Painting fabric upholstery with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint


We painted the outdated upholstery on these antique chairs with a mixture of 50% Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Grey and 50% water. We misted the fabric with a spray bottle of water with each coat of paint so that the fabric would absorb the paint and not be stiff. It took three coats of paint, with about 24 hours of drying time between each coat. We stenciled a french design on each chair using Annie Sloan Graphite. The blue stripe was stenciled with Aubusson Blue. We then distressed and glazed the arms and legs. You can see the full tutorial here: http://bella-tucker.com/2013/04/painting-fabric-with-annie-sloan-chalk-paint/ fabric upholstery Sloan Chalk Paint
Before and After of Annie Sloan Chalk Painted Upholstery
Before and After of Annie Sloan Chalk Painted Upholstery
We painted this chair with Annie Sloan Paris Gray
We painted this chair with Annie Sloan Paris Gray
painting fabric upholstery with annie sloan chalk paint, chalk paint, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, reupholster
painting fabric upholstery with annie sloan chalk paint, chalk paint, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, reupholster
painting fabric upholstery with annie sloan chalk paint, chalk paint, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, reupholster
painting fabric upholstery with annie sloan chalk paint, chalk paint, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, reupholster
painting fabric upholstery with annie sloan chalk paint, chalk paint, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, reupholster
painting fabric upholstery with annie sloan chalk paint, chalk paint, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, reupholster
Bella Tucker Decorative Finishes

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

14 questions
  • Shirley
    on Dec 15, 2015

    Has the fabric stiffened over time or is it still soft?

  • Leslie Crofford
    on Dec 17, 2015

    My chairs came out stiff. There are the same type upholstery as your chairs. What now?

    • L.Briscoe
      on Mar 4, 2016

      There will always be some stiffness when you put paint on fabric. Imagine spilling paint on your shirt, then letting it dry. It will be stiff. But if you sand your upholstery lightly with fine sandpaper, it will give the fabric a smoother surface feel. Hope this helps.

  • Karen Boudreau
    on Jan 15, 2016

    I have a Winter White wool coat. Do you think I could use chalk paint on wool?

  • Kathy
    on Jan 20, 2016

    Upholstery painting. Would it work well on a much used sofa in a family room and is it stiff feeling?

    • Karen W
      on May 11, 2016

      I am in the process of paint this chair with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. In addition to steps in this article, you need to wax and sand each coat (2320 grit). It will feel like soft leather,

  • KatAych
    on Feb 16, 2016

    Hello! I just picked up a free settee that is tone-on-tone striped; I'd like to paint every other stripe a different color - what kind of tape would work best to get a clean, straight edge?

  • Minnettebaker
    on Feb 18, 2016

    I painted an ugly upholstered chair by spraying it with denim rit dye, but the color wipes off onto clothing and your skin. Can I seal it with annie sloan wax or do you suggest painting over it?

    • Karen W
      on May 11, 2016

      Paint over it with AS Chalk Paint, wax and sand lightly after each coat (3 coats). Seal final layer with wax

      , I am in the process of painting this chair with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint
  • Cheryl
    on Mar 20, 2016

    I have a chair covered in vinyl can I paint it with anything that will take easily?

    • Lori
      on Dec 12, 2016

      Many people will tell you AS Chalk paint, but I had a very bad experience using it on vinyl, so beware. It split and wrinkled and brushed off in patches. Others seem to have good luck but I did not.

  • Mary
    on May 3, 2016

    My once beautiful burgundy red patio umbrella is now a faded version of it's self. Can anyone tell me of a "spray paint" and a "water proof sealer" that I can use to bring back it's color? I believe the material is canvas... it's not a see thru material, and is quite sturdy. The crank up mechanics and the tilt part both still work great, so I'd like to give it some color to match my new chairs and table set. It would cost me $100 or more to replace the umbrella, so I'm hoping some one can help me out. Thank you in advance!!! 8-)

    • Karen W
      on May 11, 2016

      You can mix outdoor latex paint, water and fabric medium. (I used Martha Steward 1:1:1 ratio) It will keep the fabric flexible. I painted patio chair cushions nearly 3 years ago, and they are holding up perfectly. I even added a stencil with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint -no wax). These chairs were about to be thrown out and were covered with debris and mold

      , These cushions were about to be thrown out and were covered with debris and mold They were a faded orange pattern and the fabric was vinyl backed
    • Annie Doherty
      on Oct 28, 2016

      I love your chairs Karen, one persons trash became your treasures. What a beautiful job you have a great eye.

  • Edd9658340
    on Aug 7, 2016

    The chair is lovely. Where did you find the stencil?

  • Peggy Weatherford
    on Sep 11, 2016

    where can I find the chalkpaint.(and directions to use it)

  • Kathryn Ehrhardt
    on Jan 5, 2017

    How well does this wear? Is this family room durable?

    • Charlee Hunter
      on Jan 5, 2017

      I used this technique on a desk chair that is used everyday and it has held up very well.

    • Dmotan
      on Jan 25, 2017

      Please read the warning label on the Annie Sloan paint. It believe it contains phalates which can cause cancer. Wouldn't want to sit in a chair which has phalates in the paint. Please do your own research.

  • Julie Butler
    on Jan 24, 2017

    Hi there. I don't seem to be able to get a definitive answer from Annie Sloan about whether or not to use a fabric medim in the paint.... will the stencil rub off. or how do you clean it as necessary? Did you have to use a fabric medium in the paint to "set" the stencil into the fabric and make is washable? It looks beautiful, but will it wear off and how to clean? Many thanks.

    • Shawna Bailey
      on Jan 25, 2017

      If you use fabric medium it will be softer and feel like fabric, if you don't it will be stiffer but still work.

  • Gloria Arzadon
    on Dec 9, 2017

    Will other chalk paints work or does it have to be AS?
    • Mary Moore
      on Jun 26, 2018

      I just did this with another brand. Same mix 50% paint, 50% water.

  • Carolyn Washell
    on May 3, 2018

    How do I get the wood to look like this?

Join the conversation

3 of 154 comments
  • Andrea Schnapp
    on Apr 17, 2016

    I'd like to know how you distressed the wood on the arm chair above as I would like to do that my familiar chair. Thanks you!

    • Maion Jiji
      on Jun 12, 2016

      @Andrea Schnapp you would use a fine grit sanding paper. Lightly distress to desired look.

  • Carolyn Washell
    on May 3, 2018

    I have a dark wood glider and want to lighten the wood.

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