My Second Painted Chair – Revealed!

I tried my hand at painting another chair!  This was also a purchase on Craigslist for the same price – $60.

Here is the second painted chair before and after!  (I am sorry I didn’t get the best before photo.  I forgot to take the time to take photos, as I was eager to get started.)

chairbefore chairafter

If you are wondering what the previous painted chair looked like, it is below.  I used the same color scheme this time, but no nailhead trim.

chair before 1chairbigafter

The differences with the second painted chair were:
- The second chair was not velvet.
- The second chair is textured.
- No nailhead trim.
- I skipped the latex paint layers.
- I changed the color to a whole new color rather than staying in the same color family.
- I did not sand it since this time the fabric was fairly smooth and was not velvet.

Observations:
- I did go through a LOT of acrylic paint since I skipped the latex phase.  I used 14 4 oz bottles of acrylic paint. (I mixed my own color in acrylic paint, using the same colors as last time.)
- It worked just fine with very little end difference.  The texture and saturation were about the same as with the first chair.
- The key seems to be wetting the fabric down and majorly watering the paint down to where it’s near (not quite) the consistency of milk.
- Do multiple thin layers.  I did three layers in the end, but two may have sufficed.
- Keep the paint wet as you blend it.
- Let it dry fully between layers.
- Texture was no problem.

Conclusion:
You can paint over texture and probably most any fabric type just fine as long as you are patient and use thinned out paint and multiple layers.

More photos are below.  The first one is just after I started to paint and realized I didn’t have a great before photo!

chairduring

chairafter2

chairafter3

For a full tutorial on painting the upholstery on a chair, visit my tutorial post.  There are also links to other painted chairs at the bottom of that post.

kristysig

Update 6/24:  Posted the reveal of the studio/ craft room which is where this chair lives now.

78 Comments :

  1. You rocked it again! Looks great. I’m thinking I will likely try this… what have I got to lose?

    • Sophia Trammell

      I have a suede couch which method would be best?

      • I really have no idea since I haven’t painted a suede couch personally. I think you’ll have to just check out the methods and decide what makes the most sense to you.

  2. Once again, looks amazing! You are one talented chick.

  3. it looks great! i love the feet on this one!

  4. Love it. I like how the pattern is still visible!

  5. Hi Kristy, the chair looks beautiful! A friend of mine called me yesterday to let me know some one in my neighborhood had a free chair setting out at the street so…..I quickly got in my car and picked it up, it is in great condition….I think I may try painting it instead of fooling with re-upholstering it.
    have a great day,
    Regina

  6. love the pattern showing through! well done!

  7. I like it both ways…Great job.

  8. It looks fantasic! Congratulations on another beautiful chair make-over!
    ~Amanda

  9. This looks great! I love how you can still see the texture through the paint.

  10. LOVE that you have a pair now, and that they aren’t matchy matchy :D And the texture that shows through is so cool!

  11. Terry Bernardini

    Your chairs look great. I want to try this on a hunter-green recliner with fabric and pattern similar to the chair you just did. I’m wanting it to be a cranberry color. Do you think it will be possible to go from dark green to red? I see you’ve gone from a lighter color to a darker one both times.

    • Good question. I have not ever tried that myself. So, I cannot say for sure. But, my guess is that you could use a white primer or just do a few extra coats. I’d think it’s much like painting over a darker color on the wall… Hope that helps!

  12. Wow, what a neat idea! I’m half-tempted to try it myself, even I have no need for a chair at this time!! Thanks so much for your super thorough tutorial as well!

  13. This is so awesome Kristy! I really think I’m going to do this to one of my chairs.. I have this really gaudy orange couch that I inherited off of my grandmother, its so guady, but I just love it. (changing the color would make it that much more awesome) Do you think if I did the same thing to the couch it would work? This post made me really excited about decorating now. I don’t have to go out and buy expensive furniture!! Haha its goodwill for me. :D

    • Sure! It’s the same concept, but a larger piece of furniture. Just be aware that it will stiffen the fabric a little, sort of like painted canvas. So, if you cuddle on the sofa a lot and want it soft, it may not be ideal.

