Faux Finishing - Look of Leather

Leather has a way of making things seem better. When you go shopping for shoes, you check to see if the shoes are leather. When you go furniture shopping, you make sure to check out the leather sofa. When you’re looking to buy someone a special gift, you get them a leather coat, wallet or handbag. Leather is deeply ingrained in our minds to being synonymous with quality.

Mentally, leather evokes images of softness, warmth and luxury. Think of how you feel as you wrap yourself in a new leather coat or as you slide into a comfortable leather chair. Now, with an easy to follow application process, you can have the warm feeling of leather on your very own walls and experience that same sensation every time you walk into the room.

The beauty of faux finishing leather isn’t only in the final look of the application, it’s also the fact that you can erase or mask many minimal problems with your walls like small dings and dents. The leather look will automatically draw the focus of your eyes away from the blemishes and allow you to see only soft, supple leather.

Here are the necessary items you will need for turning your room into a den of luxury.

  • Paint Tray and Rollers
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Paint Brushes
  • Foam Brushes
  • Bucket of Clean Water
  • Clean Rags
  • Chamois Cloth
  • Rubber Band
  • Glazing Medium
  • Cream Latex Paint
  • Tan Latex Paint
  • Scissors

Before painting, it’s best to remove all the pictures from the walls including the nails, move the furniture far enough away from the walls for easy access and give the walls a quick wash with a wet towel to remove any dust or dander. Remove all of the face-plates from your electrical outlets and switches. Getting these steps done first will help speed up the rest of the painting process.

Step 1: Place painter’s tape along the borders to the ceiling, windows and doors or anywhere else you don’t want the paint to get on.

Step 2: Cover the walls with a coat of the cream latex paint using the roller. Use the brush to cut-in near the painter’s tape and around outlets and switches. This may require two coats for best coverage.

Step 3: As the base coat is drying, take your chamois cloth and cut it into strips of 2-4” wide strips. Gather all of the strips and fold them in half so all of the ends are even with each other. Take your rubber band and wrap it around the mid-section of the cloth strips. You’ll know you did it correctly if you have the folded end on one side of the band and all the cut ends on the other side, like a mop head.

Step 4: Next, in a clean paint tray mix the tan latex paint and glazing medium until you have the desired color for your walls.

Step 5: Use the foam brush and dab the paint along the borders to cut-in with the tan colored paint. Don’t brush the paint on, use a dabbing motion.

Step 6: Use the roller to paint a portion of the wall you will be concentrating on.

Tip---The glaze will dry quickly, so it’s best to work on a small portion of the wall at a time. Don’t try to do an entire wall at a time or you may find it very difficult to get the right look.

Step 7: With the wall still wet, take your chamois bundle and dip it into the bucket of water and squeeze it so it’s just damp and not soaking wet. Then begin patting the strip end of the chamois cloth on the wall so it removes some of the glaze.

Step 8: As the glaze is drying, take a clean cloth and dampen it with water. Pat it against the wall to help soften the appearance of the leather.

Taking your time and painting a section of wall at a time is the key to successful faux leather walls. Faux painting is an easy and fun way to change the look of your room. It allows your room to stand out in comparison to other, solid-colored rooms. Faux painting also increases the personality and individuality of your room. You’ll find that by simply spending a few dollars and a few hours you can give your favorite room a million dollar makeover with the warm look of leather.

More helpful guides to other faux painting techniques

Dave Donovan is a freelance copywriter living in Atco, N.J. An electrician for 15 years, an injury forced him to pursue his true passion - writing.