I’m always up to try something new and I’ve been wanting to try painting on leather for awhile. I’ve seen a lot of beautiful embossed and painted leather designs but I wanted something a little more modern. I was also a little intimidated to try and paint freehand, so when I saw a display of decorative metal screens at Home Depot I thought I had found my answer.
- Leather Cuff
- Stencil (I used a decorative metal screen from Home Depot)
- Metallic Acrylic Paint (by Plaid)
- Paint Brush
- Scrapbooking Brads (These are by 7Gypsies)
- Ice Pick
1. Tape Down Your Stencil
- Tape the stencil down centering it horizontally and vertically over your leather cuff.
- Using a paint brush, dab the paint carefully over the stencil openings.
- You may need 2-3 coats.
- Let each coat of paint dry before the next layer.
3. Lift off the stencil and aaaaaaauuuuuughgh!!!!!!!!!!!
- Pull the tape off the leather cuff and run to the kitchen sink swearing.
- Hold the leather cuff under hot, hot water and scrub furiously with a paper towel muttering crap. crap. crap. under your breath.
- Let the leather cuff soak in the hot water for a few minutes. Some of the wetter paint will come off, but most of the dried paint layers will stay on. (Acknowledge that this is a good thing, because I wasn’t sure the whole painted leather thing would work anyway.)
- Mope around for a bit.
4. Now what.
- Decide that this thing can maybe be saved.
5. Add Brads
- Using an ice pick, poke a hole into the center of each design where you want your brads.
- Insert brads into holes and bend tabs open on the back side.
6. Distress the Edges
- With sandpaper, sand around all the edges and corners.
7. Add more brads
Add some more brads if desired. Here is what the back of the painted leather cuff looks like with the brads showing.
So this is not at all what I intended the finished leather cuff to look like.
In my mind it was going to be very modern with clean lines and a simple painted leather design. But sometimes things don’t work out the way you want them.
I did learn a few things.
- I painted directly onto the leather without using any primers or special paint. And it stayed on.
- I wasn’t sure if the brads would work, or if they would be uncomfortable on the back side of the cuff but it turned out they worked great. Scrapbooking brads are inexpensive and easy to find. Some of the leather brads that I’ve seen lately require a special tool that I didn’t have on hand.
So here’s my question – did I rescue this DIY FAIL? Part of me still looks at it and sees the messy painted leather cuff I almost tossed in the trash. The other part of me sees the distressed, kinda cool leather rocker thing. What do you think?