  14. What do you think would happen if I did the opposite and did only the latex and now the acrylic? I don’t know if you saw or not but I also got a second chair.

    • It may be worth a shot, but for me, most of the real pigment (even when watered down) came from the acrylic paint. So, that made it the most important layer. Could have just been the way I saw it and really, any third layer will add a lot of pigment. If you try it, let me know!

  15. Kristy you are going to put furniture companies and fabric houses out of business letting consumers know that they can easily change their chairs with paint and not have to go out and buy new or reupholster . LOL Love the pattern on this one, it looks wonderful just like your first one!

  16. that looks amazing! I think the texture/pattern on this chair really adds interest when painted;) nice job!

  17. Kristy,
    I love this! I actually wondered if it was possible to upholster a chair I have, and was grateful to find your tutorial when I googled it. To see that it was not only possible, but doable, and maybe not too hard is so exciting. You have really done something special here! Do you know if it would work to use the fabric medium in a tinted can of acrylic paint from the paint dept. at the local hardware store? I know you used craft paint, but I am trying to match something particular and could not get it right mixing it myself.

  18. This is amazing! I’m so going to have to do this : ) I would love it if you would share at my party!!

    http://www.cherishedbliss.com/2011/08/craft-and-tell-no-19.html

  19. Oh my how gorgeous!! Would love for you to link this up to my new turquoise linky party!! ;) http://www.sweetlittlegals.com/2011/08/turquoise-lovin-1.html

  20. This stuff is amazing. Thank you for sharing! It looks awesome!
    http://www.projectqueen.org

  21. Painting furniture!! this is so going on my ‘Must Try’ list. I love how it turned out. Does the fabric feel stiff at all after painting? Love your blog. I’m your newest follower. If you get a chance hop on over to http://diyhshp.blogspot.com/

    • Thanks! So glad you are following. The fabric is not soft anymore. It’s like a painted canvas. That’s the best way I’ve heard it described. So, it’s not really something to do with a piece that you cuddle on, but may be great for a piece that is used less often.

  22. This is amazing! I had no idea that you could do this. i found you through Type A. I’m your newest follower. Visit me at afabulesshome.blogspot.com

  23. Are you kidding me??!!! this is so awesome. I have the perfect chair that is a mess, I had NO idea you could do this. thank you so much!!

  24. Thanks for linking up! I’ll be featuring this on my blog tomorrow!

    http://sumossweetstuff.blogspot.com

    Sumo:)

  25. OHMYGOSH. That is NOT painted. ( i mean I know it is but WOW) That looks bananas. I love how the pattern shows through, too. As your newest follower- I’d love it if you linked this up to T.G.I.F. (Thank God I’m Finished) Friday at RummageLiving happening RIGHT NOW! http://www.rummageliving.com/2011/09/t-g-i-f-thank-god-im-finished-link-party/

    xo,
    Margaret@RummageLiving.com

  26. Hi Kristy,
    For this second chair did you still use the fabric medium??
    Thanks for this great project idea!!

      • Hi Kristy:

        Well I jumped in and painted (with acrylic & medium) a pillow that matches the couch and love seat I want to do next…. but….I find it rather stiff to be everyday seating in my livingroom. Do you think that making the mixture 2 parts medium to 1 part paint, as suggested on the Delta medium bottle, would make it softer?

        Penny

        • I have no idea, to be honest. You could experiment on a pillow, perhaps. It could help, but I’m not sure since I haven’t tried that specifically. I know it is on the stiff side (similar to painted canvas) so that’s why I never recommend it for something that you use a lot or cuddle on. I hope it works out!! You could also try the Simply Spray. It turned out softer for me. I did a series on it. But… it’d be expensive to do a sofa and love seat… it’d take at least 15 cans, I’d say…

  27. This? Is awesome. Thank you for sharing this.

  28. Ginger Lashley

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150505538162284.372166.502977283&type=3

    here is a link to how i did my chair using your steps….

  29. Love this! I was wondering how this chair feels? In your first post about the velvet chair you said that it isn’t stiff but not plush/comfy either. I was wondering what this one feels like?? I have a couch with a stain down the side and have been considering sewing a slip cover but perhaps I will try this! But I am a little nervous since we use it alot.

