Accidents happen; painting a room can sometimes result in spatters and drips on unprotected furniture. This is a guide about removing dried paint from a leather sofa.
I was given a leather set a while back, a loveseat, couch, and giant coffee table, by a woman whose daughters were going to throw them away. After all, mom bought them each a house and car, why would they worry about a used leather couch?
They used all of the pieces for storage of freshly painted pieces or as sawhorses. The paint has been on there for at least a year, possibly longer. I have been reading the posts on here about olive oil and acetone and various other remedies so that I might have some idea of what to do before I got started. I tried the Vaseline first and that didn't do it so I took it upon myself, because the paint was caked on pretty thick on the first piece I started with, to try something else.
I have done painting of all types for many years and usually, for a latex paint, warm soapy water will clean things up pretty well. It didn't work very well this time so I broke out a favorite of mine for cleaning pots and pans that get too dirty or have baked on or cooked on buildup, Scotchbrite pads. Between the warm, soapy water and some vigorous scrubbing with the Scotchbrite, I was able to get about 90% of the paint off. I tried smearing some Vaseline on the leather and leaving it sit for a while to soften it, but the effect was minimal. Next, I got out my lacquer thinner and soaked a piece of an old pair of sweatpants and went to wiping the leather. Presto! The remaining paint came up, with just a little bit of convincing.
I have attached pics of a couple of the pieces, I think, of the coffee table, to show the before and after. Unfortunately, the one that was the worse of the two was almost done before I decided to take pics. Anyway, this will give you some idea of the before and after. Btw, the Vaseline, when rubbed in, will restore moisture and suppleness to the leather and restore the shine very well and I think it is cheaper to use or certainly more versatile than paste shoe polish. The Scotchbrite pads did not scar or scratch the leather like I feared it would.
Somewhere down the line, when I get the whole set cleaned and shiny again, I will put up pics. One more thing. I have posted some pics of the materials I used so you can know what to buy. The Scotchbrite pads, like the ones in the pic, can be bought at Home Depot in those 6x9 sheets and then cut up into thirds, or smaller if you want. Thirds is approximately the size you can find at Walmart or the grocery store, but if you buy them like I did, in the bigger sheets, in the paint department at Home Depot, there is a considerable savings over the Walmart or grocery store price. Enjoy and let me know how your project turns out.
By debbietev 1
I've just removed eggshell white paint from my leather sofa by rubbing in petroleum jelly (Vaseline). I left it for a few minutes, then gently rubbed with a wet nail brush and it started coming off! Happy me!
I sprayed leather conditioner on the paint spots and let them soak a bit. Then I took a baby's tooth brush in a circular motion to the spots. They came right up. I finished by conditioning the remainder of the chair. Like new!
By R.B. from Chicago
By Brenda 1
How do I remove paint over spray off a brown leather couch?
By Brenda from Phoenix, AZ
March 18, 20141 found this helpful
I had this happen with some antique leather inlay end tables with 24k gold leaf. I acted fast and used a very mild warm water and tiny bit of Dawn dish soap (very lightly damp rag). (After taking pictures for insurance). And the tiny spray speckles, only one day old popped off or melted away into the rag.
It's important to say here that this would have been impossible if the 100+ year old leather inlay and the wood had not been regularly cared for! Leather requires a gentle massage of a high quality leather conditioner every six months. I recommend Dr. Jackson's Hide Rejuvenator, as a leather professional.
Further I recommend every five years. Atom Wax leather finish (which can go right onto the leather that has been conditioned and left to absorb then polished for residue. This protects your sewn seams and your gold leaf or other decoration for many many years of normal use. Your wood should be maintained with a regular semi annual hard bees wax French Polish over your lacquer finish. My 760 year old desk still looks like 'new' with a few hours elbow grease twice per year.
My grandkids spilled yellow fabric paint on a black leather sofa. Some I was able to get off right away before it dried, but the dried stuff is not giving it up easily. Any suggestions on how to gently remove this paint without damaging the leather? Thanks in advance!
How do I take oil base paint off a leather sofa?
By Steve from Findlay, OH
January 11, 2011
I used hand sanitizer on my sofa to remove the paint spatter. I dabbed it on the paint and let it soak in a little. I then used the side if a spoon to scrape it off. After all the paint was gone I rubbed the areas with a little petroleum jelly. It worked great for me.
To remove old dried up paint from my leather sofa, my husband suggested I try his Acrylic Remover and Brush Cleaner. I dabbed it on the old stains, and voila! The stains are gone and leather in perfect condition. (The olive oil didn't work very well for me.)
