i should be mopping the floor: Painting Upholstered Furniture

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Painting Upholstered Furniture

 The Before & After
{yep, it is the same chair}

This past weekend, I was able to head up to the Dallas area and spend some time with the bestie {Pictured above is us through the years}. Lori & I have known each other since our freshman year at college...and have WAY too many stories on each other! It's always such a blast to hang out with her. She's expecting her third baby at the end of August and we spent part of our weekend working on a WAY FUN project for Miss Lola's nursery. 

This is where we began. Nine years ago, this chair entered Lori's life for baby #1. A couple of kiddos {and a crazy red Sharpie incident} later, this chair could use a little TLC. But we weren't giving up on her.


We found a great tutorial for painting upholstered pieces from Kristy over at Hyphen Interiors. We ended up having to make some modifications for our piece {we were covering dark upholstery with a much lighter color}. Along with adding modifications to Kristy's tute, we added a few more items than pictured above.

All in all, we used eight bottles of textile medium and two quarts of the latex paint. While this may seem like a lot {those textile mediums cost $5.99 each}, and the paint was $15 per quart...the $80ish total is pretty cheap compared to the cost of a new chair or reupholstering.

We liked the Delta brand a lot better than Martha's {sorry Martha...nothing personal, girl}. The Delta brand was a lot thicker and easier to work with. We purchased both of those textile mediums at Michael's...and they seem to be hidden at every store in a different random place. I haven't checked my local HobLob yet for this stuff, but I plan to later this week.

Start by measuring out your paint & textile medium...you'll use a 1:1 ratio. We're thinking we used a significant amount more product than Kristy's tutorial since we were going from dark to light and painting denim...which soaked it up.

Yea, Lori, I know I promised no photos of you...whoops.

After you've mixed the 1:1 ratio together, add in 1/2 as much water to the amount {I just filled up one of the textile bottles}. So basically, the mixture just turned to 2 parts paint, 2 parts textile medium and 1 part water.

Thoroughly wet down the area you're about to paint {work in smallish areas so your water doesn't dry too fast}. And definitely saturate the area.

Start painting your mixture on! We thought brush strokes would matter...but in the end they didn't. That may not be the case with all fabrics. {Although the strokes do appear significantly in the first primer coats}.

 That skirt was a beast to paint. We had to hold it in one hand and paint with the other...getting our hands completely painted as well.

This is the first coat...um, yeah. Scary, no? We were almost ready to give up. It looked awful. It even brought out stains we didn't realize were there {poor baby #1 had terrible reflux as was evident by the stain patterns on this chair...wow!} We had painted the first coat...went out for dinner and came back to this.

So...we put our paint clothes back on and started in on coat #2. Again..using the wet with water thoroughly and then paint with the 2:2:1-paint-mixture technique.

The second coat was a lot more promising than the first. We finished up that coat and let it dry overnight.

The next morning, it actually looked close to done. The skirt was still splotchy and there were some bareish spots on the chair...but a lot better than the night before.

We mixed a new batch of paint...this time with just one part paint, one part textile medium...no water. Then we painted the chair with two more coats of this...and we didn't spray it down before painting either of these coats.

We also worked on the little cute ottoman, too!  

After another overnight dry, this is what we woke up to! YAY! The textile medium is to prevent the stiffness in the fabric that comes from, well, painting it. It isn't totally stiff, but isn't as soft as the denim, either. Like the tutorial we followed said, it feels like an outdoor fabric now. Nothing a little brown & pink chenille throw won't fix to make those late night feedings a little more comfy.

This was a really easy project that takes a weekend to complete {and that includes lots of drying time...we didn't spend more than a few hands-on hours actually working on this chair}. I liked the technique so much that I plan to do it on our old nursery chair, too!









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39 comments:

  1. How awesome is that chair?! Love the transformation!

    Take care,

    Trish

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  2. Great job! I have wondered if you could go from dark to light with this project :) Thanks!!

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  3. OK- Shut it right now!? Really???!!! I would have never even thought of this- and LOOK how amazing that chair is now!!! Great job girl!

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  4. HOLY SMACKS!? COME ON! REALLY?! I'm loving it! I would have never done it unless I saw it here first...but it's amazing! You ROCK!

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  5. Well who woulda thunk?! I think it turned out really good! I didn't realize that there was such a thing as fabric medium. I've got a big 'ole leopard print divan upstairs - think it'll work on that? It's kinda of a velvet texture!

    Thanks for sharing and best of luck to your friend Lori and her new baby!

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  6. I have never seen this before. Fascinating. It looks awesome even if it is a bit stiffer than before. What an inexpensive fix! Thanks for the idea.

