5 April 2017

Leather Look Chair by Painter in Residence Jonathon Marc Mendes!

Can you believe that this stunning leather look chair actually started life like the picture below? With the help of a little Chalk Paint® and Clear and Dark Chalk Paint® Wax, Jonathon Marc Mendes has turned a rather dated and old looking chair in to something classically timeless, oh so handsome and quintessentially British! 

Jonathon began by adding water to Chalk Paint® in Arles to create the consistency of thin milk. (This is a must when painting directly on to fabric - the paint needs to absorb in to the fibres.) He painted the entire fabric surface of the chair with this base colour.

Once the first coat was dry, Jonathon added a touch of Primer Red to the watered down Arles mix - this created a gorgeous, warm colour that Jonathon began gradually layering on to the chair. To create an authentic leather look, the last coat of paint was applied fairly thickly so that the seat pad would crack, just like aged leather does!

Inspired by typography seen on old clock faces and coffee sacks, Jonathon created his own stencils using card. Once the painted fabric had dried, Jonathon applied his stencil designs to the chair using a Stencil Brush and Chalk Paint® in Graphite.

And now for the wax! Because Jonathon wanted a true leather feel to his chair, he finished the piece with wax, however if you just wanted to alter the colour of your chair, there is no need to wax as the watered down paint will have absorbed in to the fibres. Take a look at my video here to see this in action.

To create that gorgeous aged leather look Jonathon applied a coat of Clear Chalk Paint® Wax all over, and then, using a Wax Brush, Jonathon applied Dark Chalk Paint® Wax to the surface, paying particular attention to the edges and purposefully creating patchy darker areas to add to the overall authenticity. Over time the wax will act just like real leather, cracking on the surface.

Residual Chalk Paint® Wax was then used on the woodwork, adding that final, luxurious finish.

Well done, Jonathon, what a glorious way to use my paint and products.




  1. That turned out great - I can't see the link to the video though.

    1. Hello! You can view the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiFrv_h-Khw

  2. Replies
    1. Here it is! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiFrv_h-Khw

    2. I am looking for the site to see what the color looked like after he painted the chair and before the waxing.

  3. Words can not describe how wonderful this is.

  4. Incredible and brilliant ❣

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Must the fabric be a natural fibre?

  7. Amazing, truly amazing. I love everything Jonathon creates. He has inspired me beyond measure.

  8. Annie - what is Residual Chalk Paint® Wax please?

  9. This is the post and tutorial that did it for me.. Ill keep you posted.. The ugly plaid chair may take a lot of paint, but this tutorial gave me confidence!

  10. can you really use the chair and not have the paint and wax stain your clothes?

  11. Wow, didn't know this could even be done! Inspiring!

  12. Is there a tutorial that shows how to create this look?!

  13. It's lovely. I have a leather couch here and I wonder if I can painted as well. And if yes, do I use the wax after or will crack it? Thank you.

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  16. It turned out awesome! I love the look! My painted chair is still one of my favorite projects too.

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  18. It's lovely to see all the positive comments here now I have finally revisited my leather look chair technique. It's amazing how many people have been asking how to do it which I've refined slightly. Can't wait to see other people's take on it.

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  23. Hi Jonathon, since finding your website I've been a huge fan, I've using paint effects for over 30 years now and have created leather look walls and picture frames and now I can't wait to try upholstered furniture. Thank you very much keep up the good work. Please give my best wishes to Annie. Kindest regards Gary.

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