How Can I Paint My Walls With A Leather Faux Look?

by THAT Painter Lady

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Gorgeous Faux Red Leather Walls in Master Bedroom Model Home.

Model Home Faux Leather finish

I get asked this question many times.

How can I paint my walls with a leather faux look?

It is very easy to get a faux leather look on walls. Textured walls are the easiest, but it isn't a big challenge to do the same on smooth finished walls.

Two things you must remember:

  1. Color Choices
  2. Glaze Color Choice

First, color choice. You can choose deep rich colors for faux leather or you can create a pale buckskin color that would be good for a western theme room.

I will stick to the deep colors for this article. Red, Green and Blue are really the only colors I would try this technique with. 

Base color on walls would then be a Fire Engine Red, Kelly Green or Royal-Marine Blue. The reason for the bright colors is that the glaze over the top is very dark and if you start out with a deep color, the walls will just look black.

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Remember to prime your walls with a dark primer, because dark paints will take many coats to cover… especially red. 

You can find  Faux Leather Wallpaper, but this technique is so easy to do… why bother. When you get tired of it… just paint over the faux leather painting.  

I mix my own glaze and you can do this easily.

At the big box hardware store… you know – Home Depot or Lowe's, (or any good paint store) you can find Universal Tints or Colorant. It's the dark colors that are added to paint cans when the guy behind the counter mixes your paint colors. Well, you can buy this stuff in bottles. It is very concentrated, so get the smallest tube they offer. 

Your going to mix up glaze and colorant. That's it. It will resemble stain. Mix well and keep mixing as you glaze the walls as the colorant tends to settle.

Start with a mixture of one pint glaze to 1 1/1 oz colorant. This should be dark enough. Brush this mixture on the wall with a throw away brush. This goes on in patchy, puzzle shaped areas. About 2 ft x 2ft areas… then you have to blend in the patch. I like to use a Woolie Lambwool Faux Applicator Tool because it's soft and creates a very soft texture, even if you don't have textured walls. 

That's pretty much it… Very easy! :) 
Faux Leather Walls Office Paint

This is THAT Painter Lady's office with Faux Red Leather Walls!

Here is another site with Faux Leather Painting Instructions. 

Technorati Tags: faux leather, paint, painting, that painter lady, debra conrad, woolie, wallpaper

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Paula October 28, 2008 at 7:02 pm

Hi Painter Lady ….

I have everything needed finally to paint one wall this gorgeous color (like your blog). But I have one question – what color of colorant did you use for that specific picture?

Thanks again,

THAT Painter Lady October 29, 2008 at 11:37 am

I used a raw umber tint mixed with glazing
medium. Be sure to post pictures on the forum when you are done!

marija January 6, 2009 at 9:01 am

What sheen paint did you use for your wall?


THAT Painter Lady January 6, 2009 at 11:28 am

I would use a satin or pearl finish paint sheen. You can also use eggshell. These finishes allow the glaze to move & glide nicely of your base paint. You DEFINITELY don’t want to use semi-gloss or gloss. The glaze will not adhere correctly to it.

marija January 9, 2009 at 1:56 pm

I can’t find the Fire Engine Red paint at Lowe’s or Home Depot. Is there another red color you would recommend that would give me the same results as in the above picture.


THAT Painter Lady January 12, 2009 at 12:59 pm

You can use any bright red color from any paint supplier really. I always suggest trying it on a sample board first so you can see what the final result will look like before attempting it on your walls. There are many types of bright reds – orangy reds, pink reds, brown reds. I would go with the brightest red and if it has a little bit of orange that is fine too. If you are unsure, grab a couple different tones of red and practice with your brown glaze.

Cynthia Black February 24, 2009 at 11:36 am

I am going to attempt to do your faux red leather technique in my bathroom. What should I do with the ceiling? It has the popcorn on it. What would you suggest?

THAT Painter Lady February 25, 2009 at 1:23 pm

Hi Cynthia. What color is your trim and ceiling currently? If everything is white, you may be able to keep it that way. White always makes a room look larger. But if you want the ceiling to blend with the faux finish, you can always paint it another color that will blend with the walls once they are faux finished. The faux base coat will be too bright, otherwise I would suggest for you to use that as the ceiling color.

Cynthia March 4, 2009 at 10:08 am

Hi, Thanks for responding. The ceiling is currently white. The trim is going to be removed and replaced. I’m not sure as to what color the trim will be. I am putting a wood laminate floor in, it is armstrong italian walnut, the new cabinets are going to be painted black or a dark brown. I am wanting to do the red faux leather on the walls. The bathroom is not very big. I am still pondering on the counter tops

THAT Painter Lady March 4, 2009 at 9:17 pm

You can match the ceiling and trim colors if you would like, or like I said, you can also pick a color that will blend with the finished faux leather walls.

beverly August 2, 2009 at 5:11 pm

Hi I want to use your design using a chocolate color paint as my base color. What color tint should I use with the glaze?

THAT Painter Lady August 21, 2009 at 10:40 am

If you want to achieve a darker faux leather finish, more in a chocolate tone, I would start with a coffee / tan color and then go over it with a dark brown glaze. But you may want to do some playing around with your colors before attempting it on the wall. Try it with a few different lighter browns and darker glazes and see what you come up with.


Dee October 2, 2009 at 1:37 pm

AH HA. this cures a problem I have in the kitchen with fake brick. We have tried everything to get away from the fake orange/ black streek look. This may very well be a cure for the more natural look of brick as well. Hmmmm Off to the store. WIll report back

Andrea October 3, 2009 at 6:50 am

I always thought paint had to be mixed with glaze for the drying agents. Do you have drying issues when using universal tints mixed w/ glaze or are you using scumble?

THAT Painter Lady October 6, 2009 at 2:52 pm

I’ve used universal tints in glaze for years. It’s much like a very powerful water based stain. :0)

Banichi September 7, 2010 at 4:31 pm

I am planning to do this with a room in Behr’s Cornflower Blue and either Sapphire Lace, Cobalt Glaze, or American Anthem. I’m leaning toward Cobalt Glaze. Do you think these colors would go well together? Can you make me any good recommendations?

Cooper September 4, 2012 at 10:42 am

Can I use a roller for the glaze?

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