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.
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!
How do I remove paint over spray off a brown leather couch?
By Brenda from Phoenix, AZ
I inherited a beautiful leather couch that my grandkids jumped on until the hardwood frame imploded. That's a repair story for another place.
Once repaired I had to deal with a combination of severe paint to wall transfers that occurred both over the years of being backed against the wall and the fact that it had to be rammed through several painted doorways due to its size. (It was built into the house when the main plate glass window was upgraded. It was moved by five twenty something's all with different ideas centered around force.
So..shattered and scuffed and deeply stained, I vowed to fix it for my library. Months passed...then a year. Deep old scuffs, stains and grandchild mucky stickiness throughout. I tried soap and water, olive oil (virgin and otherwise), acetone, naphtha (recommended by the furniture manufacture) and even Gunslick Pro Ultra-Klenz advanced gun cleaner (in desperation) which finally had some small value. But nothing made a dent in the deep large deposits of scuffed on paint or ancient foodstuffs still unidentified.
Finally, as a sometimes painter I turned to denatured alcohol. The no-no of leather works everywhere due to it's drying property. It removed the paint, food (with more work) and discolorations. WARNING! It also emulsified the entire surface of the leather finish down to the dyed through leather! So if you're not ready to re-dye and finish your couch. Call a professional!
As a cabinet maker and leather worker I am quite confident in Tandy Leather Corp. oil based leather dye, Dr. Jackson's Leather Rejuvenator and a few abrasion repairs that should only be done by a leather repair pro. In the end I have a $1800.00 leather couch in new condition for elbow grease, two weeks of labor and $360.00 inside and out materials! (The hound refused to move off for the picture...)
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!
I believe fabric paint is acrylic and I do not know of any way to get acrylic paint off of anything. See if there is a number on the paint bottle that you can phone. Perhaps they have some secrets that the rest of us do not know.
How do I take oil base paint off a leather sofa?
By Steve from Findlay, OH
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 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!
How do you remove paint from a leather sofa?
Try cooking oil (any brand and kind, vegetable, canola, peanut, olive, etc. Good luck! (10/07/2010)
How do I remove paint from a leather sofa?
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
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 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)