One of the Most Shocking Things You Can Paint

Working on projects in my own home really helps me reconnect and be creative without concern about pleasing a client.  Of course, Mr. Man and the kids usually think my ideas are crazy (initially), but I am totally ok with that.

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I’ve had this chair for about four years that I found at an estate sale.  I love the lines of it, and it’s super-comfy. I’ve been thinking about painting the frame of it a long time, but the upholstery had me stumped.  It was still in good shape and the pattern wasn’t bad, but the color was really creamy and looked dingy in my living room where I have a lot of white.  

louis chair

It looks better in this picture than it does in real life, trust me. 

 

 

I decided to go ahead and paint it in one of the new colors I had purchased of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint-Florence.  

annie sloan chalk paint florence

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Florence 

 

 

I figured I’d paint the frame and then find a new fabric and have it reupholstered.  The paint job looked good, but the color was definitely too vivid for the cream upholstery.  But if it were white . . . 

painting chair

 

 

Then I thought, if I’m reupholstering anyway, why not give painting the upholstery a try?  I knew you can do that with fabric paint, but I had also heard Dana of Bella Tucker Finishes say that she had painted chair fabric with chalk paint.  I started painting it with Annie Sloan Pure White and instantly loved how well it covered the fabric.  Crazy!

painting fabric in process

 

 

Now, it did feel a bit hard and crunchy at first.  But it looked great!  

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painted fabric 

 

At that point, I decided to google it (you’d think I would have done that first, but I didn’t).  Different people have done different things, so I felt emboldened to experiment a bit.  So I lightly sanded it, then watered down a small amount of Pure White chalk paint and put a light second coat on.  

painted upholstery

chalk-painted chair fabric 

 

This second coat felt nicer than the first one – not as hard and chalky.  Since I always put a clear wax on everything I paint, I figured I’d try it on the chair fabric, too.  I applied it lightly and buffed it lightly.  Amazingly, the fabric feels great now – like leather, really.  And it looks smashing!  I added a bit of dark stain over the Florence to tone it down, then I introduced my “new” chair to the rest of my living room.  

painted fabric upholstery

 They didn’t even recognize her!

 

My next project is churning in my head now – painting the upholstery of a Victorian chair in a regal blue.  I’ll let you know how that one turns out, of course.  This one was fairly easy and didn’t require much paint because it went from cream to white.  Do you think I’m crazy, or do you love it, too?

 

Linked to:  Miss Mustard Seed Furniture Friday and Remodelaholic

 

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CEIL TARWATER
Guest
CEIL TARWATER

FABULOUS! and BRAVO!…LOVE that AS chalk paint!!…There’s just not much you can NOT do with AS paint! Be sure and (kindly) post more pix of your next painting project.

Kelly
Guest

Looks fabulous! Curious to hear how it wears, being that the chalk paint isn’t specifically for fabric. And…are those photos taken with your new camera?

Samantha
Guest
Samantha

In Annie’s book she shows how to dye fabric with chalk paint.

Barclay Stone
Guest
Barclay Stone

OMG – that’s hysterical! Loving the white paint! Is it comfortable? I would’ve thought that fabric paint would be kind of crusty feeling. The chair looks great! You’ve saved hundreds!

Rebecca
Guest
Rebecca

Love it!!! I really like your new sofa too! I am going to have to try painting my Victorian sofa one of the blues if I can talk my husband into digging in the storage to get it

Terry Murphy
Guest
Terry Murphy

Beautiful! I need to try this on an occasional chair that I have in my basement. High-quality chair with dated mauve fabric; thinking of painting the fabric a deep, rich red.

Jana Hunter
Guest

LOVE it! Job well done…do you think it would work on velvet??? Enjoy the day!

Karen
Guest
Karen

LOVE it!!!!!!!! Wonder if I can chalk paint a vinyl (I guess) piano bench seat …???

Stephanie R.
Guest
Stephanie R.

Looks GREAT!!! Love the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Florence that you picked. Would love to see some of your other projects. Please let us know how the chalk paint and wax holds up on the fabric. Thanks!!!

Suzy A
Guest

You’re crazy! I love it!!!

debbi in Texas
Guest
debbi in Texas

I will always try paint first before investing in a new and expensive option. I painted all my old gold toned bath fixtures an oil rubbed bronze before putting the house up for sale, as a known feature, not hiding the fact. They looked fabulous and have held up well with occasional touch ups. Cheaper than investing in new and the new owners can finance that upgrade. Your chair looks fabulous and it can be a great option to purchase a great looking chair with ugly fabric before investing in reupholstery. Looks great!