    • I’d describe it as painted canvas. Just a little stiffer, but not scratchy on this one at all. Good luck!! I’d love to see pictures if you do it.

  30. Why does the criss-cross pattern show through? Is it a different material that absorbs differently?

    • It shows through because it’s not just a printed pattern, it’s a texture. Texture or raised areas will always be raised and will always show. Hope that helps.

  31. do you think you can paint a leather sofa? Mine has a lot of scratches but the frame is in perfect condition. What should I do?

  32. THRILLED to try this tomorrow!!!!! My grandmothers chair is in DESPERATE need of an update…I LOVE it and its character but it’s mustard-ish yellow and it just doesn’t fit anywhere in the house!! THANK YOU!!!! (my husband will too!!!)

  33. This is amazing! I tried it years ago but I had no idea to water it down, or to use a base latex coat-what a mess! Yours is so giving me the confidence to go for it again! Take care,Keri

  34. I was wondering how should I go about this if my chair is two toned? The seat cushion is darker than the rest of the chair.

    • Oh wow, great question. I’ve never thought about that. You may stick with two tones then. Otherwise, you may end up with two slightly different versions of the color you use. I’m not certain though. I think it’s possible that with enough coats it’d all even out, but that will take some experimenting! Good luck.

  35. I have a light green chair with a large grape juice stain on it. I think I will prime it white then paint it my desired color. Thanks!

  36. I know this an old post, but I’m hoping you’ll see my response/question. I’m WILD about this idea…have had it bookmarked for months! On to my question: I’ve never used fabric medium before and I notice you said some must be heat set with an iron or hair dryer. In doing a little research, it looks like the hair dryer method takes 20 minutes, which I assume means 20 minutes per section. I’ve got two chairs and two ottomans I want to do and an iron isn’t going to go in all the nooks and crannies I need it to. And since I have some joint and mobility issues, just not sure whether I have the ability to do 20 minutes per section with a hair dryer. Is that step really necessary, or are there fabric mediums that don’t require the heat set step? If so, can you share the brand names? I apologize for the length but before I even consider this I need to know if I’m physically up to the challenge. Thanks so much!

    • Awesome question. I can only speak from my experience. I did not heat set mine, though if I remember right, the product did suggest it. So, if you buy the same kind I did (see pics on tutorial), it should be alright. Also, in reading posts from others who tried my method, it appears that most skipped this step. I don’t know exactly what fabric medium they used, though. Hope that helps some. My advice is to do a test spot on a pillow or the underside of a cushion to see how it goes, and go from there.

  37. The chairs came out beautifully! Would you ever consider making one to sell? That is definitely something that I would be very interested in!

    • Thanks! Probably not. Just sold this second one. But maybe try anneke from rustic hoc. She is the one who painted the hot pink and white chair. She redoes furniture as a business. Hope that helps!

  38. I’m wondering if the painted chairs have an odor or funny smell and how long that lasts? I’m very sensitive to scents. I love the look of your chairs. I’m not sure I have the patience to do it. I didn’t read how many hours one chair took. I would have to do so little at a time. I’m not young anymore.
    Thank you for your time.

    • No smell other than the paint smell. You can use low voc paint if you wanted. I’m VERY sensitive to smells and it was fine for me. About like painting a wall in your house. Took me two days of work per chair.

  39. I love this idea. I have a wingback recliner that is a country blue cotton fabric that is woven to look like Moire fabric. I got the chair on Freecycle and then spent $100. on a slipcover from Surefit. Well it looks until you sit on it, then the slipcover needs to be readjusted all over again. When I saw your tutorials I think this is a much better solution to my problem of changing the color of the chair. After all the different methods that you have done which would you use on this chair? Because it’s a recliner that when closed looks just like a wingback with the same legs as yours. The foot rests fold and tuck under the seat, so there are lots of edges that need to be painted. One one hand the spray sounds good but I can see a problem of overspraying when trying to get up and under all the various edges.
    Thanks for any advice you can give me.

    • Oh man, I don’t know. I avoid giving too much advice since I just have experience with specific things. What I would do is test both methods on the underside of the seat cushion. Just see what works best. If you are going darker in color, the spray may work. If you are going lighter in color at all, it will not work. Spraying will be tough with all the nooks and crannies. Hope that helps a little.

