Tags: upholstery

Simply Spray Series – Painting Upholstery – Week 4

During this series, we are talking about the difference between Simply Spray and my method, as well as what I think of Simply Spray, how it’s best used and tips.

We’ve made it to week four!   Time for the big project – my faded patio furniture.


Week 1 – Introduction
Week 2 – Painting a pillow from the original chair and comparing it to the original pillow
Week 3 – Painting pool umbrellas
✓Week 4 – Painting a patio furniture set
Week 5 – Conclusions

Don’t forget, after the series is over, I’ll host a giveaway from Simply Spray!  So, if you want to try it, you may get your chance!

Last week, we tried painting a pool umbrella, which is a water resistant fabric and not recommended by Simply Spray.  It wasn’t a total fail, but not great.

This week, I’ll talk about painting my patio furniture with Simply Spray’s charcoal gray fabric spray paint.   Note that my patio furniture isn’t as water resistant as the umbrella was, but it’s is fairly water resistant.  It’s not a greatly absorbent fabric, so I ran into a few kinks.


How was it before?


Sorry, the one cushion is tested with the gray paint.  I forgot to snap a photo before I did that.

Let’s take a closer look at the patio furniture before.  We purchased these in 2010 and by the end of 2011 when we moved from AZ back to TX, they were this faded.  And, they sat under a covered porch.

Yard-017 Yard-006

This photo will give you an even better idea of what you are seeing.


And, if you still aren’t sure of the severity of how bad they looked and how faded they were, look at these photos of the cushions once they were removed, cleaned and ready for paint.



Alright, so you get the idea.  They were faded, but only in spots where the sun hit.  Not pretty.  It was time for a facelift.  New cushions can be costly, especially if custom made.  I had new ones made for the lounge chairs and they were over $200.

We may as well try painting them!

First off, it can be trouble if you try a can that has been opened.  The nozzle does clog up fast.  This is how it looked when I tried to use and already opened can, even though I followed the rep’s tip and put the trigger back in its original position.


And, just a reminder, when you spray paint anything, always start spraying off the object and stop spraying off the object.  So, go all the way across on each stroke.

Here they are after a couple of quick coats of paint.  I let them dry for 1-2 hours in between coats.


After another layer or two.


In the end, I did about 4-5 coats of paint, depending on the cushion.  I used 14 cans of paint.  At $11-12 a can, that is about $155, though you can buy them in a six pack and get a bit of a discount if buying by the case.  $155 is a reasonable price to pay to freshen up patio furniture, I think.  New cushions would be at least $30 each and possible $150 each if custom.  That would be $300-1500.  I know, crazy.  At some point, it’s cheaper to just get a new patio set, huh?  Especially if you wait until just after the summer when they are on sale.

One thing to note is that Simply Spray is more of a dye than a paint.  Patterns and darkness will show through.  Here are examples where you can see that there are still dark spots.  Luck for me, most of these will be hidden once the cushions are back on the frames.



A few more photos of the finished product?

Patio-037 Patio-009

Patio-010 Patio-012



Overall, I was happy with the outcome.  However, it’s not perfect.  If you look really close, like in the photo below, you can see some of the original color showing through along the piping/ creases.


I think if the fabric was more absorbent (not water resistant), it would have worked super well.  Of course, I can’t prove that, but I think that was the problem.

The texture is also a little different.  The texture of the pillow that I tried Simply Spray on did not change, but this did.  Perhaps because it took more coats?  Perhaps because the fabric was water resistant.  It’s a little stiffer, but I do think it will soften up as it’s used.

What did I learn?
- Try to use water absorbent fabric as they suggest.  Or, be prepared that it may not take quite as well and/ or you may need to do more coats.
- Test it on the underside of a cushion first.  Realize, though, that this spray paint will soak around to the other edges.  So, I’d test it on a pillow or somewhere that it will not matter.  It does bleed.
- Let it dry completely between coats.  It will take longer to dry on something like this that is not as absorbent.
- As stated in previous posts, it’s more of a dye.  Dark spots will continue to be dark.  This method is not for covering anything.  Ideally, your fabric is nice and consistent with no stains, patterns or dark spots.
- If you spray too heavily, it will create fuzz balls.  So, again, test your method first.
- Try to use up the can as it can be ruined if you wait more than an hour in between.  I had to throw almost a whole can out due to the issue you see above.

So far, based on this series, what are your thoughts?  Would you try it?  Do you have a project in mind?  How do you think it compares to my method?   I’ll draw all of my conclusions next week and compile all of my tips there!


I can’t wait to finish decorating our patio now!

I hope you are enjoying the series!


Simply Spray Series – Painting Upholstery – Week 3

We’ve made it to week three!  This means it’s time to really stretch Simply Spray’s capabilities to see just what its boundaries are!


Week 1 – Introduction
Week 2 – Painting a pillow from the original chair and comparing it to the original pillow
✓Week 3 – Painting pool umbrellas
Week 4 – Painting a patio furniture set
Week 5 – Conclusions

Then, after the series is over, I’ll host a giveaway from Simply Spray.

