Chair Make-Overs With Chalk Paint and Drop Cloths

2 Materials
I don't know who first came up with the idea of painting upholstery but they deserve some kind of an award. The first time I saw this, I didn't know what to think! I was torn between, "That's genius!" and "And that can't work!"
But it does!
I bought two of these beautiful Bergere chairs at a used furniture store. They were in perfect condition and the fabric would have actually matched my house a few years ago but I bought them knowing I was going to redo them.
I already had a paint made that matched my drop cloth color. It's called 'Greige' but it's easy to find paint to match any fabric. I added a chalk paint additive into the paint called Rusty Hippo DIY Chalk Paint. that I had purchased at Amazon. The directions are on the package but this project, you want your paint a little thinner. I then wet the fabric in one section where I was going to paint and painted.
You're kind of massaging the paint into the fabric. If the paint does not go on smoothly, either dilute your paint with water, or spray more water onto your upholstery. I usually just keep a container of water nearby and dip my brush into it as needed.
This is the difference after one coat. I experimented on a part of the chair that wouldn't show first.
But after experimenting, I went ahead.

I also painted the fabric cushion covers. I knew that if I didn't like them, I just would recover the cushions. It took about 4 good coats to cover these cushions. By that time, they felt a little like a cheap patio cushion, so I took the cover off and made a new cushion cover out of drop cloths that I had purchased at Lowe's.
I painted the wood frame on my chairs also. I realized soon that it's best to paint the fabric first and then the frame. It's very hard to get the paint down into the piping without getting it on to your wood.
The final step is to lightly sand the paint on the upholstery! This takes away the feel of paint and softens the fabric again. The final feel is soft to the touch and you truly can't tell it's been painted.

After I had finished touching it all up, this is how it looks!
These are the finished chairs in our living room.
I did the same technique on this chaise lounge - painted the wood frame and the upholstery and recovered the cushion in drop cloth. I actually used a small sponge roller on the upholstery for this project and touched up with a brush.
And here it is in our master bedroom! You can visit my blog, Gates of Crystal, to see more great furniture make-overs with chalk paint.

love and blessings~

Suggested materials:
  • Rusty Hippo DIY Chalk Paint additive   (Amazon)
  • Drop Cloths   (Lowe's)
Lynda @ Gates Of Crystal
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  3 questions
  • Lori Vicknair Lori Vicknair on May 04, 2016
    I love the idea of painting cloth furniture, but I have a slight problem. I want to paint my peeling faux sofa and loveseat. I've been peeling it since last August and still not done so I cover the set with sheets which looks goofy. Any suggestions?
  • Shannon W Shannon W on May 04, 2016
    Hi Lynda :) I am learning so much on your blog and after reading this post may even be convinced enough to try the painting, I was always afraid that it would be stiff and scratchy but I will take your word for it! I have 2 questions though... 1) what grit of sandpaper do you use and for about how long and 2) "drop-cloth" to me means a large, cheap plastic sheet- what is the drop cloth you are using made out of? Thanks for the beautiful, inspiring pictures and directions!!!
  • Pet79084588 Pet79084588 on Mar 06, 2023

    May I ask what color paint you used for the wood frame of the chair?



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