How to paint outdoor cushions?

I live in Houston Texas, which is very hot and humid. I am wondering if I paint my outdoor couch cushions with chalk paint and I do not use wax, what will happen if they get wet? Also, if I do use wax will the wax remain sticky or greasy? Or would different paint be recommended, if so what kind?
  7 answers
  • Sandi F.B. Sandi F.B. on Aug 07, 2016
    I have seen waxed cushioned seats here in the Charleston, SC area and they will remain tacky with our heat and humidity. I am sure you get as hot or hotter than we do here. Not sure about the painting of the cushions and rain..... Good luck

  • Judy Ferguson Judy Ferguson on Aug 07, 2016
    I spray painted mine and then sanded. The sanding took away the stiffness and evened out the color

  • Sandy Sandy on Aug 07, 2016
    That is very helpful. Thank you for answering my first ever question on home talk . Still trying to figure this site out!

  • Nancy Nancy on Aug 10, 2016
    What kind of paint do you use to paint a plain upholstered living roon chair

  • Sandy Sandy on Aug 12, 2016
    I have not tried it however, chalk paint is said to work beautifully. Because it's breathable- good for fabric. There are lots of videos online. Annie Sloan is a good brand.

  • Joy Joy on Dec 29, 2017
    Sandy- I live in the Houston area as well and thinking about chalk painting the fabric on my outdoor chairs. What were your results? I’m concerned about the paint leaving stains or smears on clothing if it can’t fully dry due to our humidity.


  • EmmaSurf EmmaSurf on Jan 07, 2018
    I can't imagine using the wax since usually AS/other chalk paints recommend poly instead of wax for outdoor tables, and I think fabric would be even more of a problem. One way you can paint you cushions (supposed to work with chalk paint but I've only tried it with latex paint) is to get Fabric Medium - Martha Stewart is one brand but usually you can find it at big box craft or fabric stores. Fabric medium is what keeps the fabric from stiffening after painting. Clean the cushions. Mix 1 part paint, 1 part medium, 1/2 part water. You can add more water if needed - it should be pretty thin. Paint a test spot and you can tell if it's too thick. Spray some water on an area and then start painting. (Not required to spray water but it seems to help keep the paint from soaking in unevenly). Use a paint brush not a roller - it will NOT thoroughly cover so don't freak at this stage. Let it dry thoroughly - another coat - dry - probably 3 or 4 coats will be needed. You can lightly sand between coats if necessary. Be sure to get paint in all the nooks and crannies, around any cording, etc. You will find the fabric is stiffer than before the painting, but not as stiff as if regular paint was on it.

    I thought about spraying with a fabric protectant afterwards, but didn't, and so far the cushions have held up well. It's cheaper than recovering, and use a coupon on the fabric medium since you will probably need several bottles. It doesn't rain here in the summer, but I'd think that probably more care should be taken to be sure the cushions don't stay wet for extended periods as the surface is not as porous as before.