By Katie from Orlando, FL
I have a leather ottoman that my son laid a painted piece of furniture on. It was stored for several years that way, and the paint transferred to the ottoman. Does anyone know if the paint can be removed without damaging the leather?
By I. Brown
How do I take dried paint off my leather sofa? I don't want to discolor or damage it it is a dark navy blue color. I know that you have to be real careful on what you use on leather, like no oils because it absorbs it and can leave a oil spot. So if you could let me know what to use to take dried paint off my leather sofa that would be very helpful, thanks!!
If the paint is water based the possibility exists that a mild solution of warm water and dish soap might loosen it enough to remove the paint. Saddle soap is another option that might loosen it. Since leather is always dyed, using something strong enough to disolve the paint (like a dried paint remover) will probably also remove the dye (the navy blue). You may be able to remove the paint, then find a shoe polish or shoe dye to touch up where the paint was removed.
Unfortunately this may be a job for a professional if you want it back the way it was. I'd also contact the manufacturer and see what hints they might have.
Hi. I used fingernail polish remover to take siver paint off my leather jacket. It works. =)
The solution in nail polish remover that removes paint is Acetone. This can be purcased in mostly at Hardware stores. Apply it lightly to paper or a light cloth, then blot. Paint will show on the cloth. Amazingly, it removed pen ink from velour car seats.
Just tried acetone to remove some old latex paint from a leather couch. It works! But it also removes some of the stain used to color the leather (as someone earlier mentioned). As long as you're careful and dab the dried latex with an acetone-soaked paper towel, you should be fine. IMO, the damage done to the leather color is far less offensive than the splotchy latex paint was.
I have to say THANK YOU to the people who posted the comments on this site!! After reading that finger nail polish would take the paint off my leather couch (which is green) I decided to try my nail polish which is natural. It is called "Almost Natural Polish Remover" IT WORKED!! The only dicoloration was where the paint was thicker. For that I dabbed A LITTLE Olive oil on a damp towel and DABBED the spots. I then wiped off the oil with a clean damp cloth and you can't even tell that there was paint or discoloration!!! THANKS SOOO MUCH!
Someone said olive oil. Is that crazy? No. It works. I rubbed it on and the paint came off. Amazing!
If it is a water based paint then as mentioned warm soapy water may remove it, you would probably be best off with a strong water based leather cleaner.
If it is a solvent based paint then any strong solvent like acetone will remove it. Of course this may well lead to damage on your leather.
Olive Oil worked! Saved my expensive couch!
By happy leather owner
Thanks for the tip! I used olive oil and it completely removed the dried white paint from my grey leather!
Thank you for your advice on removing paint from my leather love seat. It's been on there for about a year, so I thought it would never come off. I used a cotton swab with acetone polish remover, then rubbed olive oil into it. It lightened the paint quite a bit then I rubbed the spots briskly with a rag soaked in dish detergent and warm water. I'm thankful to say my navy blue love seat looks new with no color loss.
I had oil based paint dried on my husband's leather SUV seats. I rubbed the olive oil into the spots then wiped with a rag with warm soapy water. Presto! It is all gone and the leather is fine.
You guys rock. I tried the olive oil on my leather chair and ottoman and it worked great. My husband initially told me to try alcohol and stripped the paint so don't do that. Olive oil works great!
Thanks so much, I sold my car, and told the new owner the paint would come off the leather easily, I spent a day trying to get it off before finding this site, now it's all gone. Olive Oil, a wonderful thing.
Hi, I used nail varnish remover on my leather sofa and it worked. It took a little colour away but it was on the side so it isn't seen, and it was better than big blobs of white paint!! Thank you!
I used warm soapy water (dish soap) and a sponge. I applied the soapy water to the paint (splatter) area then I lightly touched the hard (scrubbing) side of the sponge over the area.
I did it VERY lightly. I did NOT scrub. This worked wonders, the paint splatter came off somewhat easily with absolutely no damage.
Distilled vinegar it doesnt have a smell and cleans everything especially leather.
If you're trying to get latex paint out of leather, use vinegar and a LITTLE bit of baking soda. rub it over the stain and let it soak for a couple of minutes. I just used my finger nail to scrape it off. You might have to put a few coats on. But it will come off with some scraping!!
The baking soda and vinegar removed nail polish from my very expensive sofa. It took a little time and patience, but it didn't take any of the color off! Thank you so much for the help (04/30/2007)
Through a series of unfortunate events including kids artwork, a dog and an empty paper towel roll, I found a blue oil paint smear on my leather ottoman, days later. Distilled white vinegar worked! Thanks for your help.
How to remove dried paint from a leather sofa?
