An Easy How to Paint Upholstery Fabric

5 Materials
2 Days

If you’ve wondered about how to paint upholstery fabric with chalk paint: without a dry, rough or cracked look…. Or, will it work? I’m here to share with you my experience and an easy how to paint upholstery fabric tutorial.
This is the before picture of the chair. I loved this fabric when I had the room decorated in an English Cottage style with reds, golds and greens. Now, with a more serene greige and blue color scheme I needed a way to keep the chair....
At first I slipcovered the chair. This worked and is an option to transform the chair again...if I wish.
I created a demo with three swatches of fabric to show how using this 4-Step process to paint upholstery with chalk paint can prevent the dried, cracked look and feel after paint.
First step - spritz the fabric thoroughly with water.
The second Step - water down your chalk paint by 20 to 30 percent.
Third Step: After the fabric has thoroughly dried - lightly sand your fabric.
Fourth Step: wax the fabric. These four steps will not only prevent cracking, but also give the fabric a softer texture.
I applied a light creamy paint all over the chair and added dark grey paint to the legs and arms. After the paint was applied I wiped off giving a grey stained appearance. You can also use antiqued wax if you prefer a different aged look. I also applied light gray over the raised portions of the fabric - to give it a damask appearance.
The chair is now transformed! It is comfortable and beautiful in this corner of our living room. Chalk paint does change the texture of the fabric, but by using this method your end result will be a softer, smoother painted fabric.
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Kathy R

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


Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Marita Beets
    on Aug 25, 2018

    Can i paint any fabric

    • Kathy R
      on Aug 26, 2018

      I believe you can. I've seen a video of a girl painting velvet fabric - the more textured the fabric - the harder it may be. You can find at craft stores spray paint versions - I think what would work would be to make sure the fabric is moistened ahead of time and spray or paint on thinned paint and sponge it in. Here's a link to the video of the velvet couch.

Join the conversation

  • Kathy
    on Jun 29, 2018

    Love this

  • Satiety
    on Oct 24, 2019

    I did this to throw pillows for my bathroom. They turned out wonderful! But I used fabric softener as a thinner for the paint.

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