How To Paint A Fabric Chair
Did you know that you can paint a fabric chair? I’ve painted several upholstered chairs. The key is to make sure that its in great condition free of any damage such as tears or rips. I’ve upholstered a few chairs before but it’s not easy. Recently I came across one of the ugliest chairs ever! I guess I should apologize. I’m sure that someone at one time loved this chair. (This post contains affiliate links please see disclosure policy).
I’ve looked back on pieces I once loved and thought what in the world was I thinking! I knew that adding a little paint could bring it back to new life. When I spotted it at the thrift store I think my daughter thought I was nuts for even thinking about purchasing it. When I was paying for it the cashier and the man that brought it to the front register chuckled. I asked what was so funny. They told me that this chair was sold and the person that bought it never picked it up. They were happy it was leaving the store. Well guess what I have the last laugh because this chair looks amazing! The best part is that it now feels just like leather! So how did I do it?
How To Paint A Fabric Chair
Let’s talk about what you need to prep before you paint a chair and supplies needed.
- Make sure your chair is clean, vacuum any hair or dirt off of it before starting your project.
- I suggest using Chalk Finish Paint
Once your chair is clean you’re ready to paint your piece. To paint a fabric chair you’ll need two coats of paint. The second coat may need to be thinned down a bit with water. But don’t add the water into the paint container as it will contaminate it. Mix up a small batch of paint in a separate container with a little water. Don’t use too much water, you just want to thin it down a bit. Once your piece is completely dry you can seal it with wax or a clear coat. You can apply a coat of dark wax to give it an aged patina.
You can see the difference between the fabric side and the painted side. You can’t see if from the photo but the left side has been primed as well as the right side. Just adding one coat of paint you can see how well it covers the ugly fabric.
For fun I decided to add a design. Here’s what you need to create this design.
- Graphic from the Graphics Fairy you can find that image HERE.
- Painters Tape
- Heirloom Traditions paint in a la mode. You can use any lighter color
- ModPodge image transfer medium
Begin by taping your piece I was trying to create a grain sack look. I did this by eyeballing it I didn’t measure.
Then I painted my stripe down the center of my chair. When that stripe was dry I added stripes on both sides of my middle strip, using my painters tape as my guide. When my painted stripes were dry I added my graphic. Make sure you print this out in reverse.
Apply the ModPodge transfer medium to the front of your image and place it with the image facing down. Before you do this, make sure you decide where you want your graphic to sit. Let this sit overnight. The next day take a dampened sponge and in a circular motion start wiping the paper off you will be left with the image on your piece.
But I noticed that the ink was making a mess on my piece. Not sure why this happened, but I didn’t panic. Instead I pulled out my dark and clear wax and started distressing this chair using wax.
After I waxed the chair, I pulled out a medium sanding block and lightly sanded my chair. Once I was done sanding my chair, I buffed the chair with my buffer.
This chair feels just like leather. It has a nice sheen because of the wax. It’s comfortable to sit and so beautiful too!
I’m actually surprised at how large this chair is! It has a French look that I like and it looks quite different in this room doesn’t it. Let’s take a look at the before again. I bet you’ll be searching the thrift stores so you can paint a fabric chair. Just remember to make sure it’s in great condition.
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