How Fabric Paint Transformed My Chairs!
I was gifted two, gorgeous Louis bucket chairs, and I jumped for joy! I knew exactly where I wanted them to go, and couldn’t wait to put them in place to see how they looked. Unfortunately the color wasn’t working for my decor, so here’s how I transformed them into stunners simply by painting the fabric!
When I put these yellow, damask bucket chairs in place, I thought, ‘this might be my color! I’ve tried all the other colors – but not yellow! This may be the one!’
I lived with them in place for a few weeks, but the yellow just wasn't suited for my style.
You take fabric medium and acrylic paint in any color you want – I chose simple, plain white. I purchased 3 bottles of each not sure which formula would work best on this silky damask upholstery.
One cushion had a stain one the bottom side that wouldn’t come out, so I used that side as my tester, since I knew that side of the cushion would always be hidden.
*Always test your fabric first, y’all!
I used an inexpensive craft brush and mixed the paint in a tupperware container that I could seal between coats. You simply paint the fabric in smooth even strokes.
The first application is always the scariest! Follow instructions on the bottle, but be willing to alter it a bit if needed. I started with 1 part fabric medium: 2 parts acrylic paint. After the first coat, I could visually see that I had to increase the paint ratio just a little bit, so for these chairs, I used 1 part medium:2 1/4 parts paint. Not much of a difference, but enough to work with this fabric.
As you can see below, the first coat really soaks up the paint. I read on other sites where bloggers dampened their fabric first to help the paint to adhere better. When I did that, it turned out more stiff, probably due to the nature of the silk fabric. So after the first sample, I did not dampen the fabric.
After the first coat – allow it dry thoroughly before reapplying. I waited at least 24 hours, if not longer between coats. You can see the difference a second coat makes!
I thought I would need to apply three coats, but something beautiful happened after the second coat.
The damask pattern soaked up the paint beautifully, but the plain silk transformed into this gorgeous champagne color, making the chair slightly two-toned in beautiful neutrals.
The detailed carvings on the chair were previously painted with a golden faux finish to allow those embellishments to pop and that champagne color looked just perfect against those hints of gold. So I went on to the final step of sealing it to see if I liked how it looked finished.
To seal the chairs, you iron them. Isn’t that wild?! That sets the paint and softens the fabric. Now, lemme tell ya – ironing an armchair isn’t the easiest thing to do. So many angles and curves. I had to flip these chairs in all kinds of positions just to reach all the fabric. And ironing a chair with a new, curious puppy really isn’t an easy task! It was difficult keeping him away from the hot iron, so I may have missed a few spots.
Didn’t they turn out just beautifully? Who knew painting a fabric chair would make such a statement?
Now I will tell you this – they DO NOT feel like silk. If you’ve ever spilled something on a silk shirt and let it dry, that is similar to how this feels. Not crunchy or stiff, but also not soft like typical silk. Painting fabric does change how it feels and I noticed the more I ironed, the softer it got.
The chairs brighten up my living room and look nicely with my updated Entertainment Center.
So the next time you pass by a chair at a thrift store because of the color, or refuse a hand me down because of the fabric – give this a try! You may be like me – amazed at the results!
And be sure to head back to my blog to see how they look in front of my fireplace! They frame it in so perfectly!
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