I found this chair, and another just like it, at an estate sale. I loved the design, but not so much the upholstery. I knew it was going to take forever to reupholster, so I decided to paint it…the upholstery and all! I knew if I didn’t like it after it was done that I could just tear it all off and reupholster it.
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I started off by spraying it down with a spray bottle and water. Getting the fabric wet helps the paint to absorb better. I also sprayed it again between each coat.
I mixed flat “Spruce Peak” Clark and Kensington, color matched into Benjamin Moore paint with fabric medium…about a 3:1 ratio, of paint and fabric medium. I also added a tablespoon or two of water to the paint mixture. I made sure the upholstery was clean of any debris before spraying water on it and painting. After I had the paint mixed, I just painted it on with a paint brush.
I used a smaller craft paint brush to get into the smaller areas. On the areas close to the sides, I pushed the fabric away from the side and painted down into the spot beside the trim.
After the paint was dry, I used a crumpled up brown paper sack to lightly sand it. ￼
Below is a photo of what it looked like after the first coat of paint. It was cute, but the color was still showing through. I decided to do two more coats to completely cover the color underneath.
You can see in this next photo, below, the seat has two coats, and the back has one coat. After two coats, the coverage was pretty good but there were still little areas that I needed to touch up, so I did a third coat.
I decided that I wanted to change up the trim to get rid of some of the “orangey” look. I used the technique, of paint and glaze, that I had used before on some chairs to make them look like wood. It worked great!
I love how it turned out! The green color is exactly what I was hoping for! And, I’m so glad I changed up the trim too!
I painted some chairs a couple of years ago and they turned out great as well. I am thinking I will probably add some flat out flat general finishes sealer to this one. One of you also suggested a wax to seal and soften, so I may search around and try that.
It does have a bit of a rough feel, kind of like a tough leather, but I don’t mind it at all. I think using the fabric medium helps to keep the paint from cracking and helps it to stay on better. Fabric is always a better option but this works out great when you don’t want to spend the money or time on reupholstering something…as long as the exsisting fabric is in good shape.
I’m going to call this my Christmas chair…my Tree Farm Christmas chair, thanks to one of you who suggested that! I would love to hear what you think about painting upholstery, in the comments below. Is it something that you would try?