How do I paint fabric chairs?

I have a glider rocking chair that has a velvet like fabric that I would like to change with paint as well as some other chairs with chenelle type fabric. It will be cheaper and less time to just paint them than to redo them. Can anyone tell me what I need to accomplish this? Do I prep the fabric? Do I need special paint? Any help with this will be greatly appreciated!!
  7 answers
  • Ria Young Ria Young on Sep 21, 2015
    To change the colour of the fabric you will need a dye, not paint. Paint dries o n top and becomes hard, dye penetrates the fabric to change the colour. I know this from experience with silk screen printing on both paper and fabric.

    • Pdmullgirl Pdmullgirl on Sep 21, 2015
      Thank you for your help. It seems I need to do some more research. I never considered dying the fabric! I'm not sure what I'll end up doing. Anything on some of those chairs will be an improvement. Again, thanks!

  • LD LD on Sep 21, 2015
    As Ria said, painting fabric makes it stiff feeling. If the glider rocking chair cushion is one that can just be replace I would go that route for it, if it a cushion that is part of the chair, here is a link showing you how to replace it: Now in regards to your other chairs that you want to change, there are nice simple slip covers that you can buy, just do a search as slip covers for chairs. If you can't find the color your looking for, just dye it the color you want.

    • Pdmullgirl Pdmullgirl on Sep 21, 2015
      Thanks! Ya know I haven't thought about slip covers. They are dining chairs (some of the ones in need of work) and covers might just be the ticket. Thanks for your help!

  • Mandy Willson Telford Mandy Willson Telford on Sep 21, 2015
    I have seen Annie Sloan Chalk Paint used successfully on fabric here is a video of someone using it on Velvet .

    • Pdmullgirl Pdmullgirl on Sep 21, 2015
      Thanks! I'm excited to give it a try. When I get it done I hope to post it here. Thanks for your help!

  • Maureen Chalmers-Poulson Maureen Chalmers-Poulson on Sep 21, 2015
    I just took a class on how to paint furniture. There are a couple of secrets to it. One, use a chalk paint on the market (I use Miss Lillian's Chock Paint,, don't make your own for this project. Second, use a spray bottle & soak the piece with water. The fabric needs to be very very wet, but not dripping. So as you paint the first coat make sure the area you are working is WET. When you lay down the first coat of paint it needs to be very THICK. Let it dry well & go onto the second coat & again, very heavy and let it dry. You will need a third coat & again it should be heavy. Once it's completely dry, you should have a piece that feels like suede. Good luck.

    • Pdmullgirl Pdmullgirl on Sep 21, 2015
      Thanks. I've read before that the fabric needs to be wet while painting it. I think I'm just worried I will mess it up, but nothing ventured nothing gained right?! Hopefully I'll get it right. I'll post it here when I complete it! Thanks for your help!

  • Liliana Wells Liliana Wells on Sep 21, 2015
    There are several tutorials on HomeTalk. I just wrote "how to paint fabric chairs" on the search box above and several projects came up.

    • Pdmullgirl Pdmullgirl on Sep 21, 2015
      Thanks. I'm mainly worried I'll mess it up! I think I'm ready though. Thanks for your help!

  • Ahmeans Ahmeans on Sep 21, 2015
    If you search "chalk paint on fabric" you'll get several projects. I've got one I'm trying right now. The tutorials said 3+ coats - my chair has 6 and needs 1 more, probably the type of fabric I'm working with. The waxing is supposed to be the key to getting it to not feel like hard crusty paint on fabric - I'm praying this is true since I've not gotten to that step. In theory it will feel like leather or canvas. If not oh well - it was a $5 garage sale chair that I can reupholster later.

    • Pdmullgirl Pdmullgirl on Sep 21, 2015
      Thank you for your answer. That was my concern that it might be crusty. I think it will work out fine. Hopefully I'll be able to get to those chairs soon! Thanks!

  • I just finished a chair by using Heirloom Traditions Paint. They have a new product called FAB. It's a fabric primer & sealer. No need for diluted paint, spray bottle or wax. Check out the chair I did.

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