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

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Lily Oleynik
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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  • Pampam Pampam on Aug 11, 2021

    Do you know if this would work for outdoor furniture? I would like to paint the sling holding the cushions on a garden swing. The cushions do not need to be painted. I painted the metal frame but I can’t find outdoor fabric paint in the colour I need

  • Marnidarr Marnidarr on Dec 27, 2021

    If you need to clean it, what should you use and what should you avoid? Beautiful effect, btw!

  • Monica Bradshaw Monica Bradshaw on Apr 01, 2022

    Does this work with furniture that is not microfiber? I have a fabric loveseat that I would love to transform using this paint method. Slipcovers are annoying.

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