Penni Shirley
Guest
Penni Shirley

I am interested to know when you painted the gold bath fixtures how it held up and was it Annie Sloan Paint or something different?

Arell
Guest
Arell

It looks marvelous! I am wondering how it will handle people sitting on it? In the past, I have been too “chicken” to paint my furniture, but you and your blog have made me realize that it is possible! And with stunning results.

Melanie G.
Guest
Melanie G.

this is GREAT!!!!

Mario Bushi
Guest

Great post Kristie! This looks fantastic. Amazing what a bold paint color can do to a chair and the room!

Robin @ happilyhomeafter.blogspot.com
Guest
Robin @ happilyhomeafter.blogspot.com

Bonjour great looking chair! So chalk paint works on fabric and I read your reply to the vinyl question, a Yes, so here’s mine … what do you think about the paint working on bonded leather {real leather that’s thin and bonded to some type of backing to stabilize / thicken}. I have 4 parson style dining room chairs in a real dark expresso leather and I definitely want to lighten up. Any thoughts or advice? Thanks! Robin

Debbie
Guest
Debbie

I haven’t tried AS chalk paint on a chair yet, but had fantastic results on 2 old fabric lampshades that were discolored. I used AS Old White and the shades look brand new. Vacuumed and then wiped them gently with a damp cloth to remove any dirt and dust, then used 3 light coats of paint. No wax. They sit atop lamps painted in Emperors Silk (red) and look fantastic – best part I already had the paint for other projects so I didn’t need to buy anything to upcycle my 20+ year old lamps. I’m anxious to hear how… Read more »

judykr
Guest
judykr

I have that exact same chair. It never occurred to me to paint it. I think there is a small hole in the upholstery, though, so probably will have to reupholster it sometime. Interesting doing the woodwork in blue, though.

Dana Tucker
Guest

Your chair looks fabulous!!! I think Florence is in my top two favorite ASCP colors! Thanks for including the link to our project. You would not believe the traffic that post gets. It is crazy! People love the idea of a pretty cheap fix for ugly upholstery. Yours is amazing 🙂

Shannon Hickman
Guest
Shannon Hickman

Like seeing your designs on Pinterest!!!

Jil Sonia Interiors
Guest

Wow, never would have thought of that! Looks gorgeous!

Valerie Petschulat
Guest
Valerie Petschulat

I’m wondering if I’d dare to try it on my old but comfy sofa that I don’t want to spend tons of $ reupholstering!

CityGirlCountryBloke
Guest
CityGirlCountryBloke

Painting fabric!! Now that is something I can do because I certainly DO NOT know how to sew!! Love it and the chair looks awesome!

Shannon Hickman
Guest
Shannon Hickman

In answer to your question at the end of the article – yes! I DO think it’s a little crazy to paint fabric without researching what would happen!! Then again, that’s one of the reasons I read your blog – – you try cool things FIRST, then see how it goes! You’re one brave decorator! I also love Bella Tucker Designs. Cool to see on Pinterest the things they do. Thank you for being so brave! In the meantime, you’ve just saved me a small fortune in lamp shades. I’ll just paint them instead of buying new ones!!! Thanks!!!

Heidi Nyline
Guest

Hi Kristie.

Great chair. It looks awesome. I am finally tackling my first furniture repaint project in a similar colour. What are your thoughts on using the dark wax over a regular eggshell finish paint? Or is it only something you would use over chalk paint?

Meghann Wandrocke
Guest
Meghann Wandrocke

Wondering if that white paint would come off on my favorite black clothes…???

Jennifer @ Decorated Chaos
Guest

Adorable chair. I really need to try painting fabric. Your chair turned out beautifully!

Dragana
Guest

This is insane! Now I feel absolutely ready for my first repaint project.

Brave, brave girl!

Harriet
Guest
Harriet

Love your painted chair! I really enjoy adding color to my home in unexpected places. I would not have thought to paint the chair this color, but I love it! I have been using the Color911 app for my color inspiration …The app helps me visualize what colors go together, I’m going to see what colors I can paint my furniture to go with the rest of my living room, I’m inspired by your taking the leap – well done!

Kim Chapman
Guest
Kim Chapman

I have also painted fabric on a chair that was upholstered in a very durable but ugly flowered fabric. It took 4 coats of paint, but it looked great. I also waxed it.

lori
Guest
lori

Love this and the chair looks awesome. Will have to try and the lampshade tip…perfect! Wax doesn’t get on your clothes does it? Hopefully, this isn’t a stupid question, I’m new to AS paint and in love.

