How to Paint an Upholstered Chair

2 Days
After reading a few posts about painted upholstery, I thought it might be fun to try it myself. Here is the process I used to paint an old slipper chair.
Latex satin paint - I used leftover from paint from our bathroom re-do.
Fabric medium - this stuff is usually located in the painting section with acrylic paints and brushes.
Painter's tape
Stiff-ish bristled paint brush
Spray bottle with water
200 grit sand paper - I didn't end up using this, but you might need it to gently sand away fuzzies, depending on the type of fabric your piece is covered in.
Mixing container with a lid
Drop Cloth
I mixed up a batch of fabric paint by combining one part medium, one part paint, and two parts water.
I sprayed the fabric with some water, rubbing it in a little. This gets the fabric ready to absorb the paint mixture.
I worked my way around the chair, covering it with the fabric paint mixture. For corners and seams, like the piping around the seat, I used my fingers to work the paint down into the cracks.
Here's how the chair looked after one coat of the fabric paint mixture.
I let the paint dry for about twenty four hours and then applied another coat.
Here's the chair it looked after two coats of fabric paint. I let it dry for several hours again, and then applied another coat.
Here's how the chair looked after a third coat. Overall, the process is very easy and inexpensive to do. It gave the upholstery a leathery, kinda sticky feel so it's not something I would recommend doing to a large peice you use everyday. However, for accent pieces and small surfaces I think it's great!
There are more photos and detailed instructions in the blog post.

Urban Acreage
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

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  2 questions
  • Vi Vi on May 16, 2016
    I love the chair but am obsessed with the throw pillow- did you buy it or did you make the pillow as well?

  • Joni A Solis Joni A Solis on Jun 17, 2016
    Nice job on the painted chair but I also want to know more about the lovely pillow. Did you create it?


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3 of 29 comments
  • Glennis Glennis on May 26, 2015
    Thanks for posting this. Love it!

  • Charlotte Charlotte on Feb 24, 2016
    I also painted an upholstered chair. It was a huge rocker/recliner. I used a clear wax on the fabric when I was done and it softened the fabric. Guests do sit in the chair and have no idea it was painted. Great color choice. I plan to do another chair and use a brighter color paint.