DIY Project Test Lab Results: We Painted a Leather Sofa and Here’s What Happened

updated Jun 24, 2020
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(Image credit: Katie Steuernagle)

This sofa used to be black, but I painted it brown. You can see how it looks, but I know what you’re thinking. Did it rub off on your pants? How does it feel? Is it stiff? Is it gummy? Can you scratch it with your fingernail? Does it peel? Does it stink? Does it poke you in the butt? Is it a tragic mess that will end up in a dumpster?

(Image credit: Katie Steuernagle)

Let me break it down for you. First, the paint I used was Angelus Brand Leather Paint in tan. I painted three coats with a big sponge, then did a layer of Angelus Acrylic Leather Finisher in High Gloss.

(Image credit: Katie Steuernagle)

Coverage: It took three coats, but I kind of liked that. I didn’t want one big thick gloppy layer that might peel, and with the thinner coats, you can really play with building up the opacity or letting small bits of the black leather show through. I was shooting for a worn look, and this paint allowed me to do that.

Texture: The final texture is absolutely identical to the original feel of the sofa. It seems impossible, but, really, if you did a blind sitting test before and after, your butt would not feel a difference.

Flexibility: Just as flexible as the original leather.

Chip test: So far, nothing has flaked or chipped. A fingernail scratch won’t even lift off the color. My husband has made this sofa his preferred tv watching lounge spot with no brown smudges on his clothing at all. It seems to be extremely durable.

Overall: I am shockingly pleased with how this turned out. I did add the high gloss layer because the finish of the paint itself was more like a satin. Another bonus was that both the paint and the gloss finish are acrylic and had no odor at all. Unlike spray paint, you can easily use this stuff indoors. Also, the price was awesome (3 bottles at $4.50 each) and the selection of colors is huge. I swear I don’t work for Angelus Brand or know anybody who does, but for now I can’t think of anything bad to say about the results. Will it look as good in three months? I’ll give you an update and let you know!

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