How to Paint Fabric Furniture Easily

6 Materials
5 Hours

Do Dodson Designs did a fabulous paint job on this couch! Painting fabric furniture is so much fun and way easier than reupholstering, not to mention less expensive.

This old gal will be living in a beauty salon greeting customers as they come in. But before anyone can curl up on this sofa, we gotta get her dyed up. Let’s get this color job started!

Before applying the paint to the fabric, I dampened the fabric to allow the fibers to open and accept the paint. A spray mist water bottle was the perfect tool for the job. I lightly misted the fabric in small areas as I painted. It also dilutes the paint to become more like a dye.

I applied the first coat of chalk mineral paint and allowed it to thoroughly dry, usually overnight. Then I lightly sanded it with a 220 grit sandpaper. It’s important to sand between coats of paint to keep the fabric soft and not crunchy. Remove any dust with a cotton cloth. The second coat was applied the same way. I lightly misted the painted furniture fabric with water before applying the second coat. 

The fabric was sealed with two coats of Dixie Belle's Easy Peasy Spray Wax. I sprayed the first coat on the fabric and allowed it to dry. After it dried I buffed it with a soft cloth. The second coat was applied the same way. You can apply more wax depending on the traffic your piece will be getting. The feel of the fabric is now like a soft leather, NOT CRUNCHY! I love it! 

Bunker Hill Blue was stippled on over Mermaid Tail on the wood parts of the sofa. I added Warm Gold Gilding wax to the details with my finger tip to really make them stand out.

I really love the contrast of the navy and teal with gold accents. A sofa fit for a queen! The fabric now has a soft leather-like feel too.

Suggested materials:

  • Mermaid Tail Chalk Mineral Paint  (
  • Cotton Chalk Mineral Paint  (
  • Bunker Hill Blue Chalk Mineral Paint  (
See all materials

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Dixie Belle Paint Company

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


Have a question about this project?

3 of 14 questions
  • Elizabeth
    on Jan 18, 2019

    Can you use a different type of paint. Like laytex wall paint?

    • Judabugger
      on Mar 4, 2019

      Elizabeth, yes you can but you need to "soften" the paint. I painted my banquette cushions with latex paint on a whim. I was in Mexico and did not have access to fabric paint medium but I had plenty of Sauvitel Acondicionador de Telas (fabric softener). I used 2 parts regular latex paint, I think it was satin, 1 part water and 1 part Fabric Softener, mix thoroughly. I sprayed the fabric as I painted with an equal mixture of water and fabric softener. The fabric was heavily textured, RV furniture fabric from the early 90s. It took 3 coats, but I was covering dark blue fabric with light turquoise. I sanded after the 2nd coat had dried for 2 days, wiped it down and did the last coat. No need to do a final wax because of the latex paint. The cushions are water resistant, I leave them out most of the time, the sun, humidity and rain hasn't bothered them. It's been a year and they still look great. They look and feel like textured leather. I personally don't care to use chalk paint on fabric furniture because of the extra step of waxing.

  • Ella
    on Feb 19, 2019

    I would like to paint dark velvet fabric on my chair to a lighter color. Will it work?

    • Dixie Belle Paint Company
      on Feb 20, 2019

      Hi Ella! Yes it will work! All you'd have to do is go in different directions with your brush when you're painting so you don't push all of the velvet down in one direction. It may require a few more coats of paint to cover the dark color completely. Hope this helps and happy painting!

  • Joanie
    on Mar 3, 2019

    Is your wall behind your couch painted in chalk paint, as in a chalk board? My son did a small wall in a bedroom in chalk for his future daughter to draw on???

Join the conversation

4 of 34 comments
  • Sheba92766
    on Mar 3, 2019

    I have 2 vintage rattan chairs with rusty orange (you know that color) velvet seats. The fabric is in great shape & I really didn't want to reupholster right now. This is a perfect fix!

  • Carol Suthers
    on Jun 30, 2019

    I make and sell Chalklets paint. Have painted lots of couches and chairs. (Upholstered) it has a latex base. It works on everything.

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