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Decorative Painting Technique: Antique Leather


Give walls the look of old, burnished leather with these decorative painting techniques

If you like the deep tones of an old leather-furniture filled library, then this painting technique may be the right choice.

The antique leather look can be achieved in at least a couple of different ways. For either, you will use a base coat of paint and a glaze topcoat.

You will also need a roller and pan, soft cloth rags, and painter's tape.

This project should span at least two days as you will be working on opposite walls and allowing them to dry before completing the conjoining walls. This protects the glaze treatment where the corners meet.

Both techniques also require a base coat that has dried completely and is clean. To accomplish the antique leather look, choose paint and glaze colors that are deep and complementary.

Begin by taping off ceilings, corners, trim, and baseboards.

Antique Leather Technique #1

You will need a soft brush and enough plastic sheeting to cover all the walls. Inexpensive packages of plastic dropcloths will work fine. Remove them from the packages and cut into 2-foot by 3-foot pieces - or any shape that is workable.

-Begin adding the glaze in an area that is just a little larger than your plastic pieces.
-Wad up the plastic and then spread it out across the new glaze.
-Use the soft brush to gently press the wrinkled plastic into the glaze.
-Repeat the process of adding glaze to an adjacent area, but place the plastic so that it overlaps the previous area to prevent seaming.

As soon as you have finished one wall, remove the plastic. You can begin painting and glazing a second wall as long as the corners do not meet.

Antique Leather Technique #2

You will need a stippling brush, roller, and pan for the glaze application. You will only have about half an hour before the glaze becomes unworkable, so you may choose to enlist some additional help.

-Make sure the roller is fully loaded with glaze and apply to a small surface area.
-Moving quickly, use the stippling brush with a straight-approach and give it a light twisting motion.
-Stop stippling just short of the glazed area.
-Clean the stipple brush with a rag after a few areas have been completed or when you begin to see a change in the pattern.
-Use the roller to add glaze to the adjacent area, overlapping the wet glaze.
-Continue stippling and rolling in small areas.
-When one wall is finished, move to an opposite wall and continue the process.

It is recommended that you remove the tape while the glaze is still wet. However, if that is not possible, use an artist's knife to make a small separation between tape and glaze. Do not cut into the wall.

Be sure to allow the glaze to dry thoroughly before moving furniture back into position. Always follow manufacturer's instructions for drying times.

Creating an antique leather on your walls with paint and glaze is a satisfying approach to adding class and warm elegance to a room.

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