The Low-Down on Painting Upholstered Chairs

Here is a recap of my experience painting upholstered chairs.
Final chair pic:….pretty nice!  Now to hear about the pros and cons.
 The before….not too bad, but the fabric was OLD and faded and pretty tattered. I have 2 of these chairs. Each was $5 at a yard sale, so they were the perfect candidates to practice on.

Latex black paint and fabric medium (bought with a 40% off coupon at Hob Lob). Some websites said to mix the paint and fabric medium 1:1, but the bottle of fabric medium said 1 part medium to 2 parts paint, and I’m cheap, so that’s what I went with.
From what I read, you’re supposed to take a squirt bottle of water and squirt while you paint. I painted and squirted, and painted and squirted, for about 4 nights! Oh my! It took 2 quarts of black paint and bottles of fabric medium!
The fabric I was painting is old and very worn in some spots, but it is also sort of a berber carpet feel and therefore I had to jab my brush in all the little spots, and repaint and repaint! I still need to repaint!  I think the next experiment will be spray paint for fabric!

You can see below where the paint didn’t cover well enough. No matter how many times I painted, there still seemed to be a lighter color showing through. This picture was taken after my 1st coat. It was MUCH better after my 3rd and 4th coats, but I still see spots of variation. I don’t think anyone else would notice them at this point though.

The only other problem came when I painted TOO much in some spots that were very worn. If I did this, it would look like a chair that was painted! Very slick looking. Although it doesn’t flake at all, and most the chair feels stiff, but not like I painted it.
So here’s the finished product. I’m not sure I would paint any “nice” furniture (although according to the internet, many people have had success doing so. Probably depends on the fabric), but for these ugly chairs, I think it was a nice improvement for $20. 
(The lighter spots you see are actually less visible in person, so don’t let that deter you).
I think these chairs may get moved to each end of my dinning room table with some chevron B & W pillows!

–Katie

Posting to:
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Funky Junk Interiors   
 

Comments

  1. Wow! Can NOT believe you painted that chair! Crazy this world of spray paint we are living in these days!!

    Great job!!! Thanks for visiting my blog!

  2. Katie it looks amazing and waaaaay cheaper than slipcovers!!!
    way to go girl!!!

    Wendy Lester

  3. Wow!! It doesn’t look painted! Oh the wonders of paint!

  4. Your chair turned out so great! I love the dark color with the pop of yellow!

    I featured this on my TT&J FB page :)

    xoxox
    Jen

  5. What does the fabric feel like now that its painted and can you provide some links on this? I would love to do this to a very ugly chair and couch that I have been gifted :)

    Your chairs are fabulous!

  6. I never would have thought of painting chairs, but these look great! Much better than before and the price is right. I am a new follower visiting from Craft Catwalk. Vicky from Mess For Less

  7. you did good..
    Next time- prime with kilz- that seals the old fabric and the paint goes on smooth with no variation in color.

  8. Thanks Sonny! Good to know! That probably would have saved me a ton of time and paint on this!

    –Katie
    http://www.blah2beautiful.blogspot.com
    Creatively Living Outside the Box

  9. You transformed it beautifully! New follower here. Would love it if you would stop by and share this at my link party going on right now :) http://everything-underthemoon.blogspot.com/2011/11/bedazzle-me-monday-10.html

    Have a great week!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    I have painted sofa and a loveseat and then two more upholstered chairs. Cowhide was my choice, black and white. I found using straight exterior latex as it has a little bit of give. I don’t know about the textile medium, never heard of it. I did recover the cushions, but the back arm etc. were painted. Kinda of stiff, but, what the heck, it was fun, and the furniture was free.

  11. Ooooh….i so want to try this!! While at AutoZone with the hubs I was browsing around and found Spray paint for latex and fabric….the bells in my brain went off!! lol!! I have 2 ikea chairs that I would love to paint! But I’m scared and the hubs thinks I’m nuts! Oh well I’ll have to give it a try!

    This looks great! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Hi Katie, Just found your blog today and I love everything I’ve seen! I painted a throw pillow once that came with a couch I have. It has so much tufting I knew reupholstering was out of the question, so I thought, I’ll paint it! I had the perfect color of Lumiere fabric paint and it looked great, but was so stiff I couldn’t imagine the whole couch that way. Turns out, in about 3 months, the paint softened considerably, and I think it would’ve been fine. Has the texture of your chairs changed since you painted them?

  13. Hi Katie, Just found your blog today and I love everything I’ve seen! I painted a throw pillow once that came with a couch I have. It has so much tufting I knew reupholstering was out of the question, so I thought, I’ll paint it! I had the perfect color of Lumiere fabric paint and it looked great, but was so stiff I couldn’t imagine the whole couch that way. Turns out, in about 3 months, the paint softened considerably, and I think it would’ve been fine. Has the texture of your chairs changed since you painted them?

  14. Oh, I have the perfect chairs for this (they’re pink!!!) and keep reading about how people did it… Gotta get up the nerve already! Looks so much better.

  15. What a transformation! Love it! Thanks for the tips, too.

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