How To Paint Upholstery

Virginia B
by Virginia B
6 Materials
4 Hours
Do you have a chair in great shape, but you hate the upholstery? Or, have you passed by perfectly good chairs at a yard sale or thrift store because you didn't like the upholstery?
It's an easy fix! Paint it!!! And, It's much less expensive than having the chair recovered. And, when done properly, it will be soft and supple just like fabric.
I found this chair at a local thrift store. It was in perfect condition, but the fabric was dated and the seat was faded. And, the best part, it only cost $7.50!
I started by misting the fabric with water. This will help the fabric accept the paint. A spray bottle from the dollar store works perfectly.
I chose the color, Gravel Road, from The Dixie Belle Paint Company. It's a deep, rich gray.
When painting with Dixie Belle Chalk Mineral Paint, it is best to use a damp brush.
I painted on three thin coats, allowed each coat to dry completely, then I sanded between each coat with a 400 grit sandpaper. Sanding is the key to keeping the fabric soft and smooth.
The finishing touch was done with Dixie Belle's Best Dang Clear Wax. This will also keep the chair soft, yet durable. And, when you factor in the cost of the chair, the paint (I used approximately 12 ounces), and the wax, I have a beautiful elegant chair that costs under $20!
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
Virginia B
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 44 questions
  • Teresa Cuoghi Edens Teresa Cuoghi Edens on Mar 24, 2022

    Why did you paint the legs. That is a giveaway.

  • Daw65302198 Daw65302198 on May 24, 2022

    Did you sand the legs before you painted them? Did you use the exact same paint?

  • Sun68696883 Sun68696883 on Jul 27, 2022

    Can you wash the chair afterwards if it gets dirty?

Join the conversation
2 of 53 comments
  • Brenda Beatty Brenda Beatty on Sep 23, 2022

    It’s a matter of taste, I guess, I think the legs of the chair look great the same color as the chair. Great job!!

  • Jen51043971 Jen51043971 on Mar 11, 2024

    I think it’s a matter of want and likes if the legs are painted or not


    I like unique pieces and I don’t care if it’s a give away that I put effort into something if I like it and it’s a neat job, I say way to go on being unique. I’m getting ready to paint a lounge chaise and so nervous lol

    then I came across this chair and the comments and thought

    no, i can’t mess it up kind of art the matter of putting what you have pictured so if I can’t get this lounge chase to come out with what’s pictured in my head I’m going to a upholstery, but I am going to try to paint first. Good day everyone