Upcycled Couch - Painting Upholstery For The First Time

4 Materials
2 Weeks

Today I am sharing a project that honestly turned out better than I thought it would. As my post title states, I have never painted upholstery before but I did do a lot of research to see what other folks recommended. And then I did something totally different. Ok not entirely, I did actually try to use some of their advice. But I like to use what I have on hand and when you are working with a couch that is in this bad of shape you don't worry much about ruining it.

So here is my lovely couch. As you can see there is quite a bit of damage and you may not be able to see this but it is also covered with quite a bit a dog and cat hair.

So my first step was to clean it and repair the damage. There was too much damage to just sew the couch back together so I decided to sew on some patches in some circle shapes

I used some old Jean's to make the patches.

Once the holes were patched I decided to add some additional patches to balance out the couch. And then I cleaned the cushions and the couch with a microfiber cloth and some cleaning solution.

Next, it was time for the scary part. I had watched a lot of videos on painting upholstery and everyone seems to recommend using chalk paint. But I didn't have any chalk paint but I did have this red high gloss house paint so after a little testing I decided to just use what I had.

For the first coat of paint, I used a spray bottle with water to help spread the paint but after that, I just used the straight paint. Between each coat, I sanded the surface lightly.

This project did use a lot of paint. A little over 2 gallons to be exact and four coats. With the four coats of paint, the couch has a nice leather or vinyl feel. And I really like the way it looks.

Thanks for taking a look at my project. If you would like more upcycling project DIY's or Green Product Reviews please visit my blog or Youtube channel to subscribe.You can find more details for this project in the attached video and at the following link  http://www.upcycledesignlab.com/painting-upholstery-for-the-first-time-and-breaking-all-the-rules-can-this-be-saved/

Happy Upcycling,Cindy

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Cindy @ Upcycle Design Lab

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


Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Don Lathrop
    on Feb 2, 2020

    Can tou paint a leather or vinyl sofa successfully?

    • Rita
      on Feb 27, 2020

      Yes. Use Heritage Paints All in One Paint!

  • Alexandra Barnett
    on Mar 3, 2020

    How long do you let it dry between next coat of paint? Do you sand each time after a coat & what grain sand paper

    • Hi Alexandra,

      Thanks for your question. I let each coat dry overnight. I did sand between each coat and I used 80 grit sandpaper. The first coat of paint is the roughest and requires the most sanding as you build up the layers of paint the finish gets smoother. Thanks again. Hope this answers your question.

  • Liza
    on Mar 3, 2020

    How long do u think the makeover will hold up to sitting on the couch everyday? I would love to try this but, just don’t want to spend that much time on the makeover, unless it’s gonna last a while & make the time spent worth it.

    • Hi Liza,

      Thanks for your question. I can't say for sure how long this finish will last as it has only been a month since I have finished this project. But I can say that so far it is wearing very well. I don't know if you saw this but we have four good sized dogs who use the couch every day. I love how much easier the couch is to clean and since it was in such bad shape before I started it has definitely been worth it for me. I will have to do an update on the couch in a year or so. Hope this helps answer your question. Thanks again.

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