How To Make Faux Leather Look Real Leather

Bought faux leather because it is more affordable than the real? Love how it requires less care than genuine leather? However… let’s guess! Want to tell everyone that it is real?

Faux leather, more commonly known as fake leather is a cheaper alternative to real leather that is often praised for being made of synthetic fibers and not animal hide. However, when discussing this topic, one of the most common questions we get is how to make faux leather look real.

Today we are here to answer this question and list some techniques, following which will make sure no one questions the authenticity of your leather!

Different Methods Of Making Faux Leather Look Real Leather

Removing The Leather’s Shine

Faux leather is considerably glossier than genuine leather, which is why dulling its appearance is one of the most common methods to make it look real. Below we will list some ways to decrease its shine using some materials that are easy to find.

Method 1:

Things You Will Need:

  • Rubbing alcohol (also known as isopropyl alcohol)
  • 2pcs of clean lint free cloth


  • Pour some rubbing alcohol on one of your pieces of cloth.
  • Rub in the alcohol to your faux leather in a circular motion. It is best to start the application from one side to avoid leaving out any spots. Keep on dampening your piece of cloth with more alcohol to prevent it from getting dry.
  • Once you are done applying, wipe off the excess with the other dry piece of cloth.
  • Let your leather air dry for a few minutes.

Method 2:

Things You Will Need:

  • Abrasive cleaning wipes
  • A microfiber cloth


  • Using your wipes, scrub the surface of the leather. Apply all your energy into doing so until you have achieved the antique look you desired.
  • Remember to scrub only small sections at once and immediately wipe off the dampness with your microfiber cloth.

Method 3:

Things You Will Need:

  • A nail polish remover that contains acetone
  • Sandpaper
  • Microfiber cloth


  • Dampen your microfiber cloth with nail polish remover and use it to wipe the surface of your leather.
  • As soon as you have wiped the surface, rub your faux leather with sandpaper to darken it and remove the gloss.
  • Lastly, clean it off using a rag.

Adding Creases To The Leather

Wrinkles give off a natural touch to your faux leather since one of the main features of real leather is how it gets creased easily. Thus, instead of putting in a lot of effort to store your leather safely, go ahead and fold it to get a more realistic look. Regular usage without extra care about getting creases would also be of help.

Changing The Leather’s Texture

Although most artificial leather manufacturers these days usually add some textures to the leather they make, when observed, one can detect that there is a pattern or consistency to it. This gives away the fact that your leather is not real.

Thankfully, this is a problem that can be solved by following the fun little procedure mentioned below.

Things You Will Need:

  • Acrylic paint that has a similar color tone to your leather (feel free to mix colors to get your desired shade)
  • Water
  • Rubbing alcohol in a spray can
  • Sponge


  • Mix water with your acrylic paint until the consistency is similar to that of watercolor. To test it, using a brush paint a stroke on paper and see if it looks like a watercolor wash.
  • Dip your sponge in the acrylic and water solution and use it to paint the surface of your leather. Dabbing the mixture on would make interesting patterns.
  • Without letting the paint dry, using your spraying bottle, spray rubbing alcohol on the leather to let the paint form unique patterns by spreading out.
  • Let the paint and rubbing alcohol air dry. This usually requires only a few minutes.

Sanding The Leather

We have seen the usage of sandpaper in the process of removing the leather’s shine. It can also be used to sand the leather and give the realistic look you always longed for.

Remember to:

  • Use 150 to 320 grit sandpaper to avoid scratches on the leather.
  • Use sandpaper that has fine grits to avoid rips.
  • Apply little force as only the upper plastic-like layer needs to be buffed.
  • Rub slowly, forwards, and then backward.
  • Wipe the surface once you are done buffing with a piece of cloth.

You can prime the leather once you are done to give your work a smoother finish.

Softening The Leather

Real leather is often applauded for having a soft feel which is always very comforting for the users. You can easily add this feel to your faux leather to make it seem more real while also contributing to the coziness it provides.

The pores on real leather and faux leather differ making their permeability differ too; this is why they require different types of conditioner. Using the products and following the steps mentioned below will help you condition your leather without causing it any harm.

Things You Will Need:

  • Vinyl conditioner
  • Cleaning materials: Soap or cleaner along with rag and warm water.
  • A clean piece of microfiber cloth


  • At first, clean your leather. Mild dishwashing soap, saddle soap, or leather cleaner can all be used.
  • Let the leather air dry for a day.
  • Rub in the vinyl conditioner to your leather in a circular motion.
  • Use the piece of microfiber cloth to wipe off excess (this must be done to avoid over conditioning).

Final Words

How to make faux leather look real?

Well, now you know the answer! Feel free to try out the above-mentioned procedures to get that genuine leather look you always wanted. As the required items are easily available, we promise it won’t be much of a hassle.

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