DIY, Tutorials

How To Paint Upholstery In Five Easy Steps

Did you know that you can actually paint upholstery??  It’s super easy, extremely durable, and looks amazing!! Once your piece is complete, it will have a cushy, faux leather finish that won’t crack over time, it wears amazingly.  Go ahead and search “painted upholstery” on Pinterest and you’ll see what I’m talking about!!!

To show how easy painting upholstery is, I decided to share with you a step by step guide.

How To Paint Upholstery In Five Easy Steps

1 – Choose your Piece! Keep in mind that when you paint upholstery, you are changing the color… not the texture!  For example, if you choose a piece that has a floral texture, you’re still gonna see it the flower outline.  Check out the video at the end of this post… you’ll see that my ottoman has a completely new color, but you can still see the original herringbone pattern.

2 – Give your piece a few good punches and a good dust to make sure it’s as clean as possible.  No need to wash it or give it a deep clean, you just want to make sure there are no fluffs or extra dust that will get stuck in the paint and show.

3- At this point, some painters will advise you to water down your paint or spray your piece with water. I don’t usually… you really don’t need to when using House&Canvas Chalk Finish Paint… maybe with other paints you do need to water down to get the right consistency, but not H&C!!  It’s the perfect consistency for fabric.

In the video I am sharing, I did spritz the piece quickly, but after I did it, I realized I really didn’t have to.

4 – Just like furniture, go ahead and paint!!!  Really, there is no prep at all.  Just paint it!!

I like to run my brush in circular motions on the first coat to be sure I get every corner of the fibers…. especially on fabrics like velvet where there are lots of fibers sticking up…

Your first coat is going to go on very thin… don’t be discouraged.  This is because the fabric is soaking it all in.  The next coat goes on with great coverage.

Usually with furniture you should wait 60 minutes between coats.  With fabric, I say wait 2-4 hours. You’ll see in my video that it took my piece forever to dry between coats because of the humidity.

Generally speaking, fabric takes more coats than furniture however, it really depends on what you are covering.  The ottoman in my video was a dark blue, and I was covering it in white so it took 4 coats.  If I had used a darker colour, I could have gotten away with just 2 coats.

Once your paint is completely dry, take a fine grit sandpaper (I like 220) and give your fabric a quick sand.  This step is just smoothing out the top layer of your paint so it’s extra cushy!!

5 – Wax your piece!

Yes, wax!!  Believe it or not, wax is the best top coat for fabric!  Trust me!

Wax Again!

After your last coat of upholstery paint, leave your piece over night to dry.  Then apply one coat of clear or dark wax.

You do this the exact same way you would with furniture.  Wax on, wax off.

Again, leave the piece over night.

Voila, your piece is complete.  You’ll notice that your upholstery now has a faux leather feeling.  It’s not soft anymore, it has a stiff, leathery feeling.  It’s still comfy, squishy and comfortable but with more of a faux leather texture.

I have a piece of furniture that I painted about 4 years ago and it still have ZERO cracks.  It looks good as new!!

Go ahead, bite the bullet and paint that old upholstered wing back chair in your basement.  For just a jug of paint, and a can of wax, you’ll have a fabulous new piece of furniture to enjoy for years to come at a fraction of the cost of having it reupholstered!!