How to Paint Upholstery, and Keep the Fabric Soft, Even Velvet!

Debi Beard
by Debi Beard
I didn't think it was possible to paint upholstery, especially velvet with out changing the fabric texture. Find out how I transformed a $20 thrift store sofa into an Anthropologie like knock-off with one quart of paint and water!
For best results use a soft chalk based paint. Paints that don't contain latex or acrylic work best... but this will work with almost any brand of paint.
Transform velvet upholstery with paint and water!
You can easily change the color of drab out dated fabric into something beautiful soft and luxurious!
I found this sofa at my local thrift store for $20
Water your paint down, I used a ratio of one part paint, 3 parts water
Work in small sections, use a spay bottle to saturate the fabric before adding paint.
Use a sanding sponge. The sanding sponge will help you get even coverage and prevent a tie dyed look.
to keep the original texture of the fabric, you want to work the paint into the fibers, so that the paint sinks in and works like a dye. If your paint sits on the top you will change the fabric and it will feel like a pleather or outdoor fabric.
Watch this quick video to see this process, i included lots of close ups for the skeptics and more info to help you achieve success. it's kind of unbelievably simple, the results are beautiful!
I used less than one quart of paint. For more details and answer to most commonly asked questions, read my blog post. The paint doesn't rub off, crack or feel stiff
I used about 80% of this quart sized container. Bohemian Blue is the color, it is sold nation wide in small boutiques. to find this paint in your area or to sell it in your shop click the link to my blog post below. I answer lot of question that are here in the comments, like does the paint rub off, how does it smell, can you paint other fabric types and more!
Debi Beard
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 68 questions
  • CrossRoad CrossRoad on Apr 14, 2020

    what is a sanding sponge?

  • DJ DJ on Aug 29, 2020

    I bought an antique chair that the fabric had been painted a light pink..I want to paint it a bright color. Is it possible to paint over the paint? If so do I need to sand it first to soften it?I have never done I'm lost and I don't want to mess it!

  • Kathy Kathy on Feb 03, 2021

    What did you seal it with after you painted the fabric

Join the conversation
2 of 149 comments
  • Aroob Aroob on Nov 27, 2021

    Wow!! I had no idea. A must try.

  • Jenny Jenny on Jan 31, 2022

    Just WOW! Amazing and VERY brave! How long, including drying time did it all take! I think it’s absolutely beautiful 😊