80's Fabric Ottoman Makeover: From Mauve Monster to Terrific Tribal!


My mom dropped off (um, dumped??) an old 1980s mauve ottoman at my house because "you like to decorate things," she said. It sat in the basement for a few years. Because, how do you salvage this thing? I finally got inspiration to paint it with Royal Design Studio stencils, and ScotchBlue Painters Tape because I entered the project in a ScotchBlue contest. So I warn: the project does require tape as you will see! I hope this inspires others to paint things that have been dumped on them when the other person doesn't want the thing in their house any more. You may find you can make it into something you love! I used Benjamin Moore and Behr sample pots of latex paint for this project.
Here's the before and after. (Oops forgot to put the lid back on in the after photo but you get the idea.)
Here's the finished makeover. As the project unfolded, it reminded me of New Mexico and Navajo style. So I made a design on the lid that is reminiscent of the New Mexico four-pointed "Zia sun" on the state flag.
After hours of painting, I thought it was too "bright" for my taste.
So I brushed on a very light layer of beige paint to make it faded and distressed looking.
These are all the steps - lots of taping and washing brushes to change the colors of paint!
This was the "no going back" moment. I painted Behr latex paint all over the ottoman. It made the fabric stiffer. Which you might not want on a chair or sofa, but I thought that was actually better for the ottoman. Before painting, the fabric was very thin and now it's more like canvas upholstery.
This was the inspiration ottoman - an expensive Missoni design. And the Royal Design Studio tribal stencil I used.

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Deb @ NomadicDecorator.com

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

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Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Betty
    on Mar 13, 2017

    what paint would you use on a "pleather" ottoman?

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3 of 30 comments
  • Royal Design Studio
    on Oct 22, 2015

    You're always so crafty! Another great project using our stencils in the books!

  • 861650
    on Mar 13, 2017

    You certainly have a steady hand in creating and painting. You stool looks so professional. A great job and then you went and entered it in the 3M Scotch Blue tape contest...how did you find out about it? Like the other Hometalkers, I first thought it was fabric. The note from Royal Design Studio said you were crafty and "another" great project...Going to check out your info so I can see some of your work. Thank you for sharing--I am so dam___ impressed. Wow!
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