Elegant Gray Painted Fabric Chair

I bought this chair about 3 years ago at Habitat for Humanity thrift store, for about $60. I saw what great lines it had, and it was still in great condition, I was just not fond of the pink color. I figured that when I could save up a little extra money I would have it recovered. That never happened. Then recently I saw that others were painting upholstery and I thought "how cool, I want to try that!" Then I remembered my darling pink chair that I had neglected to get recovered. I then tucked the idea in the back of my brain and waited for summer so I could do it when it was warm and the paint would dry faster.
I am going to tell you step by step how I did it, using many tips from other bloggers that really helped me do this project.
And without further ado, here are the before pictures
The pink was faded and looking sad.
It has never gone with anything in my house, but I bought it with the intention of recovering it.
Here you can see the nubby texture of the fabric.
My first step was to prime the wood
Here are the products I used, Glidden satin finish, in Pebble Grey, and Anita's textile medium. I decided to follow tips from other that have done this and did not follow the directions of the Anita's medium bottle. I added one bottle textile medium, 2 parts paint and 1 part water for my first coat. I went through a lot of paint and used 3 of the textile mediums. I probably could have used more of them, but that was all that was in stock at the store. I can't remember what the medium cost, but it was not bad at all.
Here is the first coat of paint, still a lot of pink showing through. The first coat of this cushion took a lot of paint, and I was not sure I was going to have enough grey paint so I decided to make the same mixture, but used some BEHR Swiss Coffee paint (a soft white), for the base coat and then do the grey on the final coat.
Here is coat #1 of the Swiss Coffee mixture
Here is 2 coats of Swiss Coffee. Since it was a hot day I let this dry for about 4 hrs and then went back out to do my final coat. The #1 tip is to sand the fabric in between coats of paint. I used about a 220 grit sand paper.
This is after one good coat of Pebble Grey, letting it dry and then doing a good sanding of the fabric. I also paint a few coats of BEHR Swiss Coffee on wood, and light distressed it when it was dry.
The texture still comes through, and after sanding some of the pink tap pops through. You can't really see it in this picture, but the pink barely popping through helps soften it's appearance.
I would do this project again, but only on accent chairs, not one that I plan on sitting in all the time. The sanding in between coats helps keep it softer, but it is still not a soft chair when done.
There is more info on my blog that answers many questions.
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Lauri Black / Shabby 2 Uniquely Chic

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


Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Kevin Douglas
    on Jul 1, 2017

    Has anyone done this fabric paint on Velvet ??? Thanks, Kevin
    • I have seen people do it with chalk paint, but I have never seen it in person to know how it really felt afterwards. There are plenty of people that have posted their projects here, that have painted upholstery.

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