Paint the fabric on that old chair! Yes, it can be done!


Painting fabric is something I always wanted to do. I've seen gorgeous examples on Pinterest and knew I had to try. This chair from my grandmother is the perfect chair to try it on. It's a chair that I always sat in at her house. At the time it was covered in a textured orange vinyl. After she gave it to me I had it recovered in gold velvet, in the 80's.
The project is a great way to get a new look with out spending a fortune.
Here's how I did it;
first I sprayed the fabric with water to really wet it down. Next, I mixed together equal parts acrylic paint and textile medium, thinned it with water and painted the chair in many thin coats, letting it dry thoroughly before adding another coat. I sanded any spots that felt stiff or rough between coats and that really made the fabric soft.
You can read all the details HERE, http://www.thebungalowblog.com/2012/01/painting-fabric-on-a-chair-part-3.html
I can recommend this technique for a chair in a guest room or one that is not used a lot. The fabric will still be somewhat stiff but does get softer with sanding. The success of this project depends on the type of fabric. All fabrics will take paint differently and this works best on fabric that doesn't have a nap. My chair had velvet, so I had to do quite a bit of sanding. Give it a try, the paint does not rub off on your clothes and you can make a sad chair look very happy again!
the old chair
starting to paint first coat
after several coats, she looks so pretty now!
spray bottle of water, acrylic paint and fabric medium

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Debra D

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

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Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Donna Gans-thomas
    on Aug 21, 2016

    Pictures are nice but you don't explain what you used as far as paint. I think everybody reading this would like to know what kind of paint to use

    • Debra D
      on Aug 28, 2016

      I used plain old acrylic craft paint mixed with fabric medium. The bottles are from the craft store and are only about 6 oz each but I think you could use any paint......people are using chalk paint too.

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2 of 65 comments
  • VictoriaC
    on Jan 18, 2016

    Hi Debra, I just gave my daughter a very old antique chair, that we had Upholstered light pink velvet, just before she was born. It has been in her room ever since. She is 34 now and she just took it to new house..I told her to re upholster it and she said "no mom, I am going to paint it!" I almost died..so I have been looking into everything I can find on it..Was yours Velvet too? Well, we will see and if not it will only take a few yards of material to have it re done..Fingers crossed, it will come out like she wants it to...thank you, Victoria

  • Sandi Illsley
    on Aug 11, 2016

    anyone know how to paint a velvet fabric chair?

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