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  7. Wow that's awesome it turned out great! I have seen this before and I really want to go find a chair just so we can try it! haha.. Please come share this and link up at our "Home is Where the Heart is" Link party! We'd love to have you! :) Feel free to link up other posts that would be helpful to others as well!
    http://www.homesteadsimple.com/home-is-where-the-heart-is-link-it-up-wednesdays-4/

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  8. This is really new to me, and what a great idea! Definitely checking into that, I appreciate you linking up! It turned out fantastic, btw!

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  9. Looks awesome! What a huge difference. Great info - well written. I'll add you to my chairs page in a bit (thanks for linking to my tutorial) - www.hypheninteriors.com/chairs

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  10. Looks great! It's amazing what a little paint can do!

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  11. This is great I have been wanting to brave a love seat for my living room, glad to see you covered up dark with light I hope you can come by and link up to my first blog hop! You can win a $25 Amazon Gift Card http://www.missinformationblog.com/2012/08/its-best-of-your-best-blog-hop-and-win.html

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  12. a risk that I have not yet conquered. You chair came out wonderful. I am always curious on 1) how soft whatever you paint will be 2) thinking that the paint will wear off on clothes . opinion?

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  13. That's a great idea! I have two chairs that need a makeover....and I'm going to do it your way! Looks great!

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  14. Wow! What a transformation. I didn't know that was possible. I’d love for you to link up this (and any other ideas you’d like to share) at "One Creative Weekend" on OneCreativeMommy.com.

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  15. Wow it looks a brand new chair! Does it feel good? Sorry, but thinking about painting fabric makes me think it has a stiff feeling! Your chair is really came out well! So glad you shared your creative inspiration with Sunday’s Best – your creativity helped make the party a success!

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  16. Wow, this looks great. And just what I needed, as I have been wondering how to do this. Thanks!

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  17. I had no idea you could do this...maybe I should find something in my house to try!

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  18. This looks amazing! I have an old chair like this (but with orange, green & brown stripes - eek!), and I've been debating painting it because I want to go from dark to light as well. I think you just gave me the inspiration and motivation to finally do mine now - thanks! :)

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  19. Very cool...never knew you could do this and not have it feel stiff as a board. Thanks for sharing this technique. Gail (BibleLoveNotes.com)

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  20. What an awesome redo! It looks so clean and fresh now!

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  21. That is amazing! How neat that you can paint an upholstered chair. it looks really good! Thanks for sharing!

    www.tylerstainedglasscreations.com

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  22. Wow! What a transformation! How do you spot clean it now? Will the paint come off when you clean it? I want to do this but my sofa gets heavy use. Any suggestions?
    Karin

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  23. Love it! I have seen upholstery paint but it is very limited in colors and you can only go darker. I have a darker pink nursery chair that I would love to paint a neutral color and with the upholstery paint I would have had to go black  I am so excited I found this post…this is definitely a project I am going to tackle now with all of your tips and tricks! Thanks for the great post!

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  24. Did the chair retain any strong paint odor. Thanks

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  25. Did the chair retain any strong paint odor. Thanks

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  26. Did the chair retain any strong paint odor. Thanks

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  27. What the piece became is so elegant. I mean, the blue theme looks nice, but after all the painting was done, it absolutely looks fantastic. Good job!

    Christine
    COFSouth.com - Capital Office Furniture

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  28. Very cool great tutorial! I wanted to do this to a set of chairs of mine but they had some old stains and was not sure if the paint would cover them. I am hopeful after seeing that your covered Sharpie! I am really excited!

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  29. I have these two chairs (god awful pepto pink with mysterious stains) that have a beautiful pattern in the fabric. The pattern is the same color but shiny instead of being matte. Has anyone tried this method on something like that or am I going to have to sacrifice the pattern?

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  30. Totally awesome. You have more patience than I do..lol..but oh it was so worth it. So glad it turned out for ya. Just might have to give it a go myself. Have a lovely chaise lounge..but with kids and lap doggies...well ya know how that goes...specks of this and that here and there. Will let ya know what I decide and if I give it a whirl. You have sure given me the inspiration. Great job!! Hugs

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  31. What was the #2 paint mix ratio? what else did you mix in with it?

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  32. Do you know if you could stencil a paisley design on top of the last coat? and what paint formula would you use?

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  33. Do you know if you could stencil a paisley design on top of the last coat? and what paint formula would you use?

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  34. I'll have to try this on some of my furniture upholstery in Phoenix. It's hard to believe it's only a bit stiffer.

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  35. Does your chair smell like paint?

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  36. Is it still comfortable to use? I want to do something like that with the only couch we have (which is also a HUGE eye-sore) However, I don't want it to get so uncomfortable that we decide not to used it, thus defeating the purpose of making what we HAVE work.

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