Style Files: How to Create a Leather Look with Paint

1 Oct

One of my favorite rooms in our house thus far is the study. While it’s not quite ready for the big before-and-after reveal, we have made significant progress. The room is used equally by Husband and me, but we agreed that we would give it a masculine look by creating a hunting/outdoors motif.

Like any true Texans, we began decorating by placing a cowhide rug in the center of the floor. This became our inspiration for the walls, and we’ve had several requests from visitors to our home on how to create this look. So here goes – below are detailed instructions if you get inspired to bring the great outdoors inside.

Creating a Leather Look with Paint

  1. Choose your paint colors. First, choose your base color, which should be the lighter color (we chose Behr Mushroom Bisque). Then choose a much darker shade in the same family, which you’ll use  for tinting the Behr Faux Glaze.
  2. Pick up painting supplies. You’ll need rollers, paint trays, painter’s tape, and a generous supply of medium-weight plastic sheeting.
  3. Prep the room. Tape off baseboards and the ceiling. Quick tip: To avoid accidentally brushing the ceiling with your roller, you can tape painter’s paper at the intersection of the ceiling and top of the wall.
  4. Paint your base. Use the lighter shade of paint to completely cover the walls of the room, and give it adequate time to dry. Generally, 24 hours is a good rule of thumb.
  5. Cut and hang plastic sheeting. You’ve already covered the floor in plastic sheeting, but now you’ll need it for creating the leather look. Cut the sheeting in 4-foot strips that run from floor to ceiling, and tape them at the intersection of the ceiling and the wall. Quick tip: Leave yourself a little extra slack at the bottom because pressing this plastic against the wall will quickly shorten the plastic. When you’re finished, the room should look like it’s wearing a plastic skirt.
  6. Tint the glaze. Take the darker paint shade and gradually mix it into the glaze in a paint tray. This step is a little subjective because you keep mixing until you feel the glaze is dark enough. However, keep track of how much tint you pour into the glaze because you’ll need the same ratio of you need to mix up more.
  7. Time to paint! Roll on your glaze evenly working from left to right and top to bottom. You have to work very quickly, immediately letting the plastic fall against the wall. This serves two purposes – it creates the leather look and keeps the paint from drying too quickly. Quick tip: Have a painting partner hold the plastic sheeting away from the wall while you paint. If you have tall ceilings, it may take 3 people – 2 painters and one to hold the plastic sheeting.
  8. Pat the plastic. Once you’ve completed one entire strip, gently pat the plastic with your finger tips and/or a rag. Don’t press against the plastic with your palms, or your hand prints will be the most noticeable feature in the room.
  9. Rinse and repeat. Keep this process going until you’ve covered all of the walls. Then, peel the plastic off and let dry.
  10. Enjoy!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


One Response to “Style Files: How to Create a Leather Look with Paint”

  1. Dad October 3, 2011 at 9:14 am #


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: