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DIY Chair Makeover: A no-fuss way to paint fabric.

Whenever I ask another DIYer about painting their upholstered furniture, I would get mixed reactions. Some loved it. Some hated it. However, they all consistently complained that the process was laborious.

And while I love updating an old chair with new fabric, I think reupholstery can be super strenuous too. Like this cowhide chair I once covered, for instance.

When it comes to reupholstering, I’m self-taught and not crazy about spending days and days on one piece of furniture. So typically I only tackle DIY chair upholstery projects that are on the simple side. And also allow me to cover my mistakes with nail-head tacks and/or fabric trim. Like this grain sack chair I once covered, for instance.

But. This chair. I loved it from the minute I spotted it in our local thift shop.

DIY Chair Makeover: A no-fuss way to paint fabric.

I loved the sea-shell like shape of the back. The fabric was a faded pea-green brocade and I knew this was beyond my upholstery skill set. But I’d also been seeing lots of DIY-ers tackle fabric painting. And you know how I love to paint things.

But then, when I asked a few DIYers and the reaction was mixed, I backed off… what if I messed up this chair? How would I fix the painted fabric? What would I do with it, if it turned ugly? So I dragged my feet.

I was looking for a no-fuss way to paint fabric.

Then I read this post from one of my Haven DIY Conference friends, Kellie from the Design Asylum Blog. I had worked with her Velvet Finishes paint before here. I loved that it was a no-fuss paint – as in no sanding, no priming, no prepping, etc.

But fabric? I had no idea it worked effortlessly on upholstery too!

DIY Chair Makeover: A no-fuss way to paint fabric.

So I grabbed this lovely bold & classic green, called Baroque. Then I dragged this chair outside and started painting it outside on a breezy summer afternoon.

DIY Chair Makeover: A no-fuss way to paint fabric.

I agree with other DIY-ers that the key to painting any upholstery fabric is to choose a low-nap fabric. In this case, this old brocade fabric was very smooth.

It was super easy to paint. I didn’t water down the Velvet Finishes paint at all. It only took two solid coats and this chair was completely covered… I used a brush because I could apply more paint that way. Sometimes I had to press the brush to get into all the grooves of the fabric. But that was the most effort I had to apply. The paint covered the fabric so well.

With the summer breeze, it dried quickly and was very smooth to the touch. I followed the recommendations of Velvet Finishes and applied a very light grit sand paper at the end. The result is a very smooth leather-like finish. And I couldn’t be HAPPIER with it!

DIY Chair Makeover: A no-fuss way to paint fabric.

My husband was curious about the color I chose. I explained that I was aiming for a vintage home library design – think Ralph Lauren home decor.

DIY Chair Makeover: A no-fuss way to paint fabric.

Bring out the old maps and globes. This color is a perfect match.

DIY Chair Makeover: A no-fuss way to paint fabric.

Once our living room is finally painted this summer, I think this green chair will pair nicely with my navy pillows and accessories.

DIY Chair Makeover: A no-fuss way to paint fabric.

I feel like I say this all the time, but it’s true. I’m impatient. I wanted this project to be effortless, so I didn’t remove the nail heads before I painted. I simply painted over them generously and wiped away the excess paint with a damp cloth.

Not perfect but not bad, eh?

DIY Chair Makeover: A no-fuss way to paint fabric.

DIY Chair Makeover: A no-fuss way to paint fabric.

I love that this paint finish had a little sheen to it once it dried. It looks elegant and finished. And I didn’t have to do any extra prepping or adjust the paint with fabric medium or water. I just painted it on. Easy-peasy.

DIY Chair Makeover: A no-fuss way to paint fabric.

A few of our flea market finds made it into our decor … and you know how we love sharing that with you.

Like these brass bookends imported from Italy. Just paid a few bucks for them at the flea market. They make the perfect accessory to these old school books that once belonged to my husband’s grandmother.
DIY Chair Makeover: A no-fuss way to paint fabric.

What about this industrial-style wheel? I’ve seen plenty of replicas – but this is the real deal! And it weighs about 25 pounds!

DIY Chair Makeover: A no-fuss way to paint fabric.

Do you have a piece of furniture that you aren’t sure you can reupholster yourself? Give this paint a try. It’s easy to apply and looks fabulous – it’s a DIY project for an afternoon! Start in the morning and you’ll be adding new pillows and decorating around your furniture by evening. No kidding.

DIY Chair Makeover: A no-fuss way to paint fabric.

By the way, this is NOT a sponsored post. I purchased this paint because I had used it before and love a no-hassle product when I find it. Period. There are some amazing Velvet Finishes colors to choose from… I’d love to see your projects so please share if you give this a try!

Kristy Robb - Robb Restyle

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DIY Chair Makeover: A no-fuss way to paint fabric.

 

 

 

 

 

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. 3

    Hi! It’s beautiful, I love it. How did you treat the grommets when painting to avoid getting paint on them?

    • 4

      Hi and thank you! Believe it or not, I actually just painted right over them and wiped away the paint right away with a damp cloth.

  2. 5

    Hi. Love the chair! I am just wondering if after the sanding did you use anything else to protect the chair? How is it to sit on (is it stiff)? And does the color come off at all with use? I have a lovely brocade couch I got for free that I would love to do this with. Thanks.

    • 6

      No, this particular paint doesn’t need any additional treatment and does not bleed. I think it resembles a soft leather in texture, not to hard or stuff. You should do it!

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