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A year ago almost to the day I was ready to throw out our much loved brown leather sofa, this sofa was bought a few months after my second child was born in 2009.

Children don’t just prematurely age you, they prematurely age your furniture too.

Im going to take you through the process, how to, was it worth doing and how has it worn a year on.

Before picture from the House of Chester archive

The seat pad cushions had previously been recovered and for a while I was happy with that look but like any decor and diy junkie I was hungry for change. I wasn’t in a position to purchase a new sofa as the previous year I had purchased my dream sofa and footstool from loaf so this  led me onto what can I do to revamp this leather sofa.


Firstly I thought to have the sofa upholstered but when I looked into the cost it wasn’t within my budget, the search continued. Furniture up cycling wasn’t new to me so when I had discovered that you could paint leather furniture with chalk paint I felt this was worth a shot.

over the years I have painted many an item using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint as my go to brand. I already had a fresh tin of AUBUSSON BLUE sitting in the cupboard eagerly waiting for its next project. To say I had been obsessed with this colour is an understatement so it clearly was a no brainier which colour I was going for.

There wasn’t too much information out there at the time of how to paint a sofa so I went with what I thought was best after years of up cycling I felt semi confident and partially absolutely cacking it to say it as nicely as I can! If I didn’t just go for it then I was never going to and I desperately wanted to fall back in love with this sofa.


First things first I cleaned the sofa down with sugar soap to prepare the leather for painting, this was just going to take away any dirt or dried on  Weetabix (who am I kidding if that’s dry I would need a blowtorch to get that off). I also then gave it a very light sand, I never would normally prep the furniture by pre sanding when using Annie Sloan chalk paint but for this I felt it would be a wise step to take just so the paint had more to grip onto. There is method to my madness honestly.


One thing I had read was to spray the leather with water to then paint, this isn’t a step I took but felt I would mention this if you are reading this for advice on how to paint your sofa. Instead I watered down the paint,  Annie Sloan paint is very thick in my opinion. The application is always a lot smoother when watered down.  I did three coats of paint over a day and left it overnight to sit. The next day I sanded the sofa down all over with a light grade sandpaper to make it as smooth as a babies bottom. The last step was to seal the paint with wax, once again I stayed on brand and used the ANNIE SLOAN CLEAR WAX. I applied three coats of wax over the day and really concentrating on those hard-wearing areas, the arms and the back. That was it pretty simple and very effective.

This is what the sofa looked like after three coats and pre sanding and waxing.


This was the sofa the day after painting and waxing.

One thing I wanted from this process was to fall back in love with this sofa, the style I still loved but the brown just wasn’t cutting it for me anymore. My style had moved on but finding a way to work with what I had was a fun challenge to set myself.

Cracking that has appeared a year on.




The sofa is a classic Chesterfield style and I don’t know how this technique would work on a more modern style. This sofa gets a bashing daily  from two children and a dog jumping on and off of it. I am really impressed with how well it’s lasted so far. There has been some cracking of paint on the high traffic areas from wear and movement of the leather and if I was to do this again I would paint more layers on the areas that get most contact. As this is such a classic style sofa the cracking of paint doesn’t bother me but that’s personal preference. I love the imperfections  but these cracked areas could be easily corrected by sanding down the area, repainting and waxing.

I asked my followers on my Instagram page for any questions, One question I was asked was how does the paint uphold with spillages , My children are that bit older that we don’t have many drink spillage accidents but I can say it’s splash proof and doesn’t wipe off the paint, that would be down to the wax layers. As the wax is protecting the paint there is also no paint transfer onto clothes.

To conclude, was is it worth it? YES. I would highly recommend this method to update your leather sofa. Painting a sofa is a relatively easy job that can be done in no time at all that doesn’t take a real skill of up cycling, it looks  effective  and is cheap. Painting the sofa has put a few more years back into a sofa I had fallen out of love with and was looking to throw out.

Would this be a method you would consider?



*All products mentioned were purchased by myself and all opinions are my own.




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