Painting Instead of Upholstering

Madison McGahan
by Madison McGahan
4 Materials
3 Days
I was given a few of these fabric covered benches and they were all in great condition, however the purple-y color doesn't quite match my decor.
I thought about reupholstering it, but searched for days for a fabric I could live with. I'm just so NON-committal when it comes to fabric. So I decided to paint the fabric instead, knowing I had a great damask stencil I could use on it.
I found this great blue colored chalk paint at Walmart (super cheap compared to other brands) and I couldn't wait to start.
I began by spraying the bench heavily with water. I wanted the paint not only to soak in, but I wanted to dilute the paint as well. You can also use a fabric medium with your paint to keep it feeling like soft fabric. That would make the paint essentially only stain your fabric instead of changing the texture. However I wanted to change the texture into feeling more like a soft leather, so I used only my spray bottle and chalk paint.
Use a really firm brush making sure to get into every inch.
The first coat covered pretty well. But I let dry over night (As I did for the 2nd coat as well) For the 2nd and 3rd coat I used the same spray and paint method until it looked like a super soft leather. Make sure to use a 220 grit sanding block after each coat dries to keep it soft.
After I had sanded the last coat and decided that I loved the color and texture, I used my wax brush and went over it with light coat of Minwax paste finishing wax, then buffed it with a t-shirt.
Next I took one of my damask Stencils and covered the top only with a black chalk paint, then once again gave it a coat of wax.
Is so soft and comfy to sit in. It honestly feels like leather. Best of all it has give and hasn't cracked at all with use. It's definitely an eye catcher! We love it!!!
Suggested materials:
  • Waverly chalk paint blue and black
  • 220 grit sanding block
  • Minwax finishing paste
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Frequently asked questions
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  1 question
  • Candi Sherree Candi Sherree on Nov 23, 2016
    How long did it take you to do this hours and days totall and do you think this is better than buying leather?

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6 of 10 comments
  • Hannah V Hannah V on Nov 23, 2016
    Beautiful! Is this what you'll be doing live in a few weeks?? :)

  • Dlo6650951 Dlo6650951 on Dec 05, 2016
    You mentioned using fabric medium and the fact that it would be "a stain". I don't want to cover this beauty, just need to change the color a bit to fit my decor. If the writing on the chair was brown and not black, I wouldn't touch it. Any suggestions?

    • See 2 previous
    • Madison McGahan Madison McGahan on Dec 05, 2016
      Dont forget to take pictures!!!! I'm looking forward to seeing your finished chairs :)