I have had many people ask me about my experience painting my upholstered chair. So now you get it. Let me start by saying this is not for the faint of heart. When you put that first coat on, you might start to panic….. Let me back up.
I had this chair. A great chair, I had it custom ordered to go in my first sons nursery and had been through all four of our kids. Initially it had a tan/yellow cotton duck type fabric. It was great. Not so great was it showed most of the dirt. And after four babies spitting up and all the other lovely things they do, it was time for a change. I thought about reupholstering it myself. It was a bit daunting. Then I found this idea of painting, yes painting the upholstery.
My thoughts were, hey, if I do this and it doesn’t work, I can always go get it reupholstered like I was going to do to begin with. Then, my daughter, who is famous for smelling out any red lipstick within a 10 mile radius, decided to sit in this chair while applying it. You can imagine the scene, right? Her only saving grace was that now this gave me the push to do it. Couldn’t get any worse.
This is what it looked like before I started the painting process. Pretty plain, acceptable but not something I loved.
What I needed to get started:
Okay, you want to start by working one section at a time. Read the instructions on the back of the textile medium to see what portions to use. I’m not very good at measuring so I eyeballed mine. I added textile medium and water to my white paint. Of course white.
I then began by spraying water onto the fabric. This will help the paint to absorb into the fabric better. You want to work in multiple thin layers. So I started out, you’d be amazed at how much becomes absorbed into the fabric. I painted my entire ottoman with one coat. Let that dry, and repeated the process. Now, this is where I tell you not to panic! IT WILL LOOK AWFUL! Keep at it though. Even some of my 4th coats were still a little scary. But I promise, it will work out. Once I got to about the third or fourth coat I used less water in the paint. I also had run out of the textile medium so I was stretching that as far as I could. But using thin coats will help prevent any cracking or unevenness. Now, there was one main component I missed with the ottoman. Sanding. When I was finally done with about 5 coats of paint, it felt quite rough. Out came the sandpaper. Just a quick sanding really softened it up.
Then I turned my attention on the chair. This time I decided to sand in between each coat of paint. I tell you, this made all the difference. It took me one Friday night and part of a Saturday to do this. With a little DVR’d Fixer Upper it wasn’t too painful.
The finished projuct was pretty awesome! It felt like leather! I had read some reviews and blogs that commented on the roughness and stiff nature once it had been painted. Mine was quite nice. Obviously not leather, and definitely not as soft as fabric, though, I completely loved it.
Now it was painted completely white. It needed a pattern though. I decided on a Pattern I found on Pinterest of all places:)
Made the pattern slightly large. Out came the sharpies and away I went.
Here’s how I did it.
I started with vertical lines, drawn freehand. On of the qualities of the design I love is the sketch look it has. It doesn’t have to be perfectly straight lines, and not evenly spaced either. You just need a steady hand.
I then added the diagonal lines. Again, there’s no rules! As many or as few as you want! I tried to just make it balance.
And there you have it!
Some good things about it:
Feels like leather or vinyl
Everything wipes off clean! When I say everything, yes bright red lipstick too. I did have to use a Mr. Clean pad, which took off some of the sharpie, but guess what? You can draw right over it again!
Some people have said you should use these types of chairs in a low traffic area. Well, mine gets used ALL THE TIME by four kids who are not easy on furniture. I was worried that the white would show lots of dirt but the clean ability is so great, I don’t worry any more.
So, if you’ve got an old piece of furniture you’re ready to get rid of or want reupholstered. I would highly recommend trying this! You can always reupholster later if you don’t like it. Or you can get rid of it all together. Let me have first dibs though 🙂
I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial. I’d love to see any of your attempts!! Let me know what you think and please spread the word!
Have a great Thursday!