Painted Fabric Chair

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We bought this chair from a Habitat For Humanity ReStore for dirt cheap. It was goldilocks scenario since the chairs that are most comfortable for me are rarely comfy for Q but somehow this one fit both of us! Only problem was the color. It was a really unattractive mauve with green dots and that just wasn’t going to work with everything else in our place. We bought the chair thinking we were going to reupholster it and quickly decided that was entirely way too much work. After a bit of research I planned on painting it… and then a whole year and a 3,000 mile move happened. Since I was getting down to business with the decor in the loft it was time to finally tackle the ugly pink chair. Luckily this painted fabric chair turned out better than even I expected.Painted Fabric Chair

See, if you search painted fabric chair(or furniture) you will get a ton of results and nearly all of them are done just a bit differently. Being that I’ve never painted any fabric furniture I just wanted to make sure two things happened. First, I wanted the fabric to stay soft and pliable. I mean whats the point of a comfy upholstered wingback chair makeover if it ends up a stiff mess? No point! Second, I wanted full coverage on that awful pink color! Side note: if this color is your jam and you make it work in your house more power to ya! But this is just simply not the case in the loft.

After pulling from a handful of tutorials I did the following to get some pretty fab results:

-Vacuum the chair thoroughly(esp. all those nooks and crannies!).

-Mix 1 part fabric medium with 2 parts interior paint.

-Spray the area you are painting with a light mist of water.

-Use a stiff brush to paint light coats over the entire chair. A smaller bristle brush is also helpful to get into all the creases and corners.

-Sand the surface in between coats(once completely dry) with fine grit sandpaper.

[After the first coat. Yes, it looks patchy and scary but just keep painting!]

Now comes the fun part! If your chair has a distinct texture like ours you can layer your paint to keep the textured design. This idea came to me after sanding the first layer. Because the sanding is what keeps the chair from getting stiff you always end the layer with sanding. This will expose a layer below the current top layer of paint and in doing so you will also accentuate any raised pattern or texture in the fabric.


Painted Fabric Chair

I started with a couple coats of classic silver and hand tinted the paint for the remaining layers. I went darker by adding a couple ounces of black paint which I measured out on a scale (so I could replicate it if need be). Once the final coat dried and I sanded it down the texture really popped. And still no sign of the ugly pink!

[before & after sanding]

This does add a more rustic or even shabby chic feel(which isn’t typically us) but in this space its going to fit right in! All the wood in our bedroom is raw or unfinished so another perfectly imperfect piece is totally making us happy!

So have you painted a fabric chair? Or any other fabric furniture? Tell me all about it in the comments!

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  1. Love the new color of the chair! It looks so good. I had no idea you could paint it. Seems much easier than having to refabric it.

  2. Beautiful transformation! I found a chair just like this one at Goodwill, however, it has a few imperfections on the cloth. How do I repair those areas before painting?

  3. This looks fantastic! I have a chair the same style that I’m now inspired to piant 😊. Quick question, how much paint/ medium did you use in total do you think?

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