Stencil DIY: Leather Club Chair Goes Drab to Fab!

Have you become obsessed with Royal Design Studio stencils and Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan? It's no secret that I am passionate about the possibilities of using both together. You may have seen my stenciled and painted sofa earlier this year on Paint + Pattern. I so loved it, that I wanted to do a "pleather" club chair that I picked up for $75 at a consignment shop. It is my home studio "curl-up-with-a-magazine" spot.
If you have a piece to try this on, let's paint! If not, fall is the perfect time to grab friends and a pumpkin latte to hit the Saturday morning yard sales.
One caveat: this is the perfect project if you are an experienced - or - adventurous stenciler. If you crave absolute perfection, a project with flat surfaces may be more fun for you. If you love trying something new, where the design pattern may have to fit imperfectly around corners and in nooks and crannies, great!
Royal Design Studio Kimono Allover stencil
Royal Design Studio's 2" stencil brush
Motsenbackers Lift-Off 5 to clean the stencil
Chalk Paint (R) by Annie Sloan: Olive, Country Grey and Old White, Annie Sloan paint brushes, Dark Soft Wax
Tape, no-lint wiping rags, low-odor mineral spirits, containers, water and plastic water bottle (if your piece is fabric)
Give your piece a good cleaning. If it's fabric, just wipe with a cloth if necessary. Since mine was leather-like, I wiped it down with soap and water and dried it off. I decided not to paint the wooden feet, so I taped them off.
Using Olive Chalk Paint(R), paint two coats and let dry.
Pro-tip: If your piece is fabric, mist it lightly with water, using a sprayer. Pour some paint in a different container, add about 10% water for the first coat so that the paint will penetrate the surface of the fabric. Use full-strength paint for the second coat.
Design your piece. Do you want it to be simple or ornate? Do you want to do an all-over pattern or just elements of the stencil ?
(Your stencil comes with a wonderful pattern-matching instruction - so check it out before you begin.)
Begin stenciling using Country Grey on the back. Why? Since it often will not be seen, it's a great place to practice. Of course, you can always repaint anything if you change your mind. Find a spot on the stencil that looks good as the center pattern, tape the stencil and begin stenciling the design.
Pro-tip: Sometimes the tape doesn't stick well, so have your paint, paper towels for off-loading and brush nearby in case you have to hold the stencil in place.
Continue stenciling the entire piece, filling in all the pattern in each section. For areas where it can be difficult to bend the stencil, you have to just cram it in place as best you can. You can use a small brush to fill in hard-to-reach areas. Really, no one will know
In a clean container, mix one part Dark Soft Wax to one part mineral spirits to make a glaze to soften and age the look. Using an old chip brush, brush on the mix in sections then immediately wipe off any excess wax. Wax the feet as well!
When complete, wait 30 minutes or so, then wipe and buff again with a clean cloth, until all areas are wax-free and have a soft finish.
Want more stencil projects, inspiration, and tutorials? Check out our blog Paint + Pattern here:

Resources for this project:

CHALK PAINT (R) by Annie Sloan – Decorative paint for furniture,...
CHALK PAINT (R) by Annie Sloan – Decorative paint for furniture,...
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 18 questions
  • Patricia Lanter
    on Jul 7, 2019

    I have a sofa that is fake leather and it's peeling how can I fix it,help t thank w

    • Christy Vachon
      on Aug 18, 2019

      I had one that was severely peeling. I used Valspar Duramax High-Hiding Paint & Primer all- weather adhesion...satin/exterior and added about 1/4 cup of fabric softener. Use one you like the smell of. I bought a Gallon. I put just a couple coats on the parts that still had leather. I put on about 4 coats on the really worn parts. Using very fine sandpaper in between. It has held up well for a few weeks now.

  • Veronica
    on Jul 7, 2019

    I want to here again how do u do ur cotton chairs.And the ones that have a cotton that feels like swade that reclines on both ends..Help Thank U So much.m

  • Gina Gutierrez
    on Jul 8, 2019

    Does the painted item transfer to clothing if sat on a long time? How do you clean the chair without messing up the stencil work?

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