DIY & DESIGN FROM BERMUDA'S OLDEST PAINT STORE

PAINTING LEATHER With Chalk Paint™ By Annie Sloan PART 2

After months of threats, a couple of weeks ago I finally painted our old leather furniture with Chalk Paint™ By Annie Sloan in French Linen.  It was an amazing transformation and you can read all about it here.  Even though the process was very labour intensive, the work itself was pretty easy and after a couple days and many coats of paint, I left everything to dry before waxing.

If you’ve worked with Chalk Paint™ before you know that it dries to a very flat finish, which is beautiful on its own but can mark up very quickly and is not easy to clean.  Since this would not be very practical on a couch, I decided to wax the entire set with Annie Sloan’s Soft Clear Wax.

For a sturdy surface like wood I would normally use Annie’s wax brush to apply the sealer.  It has a sturdy handle with a solid grip.  However, since the couches are soft and have a lot more give, I decided to put the wax on with a clean cotton cloth instead (old t-shirts work great).

Since the wax can be a little hard, before I got started I placed it a hot water bath for 30 minutes first.  It helps to make it more buttery so you don’t have to work so hard at working it into your surface.

Normall, I don’t bother with gloves but getting the wax off your hands can take a bit of work so I would recommend a pair of disposable ones to protect your skin.

Ideally you want the wax to be the constancy of softened butter.  I like working out the larger container since the opening is larger and it’s easier to get your hand in the can!

I like to put the wax on in little circles.  By the time I was done with all four sides, the first layer of wax was dry enough for a second coat.  The wax will change the colour of the paint slightly, making it richer and deeper.

After the second coat, I buffed with a new clean soft cotton cloth until the leather no longer felt sticky and the cloth glided smoothly.  If you put the wax on too thick and it’s difficult to buff, try applying other coat of wax. I know it seems counter productive but the new wax will melt the old wax and when you buff, the excess will be removed.

I know it’s hard to see from the pictures but after buffing, the leather has a soft satin sheen.  It will protect the surface from dirt, spills and scratches.  TIP:  Even though the wax will be dry almost immediately it won’t be cured for a few weeks so try to be gentle with your freshly refinished pieces.  After a year or so, you might want to refresh the wax to keep your pieces looking great.

If you liked this post don’t forget to check back next week to see what’s new on the blog but if you can’t wait  our Facebook page is updated daily with amazing spaces, design tips and DIY projects.  Or get a sneak peak at life behind the scenes at the paint store (and more stunning rooms) on our Instagram page here.  

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HAPPY PAINTING!

19 Responses to “PAINTING LEATHER With Chalk Paint™ By Annie Sloan PART 2”

  1. stuart

    It sounds a little like the surface is ‘rough’ if that makes any sense. My question is, is the leather still soft to touch after painting and waxing. Great writeup by the way!

    Reply
    • Rowe Spurling Paint Company

      Hello Stuart. Thank you for visiting our blog. After waxing, the couch is super smooth. It’s actually smoother than the old couch was after years of wear. Without the wax it WAS quite dry – almost like very fine sandpaper but now it’s right back to smooth. Have a great night!

      Reply
  2. Kaye

    I painted a leather chair/stool several years ago in red and used both waxes on it. never had a problem. Now in a sunnier olace and the sun if it strikes the chair surface melts the dark wax on it/ the lap top charger was also plugged in and did the same. So any long trm heat is a problem. We only sit on chair in bedroom briefly so it has never been sat on for great lengths. Can I remove both wax and paint to go back to the orig colour and if so how please.?

    Reply
    • Rowe Spurling Paint Company

      To remove the wax you’ll need a paint thinner. I would suggest Naptha as it is the most gentle, dried fast and doesn’t leave a residue. Since it is a solvent make sure to wear gloves to protect your skin and ventilate your space well (or move the chair outside). As for the paint, it should come off pretty easy with some light grade sandpaper like 280-320. Thank you for visiting and have a great night!