During these weeks, we are talking about the difference between Simply Spray and my method, as well as what I think of Simply Spray, how it’s best used and tips.

Before we talk about my painting our pool umbrellas, I must point out that Simply Spray does NOT imply it can be used on such an item.  It says it is to be used on absorbent fabric.  Well, most umbrellas are not absorbent.  Mine is certainly not.  But, I wanted to see if it’d work anyway!  I like to really test things out.

This was my extremely sun faded pool umbrella that we used in Phoenix.  Just from a few hours in the sun (we didn’t leave it out every day), it looked like this!  That Phoenix sun is so harsh.  Wait until you see my patio cushions.


It essentially had white or light gray stripes all around from fading while it was collapsed down, yet in the sun.

I began painting and could immediately see that the paint was sliding right off.  I mean, it looked like it was dying the fabric a bit, but just poured down the fabric.  Duh, it’s water resistant fabric.  I didn’t expect much better.

Breakfast-084 Breakfast-103

As you can see below, it’d just pool at the bottom, leaving the umbrella a little streaky, but not horrible.


After six coats on half of the umbrella, it looked like this.  I only did half – I wanted you to see the difference, but also, well, I got tired of painting… it was a lot of work for not a lot of return.  And, well, we don’t have a pool anymore!   So, I was mainly doing it to show you guys what this paint can and cannot do… mission accomplished with just half.  :)


That’s right, after six coats of paint, you could still see some fading, but it was obviously a lot better.  So, it wasn’t a total fail.  It helped.  But, would you want to do 6+ coats to see only some improvement?  I am not sure.


As I stated before, Simply Spray never said it works on umbrellas of any kind – this was my hair brained idea.  I just had to test the limits since it did so well on the pillow that I tested last week.

Truly, the texture is almost the same as before I painted it, on the pillow!   Simply Spray worked so well.  And, with only two coats, it covered very thoroughly.

But, on this… I’d say it helped, but was not truly successful.


Now you know.  Would you use it on something like this?  That is for you to decide.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Not sure what I’ll do with this umbrella that still cranks as well as the day we bought it two years ago… yet has these faded parts.  I have a second one that is not faded…  but, did I mention, I don’t have a pool any longer!  I guess I could just get stands for when we need extra shade, or save them for a table… Hmmm…

Next week, I’ll be using it on my slightly less water resistant patio furniture!  A huge project.  It is also faded from the powerful AZ sun.  So, stay tuned!   Then, on the last week, I’ll sum up all my do’s and don’ts as well as tips.

Tips for using Simply Spray so far?
- Make sure your fabric is water absorbent.
- Make sure your fabric is evenly toned as dark and light areas will continue to at least be slightly dark and light – you can see the faded area on my umbrella.
- Make sure you are only going darker in color and not lighter.
- Always test it on an inconspicuous spot or scrap piece first.

Ready for the best new yet?  Simply Spray will be GIVING AWAY 3 cans of their paint on my blog at the conclusion of this series!   Be ready to enter!!


Simply Spray Series – Painting Upholstery – Week 1

I met with Emily, Simply Spray’s rep, a couple of weeks ago.  She had contacted me to see if I wanted to try their paints since a large section of my blog is devoted to painting upholstery.  I jumped on the opportunity because Simply Spray’s upholstery paint was something I considered when deciding what method I wanted to use to paint my chair.


I learned a great deal from our meeting and she generously offered samples while I offered to do some projects so I could let you guys know a little more about their paints!

We’ll be touching on things in this order.

✓Week 1 – This week – Introduction
Week 2 – Painting a pillow from the original chair and comparing it to the original
Week 3 – Painting pool umbrellas
Week 4 – Painting a patio furniture set
Week 5 – Conclusions

During these weeks, we’ll talk about the difference between Simply Spray and my method.  And, then I’ll sum it all up in the end.

How is my painted chair holding up after 15 months and two moves?


Great!  The fabric is a little softer on the seat than it was at first, from use.  But, nothing else has changed.  No fading, no staining clothing, nothing.  I sat in it almost daily at the rental (so for a few months) though now it’s back to very occasional use and sits in the master bedroom.

My second painted chair that lived in my craft room for a while held up equally as well.  I’m so glad the hours of work that were put into it were worth it!

It was recently purchased by a local photographer, Amber Lee Photography.  She sent some photos with it, which I adore!

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You can find Amber on Facebook as well.

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So you aren’t left hanging, I thought I’d at least share at least a couple of basics that I learned about Simply Spray.

- It’s more of a stain/ dye than a paint.  So, it will not turn things a lighter color than they currently are.  You can only go darker.  That also means it will not cover stains or patterns well.

- It is non-toxic and safe for children and pets.  That is much better than other paints.  In fact, it has no real smell.  I’m very sensitive to smells and didn’t react to this at all.

For more tips and thoughts on this spray paint for upholstery, stay tuned!  If you’ve used it, feel free to chime in!  Also, let me know how this information affects your projects.


