How To Paint Upholstery Fabric / by Erin Mulvany

Do you have a spot in a room that still needs something, but a West Elm chair is not in your future? Join the club. While we have West Elm taste on an Ikea budget, you can still achieve a balanced, expensive looking room without spending your entire tax return. Painting upholstery fabric can turn that dumpster diving chair or couch into a work of art you’re proud to display. 

If it’s a couch, chair, love seat or some abstract piece of furniture, if it has wood on it you’d like to upgrade, it’ll need to be painted. I’m really into chalk paint, but if I have paint lying around from other projects that matches, I’ll use that.  Before you paint, make sure the majority of the fabric is covered to avoid excess paint splatter and more work covering it up later on.

After your paint has dried, you can begin to work on the fabric. For the fabric paint, I used Annie Sloan Coco chalk paint. Mix your paint with water together at a 1:1 ratio. 

Let it dry between coats, overnight works if you’re on a busy schedule. Three coats should be enough depending on the color of the chair and the color of the paint you’re using. Once all the painting is done and you have your desired colored, take a 400-grit sandpaper and lightly sand the fabric. Seal with Annie Sloan clear wax to lock in the color! 

Have questions for Erin? Simply comment below and get her help on your project! 

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