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Faded Couch Turns Into a Beauty

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I got this couch free from a co-worker when they moved. I liked the color, I liked the shape, I was not a fan of how the back was faded from their window. It also had some stains and wear I could not get out. The other bad part? The microfiber suede sucked the hair off our dog the second she walked past... and it stuck on the front like glue... yuck. I had to do something....
  • faded couch turns into a beauty, chalk paint, painted furniture
I decided to try a slipcover. It worked ok but the couch cushions velcro onto the couch. With a slipcover they can not use the velcro and I am adjusting cushions everytime someone gets up, everytime I walk past, as I am sitting, etc. This was not the fix...
  • faded couch turns into a beauty, chalk paint, painted furniture
you can see the wear and stains on it - all my stain tricks did not work on this.
  • faded couch turns into a beauty, chalk paint, painted furniture
It looked ok but I was not crazy about the color, seemed to lack the drama I wanted. So I read a bit, and a little more. Then I had a plan... I was going to paint it. This was my first time working with chalk paint and my first time painting fabric - what could go wrong? I figured as a last resort I could always put the slip cover back on.
  • faded couch turns into a beauty, chalk paint, painted furniture
Day 1. So here we go. I bought some Dutch Boy Plainum paint in a deep purple, I ordered a 5lb bag of calcium carbonate off amazon and made chalk paint - I chose to mix my own because I could get the exact color I wanted. I mixed 8 T calcium carbonate, 4 T water to 1 qt latex paint. In the case of painting fabric add more water so it soaks into the fabric instead of sitting on top - I used an ice cream bucket and added a little water at a time until I got to a runny paint but not as thin as stain. I used a spray bottle to dampen the fabric before applying the paint. I brushed it on and did my best to get in all the edges. Here is the first coat.
  • faded couch turns into a beauty, chalk paint, painted furniture
Day 2. It looked a little scary at this point and my other half was questioning my sanity but I was seeing it through. I let it dry overnight and now was sanding time. I used a medium sanding sponge and sanded the dry paint. As I sanded, the somewhat stiff fabric went back to soft - especially on the seat cushions.
  • faded couch turns into a beauty, chalk paint, painted furniture
Day 3. It was starting to look better but I was still unsure. The color wasn't the rich tone I wanted and I could still see red. Another sanding and a 3rd coat of paint...
  • faded couch turns into a beauty, chalk paint, painted furniture
  • faded couch turns into a beauty, chalk paint, painted furniture
the sunlight really makes it look darker... I wanted a deep purple-gray.
  • faded couch turns into a beauty, chalk paint, painted furniture
Day 4. Here is a shot of it after sanding. The better job you do on the sanding the softer the fabric will be. Now to start the wax - yes, I said wax. I used Minwax Finishing Paste wax in clear. After the 3rd coat was sanded and wiped down I started waxing, I recruited my son to help on this so it is very easy to do.
  • faded couch turns into a beauty, chalk paint, painted furniture
you can see the arm looks softer and has a sheen to it - like leather now. The wax does soften it and at the end it feels like a heavy leather that has been broke in. I plan on re-waxxing it every 6 months to year as needed. The best part - repels stains :-)
  • faded couch turns into a beauty, chalk paint, painted furniture
Here she is when we finished the wax
  • faded couch turns into a beauty, chalk paint, painted furniture
  • faded couch turns into a beauty, chalk paint, painted furniture
a close up- it has a distressed leather look and feel. When people see it they think it is leather - they do not believe me that I painted the fabric. What do you think? I did this in January and it still looks the same - no cracks or issues. It does not smell funny and nothing comes off on your clothes. I love that the dog hair does not stick to it, we do not allow her on the couch but she sits against the front of it all the time.
  • faded couch turns into a beauty, chalk paint, painted furniture

Materials I used for this project:

  • Dutch Boy Platinum Latex Paint   (Menards)
  • Calcium Carbonate   (https://www.amazon.com/Carbonate-Greenway-Biotech-Inc-Limestone/dp/B00HFFD3O8/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid)
  • Minwax Finishing Paste Wax - Clear   (Menards)
See all materials

To see more: http://dabblingindovre.com

  • Louise Hunt
    Louise Hunt
    on Jun 23, 2017

    awesome!! looks like leather!! wow!!

  • Kay Harper
    Kay Harper
    on Jun 25, 2017

    I would love to try this but I have a faux leather couch that is peeling off. Any chance I could use the technique on it?

  • Lindalee_47303
    Lindalee_47303
    on Jul 11, 2017

    Really good job!! Looks like a new sofa.

  • Dogsnbooks
    Dogsnbooks
    on Jul 15, 2017

    I think l will try this on an old recliner. With dogs and cats I have hair issues and this could really help.

  • Silversilk26
    Silversilk26
    on Jul 16, 2017

    This looks amazing! I'm not sure I'm brave enough to do this... I love the purple and it definitely looks like leather!

Inspired? Will you try this project? Let the author know!