Painted Upholstered Chair

4 Materials
3 Days

I took this chair from brown and stained to gray and trendy in a weekend!

Oh, me? I make crap. It's what I do. @ perfectlydestressed - please won't you be my neighbor?
painted upholstered chair
A painted chair? It really is as easy as it sounds!
painted upholstered chair
Here is the original fabric color. Really nothing wrong with the chair, my client just wanted a different color scheme for her room. No need to go buy a new chair!
The very first step (after making sure the goldfish cracker crumbs are vacuumed up and the milk stains are cleaned - Mom Life - Amiright?!) is to put water in a spray bottle and spray, spray, spray away. Get the fabric really wet. This will help your watered down paint to truly soak into the fabric.
painted upholstered chair
I researched and researched and researched some more. I read a lot of articles suggesting the additive of vegetable glycerin.
Seriously, if you are about to mix this in your paint, put down the brush and immediately abort mission!
It's an unnecessary cost and leaves the fabric "wet". That's the only way I can describe it. To me, it felt like it prevented the fabric from drying.
Luckily, I used this concoction on a sample piece of fabric and not the chair.
Phew. Crisis averted (and you're welcome!)

painted upholstered chair
I made my own gray using a mix of these 2. I mixed a large batch of it to ensure I wouldn't run out and have to try and color match what I had already made and used.
painted upholstered chair
Water and paint. That's all it takes. I didn't use a ratio. Honestly, I just added water and mixed. The most important thing here is that the paint is liquid enough to soak into the fabric. You don't, I repeat, DON'T want it to sit on the fabric. This will cause cracking. And we all know Crack is Whack.
painted upholstered chair
This is it.
This is all you do.
Take a cheapity cheap cheap paint brush and paint the chair as if you were Picasso painting a masterpiece.
painted upholstered chair
painted upholstered chair
This is m.e.s.s.y. Be prepared. And cover up everything. The paint splashes alllll over. I learned this the hard way.
Positive note: my sunroom is now sparkling clean due to the wiping and scrubbing of every space within a 3 yard radius of the painted furniture workspace.
painted upholstered chair
Waiting in between drying is the hardest part. I chose to err on the side of caution and wait 24 hours between each coat. Remember, it's wet. All the way through wet after spraying with H2O and painting.
Making sure it's dry all the way through is so important.
painted upholstered chair
Here we are between coats 2 and 3. I have read a lot saying it only takes 2 coats. Honestly, I think it all depends on the color.
And your painting skills.
Mine are obviously lacking in "even-ness".
painted upholstered chair
Here she is.
Drying her little heart out after a good waxing. Yes, you need to seal your furniture with wax after the chalk paint has completely dried. The same way you seal your other chalk painted projects. Nothing fancy. Annie Sloan, Rust-Oleum, Min-Wax, whatever wax you got.
painted upholstered chair
It definitely has a leathery feel now. I have heard some people describe it as an outdoor fabric feeling. It's still comfortable, but different than the original feel.
And, just in case you were wondering, the answer is no. No, you do not get paint on you while sitting on it (assuming you are attempting to sit on it after it's completely dry, sealed and finished.) If you sit on it while wet, well, I can't help you there.

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Perfectly DeStressed

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


Have a question about this project?

3 of 55 questions
  • Barbarann
    2 days ago

    so so used dixie bell navy and love it however, even after waxing with. db easy peasy wax, it still marks up easily. i placed a cardboard box on seat and slightly pulled box over cushion and it had touched the front of the back and it showed the touching of the box. do i paint again over the wax

  • Lacey

    Your original chair looked suede. Can you paint any fabric? Well, can you paint cotton/linen? Will it look the same? Probably not, huh?

  • Tamy Spangler
    24 minutes ago

    I want to try this but I have a toddler grandbaby. If she spills on it(and she will) will the paint stay dry or will it then come off?

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