This is quickly becoming my new favourite update in our apartment and I will admit, it is taking a lot of restraint for me to not paint all of the things now.
After seeing our dining room hutch update, Fusion Mineral Paint got in contact with me and offered to let them know if I had any upcoming projects in mind and they would send me some paint. I was delighted by their offer, and I of course had some projects in mind! [I never don’t have five projects in mind]. I had thrifted an incredible tufted leather armchair a few months previously so when I finally decided on updating it, Fusion Mineral Paint kindly sent me some of their Coal Black paint [and a few other colours – projects coming soon!].
Yes, that’s right. Paint. I painted a leather chair.
I was at our local Salvation Army in May when I saw among the sea of secondhand furniture, the top of a worn tufted green leather chair. I went straight for it, sat in it, sent a picture to Robert for approval [sometimes when I’m nervous about a piece I need another pair of eyes. Luckily, he replied in capital letters to buy it], and headed straight to the cashier to buy it.
As I told the cashier I’d like to buy the green leather chair at the back, I heard “I was so close to buying that very chair yesterday!”, by an older gentleman behind me in the queue. We chatted about our favourite secondhand finds and as I was asking the cashier about the Salvation Army’s furniture delivery service, the man offered to drop it home with me now. The cynical Dubliner in me seized because who makes offers like that other than people who drug you and then you wake up in a bath full of ice? But my new inner Ottawan knew it wasn’t weird and he was making a genuinely nice offer. Plus, he was going to be driving in our direction, so I didn’t feel too bad.
10 minutes later we were lifting my new chair out of the back of his Jeep and onto the front lawn. It turns out, one of his daughters lived not too far from us a few years ago so he was able to tell me a few things about the area. I could dedicate four blog posts to the incredibly kind encounters we’ve had since moving here. Canadians are making my cold dead heart start to grow in the Grinchiest way possible.
I painted a test patch of paint on the back of the chair and left it for a few days. I came back to it and it was perfect; it was smooth and in no way tacky as Fusion Mineral Paint’s Classic Collection has a soft and almost chalky finish. During Cora’s next nap, I got to work. I took the seat cushion off the chair, cleaned it all over and painted Coal Black over the entire chair. I started with the tufted creases then moved onto the less difficult areas. I waited about 6 hours between coats and painted thin layers each time, two coats in total. I then left the chair cure for a full [agonizing] day before putting the seat cushion back and testing the chair out.
You definitely don’t notice you’re sitting in a painted chair and the finish is so smooth, you can hardly see the brush strokes.
I’ll come back and write an updated post in 6 months time to give an honest review of how our painted chair has held up. So far, even though it’s just been a week, it’s been perfect. Nothing has peeled and we haven’t been delicate with it [especially considering I love sitting with one leg over the arm at any given time. I’m classy like that].
But for now I would say if you’re considering updating a piece of leather furniture in your home, Fusion Mineral Paint is the absolute perfect option. As strange as it sounds to paint a leather chair, the results are worth it.
DISCLOSURE – while this post is not sponsored, I did receive this paint free of charge from Fusion Mineral Paint in exchange for a blog post. I only work with brands that I like and of course, think you will too. Thank you for supporting the companies that support The Interior DIYer.
Oh my god, this is amazing! I can’t believe you can paint leather?! It’s not something I would have ever considered but the result is really fantastic and it looks fab – I’d love to hear how well it holds up over time! And I loved your story about the nice older man you met – what a superstar! Oh my god, we need more nice people like that in this world *heart-eyed emoji-ing all over the place* xx
Awww thank you so much Kimberly! Yes, that man was so sweet and I’m still acclimatizing to how kind Canadians are. It took me a while to let my constant guard down. Why are you smiling? Are you trying to rob me?!
And I never knew leather could be painted until I heard of Fusion Mineral Paint! I saw someone else had done it and immediately thought of our chair. Just wait and see what other projects I have in mind …
My favourite quote is how Canadians have warmed your heart “in the grinchiest way possible”. Ha! As for the paint… So glad you did this! Is this paint specific to upholstery? I’ve been looking at my vinyl 1950s kitchen step chair and wanting to do this.
I’m not sure if the paint is specific for upholstery, but I have seen other people specifically use Fusion Mineral Paint to paint on leather and fabric before. It’s not like regular paint I’ve used before, I will say! I mean that in a good way. I seriously want to use it on all my future projects. They also have a huge catalogue of bespoke colours you can mix from their existing colours.
Hands down, I would suggest FMP for your step chair. I’m sure there are a few retailers in Edmonton that stock it! They have a stockist locator thingy on their website.
Ah, perfect. I will give it a whirl.
Would love to know how the chair looks now! Wanting to do this to an electric recliner. I hope you will share an update.
I’ll actually be sharing an update on it this week, Joyce! It’s been six months since I painted it and I promised I’d share an update six months later.
