How To Paint An Upholstered Chair

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Sometimes a DIY project comes upon you like a sneak attack!  I was actually quite busy with Christmas and wedding projects when I happened upon this great chair makeover by DIY Showoff.

I was first taken in by the cool design of the chairs but was further amazed when I found out that she had actually painted the upholstery.  And, I was even more surprised that it was possible to go from a colorful patterned upholstery to a clean white painted fabric.

I thought it was the coolest thing ever and started to make a note of it for a future project, if I ever came across an old chair.  Then I almost fell off my chair (a different chair) when the realization hit me that I had an old chair ….with an ugly upholstery…that I had wanted to change!  DUH!!  I had a great wing back chair that we had purchased when we were first married.  It was beautiful when we bought it with that nice country pattern of blue and mauve….anyway…I didn’t want to pay to get it re-upholstered, about fifteen years ago, so I slip covered it as a temporary fix….then have been just living with it in our bedroom.

Now I could hardly wait to try this painting technique on my chair and get a brand new look!

The technique for how to paint an upholstered chair actually came from Hyphen Interiors and that is what I used for the most part.

Since this tutorial includes special products to be used, I have included sponsor links to one or more of the products required. This way, if you click on the product link you will have the ability to purchase if desired.

Instead of using three coats of paint, like the tutorial from Hyphen Interiors, I ended up using four coats.  I did make my first two coats very thin but also the fact that I was going from a dark checked pattern to white made a bit of a difference as well.

For the first coat of paint, I used 16 oz. of latex paint plus 16 oz. of Delta textile medium.  I just used some latex paint that I had on hand and had to mix a Monroe Bisque with White to get a cream color.  I then added 16 ounces of water to the paint mixture so that is was the consistency more like a glaze.

I mixed it in a bucket for easy carrying:

To get a good blending, I sprayed the chair with water as I painted, with each coat of paint:

Starting with the second coat, I went right to using the acrylic paint.

It isn’t supposed to matter whether or not you use latex or acrylic, so I decided to go with the exact color that I wanted to finish with.  Although, I could have saved a little money and done one more coat with my latex mix but at the time I wasn’t sure what the coverage would be.

I definitely got the most coverage with coats three and four.

I used Delta brand Ceramcoat acrylic paint in antique white.  I bought the 8 oz. size bottles and used two for coat number two along with two 8 oz. bottles of Delta textile medium.

For coat number three, I used three bottles of the paint but then switched to Martha Stewart’s textile medium and used three 6 oz. bottles of that with only a couple tablespoons of water for a thicker consistency.  The reason I switched was because both Joann and Michaels were sold out of the Delta.  Martha Stewart’s brand was quite a bit thinner in consistency which also helped with needing less water but it was more expensive.

I mixed up more paint than what I needed for the fourth coat.  It didn’t soak it near as much.  I also didn’t add any water at all to the last coat.  It went on smoothly and the coverage is great.

Here is a close up:

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You can see the pattern but I now have a solid color.  It feels like a painted canvas but it won’t crack or flake.  I will keep you updated on how it holds up….because I do sit in this chair!

I love to see the before and after:

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The lighting is pretty terrible in this room for pictures!

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The chairs that were done by DIY Showoff had a painted stripe going down the middle.  I love the look but I was a little tired of painting.  To add a little softness to my chair, I simply folded a throw and hung it down the center of the chair and underneath the cushion.  I threw on a favorite grain sack pillow and my look was complete!

Happy Decorating!

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