I have a Horse Buggy that I bought this weekend and someone had painted the whole thing light blue including the leather. I tried acetone, but it only worked on a very small part of it. What else can I use? I also tried the olive oil, didn't work. Thanks. I need help.
My mum bought herself a leather chair complete with paint spatters. We used distilled vinegar, paint removal wipes, and oil. None would shift the paint, the only thing that worked was nail polish remover scrubbing with toothbrushes. It didn't damage the leather at all. I was impressed. (08/06/2007)
I got latex paint on my father's favorite, expensive leather chair. Luckily he was away on a work trip, so I had some time to clean it off. I tried scraping it off with my finger nail. That was not a good idea. I went online to try to find anything that would maybe take it off. I tried some water and dish soap like somebody suggested and I did not scrub with the scratchy side of sponge. In minutes all of the paint was off. It was so cool. The olive oil thing works, too. (08/29/2007)
Tried the Olive oil with no luck. Soap and water did not work either. The nail polish remover removed the color. I was better off with the tiny bit of paint. Be careful with these home remedies. (09/21/2007)
If it's acceptable to get the leather wet, hot, hot water will soften up the paint to where it can easily be rubbed off. Acetone might work, but it will also strip all the natural oils out of the leather. Make sure you replace with a leather conditioner afterward. (12/30/2007)
My painter husband sat in our pale green leather lounge chair, not realizing that he had paint under his arms. It has been on there for a while as leather cleaning gear did not get it off and I didn't want to damage the colour. I tried nail polish remover, it worked a treat, but did dry the leather in that area. I used bees wax to bring back the shine. (12/31/2007)
By Colleen R.
Goof Off works great, also. (02/17/2008)
The Olive oil worked for most of my sofa, but the stuff in the dimples of the leather wouldn't rub out. I used Amway Liquid Organic Cleaner and a toothbrush and it came out easily. Thanks for the oil tip. (10/02/2008)
If you haven't got oil try butter or margarine. It's a lot easier to apply and conditions the leather whilst removing paint. You may need to use a slightly abrasive dish cloth or such. (11/14/2008)
OK, I swear I'm not trying to sell Amway (in fact, I've had my own issues with them), but I tried Olive oil and it seemed to remove a bit of the paint, but not all of it and it left a smudge-like hue of paint behind. I went back and used a small amount of straight 'Tough and Tender" on a damp, soft cotton towel and it came off with a small amount of light scrubbing. I then rinsed with warm, clear water.
The pre-base of the Olive oil seemed to act as a "reconditioner"; leaving the leather with the natural glow that it had initially. The couch I had was custom made and cost about $5K, so I was extremely happy to have removed the paint (don't even ask why a grown man would paint a room without covering the furniture. Ugh). (01/25/2009)
Just bought a car with black interior, however a good 10% of it was covered in paint from 2 years before hand, managed to apply olive oil with green gauze and removed all remnants of it within 25 minutes. Make sure you don't press too hard if using oil with green gauze, as it can remove some of the actual leather dye. More than happy with results though, interior looks mint in comparison to it yesterday. (02/24/2009)
I accidentally got a small amount of paint on my gray leather couch. It is a very fine spray and the paint was acrylic latex.
George from Toronto, Canada
This may be a long shot but worth a try. Get a blow dryer (not a heat gun) and put it on its highest setting. Heat up the paint over a long period of time by trying to get it to become elastic, as it is acrylic and is a type of plastic paint. See if you can very slowly and carefully peel it from your leather sofa without anything but trying to lift it up with your fingernails.
If that doesn't work, possibly a gentle organic chemical type paint remover dabbed on very carefully and sparingly by working it in to the paint and gingerly try to dab up with a soft absorbent paper towel. You could ask an upholstery cleaner for their professional opinion, they might have just the right procedure. Hope this helped. :) (01/25/2009)
I also got a small amount of white paint on the leather seats of my car. I took a q-tip and dipped it in nail polish remover and tapped the excess off. Then very lightly go over the paint on the leather. It comes off almost immediately and then make sure you wipe it off with a wet sponge. It worked really well. It did not discolor the leather at all. (01/27/2009)
By florida gal
How do you remove paint from a leather chair?
By rappy from Chicago, IL
Take a Q-tip and dip it in nail polish remover. Shake off the excess polish remover and slowly rub the Q-tip over the paint drops that are on your leather. Have a clean damp cloth handy at the same time and after swabbing the Q-tip/nail polish remover, wipe the area off. Do "not" soak the area with nail polish remover, but instead work slowly and carefully. I did this on the leather interior of my car and it worked just fine. (07/17/2009)
By florida gal
How do I remove paint from a leather sofa?