How I failed a paint job on a fabric cushion and survived!

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I posted about my attempt at painting fabric over a year ago and then how I moved on with that project and loved the result. You can have a better look at all the details here: http://www.hometalk.com/12899911/refurbished-telephone-gossip-bench

When I bought this telephone bench for $25, I was ecstatic! It was cool, solidly built, vintage and I knew I could have fun with it and sell it (though I really wanted to keep it once it was done!). The cushion was in great shape, but was an ugly color and had a couple of stains on it. What better opportunity to paint fabric than this? I thought that if it didn't work, I'd just cover it up. Well, it didn't work!! LOL Please read below for some details and pictures about my adventure. Also, click on the above-posted link to my thread for more information.

Just remember, most 'fails' can open up opportunities you didn't think you had. It just might take a day or month of pondering, asking the DIY community and searching the web for a solution, but I have found that there often is one. Don't give up!


t how i failed a paint job on a fabric cushion and survived, reupholster
Here is the original telephone bench. I loved all the markings on the base and legs. The support on the seat was solid as was everything about this table, but I just didn't like the cusion colour at all.
t how i failed a paint job on a fabric cushion and survived, reupholster
After following advice I found here at Hometalk on how to paint fabric with chalk paint, I gave the cushion a first coat. Chalk paint can be used quite successfully to paint fabrics. You have to wet the fabric, dilute the chalk paint with water and some advised using a fabric medium, which is what I did.
t how i failed a paint job on a fabric cushion and survived, reupholster
While wet, it looked pretty good and I was SO excited!!
t how i failed a paint job on a fabric cushion and survived, reupholster
Then, the paint dried. I lightly sanded the surfaces, softening the fabric and evening out some of the grey colour. This picture is after a FOURTH coat of diluted chalk paint was applied. By now, I was very discouraged and realized that this method was just not going to work after all. sigh ....

It was after I posted about my fail and asked questions, that some people said it was the type of fabric that hampered things. There are many types of fabrics that can be covered nicely with chalk paint, with great results, but this one not so much.
t how i failed a paint job on a fabric cushion and survived, reupholster
This is a close up photo of the cushion with four coats applied.
t how i failed a paint job on a fabric cushion and survived, reupholster
I decided to cover the cushion, so I added a layer of poly filling and stapled it all around, making sure the corners were softly padded.
t how i failed a paint job on a fabric cushion and survived, reupholster
t how i failed a paint job on a fabric cushion and survived, reupholster
Then, I stapled this fun fabric to the back of the cushioned seat.Ta
t how i failed a paint job on a fabric cushion and survived, reupholster
Here she is! I just love the transformation both the paint colours and the 'new' cushion made to the vintage telephone bench.
t how i failed a paint job on a fabric cushion and survived, reupholster
A close up look at the colours of paint, some brown of the original bench, some red and some white under all the black, then waxed several coats. For more information, please follow the link to the original Hometalk thread I posted.
http://www.hometalk.com/12899911/refurbished-telephone-gossip-bench

  9 answers
  • Tricia Brown Tricia Brown on Jan 18, 2017
    Great idea. Love the fabric and the color of the bench paint. Good job.
  • Nadine Nadine on Jan 18, 2017
    The bench is now thanking you for giving it a completely new look. Beautiful!
  • William William on Jan 18, 2017
    I often wondered about chalk paint on fabric. I've never used chalk paint so I don't know. I usually advise Dupli Color Fabric paint from auto parts stores. Used it on car seats, Back in the day, with no problemsI love the fabric you chose. Goes great with the paint color.
  • Marj MRC Creations Marj MRC Creations on Jan 18, 2017
    Thank you, everyone ! :)
  • Haysha S. Haysha S. on Jan 19, 2017
    Inspirational!! Love the perseverance, and it really paid off!
  • Hillela G. Hillela G. on Jan 19, 2017
    I love the end result. and I'm so happy that the Hometalk community was able to help you along the way!
  • Cori Widen Cori Widen on Jan 19, 2017
    This is awesome! You did a great job - what an great and honest story :) Thanks for sharing!
  • Dl.5660408 Dl.5660408 on Jan 19, 2017
    It is absolutely lovely!
  • Marj MRC Creations Marj MRC Creations on Jan 19, 2017
    Thank you for your kind comments. I found it encouraging to come on here and share my struggles and be told that maybe that fabric just doesn't take to paint all that well. It made me see that making mistakes is part of this creative process that I love so much and that there is always a solution. :)