How To Paint Your Old Couch + Paint That Acts Like Faux Leather!

9 Materials
4 Days

Hi Everyone, today I want to share how I transformed my old microfiber futon. I also share my special secret paint recipe that rubberizes paint to make it feel like faux leather.

First off here's a photo of the futon before. It was donated to us by a friend and wasn't in the best condition. It looked like it was rained on and the color was faded and blotchy. We used it as patio furniture for a while. Eventually decided to give it an upgrade. Thus this DIY came to life.

I should mention I've tried every fabric paint I could put my hands on. Doing thin layers and thinning out with water. Sanding in between layers. I even tried the martha stewart fabric additive and my paint still felt hard and crusty. I really wanted a soft feel to the paint so I kept experimenting. It took more than a few attempts and I finally stumbled on this DIY fabric recipe by total accident.

The Recipe Is :

Add 3 tablepoons of fabric softener to 1/2 cup of paint and stir for about 15 seconds

If you want to double the recipe. I would read the full tutorial on my blog ( link below) because the paint does eventually rubberize and is harder to work with. I've picked up a few tricks to work around this.

YEP! That's it.

CAUTION : I should mention that different fabric softeners react differently with some paints. I would recommend using the same exact products I used. I say this because I've heard feedback from people that have tried different products and had poor results.

Here's more photos of the products used as well as paint colors -

To paint my couch I applied three coats of paint and let it dry completely before applying my vintage leather effect.

For my vintage leather effect I applied a dab of darker paint to a moist sponge and rubbed it on. This gave the faux leather depth and contrast.

Here it is complete. I've had a lot of requests for an update on how it held up. The couch was painted August 2018 and it's still holding up really well. There's no signs of cracking or peeling AT ALL! I'm super impressed with it.

Here's a close up on the vintage leather effect.

I've never tried this on faux leather so I'm not sure. You can always give your old faux leather furniture a try before painting the whole thing. An area that's not so visible maybe.

How to Protect it BETTER ??

I did not add any clear coat to my couch however I did try a bunch of swatches to see how they held up on the paint. Whatever you do DO NOT WAX the couch. For some reason wax makes the paint crack almost instantly. There are a few other options I came accross that I really loved. For more info on this and any questions, you can visit my blog for a more thorough tutorial + Video -

Here's the link

Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

21 Totally Terrific Things You Can Do With Doilies
15 Quick and Easy Gift Ideas Using Buttons
17 DIY Projects You Can Start And Finish Tonight
11 Unexpected Ways to Use Spices in Your Home
30 Unusual & Helpful Gardening Tips You'll Want To Know
16 Ways to Showcase Your Herb Garden
No Way! These Pops of Color Were Made With Dollar Store Items!
11 Unexpected Ways to Use Spices in Your Home
15 Genius Curtain Ideas To Instantly Upgrade Your Space
15 Affordable DIY Projects You Can Do Right Now!
11 Unexpected Ways to Use Spices in Your Home
15 Kitchen Updates Under $20
27 Gorgeous Update Ideas For Your Bedroom
31 Amazing Furniture Flips You Have to See to Believe
29 Of The Best DIY Mirror Projects Ever Made
Lily Oleynik

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


Have a question about this project?

3 of 108 questions
  • Sj
    on Jan 20, 2020

    Has anyone done this on upholstered furniture rather than microfiber faux suede?

  • Paulette Newby
    on Jan 21, 2020

    I have a faux leather set that is virtually peeling each time anyone sits on it . I just covered it with a fabric cover will this technique work if I totally peel the faux leather ?? Please help !! The furniture is still very sturdy and I’d like to keep it

  • Lauriane McMurdo
    on Feb 4, 2020

    Hi there I'm writing from new Zealand. We don't have Glidden paint and just wanted some clarification

    Is this acrylic or latex paint? It looks like it is an interior paint with primer from what I can see on tin. But will need to go to local paint shop and not sure what to ask for

    Many thanks and it looks incredible kindly lauriane

Join the conversation

2 of 169 comments
  • Shirley
    on Jan 10, 2020

    No I have a real leather suite,and would be apprehensive. As I wouldn't want to ruin it,but it's a fabulous idea and couch looks amazing

  • Maureen
    on Feb 4, 2020

    Looks absolutely beautiful. You would never know that is the same sofa.

Your comment...