How to Spray Paint Leather so you can Sit On It

Furniture and Cabinetry Redouxs, Furniture Makeovers, Le Junque, Tutorials

How to Spray Paint Leather so you can Sit on It.

Did you know you can spray paint leather??? This Silver Chair once resided in a woman’s house who, sadly, smoked three packs of cigarettes a day for at least 30 years, as long as she lived in the house with the windows shut!  My neighbor gave them to me when my aunt passed away.  I diligently cleaned with almost a gallon of TSP (not joking), and then the process began.

I Painted the frame in a lovely Antique White, then glazed it with a mix of Glaze and Coffee Bean Craft Paint.  The Upholstery got a makeover with Paint!  Yes, you can spray paint Leather; just go slowly.  As in, ONE LIGHT COAT at a time, and build up to about 20 coats.  Wipe off the remaining paint that has not been absorbed, and voila, you have a fantastic new chair, no chips, no runs, it is Silver for good now.  Don’t you love it?

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This is my sad chair in the before state:

And here it is, Spray Painted Leather with Silver Spray Paint!

This little chair is generating a buzz!  Here are some answers to a lot of the questions I am receiving. If you still don’t find your answer here, feel free to email me. I am happy to respond.

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1) Did you paint the frame or leather first?
I thoroughly cleaned the whole thing with TSP and taped off all the leather first, which probably took the longest, as the chair has lovely curves. I painted the piece white; I like DIY Paint in Vintage Linen with a Coffee Bean Glaze. Then pulled the tape. I waited for the paint to cure, then taped off the frame. Then, the Silver Spray began one very light coat at a time. It was worth it, and the end result is so beautiful. It makes me happy every time I walk into that room.

2) What glaze did you use?

I used a glaze that is no longer available.  I highly recommend DIY Paint Liquid Patina.  It’s an all-natural product, and it will work as a Top Coat as well as a Glaze Medium.  This way, you can use it for all kinds of things.

2) How has the chair held up?
The chair is a “side chair” next to my piano in my front room. It gets very little daily use, but we entertain and get put into service. So far, so good.  It looks fantastic. I did take it out once and “dusted” it with a couple more coats of Silver.  I didn’t bother taping off for this, as it was just a quick touch-up.

3) Does the Silver rub off?

No. It is completely bonded to the chair.  I would not recommend putting the chair into service until it has cured for at least 48 hours after you do this process.  I would, however, recommend wiping it with a soft cloth thoroughly before using it because there will be some paint that was not absorbed.

I hope that helps! Thank you for stopping by!

Have a chair that has a stained leather seat?  Don’t throw it out; now you know how to Spray Paint Leather!
Ready to do this project yourself?  You can quickly gather all your supplies at these links:

I hope this inspires you not to turn your nose up at the “free” stuff in life!  If you want to see more free stuff, check back every Tuesday for My Trashy Tuesday Series!


  1. Chrissie

    Awesome! I love these chairs and I am very impressed that you dyed the fabric. I have never thought of that, but it is brilliant!

  2. Jen T

    The lines on those chairs are beautiful. Kudos on dying the fabaric – they turned out great. You are super creative and 'free' is always a good thing!!! JenT

  3. Colleen @ MuralMaker&More

    For real? You spray painted the leather? And it didn't rub off? Man, I don't think I'm that patient! At least, not with spray paint. It turned out gorgeous! So did the other chairs. What talent you have!

    Would love for you to drop by and link up to Passion for Paint this weekend.

  4. Cassie @ Primitive & Proper

    that silver chair is AWESOME!! i would love to have that at my desk- glamorous, updated and gorgeous!

  5. Jen

    Just found your blog via Miss Mustard Seed- I LOVE your chair! That is a great idea to spray the leather… what a time saver and it looks super high end. Great work!

  6. Linda Leyble

    Hi! Just found your blog via design sponge. Your painting the leather is just the most fabulous idea! I paint EVERYTHING (if it hasn't moved in a minute – it gets painted) but I have never thought of this. I guess you figured nothing ventured, nothing gained. I am a decorative artist too and a home stager as well (use Modern Masters alot). I am just now getting very serious about my blogs – so I hope you will follow me (and I will follow you!). Would you like me to forward any of my before and afters for use on your blog? Would love to feature yours as well. My daughter lives in Burlingame – perhaps the next time I am out there…we could meet! So glad I found your blog!! Happy “Redoux – ing!”

