How to Paint a Leather Chair

3 Materials
3 Hours

If you have a leather chair that is good shape but doesn't match your colors, you can PAINT it! and completely update its look!

Let me introduce you to an amazing new paint product that helps you transform leather furniture!!! I used it to update a chair in a more modern gray palette that fits my new office design.
I found this burgundy chair on Craigslist for $50 bucks!!  And it is so beautiful……but it just did NOT match my new office design plans at all!!!!

I loved the style and the size though. It is missing one tuft and a few nailhead buttons. But that didn't matter since it is going behind my desk.

First thing you want to do with leather before you paint it, is strip the oils. I used straight rubbing alcohol. I coated a wash cloth and gave it two good wash downs and let it dry.
Then I started painting with Heirloom Traditions Finish All Paint in "Weather Vane" a nice warm neutral, but modern gray. It's an all-in-one paint -- no priming, no sealing, no waxing ... and it paints on EVERYTHING - leather, vinyl, wood and fabric! It comes in 8 colors and you can find the paint links in my entire blog post here.

This paint works on most fabrics, except high-mat fabric like velvet.

Make sure you get your "tooth coat" in all the cracks and crevices, making sure to spread out the leather folds around the buttons and stippling the paint in there.
I painted right over the nailhead buttons, stippling over them, because later I am going to paint those silver. It's so much easier than taping over the nailheads. When I do that part (eventually), I'll use my finger tip to paint the nailheads. You can make them look metal again with metallic paints.
Let it dry and then paint a second coat. (On fabric it dries very fast, sometimes only 1 coat is needed. ) The Finish All Paint self-levels so well that you don't need to use an expensive brush!
Is this gorgeous!? The gray is so modern. And honestly, brand new leather chairs are expensive. This one looks BRAND NEW now!

The before and after comparison blows my mind.  I use Finish All on fabric chairs weekly when I paint my signature mermaids and fancy lady chairs.

But I am even more fond of it for leather!  I want to go out and save all the outdated leather chairs and paint them!!!  Bring me all the old leather chairs!!!!

If you want to get more painting tips and furniture makeovers, follow my Tracey's Fancy blog here.

You can also find me on Facebook: @TraceysFancy and share your leather chair makeovers with me! You'll also be able to catch me Live sharing other projects. I'd love to hear from you!!!

If you'd like to see a video of me painting this gray leather chair, click on the blog link below!

Thank you, fancies!

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Tracey Bellion

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


Have a question about this project?

3 of 16 questions
  • Leslie Lamproe
    on Jan 20, 2019

    I was just given a leather arm chair, it has a large body oil stain on the back. Will this paint cover this.

  • Amy
    on Aug 25, 2019

    I am curious how long to let the chair "cure", before being able to comfortably sit in it and use it?

  • Kimberly
    on Dec 7, 2019

    How has this paint job held up after a year and a half?

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