“Jonathon, how on earth do you paint fabric to look like leather?” This is the question I’ve heard most on my travels over the last 2 years traveling the world teaching my furniture painting techniques. At last, the Fabric Painted Leather Look Chair Tutorial is here!
I first developed this look as part of my Painter In Residence project for Annie Sloan back in 2017 which is where you may have seen it. I created a variety of pieces that focused on mixing eras and typography. The standout iconic piece of the collection was definitely the leather look chair which has been mistaken for real leather thanks to its authentic patina and time-worn textures that add to its striking appeal. It’s been said to have a warehouse feel, a modern industrial look and it wouldn’t look out of place in a bar, restaurant or gentleman’s outfitters.
Since the launch of my Painted Love Academy in February 2108 I’ve been on the look out for a suitable piece to recreate the look step by step in a tutorial but it’s so hard to find the right piece to work with. For best success it takes a very specific type of upholstery to work really well. I finally gave up the search for a large fully upholstered chair like my original above and went for a couple of brilliantly suitable drop-in seat chairs. The shape was good, the natural wood was lovely and the seats upholstered just right.
We filmed the tutorial ahead of Grand Designs Live and both chairs went along to the show to perfectly complement the New Vintage stand full of wonderfully rustic finds.
If you love this look you can now learn how to recreate this painted faux leather finish yourself in my brand new tutorial. It’s much easier than you think if you follow my step by step video tutorial, shot in HD in my new workshop. As with all my tutorials you’ll receive a full list of materials (brilliant for paint stockists) plus tips, hints & hacks and extra styling ideas. It’s possibly one of my favourite ever techniques to paint as it’s such a satisfying process to transform fabric into buttery-soft leather.
I’ve stuck with a classic palette but as ever, the true creativity is in where you take my initial tuition. I can’t wait to see what you guys do with it!
Strict guidelines apply to the sale of upholstered furniture and due to the use of wax I tend to use this look for styling, propping and personal use only.