    Linda Leyble

  7. Stephanie

    Hi Karen, just saw this on Design Sponge and did a post about it on my blog. I too did this to vinyl and was amazed on how easy it was. Your chair turned out beautiful!

  8. Victoria

    Hi Karen – your silver chair is gorgeous! I was wondering whether you painted the leather first, or did you do the wood on the chair first? I'm just trying to figure out what should get taped when. What an inspiration!

  9. Anne

    Beautiful! I'll be interested to know how well the spray-painted fabric holds up over time.

  10. Claire

    OMG-love the chairs-the silver one rocks-I'm your newest follower-come by for a visit! Claire

  11. E in WA

    I believe that a breath-taking silver chair is in my future. Possibly two. They were formerly conference room chairs at a long-ago bank.

    They will reside in my home office so that it makes a grand impression.
    Stunning. Marvelous instructions. TY.

  12. Ann Marie @ Twice Lovely

    I was wondering the same as Victoria above. Did you paint the frame, then tape off and spray the leather? Or visa versa? I have a leather top table that also came from a smoking home, and I'm definitely giving this a try! Thanks for the inspiration!

  13. Brittney

    Ohhhhh my! Love, love, LOVE that silver chair!! Spray painting leather?? Brilliant!

  14. MyChampagneTaste

    this is so glamorous, love it
    Check out my blog you might like some pieces too

    Rasha @ mychampagnetaste

  15. Anonymous

    Hi… what type of spray paint did you use as I noticed there is one for plastics, then there is one by Rustoleum and then various other manufacturers. Thank you so very much!

  16. Good Time Charlie

    Hi, just received a question about paint on the Leather Chair. I honestly cannot tell you what product I used! Sorry! I do think probably, it was Krylon, as that is what I often use for general purpose projects. Hope that helps!

  17. Thereasa Gargano

    I absolutely love what you have done with the chairs. The MM paint, is it their acrylic line? Can I order it from somewhere else besides MM's website? I found them rather rude. Also, The union jack table, absolutely gorgeous, I can't find the Liberon Dark Oak Antiquing wax. I would love to try other brands. So far I have only used Annie Sloan. Thank you for such inspirational ideas.

  18. Marie H.

    very nice !!!

    PS :” Longtemps vivre le libre ” means nothing in french 😉

  19. The Confetti Chronicles

    Love the Silver Chair! So adorable, and fantastic that it was upcycled into a lovely, modern chair by spray paint. Wonderful!

  20. ImSoVintage

    I hdd not idea you could spray paint leather and it would adhere that well. Thanks!

    • Clayton

      I was going to use this spray paint to redo some of my leather work boots. I think it may also work there too.

  21. Sophie

    I have two antique leather chairs that I’ve been dying to “revive,” and you’ve inspired me to finally do it. Gorgeous work, and thanks for sharing the details of your awesome project!!!

  22. Fran

    Your work is just awesome!
    Being a retired educator, I noticed how clear and concise you are with your explanations too!
    Thanks so much for sharing

  23. sherry

    hello i bought a headboard, it is push button leather and wood, the leather is cream color and it is peeling a little. I was wondering could i spray paint it.

  24. Joette Johnson

    Do you know if you can paint clth too….joette

  25. Joette Johnson

    Do you paint cloth too…joette

  26. Jill Flory

    Karen this is just beautiful! I’m assuming you were able to get the smell completely out?!! I’ve bypassed furniture because of the odor!

  27. Jackie Sorich

    Wow! That looks great.

  28. Angela (Life in Velvet)

    Genius! I would have never thought of spray paint! You are insanely creative! LOVE this!!

  29. Catherine

    WoW Karen!
    I may have missed this the 1st time around, but what a fantastique project and outcome!

  30. Christine

    I love the chair. It has such great lines! And that silver turned out well. Looks somewhat burnished. Lovely.

    I was wondering if you actually got the soot and nicotine off with TSP? I’ve been rebuilding and picking up kitchen cabinets from reuse centers. Sadly, many come from similar homes +cooking grease. I’ve literally soaked doors in the tub in TSP, yet it still seeps out of the wood. I’ve scrubbed with plain old soap (Dawn Degreaser) and water, and had my hands stained to my elbows. As a violent, never-smoker, I wanted to yak. Finally, the only option I had that stopped the bleed thru was an oil-based primer.