Carol Mulder Millspaugh
Guest
Carol Mulder Millspaugh

I LOVE it!!!! Definitely on my list of To Do Projects!!! I knew it could be done too…. Now you’ve given me the confidence to go for it!!!!

Mishelle
Guest

Gorgeous! I can’t wait to try fabric. I have a project in mind. Might even get brave and try to stencil the fabric with Annie Sloan.

Where did you get that amazing couch? I am looking for something similar! Love the style and color.

Thanks for all the lovely inspirations.
Mishelle

Michelle Grimes
Guest
Michelle Grimes

Amazing! Those colours would look fabulous in my living room too. You and I appear to have the same taste in colour schemes 🙂

Jenn
Guest
Jenn

Your chair looks great! I decided to try it out ASCP on the fabric seats of my dining set. It has been tested by my kids for several months now and has held up great!

Wendy Lynch
Guest
Wendy Lynch

What did you use to sand between coats?

Dee
Guest
Dee

I tried it as well on my barstools. Hardest part is the seams where the wood meets the fabric. Tips? Techniques??

Kathryn Royle
Guest

That is fantastic. We are going to paint vinyl. We will try this technique… Will post our results! Thank you for your creative sharing 🙂 great story!

Nancy
Guest

Great transformation!

Joey
Guest

I love it!

Chez
Guest
Chez

Looks so great! Question though- does the wax finish transfer to clothes when sitting on it?

Arael Seher
Guest
Arael Seher

I’m really curious about this too!! I’ve chalk painted and waxed lots of furniture so I know how it cures, but I know wax is not the most heat or moisture resistant finish so I’m worried body heat and sweat would affect the wax finish.. =/

Taryn
Guest
Taryn

Love it! So my question (if you have time to answer) is about painting furniture. The people at the paint store really want me to use oil-based paints to repaint furniture. They are telling me it’s the only way to go, otherwise my furniture will be tacky to the touch (blocking?) if I use latex. What’s your opinion? Do you use wax to help with this issue?

Paula Van Hoogen
Guest
Paula Van Hoogen

Think I may try this on the ugly vinyl wallpaper in our RV! Bet the people at your favorite furniture store wish they had you working in the back of their place!! That chair would SELL!!!
Here’s something that helped me apply wax to a carved piece–get a brand new boot brush (the kind used for shoe polishing)–just the thing for those deep crevices!

Kathy K
Guest

Gorgeous! Way to experiment.

Judy hook
Guest
Judy hook

Janet, i saw Annie Sloan do this on a chair on a show. She painted her upolstery red. Couldn’t believe it, beautiful. Yours is awesome. By the way, thanks again for the classes, I too think I have found my happy place.

mary
Guest

It’s absolutely gorgeous. Thanks for sharing.

Joanne S. Kilduff
Guest
Joanne S. Kilduff

Love it. I follow Amy Chalmers of Maison Decor and she also paints fabric. Makes sense you would have to sand lightly to take the “nap” that popped up from the first coat of paint. The same thing happens when I paint unfinished unsealed wood. The second coat is usually lighter. The bit surprise to me is you could use wax. Wow. Looks really great.

Natalie A
Guest
Natalie A

I’m researching painted pumpkin ideas for fall and seeing some done with AS Chalk paint and several is creams and turquoises. One name came to mind…KB. 🙂

Patrick Winston
Guest

This is stunning! The color really stands outs out and looks amazing.

philipss
Guest
philipss

pls am a nigerian and i do painting too cos i love it…….i cant get ur kind of paint here. i want to know if that CHALK PAINT is water paint or oil paint nd i also want to know how u painted without removing the cotton on the chair. Thanks

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[…] long weekend plans include painting more chair upholstery with chalk paint and hitting the swimming pool for the last big hurrah of the summer.  I thought […]

Lee
Guest

What a fabulous makeover, I saw your link at Miss Mustard Seed who I have also just discovered. I am a blogger in New Zealand and excited that Annie Sloan’s company contacted me to work with them to help launch their paint in New Zealand as it is a new product here. I have never worked with it but excited now after reading your post to receive my colour charts so I can pick a few colours to work with. I am having someone else do the furniture initially as I am not a specialist but would like to have… Read more »

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[…] all kinds of things is really old hat to me, Mr. Man has told our kids that if they sat still for too long, Momma just […]