  40. THANK YOU for this tutorial! Was trying to figure out a way to make my chairs work better with my new duvet. Reupholstering was too expensive. This was super easy! I ended up only using 5 bottles of acrylic paint and a little over 1 bottle of paint medium. Loved the way they turned out. You can see my new duvet as well as the before and after pictures of one of my chairs here: http://pinterest.com/pin/83879611781186823/ (pink=before, yellow=after) loved the pink but just didn’t work as well as the yellow. Thanks again!!!

  41. Would this work on regularly used dining room chairs do you think! Or is it more for occasional furniture?

    • If you don’t mind the fabric being a tad more like canvas, it would be fine. The chairs page with all the examples may be helpful.

  42. Hi! Lovely chairs! I’m planning to paint our sofa. Did u use textile medium in this or just acrylic paint, and if u did was it 1:1?
    The sofa is now orange and i would like to have it brownish, it’s for 3 persons so can u tell how much (about) i need paint for that (only the sofa frame )? seat and back cushions i will dye in washmachine.. the material is like cordyroy.

    • Petra, I did use the same formula as with the first chair. The only difference is that I did not use the latex paint. I used acrylic instead. Others have just done latex. It doesn’t seem to matter. I’ve never done a sofa, so I couldn’t tell you for sure. Maybe three times as much as my chairs? It may be a good question for those who have done sofas – see examples under my Chairs page. Then, see if there is a link to more information. If so, you could ask them.

  43. I am a fellow DIY’er and after perusing Craigslist I came upon a link to these wonderful Home Decor projects. This is such a great idea. Especially for those of us who have two left thumbs and can not sew (or re-upholster) worth a diddly. Everything looks very high end once they are completed which inspires me to try this out for my home. I love the colors as well. Do you get your inspirations from magazines mostly?

  44. Hi – you just inspired me to paint a few chairs in our independent hotel’s lobby. I’m curious if guest would notice that it has been painted, but it is worth a try. Thank you soo much! This will save us $$$.

  45. I have a question that doesn’t seem to be addresses on any of the pages. Do you (or any of the readers) know if coverage is good enough to hide stains? I have a friend who would love to try this. Her sofa is white canvas & she has 3 children. Do I need to say anymore? hee hee
    Thanks

    • It has been reported to cover stains, as long as you do 3-4 coats and does better if you are going with a darker color than the original color. Hopes that helps!

  46. Have you ever ran into the problem of the fabric having a stain protector and the paint not soaking in? I just tried my first thin coat, and the paint seems to be beading up and settling in the creases. I’m afraid it might be because the fabric was treated with a stain protecter. I’m going to continue layering coats, but I wanted to see if this had ever been a problem for you or anyone else. Thanks!

    • I haven’t run into that. I didn’t know the history of the chairs I did, so they may or may not have had a stain protector on them. Hard to say. I don’t think they did, though. I’m not sure how to handle removing the protective coat. If you figure it out, let us know.

  47. Hi, I was inspired to paint my 2 old chairs when I saw yours (and others’) posts. One chair is exactly like your textured wingback, same diamond pattern too, except that mine is a dark goldish brown and I want to paint it light taupe. So far I have used a litre (quart) of both latex and textile medium mixed with 1/2 litre water. I don’t have enough to complete 2 coats and it’s not nearly the colour I want it to be, plus it still looks horrible! I have been wetting down and I waited overnight before the second coat. It just soaks in and looks splotchy. Near the end of my mixture, I just started sloshing it on to see if that changed the colour at all, which it did a bit, but it is still far, far, far from OK. What might I be doing wrong…help!

  48. Hi Kristy. I see that when painting this chair, you used only acrylic craft paint. Did you still mix it with the fabric medium??

  49. Brenda Travis

    I was wondering if, after the final layer has dried, you could spray fabric softener all over the chair to soften it up?

    • I’ve seen that others have done that. However, one person wrote to say that it never felt dry again after she did that. So, if you try it, I’d do it with very little actual fabric softener.

  50. Im excited to try this! Wish me luck!

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