Painting Fabric. Have You Tried It?

5 Materials
4 Hours

When fabric is in good condition but just not your style any more, did you know you can chalk paint it? Here’s how!

(not recommend for the carpet like fabric)

Before. Clean the fabric.

Sweep the Fabric throughly in multiple directions.

Spray with water

Spray the fabric with water. Do not paint dry fabric. The water will help absorb the paint better this way. It will also make for easier application.

Mix water and paint together

Your consistency will vary by paint brand.

I use DIY Paint. It’s highly pigmented and can be diluted 10-1. You will want you paint/water mixture to be the consistency of a dye. Approximately a 2 parts water to 1 part paint.

Paint the fabric

Have a spray bottle handy. This will help with a smoother application. Paint the fabric in multiple directions with a thin layer. If an area is too thick of paint, spray with water and move the paint elsewhere.

Odd tool, but it worked. If you have some odd areas that the pant brush isn’t reaching, a tooth brush may help reach those lower areas.

One coat

Here's one coat. Let dry completely. It may take a few days depending on environment.


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Lightly sand or scuff up the fabric after it has dried. Sweep fabric after sanding.

2nd Coat

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Apply a second coat if needed. Depending on color of paint and fabric, you may need more coats. Sand in between each coat After it’s completely dry and sweep after.


Use a hair dryer or heat gun to set the paint then Spray with scotch guard. 3-4 coats. Or seal using clear wax manufactured by your paint brand (one light coat)

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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Ellen
    on Jun 7, 2020

    What are all the splotches on the finished fabric? Did not read anything about that being done after the last coat of paint or before you sealed it. Sorta looks like splatters. :(

    • Justine Parkhurst
      on Jul 31, 2020

      I agree - the last photo is really confusing. It would have been great to see a clear photo of the fabric.

  • Juel
    on Jun 9, 2020

    Was the fabric stiff after painting?

    • Re-Picks
      on Jun 10, 2020

      Nope. As long as your paint is watered down enough and you sand between coats. It should feel like it did before you painted it.

  • Mary Monts
    on Jun 22, 2020

    Is chalk paint the only type that works? Does it take a lot of paint to fully cover and do you have to seal it with anything to keep the paint from rubbing off? I’ve never used chalk paint or tried anything like this, so I’m a bit nervous!

    • Re-Picks
      7 days ago

      I’ve only ever used chalkpaint to paint fabric. So I would highly recommend that. Certain types of chalkpaint have sealer already mixed in. Just make sure to heat set it regardless. And make sure you let paint is watered down enough so it doesn’t get stiff.

Join the conversation

4 of 6 comments
  • Na
    on Jun 7, 2020

    Inspired? No. So if your furniture is in good shape add paint and tadaa it’s not. I like the snowflake. Good job there.

    • Re-Picks
      on Jun 8, 2020

      In the before picture you clearly see the old stains in the fabric. It was in good shape but beyond removing the discolored areas. Painting it did make it look a lot better and new owner loves it.

  • Flipturn
    on Jun 16, 2020

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

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