Leather Faux Finish Technique

The Leather Faux Finish…a rich, sophisticated, timeless look that’s ideal for a library, den, home office, or any family space.

The color palette for the leather faux finish is wide and can range anywhere from a sandy brown to deep blues and greens. And, of course, rich, mahogany reds. Nearly any paint or home improvement store will have brochures and flyers available (at no charge), giving the color combinations available for this technique.

To complete an entire room, this is a three-day technique. Allow a day for the base coats, and two days to complete the leather faux finish.

As with all faux finishes, I recommend perfecting your technique on a practice board before beginning on the walls.

Stop! Very Important! Before beginning, be sure your walls are properly prepared. Not sure? Check out our paint preparation page (opens in a new window).

Here is what you’ll need:

Necessary Paint Products

  • Latex Semi-Gloss Paint

  • Faux Technique Glaze

Necessary Paint Supplies and Applicators

  • Leather Faux Finish “Stippling” Brush

  • Small Leather Faux Finish Corner Stippling Tool

  • 3/8” Nap Roller Cover

  • Roller Frame

  • 2” Angled Nylon/Poly Brush

  • 2” Painter’s Tape

  • Lint-Free Rags


Painting Base Coats

Begin by taping around the ceiling, windows, doors, floor trim, and any other woodwork or trim that is present. Use a high-quality nylon-polyester brush to “cut in” around the ceiling and trim work.

Using a moderately-loaded 3/8” roller, roll on the semi-gloss base coat. When rolling, finish each section with a smooth ceiling-to-floor stroke to help eliminate roller marks.

Per paint manufacturer’s instructions, wait at least four, and preferably six, hours before applying the necessary second coat. Wait at least 24 hours for the second coat to dry before beginning the faux technique.


Preparing for the Leather Faux Finish

If you intend to do an entire room (four walls), you should plan to glaze adjoining walls on different days. Choose your starting walls. Place a strip of tape on the edges of the adjoining walls where they meet the corner of the wall you intend to finish.


Applying the Faux Technique Glaze

Begin by completely saturating your roller in the glaze. Allow the roller to soak up as much glaze as possible.

It is important to note that once you have begun to glaze a wall you must finish it entirely, as the look of the finished product relies on the glaze remaining workable throughout the process. Any short stop once you have begun will be noticeable when the wall is finished.

Now, beginning in the top corner, spread the glaze on in an approximately 2’ wide column. You don’t have to be exact here. The glaze dries completely in about thirty minutes, so the idea is to work in fairly small sections.

Cover the entire section, getting as close as you can to the ceiling and trim work. Glaze applies differently from paint, so don’t sweat if the glaze looks uneven or transparent.


The Leather Faux Finish Corner Stippling Brush

Now, it is important to work fairly quickly. Dip the small corner stippling tool in the glaze and use it to dab glaze into the corner and ceiling areas where the roller could not reach.


The Leather Faux Finish Stippling Brush

Immediately begin using the Faux Leather Stippling Tool to mottle the damp glaze. The Stippling Brush should be used in a quick, pouncing motion, changing the angle of your wrist at every pounce.

Wipe the bristles with a lint-free rag every 20 pounces or so. If the bristles begin to clump together, gently ruffle them.

Do not twist or drag the brush while it is on the wall, as this will only smear the glaze. You want to make sure that the stippling brush strikes the wall straight on.

Leave approximately 2-3” at the edge of each section unstippled. When you have applied the next section of glaze, go back and stipple that edge where the sections meet first. This will prevent any noticeable lines from appearing where the sections meet.


Matching the Pattern

When the wall is complete, go back to the corners, ceiling edge, and trimwork and use the corner stippling tool to remove excess glaze and redistribute it so that it blends with the rest of the wall. Like with the larger brush, be sure to wipe the bristles every 20 or so pounces.


Removing the Tape

Remove the tape from the trimwork, ceiling, and any adjoining sections while the glaze is still wet. Be careful not to mar your beautiful new leather faux finish!

Enjoy the warmth of your wonderful new leather faux finish paint treatment!

A Final Suggestion

Finally, since I'm an art lover, I like to suggest to all of my visitors to use framed art to set off that new leather faux finish. Framed art is a wonderful way of adding more personality and charm to a room, and does a fantastic job of showing off those beautifully painted walls.

Art.com has the best selection of reasonably priced online art and prints I've found. Check them out. ART PRINTS - Art.com!

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