Painted Upholstery

I've been having fun lately in the workshop trying new products and techniques.  One of them I'm going to share with you today, painted upholstery.

Last winter I had a chair that was either going in the trash or I was going to try painting it so I got fabric paint additive mixed it with some latex and slapped it on the chair. It sure made the chair look better but it also kind of feels like plastic, which works with kids and dogs, but you probably wouldn't want to cuddle up on it.

Lately, I've been seeing chalk painted upholstery and I was surprised that the feeling was much softer. I found a fabulous bench on a Facebook selling site and decided to give it a try.

Of course this is one of those projects where I ran out of paint, I wasn't sure what I was doing, and it took a lot longer than I expected. Want to see my moment of uncertainty? Here's the Facebook Live Video.

But I think the end result is worth it.

Some of the links are affiliate links to help you find what you need!  These are products I have tested and used myself or something comparable.

The fabric started with ASCP Provence, but I ran out of paint.  Then realized I had a matching color General Finishes Key West Chalk Type Paint, so I used that.  The legs and arms are a 50/50 mix of General Finishes Antique White and Snow White Milk Paint.

Supply List:

-spray bottle for water

-sandpaper (120 grit or 220 grit)

-General Finishes Chalk Style Paint

-Paint Brush - any old brush will work for this

-Vacuum (I use my Shop-Vac for just about everything!)

Here are a few tips and tricks I learned in case you want to try this yourself: 

*Vacuum the fabric really well before you start.

*You really want the paint to soak into the fabric rather than sit on top.  To help with this, thin your paint with some water and spray the fabric lightly with water right before you paint.

*Use circular brush strokes when you're applying the paint to the fabric.


*Sand between each coat of paint and after the last one (I used a combination of both 120 grit and 220 grit sandpaper). The sanding really took it from a painted feeling to more of a suede feeling.

*A bench is the perfect thing to try this on because your not touching it with your face or arms, you're just sitting on it.

*I did not wax the fabric, I tried that in one place and I didn't like the texture it was getting, so I opted to leave it un-waxed.  There is no way in the world this paint is going anywhere so it didn't seem like waxing was necessary.

I personally wouldn't do this to a good set of chairs, but if this is your last resort, give it a try.  Otherwise, I do think fabric would always be a more comfortable option.  If you want a more wipe-able option (say for dining room or outdoor cushions) I'd use the fabric additive and latex paint (my favorite is Behr Ultra). 

As always, please PIN to share!

Happy Painting!