Yvette Gray
Yvette Gray
  • Hometalker
  • San Diego, CA

How to Create a Faux Leather Finish Using Brown Paper


This tutorial will walk you through the steps to create a faux leather look simply by using brown craft paper, glue and paint or stain. This treatment can be used on furniture,walls, book covers and even floors!
how to create a faux leather finish using brown paper, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, Supplies you ll need Elmer s Glue and water or Matte Mod Podge brown craft paper brown grocery or lunch sacks can also be used paint brushes paint or stain of your choice
Supplies you'll need: Elmer's Glue and water (or Matte Mod Podge), brown craft paper (brown grocery or lunch sacks can also be used), paint brushes, paint or stain of your choice.
how to create a faux leather finish using brown paper, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, Tear your craft paper into the sizes of your choice Do not use scissors to cut the paper as you want irregular borders Only use straight edged pieces on the straight edges of your project Irregular pieces look more natural
Tear your craft paper into the sizes of your choice. Do not use scissors to cut the paper as you want irregular borders. Only use straight edged pieces on the straight edges of your project. Irregular pieces look more natural.
how to create a faux leather finish using brown paper, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, Then crumple your pieces into tight balls You want to create lots of wrinkles in your paper Note the roll of masking paper I used in this project was purchased from Home Depot for about 3 It can be found in the paint department
Then crumple your pieces into tight balls. You want to create lots of wrinkles in your paper. (Note, the roll of masking paper I used in this project was purchased from Home Depot for about $3. It can be found in the paint department.)
how to create a faux leather finish using brown paper, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, Now flatten your pieces out and set them aside
Now flatten your pieces out and set them aside.
how to create a faux leather finish using brown paper, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, Mix 1 part regular Elmer s School Glue with 2 3 parts water You don t want your glue too watery or too sticky but you want to be able to spread it easily over your surfaces I haven t tried using Mod Podge for this project yet
Mix 1 part regular Elmer's School Glue with 2-3 parts water. You don't want your glue too watery or too sticky, but you want to be able to spread it easily over your surfaces. (I haven't tried using Mod Podge for this project yet.)
how to create a faux leather finish using brown paper, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, Brush your glue water mixture onto your surface Note If you have a slick or glossy surface you ll need to prime or lightly sand it first so your glue has something to stick to Otherwise your paper may not adhere to it properly
Brush your glue/water mixture onto your surface. (Note: If you have a slick or glossy surface, you'll need to prime or lightly sand it first so your glue has something to stick to. Otherwise, your paper may not adhere to it properly.)
how to create a faux leather finish using brown paper, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, Then lay one of your pieces on your prepared surface and brush your glue mixture on top of your paper to adhere it to your surface You re basically decoupaging your pieces to the surface
Then lay one of your pieces on your prepared surface and brush your glue mixture on top of your paper to adhere it to your surface. You’re basically decoupaging your pieces to the surface.
how to create a faux leather finish using brown paper, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, Be careful to not saturate your paper or apply too much pressure You don t want to brush out the wrinkles or tear your paper
Be careful to not saturate your paper or apply too much pressure. You don't want to brush out the wrinkles or tear your paper.
how to create a faux leather finish using brown paper, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, Now add your next piece slightly overlapping the prior piece so you don t have gaps Try to use pieces that match the edges of your prior piece It s sort of like putting together a puzzle
Now add your next piece, slightly overlapping the prior piece so you don't have gaps. Try to use pieces that match the edges of your prior piece. It's sort of like putting together a puzzle.
how to create a faux leather finish using brown paper, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, Then brush your glue water mixture over your piece as you did the prior piece Continue doing this until you ve covered your project Make sure to fold your pieces over any edges if possible
Then brush your glue/water mixture over your piece as you did the prior piece. Continue doing this until you've covered your project. Make sure to fold your pieces over any edges if possible.
how to create a faux leather finish using brown paper, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, If you develop any air bubbles gently smooth them out being careful to not tear your paper
If you develop any air bubbles, gently smooth them out, being careful to not tear your paper.
how to create a faux leather finish using brown paper, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, When your project is completely covered let it dry
When your project is completely covered, let it dry.
how to create a faux leather finish using brown paper, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, Once your project is dry you can apply paint or stain depending on the look you are trying to achieve Here are some examples from L R Raw Umber craft paint Dark Walnut stain black paint Red Mahogany Stain Antique Cherry stain
Once your project is dry, you can apply paint or stain depending on the look you are trying to achieve. Here are some examples from L-R: Raw Umber craft paint; Dark Walnut stain, black paint; Red Mahogany Stain; Antique Cherry stain.
how to create a faux leather finish using brown paper, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, Here is a closer look at the Raw Umber Craft Paint L next to the Dark Walnut Stain R Note the black paint in the prior example was diluted with water and will need another coat once dry The samples were still wet in the photo
Here is a closer look at the Raw Umber Craft Paint (L) next to the Dark Walnut Stain (R). (Note, the black paint in the prior example was diluted with water and will need another coat once dry. The samples were still wet in the photo.)
how to create a faux leather finish using brown paper, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, Depending on your project you can either leave it alone after it has dried or seal it with a polyurethane This is optional unless your project is going to need protection from heavy use or traffic Polyurethane comes in many forms
Depending on your project, you can either leave it alone after it has dried, or seal it with a polyurethane. This is optional unless your project is going to need protection from heavy use or traffic. Polyurethane comes in many forms.
And there you have it! A faux leather finish that is simple and inexpensive to create. I hope you found this tutorial useful and informative. (Note, the finish on this piece was created using Raw Umber acrylic craft paint.) Good luck!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 13 questions
  • Penny Parker
    on Feb 19, 2018

    Can I use his technique over wallpaper? The wallpaper has a slight texture.
  • Angelia McCall
    on Apr 11, 2018

    Can you sand down places that might come out rough?

    • Sarah
      on Jan 22, 2019

      I used this technique on my bathroom floor. There were some places that were more wrinkly than what I wanted once it dried. I went over those spots gently with a fine sandpaper on my orbital sander and liked that it blended together so much better that I sanded over the entire floor before staining. If it happens to tear, use the same steps you did in the beginning to cover it up

  • Jackie
    on May 31, 2018

    Has anyone tried brown paperbag on kitchen cabinets? I was thinking just doing the inside panel staining grey and doing chalk paint on the outside border. Any comments would b appreciated 😀

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