Cleaning Paint Off Leather Furniture

September 4, 2015

clean leatherI 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.Cleaning Paint Off Leather Furniture


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
Cleaning Paint Off Leather Furniture

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.

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October 18, 20150 found this helpful
Top Comment

What nice furniture, and good for you for rescuing it from the trash and fixing it up! I'm saving this tip in case I need the info in the future.


Good job, and good luck with the rest of the set!

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August 24, 2012

This is a page about removing dried paint from a leather sofa. Accidents happen; painting a room can sometimes result in spatters and drips on unprotected furniture.

Someone wearing rubber gloves cleaning a leather couch.

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