How To Paint Fabric!

6 Materials
1 Day

My daughter has this super cute IKEA office desk chair in her bedroom. I remember buying it with her a while back. I made her sit in every chair in IKEA to be sure she picked the right chair for her! She loved this one and I was pleased because it matched her decor... win win!!

I was in her room the other day tidying up, and out of the corner of my eye, I noticed how "well loved" it had gotten... I let out a small gasp!! This poor chair had taken a beating over the last few months. My daughter is an avid artist. She loves working with markers, and boy can you tell by the seat of this chair!!

The seat was way past a good clean. No amount of fabric cleaner was going to bring this chair back to life. And there was no way I was going to spend money on fabric to reupholster the seat, knowing it will get ruined again in due time. So, I decided to paint it. And, let's be honest, I like to paint everything!!

I had my daughter film me while I painted this chair, so I can share with you just has quick and easy it is!!

I used House&Canvas Chalk Finish Furniture Paint in “Dusty Rose” and added a top coat of House&Canvas Furniture Wax in “Clear” for durability.

Here are some FAQ’s I get when painting fabric:

Do I have to add water to my paint? NO! H&C paint is already the perfect consistency for painting fabric and upholstery. No need to add water. You’ll just end up getting drips and soaking the fabric. Just dip your brush in and start painting… just like in the video!

Why use a wax top coat? Paint that dries to an ultra mate finish (also known as a chalk finish) is super porous. When you apply the wax, the paint soaks it in what it needs, and a layer is formed on top. The wax seals the paint and adds a layer of protection.

Will the wax come off? Nope! Leave you freshly painted and waxed piece at least overnight before use. Give it time to fully cure and it dries rock hard and stays put.

Will the paint come off on my clothes? Nope! As long as it has a top coat to seal and protect the surface, everything stays put.

Is the fabric soft and comfy? Take the time to do a quick sand in between coats. It really takes the stiffness out of the paint and keeps the surface super soft

Will it crack? Nope! I have painted fabric chair that was in my store my two years. I used it as a “painted fabric demo” chair. TONS of people touched it and sat on it, and it still hasn’t cracked! Our wax is super smooth. It’s not thick and pasty like others.

There’s a textured pattern in my fabric, will you see it? Don’t forget that you are simply painting a surface. You’re just changing the colour, not the texture. Imagine painting a pop corn ceiling… same idea.

If you have a question I didn't answer, comment below and I'll do my best to answer!!

No time to watch the video? Here’s a step by step..

  • No prep needed. Just a quick dust
  • Apply first coat of paint
  • Allow to dry for 2-4 hours
  • Sand lightly with 150-220 grit sandpaper
  • Brush away dust
  • Apply second coat
  • Allow to dry for 2-4 hours
  • Sand lightly with 150-220 grit sandpaper
  • Brush away dust
  • Apply a coat of wax
  • Remove excess wax with lint free cloth
  • Allow to fully cure before use

AFTER! What a difference!

Resources for this project:

See all materials
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.More info

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?


Join the conversation

  • Aimee Aimee on Mar 29, 2020


  • Janet Janet on Apr 03, 2020

    I have two wing back chairs that I inherited from my ex mother in law that I love. You gave me the answer to my what to do with them question

    • Shelby Shelby on Apr 17, 2020

      I would like to try this on my kitchen Charles first then I even have 2 wing back chairs that I have thought about getting redone ..not for sure if I'm brave enough to do that though!🤔