    So…. did you prime? or did you actually get that horrible (stench) stuff out of that lovely leather? If not, how many layers did it take before you lost bleed-thru?

  31. Christine

    Thanks for answering my questions. I think you got off easy. 🙂 I cannot describe how gut-wrenchingly disgusting some of the cabinets I’ve painted were. Zinzzer Bullseye, BIN, Stix (my absolute favorite), Rustoleum, and a couple others didn’t cut it. But when I used the oil-based primer, it finally sealed the wood. If these cabinets weren’t the exact dimensions, solid plywood with hardwood, inset doors, I’d have tossed them. I started to say I’d burn them, but the cigarette stench in my home would probably kill us.

    Either way, this is a gorgeous chair. I think it is a true show piece. how even more special that its from your neighbor. Its provenance is nice. Always love your work.

  32. Shanna Gilbert

    I absolutely love this Karen! It looks beautiful! I am so going to try this!

  33. Sheila

    OMGosh !!! Love, love, love !!! I am soooo impressed with the chair. Great job girl 🙂


    • GTC

      Thanks so much Sheila!

  34. ARod

    love how this chair turned out fabulous job

    • GTC

      Thank you so much! I love this chair too!

    • GTC

      Thank you so much Critina

  35. pat russell

    Very nice job. I see the masters paint for wood areas. But what paint type is for leather.
    Other sites say Vinyl spray cans from Auto parts stores.
    I may spray my leather sofa using a automotive pot sprayer. And will have to use a oil paint. Not sure yet.

    • GTC

      Hi Pat,for my chair I used regular old metallic spray paint from Home Depot. I have read the same things about leather spray paint from auto supply stores. My chair was not in heavy use, so held up well, if it were something I was going to use every day, I would go for something more industrial.

  36. Sharilee

    I ADORE that chair! I would have never, in a million years, ever thought to paint leather silver. I just may have to steal that idea. Thanks for sharing!

  37. Clair

    I have a 70s style chair and ottoman in a horrible blue vinyl that is way to expensive to reupholster – your chair is fantastic! The link for explaining how you did it (steps) isn’t working, so i was wondering what colour spray paint you used. It appears to have baby blue undertones, but perhaps it is just the photo if you used silver. Let me please, i can’t wait to get started!
    Thank you!

      • Clair

        Thanks for the reply, Karen. I apologize for all the typos in my first message, you would never guess I actually write for a living – I must have been mesmerized by your chair.. Speaking of which, how much time did you wait between each of the 20 light sprays?
        Cheers, Clair

  38. Liliane Lamouche

    I was wondering, how is your chair now?! I just found your blog and I also just found amaaaazing sofa and the color is ugly… I was reading the comment.. Do you think since it’s gonna be used pretty much every day, that I should go for something stronger than regular paint!? If yes which kind?! Thank you so much for this beautiful idea and sorry for my English haha….

    • GTC

      Hi Liliane, I sold the chair a long, long time ago, so I hope it is holding up! As I said in the post, I would not recommend this type of application for a piece that will be used every day. I have had a lot of luck with Fabric Spray paint, but it is expensive and you depending on the type of fabric, you can end up using a lot. You can paint fabric with my favorite CeCe Caldwell’s Paints, but since every ffabric is different, I don’t know what the results will be like, but I do know it is super durable. Good luck with your project!

  39. Cindy

    May I ask what type//brand of spray paint did you use on the silver chair???

  40. tanya

    I wanted to know did you use a special type of spray paint? What type did you use? I love the chair and purchase on similiar because I loved these lines.

  41. Teresa

    Hello Mrs. REDOUX, Love it your project turned out beautifully! I recently painted over a vinyl leather looking chair using Rust-o-leum painter’s Touch 2x Ultracover , unfortunately my chair looks amazing but it’s has a tacky feel ?what can I do @ this point sweetie? Want to give to my son as house warming his 1 St. Apartment. Please HELP!!!

  42. Blanca Rivera

    Thank you for sharing!!!! I will follow your steps 🙂 can you please tell me how did you cover the chair pins? Or did you just painted them along with leather seat

    • GTC

      Hi there, I just paintem them along with the chair 🙂

  43. Alicia Hursley

    Awesome trick and it worked well. I used to have a leather cleaning service back in Tacoma that always did a great job, but since leaving Washington for North Carolina, I haven’t been able to find somebody to make my chairs look like new. Your tips came in handy for sure.



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