric with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White. The first two coats got pretty sucked up by the fabric and made it kind of stiff and weird feeling. I decided to keep with it though and see what would happen if I added a few more coats. I ended up putting 4 coats of the white on it and I couldn't believe what happen; the fabric actually began to take on a leathery look and feel! It was truly remarkable.
turning micro suede into the look of leather with paint, chalk paint, painted furniture
Once I saw how the foot stool looked in the space, I knew it had to be brown NOT white. I had some brown latex paint so gave it another two coats in that colour and I loved the look! After all of the painting was finished I gave the entire cube a coat of antiquing wax to give it some variation in colour and depth. The wax dried up beautifully and gave it a very supple look and feel.
turning micro suede into the look of leather with paint, chalk paint, painted furniture
I couldn't (and still can't) believe the outcome... the little turquoise cube had magically transformed into a beautiful leathery looking foot stool. I felt like it was the story of the ugly duckling and the swan all over again! I sooo wish that you could actually reach in and touch it because my words will never do justice to how much the stool looks and feels like leather.
I still can't believe that this $10 cube turned into such a beautiful piece; way beyond what I could have imagined. Give it a whirl, I would highly recommend it!

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 6 questions
  • Darci Hemleb Thompson
    on Mar 20, 2016

    I have never heard of antiquing wac. Can you post a pic of the jar/can etc or give me the brand and sku?

    • Donna
      on Mar 21, 2016

      It makes the paint so flexible, you think you're working with paper, right Kramsey? lol

  • Doreen
    on Mar 20, 2016

    Absolutely love it, looks like leather, but my question is about the gorgon fabric chair, where did you get it?? I'm in love w/it! Fabric is so so pretty!!!

    • Doreen
      on Mar 20, 2016

      We have Ashley Furniture in US, thank you!!

  • Judith Miller
    on Mar 21, 2016

    Absolutely gorgeous! Did you spray the fabric with water before painting? I have heard of the spay first method but understood the fabric stayed pliable. I really like the leather look and wonder if dry painting is the secret. Thank for sharing

    • Recreated Designs
      on Mar 21, 2016

      I didn't spray it Judith. I know you can (and I have done that with other pieces) but I think by not spraying it this time it kept the fabric stiffer which created the leather look :) That being said though, I haven't applied paint to microsuede with spraying the water to see what the difference would be. Usually you spray it though to keep the fabric supple so it would make sense that it stiffened up nicely by not spraying it. Hope that helps ;)

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