How to Paint a Couch

My kids are at the age where they fight over furniture. One small love seat and two chairs just doesn't cut it for this family of 5 anymore. 2 weeks ago I spied a beautiful French provincial couch on Craig's list. It was clean and structurally sound but man, it was yellow!
I knew as soon as I saw it that I needed it... and I needed to paint it.
Yes. Paint the couch.
After talking to some great ASCP stockists, I grew a bit more confident that this idea might just work. Everybody else in the world gave me the weird eye when I told them what I was doing. Some just thought I was painting the wood.
I mean really... who paints a couch???
It was really pretty easy.
Add 1 part water to 3 parts paint (the stockist actually told me to use 20% water but I added too much by accident. It worked out OK though because my fabric was a little stubborn at times).
Get the fabric damp so the fibers will accept the paint more readily.
Halfway through the first coat...
I could still see some color bleed through but a second coat took care of this problem.
Make sure you wax the couch once the paint is dry ... yes- WAX the couch! :)
I'm not sure what I love more- the couch, or my kids not arguing over seats!
There are more tips on painting and waxing your couch on my blog- make sure you swing by!

Resources for this project:

CHALK PAINT (R) by Annie Sloan – Decorative paint for furniture,...
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 33 questions
  • Susie
    on Jun 10, 2019

    Your project was awe-inspiring. Do you have advice for leather? We have 2 off-white loveseats, w/ wear and tear from kids and cats. They weren’t cheap, hate to toss them if I can improve their look w/ a technique you advise. Thx!!!!

    • Hor11819164
      on Jun 11, 2020

      We had this brownish red suede leather sofa and I painted it white. I used simple flat white paint from Lowe’s and diluted it with water. Then I used clear wax. The sofa is smooth and doesn’t feel stiff.

  • Lillian Welch
    on Jun 10, 2019

    How do you wax it and what product did you use?

    • Lisa Carlow
      on Jun 14, 2020

      Does the wax rub off or leave a residue on a person's clothing? Or does it rub in well enough Not to do that?

  • Joan Saner Harder
    on Jun 11, 2019

    I have a chair with a velvet fabric. Is it possible to use this same method to paint it as well??

    • Joan Saner Harder
      on Jun 12, 2019

      So, 1st dampen fabric, then paint with part water/part paint? 2 coats?

      Then when dry, apply wax? What kind of wax do you use??

Join the conversation

2 of 24 comments
  • Pattie
    on Jun 11, 2020

    is the fabric stiff, I had read about it in the past I was looking to dye rugs and researched furniture painting and a lot of comments indicated that the fabric became uncomfortable.... Oh I did find a way to dye the rug. lol Thanks the furniture looks lovely

  • Mary C.
    on Jun 14, 2020

    I have the same question. Does the wax rub off on your clothes?

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