Painting Fabric in 7 Easy Steps!

8 Materials
2 Hours

How to Paint fabric using Chalk-Acrylic Paint, no fabric medium required. I've done several posts on painting fabric and every time I do it, I love it even more. This beautiful rocker looked great as is, but the fabric didn't match anything in my home.

Colors used: Painted the base with Americano and the fabric with Great Greige. I used Matte VAX to seal it. It might even get a stencil someday :)


  • Shabby Paints Chalk-Acrylic Paint
  • Water
  • Mister
  • Paint Brush
  • Sand Paper ( I use fine or med grit)
  • Painters Tape
  • Shabby Paints VAX (Matte or Satin)
  • VAX Applicator Sponge

Painting Fabric in 7 Easy Steps!

Got a great piece of furniture with fabric that just doesn't match your style? Paint it!

Step 1 Paint the frame.

Step 2 tape to protect your frame.

Step 3 Dilute your paint with water. I used a 60/40 Paint/water mixture. Use more water for thicker fabric.

Step 4 Once dry, mist and lightly sand.

Step 5 Paint with full strength paint.

Step 6 Once dry, mist and lightly sand.

Step 7 Apply a coat of Matte or Satin VAX with an applicator sponge.

Suggested materials:

  • Chalk-Acrylic Paint  (
  • Matte VAX  (

Top Hometalk Projects

11 Unexpected Ways to Use Spices in Your Home
31 Super Cute & Easy DIY Ideas For Your Kitchen
21 Totally Terrific Things You Can Do With Doilies
27 Gorgeous Update Ideas For Your Bedroom
30 Creative Ways To Repurpose Baking Pans
17 DIY Projects You Can Start And Finish Tonight
30 Ways To Use Old Jeans For Brilliant Craft Ideas
13 Spectacular Ways To Display Your House Number
31 Amazing Furniture Flips You Have to See to Believe
31 Amazing Furniture Flips You Have to See to Believe
21 Totally Terrific Things You Can Do With Doilies
30 Brilliant Things You Can Make From Cheap Thrift Store Finds!
31 Creative Garden Features Perfect For Summer
30 Creative Painting Techniques & Ideas You MUST See!
30 Unusual & Helpful Gardening Tips You'll Want To Know

To see more:

Have a question about this project?

3 of 13 questions
  • Mary
    on May 31, 2019

    What is vax?

  • Gail OBrien
    on May 31, 2019

    Is this method water proff for outside use

    • Shabby Paints
      on May 31, 2019

      Yes to an extent. Being left directly in the rain for years could cause some fabrics to absorb water inside beyond the layer of Paint and VAX. Like if it puddled and just soaked into the fabric. Mine get rained on when the rain gets side ways and dries well from being on a partially covered porch. If they get soaked I usually flip them over because water could pool around the buttons.

  • Judy Kelly
    on Jun 7, 2019

    I've asked this question before, but never got an answer. Can you paint over leather? I have a pale yellow, leather sofa that has faded in the seat, and a foot stool to match.

Join the conversation

3 of 31 comments
  • Repairladi
    on May 25, 2019

    What great idea ! Years ago I used regular Ext paint on cloth patio chairs it was firmer but not crunch. ! Chalk paint and sanding great Idea .

    • Repairladi
      on May 31, 2019

      No too tell you the truth I didn't even think of a scotch guard ! I just didn't like the design for here in Arizona, so I had some burnt rust colored paint and decided to use it. It was way before I had all the chalk paints and wax to seal it . It was always under my back patio covered . grant you over time the heat work on deteriorates it. well nothing ventured nothing gained . Thanks for your reply as you see I don't check my email everyday. thanks again.

  • Dee
    on May 30, 2019

    My favorite fabric is red and cream toile so I’d never paint it but there are other fabrics I’ve painted before. Works out fine!

Your comment...