Using Chalk Paint on a Leather Ottoman

by Conniegerock
9 Materials
1 Minute
Quick makeover for my leather ottoman
Step 1 – Work Area
Place the ottoman onto a plastic or canvas drop cloth.  I used an old vinyl tablecloth for the floor and a plastic drop cloth to cover the little chairs since my ottoman does not have legs.  Have your brushes, roller, paint and rags within reach.  
Step 2 – Clean Ottoman
Clean the leather, I used Lestoil it cleans dirt, grime and oily residue really well.  Take your time and make sure every area is cleaned. When finished, let air dry or use a clean rag to dry it.

Step 3 - Remove Coating
Some leather may be covered with oils or wax which needs to be removed in order for the paint to bind. Apply rubbing alcohol to a clean rag and thoroughly scrub the area of the ottoman. This will remove the majority of the protective layers.You will then take sandpaper (a fine grit) and gently sand the leather.  This will remove any leftover finish that was on the leather.  Plus it helps to bind the paint.  Prep Time: 30 min
Step 4 - Painting
I decided not to prime,  just start painting.    In a small tub I mixed a little paint and water (4 parts Chalk Paint to 1 part water).   When it slightly dry to touch I pushed on the ottoman a bit to see if the paint was going to crack.  It didn’t.  1st Coat from painting to drying Time: 1 hr
Step 5 - Paint Away
Ready to apply the second coat, once it drys you can add a thin layer of acrylic paint, again check with gentle push on ottoman to check for cracking  It is always better to apply thin coats so it will dry faster as well as lasting longer than thick coats,2nd Coat and drying’ Time: 1 hr There are acrylic paints made for leather.  I will NOT be adding a coat since I plan to paint designs with acrylic paint. If I really mess up iit is not a big issue since I only paid $5 for the Ottoman at a thrift store.  That to me is the fun of trying something for the first time.
Suggested materials:
  • Cleaning solution
  • Chalk Paint
  • Paint rollers/brushes
See all materials
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
Join the conversation
  • Wendy Wendy on Jun 12, 2017

    Love it Connie! What a transformation :)

  • Mary Mary on Jun 18, 2017

    I love this idea, but am concerned about wear. I use my chair OFTEN and would hate having chips of paint on my floor or clothes. Do you have any idea how long this would last?

    • Susie Dayman Susie Dayman on Feb 26, 2018

      I chalk painted 2 foot stools, my children sit all over them, eating and drinking, we all put our feet on them too-- they've lasted for a year so far! No stains, no chips.