A Series on Painting Upholstery Coming and A Few Readers’ Painted Chairs

I was given some Simply Spray paint for upholstery to try. I almost used these fabric paints when I painted my chair, but they didn’t have the exact color I wanted, so that is when I created my own method.


I’ve since been asked about these paints, but could never give any experiential information as I had never tried them.  Now I have!  And, I can give you all the nitty gritty details and tips.

So, I am going to do 4 week series on these paints.  We’ll talk about how they differ from my painting upholstery method,  show various projects around my house using these paints, talk about how they performed, as well as tips on using these paints. So stay tuned!  Coming every Thursday for 4 weeks!  

I am not and will not be getting compensated for this series.  I just want to keep my readers informed of all the various ways they can paint upholstery in case one method is better than the next for their project.  You’ll be surprised at the differences with these paints versus my method – pluses and minuses.  So, stay tuned.

And, now for a reader’s painted chair in gray!

Isn’t she pretty?


The Sassy Pepper painted this chair using my tutorial.  Check it out!

What did she look like before?


I love how it turned out.  Be sure to check out the details on her blog

How about this hot pink chair that a reader painted using my tutorial.


What color was it before?


Check out the details on her blog, Bella’s Crafty Mom.

This gray painted chair turned out great as well.


And, before?


Visit The Vintage Nest for all the details!

Are you ready to hear more about Simply Spray in the upcoming week?!  Would that be helpful to you?  I thought maybe if I took the time to try them out and report back, it’d save you some time and money and help you to know what they work best with. 


Painted Sofa – Green

I ran across this on Made By Girl.  Though she doesn’t say she followed my tutorial, it’s very close to it.  She used latex paint, and fabric medium.


And, the before?


She doesn’t go into great detail about the feel, about using water on fabric, etc. 


But for more images and to contact her, visit her blog.


More Painted Chair Successes

Here are a few more successes from readers who used my painted upholstery tutorial.  The first is from Simply Blissful Photography.

After and then before.


Love the color she used!  Turned out so great!  She reminded me of the tip to put your paint in the fridge in between coats so that it doesn’t dry out.

The next was done in a very similar blue.  It’s from Bungalow.  She did report that the more worn areas of the fabric (the chair is 25 yrs old) didn’t take the paint as well.  So, that is something to remember.  you can notice those areas below.


The third chair is from Kathleen at Carrie Bradshaw Lied.


I like how some of the pattern is still showing through and how she did the bronze nail heads.

The last chair is from a reader without a blog, Kristin.


Remember, the after photos are first!  The second photo is the before.

Have you painted a chair?  Would you?

This method is best for seating that isn’t used a lot, but could offer color and style to a room.  The fabric does get stiffer, though it’s not horribly scratchy.  It’s not something to cuddle on at all, but it’s a great solution if you want to save money, yet update a piece of furniture.

Be sure to visit each indidual blog for more information on one of these chairs.


Painted Chair Success and Failure

If you never grow tired of seeing these transformations, check out this yellow chair that a reader painted!   This reader used latex house paint.


Don’t you love the detail on the seat cushion? She added that with a Martha Stewart stencil.

She said she bought the chair for $10 and painted three coats of yellow on it.

Then, she painted the wood areas white with spray paint.




She spent $10 on a chair and the first time, it didn’t go as well. She said she thinks it was due to the fabric being the type to have lint balls all over it. So, in the spirit of trying to make it work, she went out and bought a second $10 chair and this time, it worked! She did this for a friend who was trying to find a yellow chair!


Looking good! Lucky friend.

This reader/ blogger from Burlap and Fade said she had a chair fail because the paint she used was too thick.

Here is the before and after photo.


Up close.


Clearly too thick and not too attractive.  It’s very important to let the paint really soak in, even if you have to work it in or water it down a lot.

Let me know if you paint a chair.


New Paints To Use On Upholstery!

I like to keep my reader’s up to date on the painted upholstery front.  This is the latest information that I found.  A Pinterest Addict is back with more painting tips.  This time instead of latex or acrylic paint, she used Tulips Fabric Spray Paint that she found at Michael’s.

Here is how it turned out!   Isn’t the color great?!


Here it is before.


She used four bottles of Tulip’s Fabric Spray Paint and could have used a couple more!


She said it’s not crunchy at all, so perhaps this would be a great type of paint to try on upholstery!  If you try it, let me know!

Here is the chair after one bottle of the paint.


And, completed.


Check out her blog for more information.  The only drawback that I found is that there seems to be limited colors available.

There is another paint I just read about on Not Just A Housewife.   DecorArt’s SoSoft fabric paint.


She painted this chair that she bought at ReStore.

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She emphasizes how important it is to water down the paint and really work it into the fabric.  She’s right – if it sits on top, it’s more likely to be crunchy.  She also found that sitting on it helped to soften it and ended up sanding it a bit.  Check out her full explanation of what worked for her here.

Have you painted a chair?  What works for you?   What paint do you prefer?