Asked on Oct 04, 2015

Two chairs failing Is there a "paint on" fix for leather or faux

by Laurie
The desk chair is still sturdy, comfortable, casters intact. As pictures show the brown is actually peeling off. I am not an upholster. I would like to make this chair presentable for a few more years. The lazyboy is fine, solid, functional but the foot rest is wearing and crackling. Great idea? Great product you can recommend from experience? Paint on leather look? I know acrylic paint and mod podge don't hold up. Thank you.
Front edge of desk chair
Desk chair arm wear and front edge of seat
desk chair edge delaminating from under fabric
Front view desk chair
Lazyboy footrest wear
Footrest on Lazyboy wearing through and marring but not peeling
  15 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Oct 04, 2015
    There are paints available for leather. Check your local home Improvement stores.
  • Z Z on Oct 04, 2015
    Your office chair peeling is very similar to some chintz covered wing chairs where their coating was pealing this is what I did. 1. Peal away any loose sections and very lightly sand any bubbled areas so there are not longer and loose edges. 2. Use interior latex paint in the color of your choice in a satin finish to paint over (I used a mini foam roller for a smoother finish) the whole piece, sanding lightly after each coat dries. Mine took five coats, but I also had a couple thread bare areas to cover. 3. Once you feel you chair is covered well use a paste wax over the hole of the chair buffing it to a smooth finish. 4. Dust with baby powder to help dry the wax. Below is photos of my chairs. They won't last forever, but you should easily get a couple more years out of your office chair. As for the foot rest on your Lazyboy recliner, you can use cognac shoe polish. Make sure to buff it well afterwards and let it completely dry before using again.
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  • Gail Gail on Oct 06, 2015
    Michaels Craft Store has some leather stain and top coat. Leather stain comes in small little bottles but the stain goes a long way. I think I would use some leather glue to put the edges down first to stop the peeling, use a light touch. You can go online to Tandy Leather for all kinds of supplies for leather. Clean and condition with leather conditioner or use saddle soap. On fake leather body oil and sweat will cause it to crake so keep it clean and conditioned
  • Linda Linda on Oct 06, 2015
    I spray painted some leather restaurant booths. I found a spray paint that auto upholstery people use. They usually put it on the dash boards of vehicles. It worked beautifully and lasted for years. I don't know if JC Whitney would carry this or not. I got it from a local shop that did vehicle restorations. Hope this helps. Comes in almost all colors.
  • M2Texas M2Texas on Oct 06, 2015
    The ladies at Velvet Finishes on their website show using their paint on two different leather surfaces. On their site or another, I saw that someone had used E6000 Glue, which is a clear gel to smooth over the bad spots and tears. They used popsicle sticks to apply it. I think the glue drys to a similar texture as smooth leather. One of their painted projects made the leather look butter soft. The other project they painted came out shiny, but beautiful. I guess the type of finish on the leather/vinyl is what made the difference. I have an office chair like yours which I love, and I thought about trying their paint on it.
  • Arlene Fitzpatrick Arlene Fitzpatrick on Oct 06, 2015
    I wonder if FlexSeal comes in a color that would be a close enough match (or maybe you could add an "accent" color).
  • Hb Hb on Oct 08, 2015
    First let's establish that this is NOT a leather chair . It may have been sold as bonded Leather or faux leather which means there are a few fibers of leather incorporated into the material but the material is not really leather so you would basically be painting the material that they adhered the vinyl or plastic to . Google bonded leather and this is the explanation " Bonded leather is a plastic material (generally polyurethane or vinyl), backed with fabric and then a layer of latex mixed with a small percentage of leather fibers glued to underside of the material." So to paint these chairs is a viable option as the material is really a vinyl . Real leather would never separate like your material is doing .
    • Lynne Webb Lynne Webb on Sep 24, 2016
      You are right. I bought a recliner and ignored the word 'bonded' associated with leather. My chair looked just like this when I hauled it to the dump. Bad me, I didn't think about looking for anything to remedy the situation but not only did it fray, pressure points from my body became hazy.
  • Katsi Duzynski Katsi Duzynski on Jan 03, 2016
    Yes - this is definitely faux - 'fake' leather which is bonded. You can use spray paint for 'faux' leather, fabric and vinyl -- First I'd rub gesso into the areas where the 'faux' leather material is rubbing off - ONLY after sanding with fine sandpaper thus making sure nothing is peeling adjacent to damaged areas -- Dick Blick's gesso is ok. THE GESSO ACTS AS A STABILIZER - just like on a canvas for painting! Then, after gesso is dry- having given it a day to soak in and dry completely -- as gesso is also an acrylic product (as was the original 'faux' leather product used to make it). When gesso is dry you can then spray paint the chair using the Rust-O-Leum brand vinyl and fabric paint in the color you like! Good luck! You can wax the leather too, using a clear paste wax for furniture - rubbing it gently and wiping off excess. Some chalk paint manufacturers suggest this when using their products - a light wax - (clear color-wise) acts as a seal - and it does not feel tacky or sticky when used with chalk paint, on hardwood furniture that has been painted with their products. Have fun and good luck!
  • Melanie Melanie on Sep 24, 2016
    I sit curled up in my recliner. Where my foot rubs my faux leather peels off like that. My chair is 3 months old. Never again will i save money and buy "bonded" leather.
  • Laurie Laurie on Dec 05, 2016

    That original peeling brown bonded leather chair shown above is mine. I spent an evening peeling off whatever leather would come loose, about 75% of the sitting surfaces. I ripped at the finish with a stiff wire brush and slapped at it with some coarse sandpaper. I painted it blue with latex house paint randomly mixed with some modpodge. That was in June. Now, it is December. We sit in it everyday for computer use and TV watching. So far, so good. Bought some time until we are ready to invest in new den decor.

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    • Dana Moore Dana Moore on Apr 22, 2017

      Incredible! What were your rations of paint to modge??? I have to fix my lovely (note sarcasm) peeling bonded leather sofa before my mom-in-law visits!!!

  • Ta Ta on Dec 17, 2016

    Looks beautiful. And no one elae has that exact color so it's one of a kind!

  • Parle Parle on Dec 28, 2016

    Love it!

  • Ava McAlpine Ava McAlpine on Jan 15, 2017

    We were told the "bonded leather" sold in all furniture stores , that we paid $2,400 to have our reclining wing backs recovered in , would out last us ...... 3 yrs and peeling ... my husband just said no way , I'll recover them ... u tube videos and for $150 we have recovered two reclining wing backs and two tub chairs .... they look amazing ... patience lots of pics before during and after removing fabric for patterns and ...... all upholsterers are charging for is removing a. Million staples once that is done..... super easy !!!!!! I would recommend all women get their husbands to recover furniture , if they're handy and particular

    • Lisa Lisa on Aug 22, 2017

      Where are the pics? And what you tube diy did you &"your husband" decide upon ? Chalk Paint? Restoring Company merchandise? SHARE.. Smile

  • Kathleen Langford Kathleen Langford on Jan 09, 2018

    Here is a video that names the products and how to do it ...

    • Judy Judy on Jan 02, 2020

      I can’t open the video. Coul you send me the link? Thank you

  • Beletew Beletew on Jan 16, 2018

    I am using a off white pu sofa. can I paint it on top of existing or do i need to prep the surface first ?