      Reply
  3. Dawn Walton

    Do you have pictures of the sofa after the wax? The whole sofa that is, not just a close up. And how does it look now? Is it still looking fab? Trying to decide whether I should paint mine or not. And seeing the end result would help lots. Thank you 🙂

    Reply
    • Rowe Spurling Paint Company

      Good morning Dawn. I would love to send you more pictures but we treated ourselves to new furniture so unfortunately the sofa ended up at the dump. It did, however, hold up great for the entire time we used it – no cracks or scratches!

      Reply
      • Dawn Walton

        Oh drat! Haha. Thanks for getting back to me so quickly though, I appreciate it. Having done it, would you recommend it to others who need to spruce up old leather?

      • Rowe Spurling Paint Company

        Having done it and hearing from others who have done it I would definitely recommend it. Just be prepares – it’s not hard work but IT IS labour intensive since you need so many coats to cover the leather. Good luck and if you decide to paint it send me a photo!

  4. Dawn Walton

    Thank you! I will be sure to share some pictures if I bite the bullet and go for it. It’s currently a beige colour so shouldn’t be too difficult to cover with grey paint, hopefully 🙂

    Reply
  5. Alexis Erickson

    Does the wax come off onto clothes when you use the furniture? I’m not familiar with the product but that’s my main concern.

    Reply
    • Rowe Spurling Paint Company

      Hello Alexis. The wax does not come off on your clothes at all. Here’s the catch though. While it will be dry enough to the touch right away after buffing, it does take a few weeks to cure – or reach its full chemical hardness. I would suggest being gentle on the furniture for the first 20 days or so to avoid scratches but it won’t rub off.

      Reply
  6. Penny

    I painted my leather ottoman. I think it’s could be bonded leather. I first prepped it by cleaning it with a light wash followed by a light rub of alcohol . Sanded lightly the peeling arears as well as the rest of the Ottoman. Then did several watered down coat school of annie sloan. It is cracking in those areas and peeling back as well. I have not waxed it yet. Should I remove the paint and start over, should I paint it a darker color so the peeling/cracking is not that obvious . I’ve painted leather b4 with no problems not sure what to do. HELP!

    Reply
    • Rowe Spurling Paint Company

      Hello Penny. It sounds like you did everything right. The only thing I would change is the rubbing down with alcohol bit. Sometimes solvents like that leave behind a residue which Paint doesn’t stick to. I would sand down the peeling areas, wipe off with a rag damp in vinegar and water. That will clean off any sanding dust (it acts like a fine dusting of flour and can cause adhesion failure) and try a few more coats of the thinned out paint. Let me know how you make out!

      Reply
  7. Terri Barth

    Does the body heat soften, melt the wax? I have a lazy boy brand sofa and recliner. Evidently the seal coat was bad as moisture would lift the stain. Looks bad but physically and mechanically the furniture is in great shape just bad appearance. I want to do this as long as I know it will last.

    Reply
  8. Kimberly Engle

    Love this post and excited to try this on our leather sectional. Just curious if this will hold up against dogs who “secretly” enjoy lying on the couch when we aren’t home.

    Reply
    • Rowe Spurling Paint Company

      I think it would hold up okay. However, I would wait until the paint/wax cures. This generally takes around 28 days. Until then blanket should protect the finish. Have a great day!

      Reply
  9. Sinead

    Hi I’ve a question I hope you can help me 😃
    I’m in the middle of painting a faux leather office chair from black to an off white. I would like to paint a grain stripe in a contrasting color. Should I wax the white and let it cure before taping it off to paint the stripe. I dont want the tape to lift the paint? Any advice please.X

    Reply
    • Rowe Spurling Paint Company

      I would wax last. Before you paint the stripe let the paint dry at least 24 hours and use a low tack tape like 3M 2080. It’s designed for freshly painted and delicate surfaces so it won’t damage the first colour.

      Reply

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