How To Paint Leather Sofa? 3 Fool-Proof Steps

You can quickly see how to paint leather sofa if you simplify the process in three steps. This tutorial will teach you how you must prepare the leather couch before painting and how you can cure it afterward. We have also included some tips to get even coats.

And since this tutorial is for changing the color of a leather sofa with paint, feel free to also check our other guide on how to dye a couch. This project is helpful if your couch is fabric. That being said, let’s get started with the best dyeing techniques for leather furniture. 

How To Paint Leather Sofa


How To Paint Leather Sofa For Repair and Restoration


Step 1. Clean and prepare the leather couch

  • Remove all the accessories such as cushions and inspect your leather couch for dirt and damages
  • Vacuum the sofa thoroughly, ensuring that you’re reaching the cracks and crevices where dirt might build-up
  • If you have bonded leather, repair the bonded leather couch first and remove the peeling portions so you can run the paint over them smoothly
  • If your sofa has stains, remove them first if they are intense enough to become noticeable with the new color
  • Removing ink stains from leather sofa should be easy with some mild detergent and water
  • Wipe the couch thoroughly and wait for it to dry before proceeding with painting
  • Tape the portions that you don’t want to paint or be strategic with the tape placements to achieve a particular look
  • Place drop cloths on the floor and other furniture if you are painting the leather sofa indoors
  • Open the windows for ventilation and wear the proper clothing, including a mask to prevent fume inhalation

Step 2. Apply the base coat and layer

  • Apply the base layer with a brush but remember not to use too much paint and always wipe the excess with a cloth
  • Paint in a circular motion or be consistent with the directions of the strokes per layer
  • Wait for one layer to dry before making another coat to avoid uneven distribution, cracking, or roughness
  • Use thin but even coats for faster drying and help you see the actual intensity of the paint
  • The general rule is to use three layers and wait for the next day to decide if you can proceed with more layers
  • Check for shiny spots as they indicate that the paint is still not thoroughly dried
  • Use a maximum of four to six coats, depending on the leather sofa couch 
  • Even out the spots that need touch up but don’t use too much paint as it can change the texture of the sofa


Step 3. Allow the paint to set and finish

  • Let the paint set on the leather for two days to allow curing on the porous material
  • Afterward, check if the leather needs sanding from the finished paint
  • Start coarse and work down to fine sandpaper
  • Vacuum the particles that will accumulate
  • Apply a finish on the painted leather couch to ensure the longevity of the color and restore the leather’s luster

Can You Spray Paint A Leather Sofa?

Spray painting a leather couch is possible if you want to finish quickly. The method of sofa preparation is the same when using a brush, but you’ll have a better finish if you sand the sofa before spray painting. You also want to spray in thin layers to allow quick drying and better color distribution when you make several coats. 

  • Hold the spray paint at a reasonable distance above the most extensive area of the sofa and move it around evenly
  • If you’re still new to using spray paint, start at a small and hidden portion of the couch first to test the distance and movement
  • Allow one coat to dry before spraying another layer to prevent tackiness
  • Unlike when brushing with paint, you will need more layers when using spray paint
  • Once you’ve reached the desired color and no uneven spots, let the sofa dry for two days
  • Wipe off the sofa with a soft cloth to finish

What Kind Of Paint Can Be Used On Leather?

Even though leather is naturally porous, you still need to use paints formulated explicitly for leather because it is resistant to liquids. The most common paint for leather is acrylic, and you will typically get a set with a preparer and a sealant. Be sure to use them according to instructions to ensure that the color will hold up well, and you’ll get satisfactory results. 


Acrylic paint vs leather paint

Can you use any standard acrylic paint on leather? Standard acrylic paints should still work on leather, but you risk peeling and chipping along with a shorter lifespan. It’s better to use actual leather paints, especially when you value your leather and faux leather furniture’s quality.


Leather dye

Besides changing the sofa color itself or restoring it from old to brand new, painting is also crucial when repairing a leather sofa. You might need to blend the patched or filled area with the rest of the leather. For this instance, use the included dye in the leather repair kit.  



Do not be scared to revamp your leather couch with paint. This 3-step guide on how to paint leather sofa with a brush or spray is perfectly doable at home. You only need to use thin coats and allow drying before applying a new layer. 

If you still find it too risky, learn how to dye a slipcover for the sofa. You don’t need to touch your couch because you’re only soaking the cover in water with dye. 


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