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How to Paint an Upholstered Chair

After reading a few posts about painted upholstery, I thought it might be fun to try it myself. Here is the process I used to paint an old slipper chair.
Time: 2 Days Cost: $15 Difficulty: Easy
Latex satin paint - I used leftover from paint from our bathroom re-do.
Fabric medium - this stuff is usually located in the painting section with acrylic paints and brushes.
Painter's tape
Stiff-ish bristled paint brush
Spray bottle with water
200 grit sand paper - I didn't end up using this, but you might need it to gently sand away fuzzies, depending on the type of fabric your piece is covered in.
Mixing container with a lid
Drop Cloth
I mixed up a batch of fabric paint by combining one part medium, one part paint, and two parts water.
I sprayed the fabric with some water, rubbing it in a little. This gets the fabric ready to absorb the paint mixture.
I worked my way around the chair, covering it with the fabric paint mixture. For corners and seams, like the piping around the seat, I used my fingers to work the paint down into the cracks.
Here's how the chair looked after one coat of the fabric paint mixture.
I let the paint dry for about twenty four hours and then applied another coat.
Here's the chair it looked after two coats of fabric paint. I let it dry for several hours again, and then applied another coat.
Here's how the chair looked after a third coat. Overall, the process is very easy and inexpensive to do. It gave the upholstery a leathery, kinda sticky feel so it's not something I would recommend doing to a large peice you use everyday. However, for accent pieces and small surfaces I think it's great!
There are more photos and detailed instructions in the blog post.

To see more: http://www.fiftytwoweekendsofdiy.com/2014/06/how-i-painted-upholstered-chair.html

  • Hannah V
    Hannah V Brooklyn, NY
    on Aug 14, 2014

    Love it!

  • Dyana E
    Dyana E Statesboro, GA
    on Aug 15, 2014

    Thanks for the tutorial AND for the heads-up about the post-painting-stickiness. That's critical to know before going whole hog (like I was planning to do). Great job, btw. The chair looks fabulous!

  • Mssmatch
    Mssmatch Florence, KY
    on Aug 15, 2014


  • Mssmatch
    Mssmatch Florence, KY
    on Aug 15, 2014

    I read where others that did this lightly sanded the upholstered part and then applied 2 coats of wax sanding lightly in between coats -no more sticky

  • Ellie
    Ellie United Kingdom
    on Aug 15, 2014

    Painting furniture fabric is sooooo much easier using chalk paint, no chemicals as in satin paint involved.

    • Ellie
      Ellie United Kingdom
      on Aug 15, 2014

      @Carol Inevitably any paint will make the fabric stiffer but I have found, having tried it both ways, is because of the deep pigmentation in chalk paint (I use Annie Sloan or Autentico) I don't need to do more than two coats, lessening the leathery effect. :)

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