Ii’ll make sure to link to it at the end of this post! I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Did you sand between coats or use a wax at the end?
What did you use to clean the chair?
I am going to do a a vinyl ottoman.
I did neither, actually! I didn’t sand between coats and also didn’t use wax at the end. This is just Fusion Mineral Paint directly on leather. I gave the chair a light clean with a warm, damp cloth with a very small amount of soap beforehand. It really was to get the dust off it and give a clean base for the paint to stick. The chair was in very good condition to begin with, so I was lucky.
I’s say it would work perfectly on vinyl! Maybe try a test patch first to be on the safe side.
Just wondering how your painted leather chair held up? Im planning on painting my faded leather couch! Im hoping to have amazing results like you!
It’s held up perfectly, Christine! I wrote a follow-up post about how it held up after six months, which was almost a year ago and I can still say it’s perfect. Even after moving houses, it looks as good as the day I painted it.
Thank you! I did see it! I painted my leather couch and it turned out wonderfully!!!
Oh yay!!! I’m so excited for you, Christine! That’s wonderful!
I’m going to take the plunge and paint my leather chair finally. I have used Fusion paints on several items and love it. As I read will cleanse with TSP by Fusion and then paint. I have read some blogs of people adding fabric softener to paint. Not sure of this. Will do a test on back of chair. Next is hall tree and component cabinet which are oak. Thanks for your input
From Ontario Canada 🇨🇦🇨🇦
I picked up a new (to me) oak piece last week and I’m also thinking of painting it! I’ll wait though and see as the oak is starting to grow on me.
As for fabric softener, I would have no idea about that as I’ve never tried it [and honestly wouldn’t know what the advantage of adding it would be]. I think you’re right that a test patch is the best way to navigate that.
So I would love to know how this painted chair has held up?
In one word: perfect! I wrote an update this time last year about how the painted leather chair has held up, which you can see here. And I can attest now that it’s an additional year later, it’s perfect. No word of a lie.
Hi, so excited to hear about this product! Can you tell me how much paint it took for this gorgeous chair? I have a 2 + 2.5 seat lounge Suite. Wondering if it would be too costly to do? I note the largest hat is 500ml 🤔
It took maybe 1/3 of a 500ml jar? If that much? I’m going to guess that maybe it will take 2 500ml jars to paint your suite.
If it helps, I’ve only ever had 2 jars of 500ml Coal Black paint and I’ve painted the following pieces with them (newest to oldest):
– fireplace (2 coats)
– small glass cabinet (3 coats)
– leather chair (3 coats)
– storage bench (3 coats)
– dining room hutch (3 – 4 coats)
… and I still have 250ml / half of a jar left. This paint goes really far and if your suite is currently a dark leather colour, I’d say you’ll only need two coats of paint.
I hope that helps and if you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to ask 😊
Thinking to use this for creamy white dining room leather chairs that we got second hand. They have had years of use prior, stains have been left and some scratches, they could use a pick me up.
How does this compare to rub n restore when it comes to painting leather? Would this product hold up to spills and 4 kids? Any touch ups needed? Thanks so much! Beautiful piece you worked on and amazing result!
I’ve never used Rub ‘N Restore so I can’t comment on how it compares to Fusion Mineral Paint on leather. I (unfortunately) can speak to how well it holds up to spills in that it holds up really well, as long as the spill isn’t left for a number of hours / overnight before it’s wiped up; that would cause any finish to peel off.
I’ve only made one touch up so far, but that was due to a spill being left on the chair overnight, which caused the paint to peel. Other than that (which was a fault on our end), the chair is in the same condition as when I first painted it!
Gorgeous….love the black! Just wondered what paint brush you used? Thanks for the inspiration ❤️
Do you think that you could paint a dark leather with a light colour?
Oh, that’s a good question. I’m not too sure! I’d say it is possible, but you would need to paint more layers. So instead of 2 layers of paint, you may need 3 or 4.
I have a question about painting leather. I have eight counter height barstools to paint and they are scratched thanks to my cat. How would I prep the stool prior to painting? I want to make sure that the surface is smooth. Thank you so much for any information that you have
Hi Carolyn, I happen to have a solution for the cat scratches via an older blog post of mine; How to Repair Cat Scratched Leather. You could do all the steps up to covering the scratches with show polish, and instead just paint on top of the repaired scratched leather.
I hope this helps and best of luck!
This looks stunning! I like the color choice for this leather chair. Looks like I want to try this for my chair. Thank you for sharing this!
I also painted a leather chair with this paint. I also applied a hemp oil. Love the look and it is really soft. I allowed 24 hrs between coats for both the paint and hemp oil. My only issue is that the cushion sticks to the chair. When I sit on the chair, I can hear the cushion separating from the chair, and it has removed some of the paint from the chair. You didn’t appear to have this issue. Any advice?