How to: Paint Upholstery

How to: Paint Upholstery

Kristy snagged the wingback chair pictured above* on Craigslist. She was impressed by its condition and quality; what she wasn't impressed with was the color.  She considered having reupholstered, but the $500 to $700 price tag wasn't in the budget. So, what did Kristy do? She painted the chair--fabric and all. The supplies she used weren't anything special as evidenced by her materials list, which included the following:

  • 1 Quart of latex satin paint in the color of your choice
  • 1 Spray bottle full of water
  • 1 2 inch or smaller paint brush
  • Fabric medium (equal to the amount of paint that you use)
  • Acrylic craft paint in the color of your choice (should match the color of the Latex paint)
  • Sand paper in around a 180 grit
To see how Kristy used the materials, visit Hyphen Interiors. To see the outcome, feast your eyes on this:
created at: 05/02/2012
Kind of amazing, huh? You probably have the same questions I do, like does it feel crunchy, and does the paint rub off. To get answers to those and others, see the tips in Kristy's post. She has some GREAT ones, which are are required reading if you want to attempt such a project. 

 *Kristy apologizes for the fuzzy pictures as they were taken when she was new to blogging. No worries, Kristy, we're still impressed by the project!

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DesigningMom on May 18, 2012:

I just added it to my album to share here. I only finished them last month. My hubby was doubtful on how they would turn out, but they are now in his library instead of in the sunroom where I had intended them to be. I have to admit their style fits better in the library.

Good luck on finding something to paint. I'd advise getting a smooth fabric. Mine was chintz and the finish was flaking but most of it sanded off. Because of that up close you can still see shadow of the weave, but at a short distance it makes it look more like the texture of leather. There were also areas that were frayed.  A friend suggested using latex caulk to smooth over those areas and it worked like a dream.

DIY Maven on May 18, 2012:

Holy cow, DM. Did you just post that pic or has it been around awhile? Nice job! After I wrote this post, I went on CL just to try to find something to paint. Heh. Still looking....

DesigningMom on May 18, 2012:

LSchwab, check out the link Maven posted in the first paragraph below the "after" picture to find the answers to your questions.

Maven, I did something similar to a pair of chintz wing chairs I bought through CL for $40.00/pr. I found Oops paint ($5.00) in the color I wanted at L's and bought four packages of the nail heads from WM for under $5.00). I already had the sand paper and paste wax, but estimating their cost made my grand total for two wing chairs to be under $60.00. You can see the before and after HERE.

LSchwab on May 11, 2012:

Out of curiosity, after the upholstery is painted, does it feel hard? Is the chair still soft? It's beautiful and nicely done!

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