Has anyone ever painted a fabric covered desk chair?

What were your results? Lessons learned? I want it to still be okay to use but the chair does not come apart so wanted to brighten it up and know there is a way to use paint and soften it up for chair applications.
q has anyone ever painted a fabric covered desk chair
q has anyone ever painted a fabric covered desk chair
  5 answers
  • Barb Drake Barb Drake on Jul 04, 2018
    they make a special paint for fabric check an auto paint store or a good paint they should help where to buy you would want to good job the wood or othre parts
  • Mindshift Mindshift on Jul 05, 2018
    Fabric paint is what you want for fabric chairs. You get better coverage from a paint, yet the formulation leaves the fabric softer and more flexible. That's not to say fabric hand is unaffected; some paint is less stiff than others. One person said brushing the fabric with a clothes brush after the paint dried softened it. In general, painting over black may affect the final color and require more coats of paint. Some paints are less opaque and prints or plaids may show through. I advise you test any and all paints on a similar type fabric scrap before starting a larger and valuable furniture piece.
    Most fabric paints are used with a brush to add embellishments to garments and come in small sizes. Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow is available in larger sizes and works with most untreated fabrics, though you need to add Jacquard's Air Fix to avoid needing to heat-fix the color. https://www.dharmatrading.com/paints/dye-na-flow-fabric-paint.html?lnav=paints.html (Untreated means no water or stain repellent, and no sizing. Steam cleaning may be advisable prior to painting.)
    Fabric paint for upholstery is more often a spray paint. Problems people complain about with these are 1) coverage and 2) consistency of application. Like any spray paint these should be applied lightly with multiple coats, but fabric is absorbent and you may need more paint than anticipated. A fine-thread, tightly woven fabric will cover sooner than a thick-thread, coarse fabric. Your desk chair might cover with a single can, but you might need two or even three cans. Consistency of application is more problematic. Instructions on most cans say to shake well and often during application, but one review I read said it was best to shake well the day before application to allow air bubbles to subside and prevent splatters of paint. Some reviewers complained that the paint sprayed in a thin stream instead of a mist, and they ended up having to wipe the paint into the fabric. Others said the nozzle clogged easily or was clogged before they started. Most people's experience was either loved it, or hated it. Do your research online, but buy from a reputable local store to better ensure a fresh, quality spray-on product. Inquire about returns before buying any product.
    I hope I haven't totally discouraged you from painting your chair. Brush-on fabric paint was judged more controlled and reliable than spray-on types. All reviews are subjective, because most often only one item was painted. Whether the result was good or bad for that reviewer does not mean every user will have the same result. Testing on a similar scrap piece of fabric is always a good idea.
  • Jo Wilson Jo Wilson on Jul 06, 2018
    I have done several upholstered pieces with acrylic paints mixed with textile medium and water. Using directions off the internet that are pretty easy. Basically clean the furniture first. Then decide the color you want and for the first coat you mix 1 part acrylic paint, 1 part textile medium and 1 part water and before painting each section you lightly spray mist it with plain water. After first coat is dry sand any rough spots. 2nd coat mix slightly less water in your paint mix and mist again before painting, let dry and sand where needed. 3rd coat use very little water in paint mix and mist and paint. Never needed to go to a fourth coat to get the color I wanted or to cover an existing pattern. To set the paint I used Scotchguard and so far no problem. I tried using the latex method but I did not like the leathery finish it gives, nor using the wax sealer which takes time to cure and needs redoing periodically.

    I did a midcentury pleather type chair with spray paint made for that use and it worked well but was pretty expensive and I had to tape everything off and then treat the medal parts separately. But it worked in my Ole Miss room so it was worth it.

    All of the things I have done were things picked up cheap so if I messed up, no big deal. Look around on the net and watch some You tube videos and see what looks good for you. DIY should be fun.
  • Karen Julio Karen Julio on Jul 07, 2018

    I recently did my sofa and two chairs with chalk paint. It’s not as soft as before, but it’s still awesome! The more you water down the paint, the softer it will be. I used a more watered down version for the sofa and a heavier one on the chairs. The chairs are now like a leathery upholstery. I went from yellows and browns to gray tones. I’m really thrilled with the results. My cats can’t scratch up the fabric either since it’s more structured now. Use a spray bottle to wet it down before you begin. I used Annie Sloan’s chalk paint, but any brand will also work.

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