How to Paint on Leather Furniture

Painting on leather

We paint on murals and canvas all the time - but have you considered leather furniture as the platform for your latest painting masterpiece?

Sure, Picasso's greatest works weren't found on leather sofas, but that doesn't mean that you can't pave the way for art's newest trend with these tips and tricks.


Once you've decided that painting on leather is in your future, it's time to go shopping for materials that will help you get the job done.

Leather is a sensitive material that will shine with the right types of paint, and suffer damage from the wrong ones, so it's important to carefully review the ingredients prior to application.

The most important tip for painting safely on leather is to use high-quality, water-based paint: like Acrylic or Polyurethane. These water-based paints are able to adhere to leather material without cracking over time, and they respond well to changes in temperature or external factors.

But not just any old water-based paint will do - especially if you're attempting a Picasso level of quality. At Furniture Clinic, we recommend utilizing paint that's specifically designed for use on leather, like our very own Leather Paint. When we created our Leather Paint product, which is a water-based Polyurethane paint, we tested out solutions that were both flexible and long-lasting. The result was a leather paint that our customers know and love today, and leather artists around the world agree that, whether you use our product or not, you should invest in a paint that is guaranteed safe-for-use.

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Equipped with your new water-based leather paint, it feels like it's go time for your newest painting project. But first, there are a few steps that you should take to ensure your leather furniture is ready, too.

Clean the Leather First

You wouldn't paint on a dirty canvas, so take the same approach to painting your leather furniture! You will want to first wipe down the leather surface with a solvent cleaner, like Leather Prep, which will remove grease, wax, silicone or oils that would cause adhesion issues if not removed.

Test Your Paint in a Small Area

With any product, it's important to test it first on a small area prior to applying it to larger areas. This is a recommended part of the process, as it enables you to see how the leather reacts to the product (and gives you a good idea of how the color will look!)

Apply the Paint with a Sponge, Airbrush, or Paint Brush

Depending on the type of design you're going for, a variety of tools will help with successful application. For example, full-coverage on a leather sofa may require an airbrush, but small designs on a leather chair will turn out better with a brush designed for finer details. One recommendation is to apply the design in a few rounds of thinner layers, as compared to applying the design in one thick coat. This will help you control the opacity of the final look.

Seal the Paint

When you're satisfied with your creation, it's time to seal it in so you can marvel at your artistry for years to come! To seal in the leather paint, apply a product like Leather Finish which helps to prevent scuffing, scratching, or other factors that arise with normal wear and tear.

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We Would Love to See Your Designs!

We love to hear that our customers have used our Leather Paint to bring art to life on their leather furniture. If you decide to try it out, we hope that you send some photos our way so we can appreciate your hidden leather talents!

Whether your goal is to reserve your page in Art History books, or you wish to pursue a more unique platform for your artistic designs, there's never been a better time to take the plunge into a new creative endeavour. And hey - if you want a partner for your new hobby, we’re here to answer any questions or even provide encouragement along the way! We're just as good at giving compliments as we are at creating leather, fabric, and wood products - so give us a call or fill out our online contact form today if you need a little creative encouragement.

Happy painting and we look forward to seeing your future leather furniture masterpieces!