Guest post: Painting Upholstered Furniture from i should be mopping the floor

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Who knew you could paint upholstered Furniture?  Not me!  
Check out how today’s guest poster, Kristi from ishouldbemoppingthefloor.com, did this project!  Kristi’s blog is packed full of fun recipes, projects and tons of printables, be sure to check it out!
Here’s a budget-friendly way to update upholstered furniture.
How to paint upholstered furniture

The Before & After{yep, it is the same chair}

Hi, friends! I’m Kristi from ishouldbemoppingthefloor.com. Thanks bunches to Jamie for letting me stop by for a guest post today! I just adore everything about her blog, so it’s such a treat to be over here with you. I’m sharing a tutorial over painting upholstered furniture. This is something my best friend, Lori, and I worked on together over the course of one weekend. It was s super fun project that had great results {hey, nobody was more surprised than me on this one}!

This is where we began. Nine years ago, this chair entered Lori’s life for baby #1. A couple of kiddos {and a crazy red Sharpie incident} later, this chair could use a little TLC. But we weren’t giving up on her.

We found a great tutorial for painting upholstered pieces from Kristy over at Hyphen Interiors. We ended up having to make some modifications for our piece {we were covering dark upholstery with a much lighter color}. Along with adding modifications to Kristy’s tute, we added a few more items than pictured above.

All in all, we used eight bottles of textile medium and two quarts of the latex paint. While this may seem like a lot {those textile mediums cost $5.99 each}, and the paint was $15 per quart…the $80ish total is pretty cheap compared to the cost of a new chair or reupholstering.

We liked the Delta brand a lot better than Martha’s {sorry Martha…nothing personal, girl}. The Delta brand was a lot thicker and easier to work with. We purchased both of those textile mediums at Michael’s…and they seem to be hidden at every store in a different random place. I haven’t checked my local HobLob yet for this stuff, but I plan to later this week.

Start by measuring out your paint & textile medium…you’ll use a 1:1 ratio. We’re thinking we used a significant amount more product than Kristy’s tutorial since we were going from dark to light and painting denim…which soaked it up.

After you’ve mixed the 1:1 ratio together, add in 1/2 as much water to the amount {I just filled up one of the textile bottles}. So basically, the mixture just turned to 2 parts paint, 2 parts textile medium and 1 part water.

Thoroughly wet down the area you’re about to paint {work in smallish areas so your water doesn’t dry too fast}. And definitely saturate the area.

Start painting your mixture on! We thought brush strokes would matter…but in the end they didn’t. That may not be the case with all fabrics. {Although the strokes do appear significantly in the first primer coats}.

That skirt was a beast to paint. We had to hold it in one hand and paint with the other…getting our hands completely painted as well.

This is the first coat…um, yeah. Scary, no? We were almost ready to give up. It looked awful. It even brought out stains we didn’t realize were there {poor baby #1 had terrible reflux as was evident by the stain patterns on this chair…wow!} We had painted the first coat…went out for dinner and came back to this.

So…we put our paint clothes back on and started in on coat #2. Again..using the wet with water thoroughly and then paint with the 2:2:1-paint-mixture technique.

The second coat was a lot more promising than the first. We finished up that coat and let it dry overnight.

The next morning, it actually looked close to done. The skirt was still splotchy and there were some bareish spots on the chair…but a lot better than the night before.

We mixed a new batch of paint…this time with just one part paint, one part textile medium…no water. Then we painted the chair with two more coats of this…and we didn’t spray it down before painting either of these coats.

We also worked on the little cute ottoman, too!  

After another overnight dry, this is what we woke up to! YAY! The textile medium is to prevent the stiffness in the fabric that comes from, well, painting it. It isn’t totally stiff, but isn’t as soft as the denim, either. Like the tutorial we followed said, it feels like an outdoor fabric now. Nothing a little brown & pink chenille throw won’t fix to make those late night feedings a little more comfy.

This was a really easy project that takes a weekend to complete {and that includes lots of drying time…we didn’t spend more than a few hands-on hours actually working on this chair}. I liked the technique so much that I plan to do it on our old nursery chair, too!

Thanks for having me over today, Jamie!

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  1. Michelle De Rooy says:

    Do you think it would on a rough textured (slubbed) fabric?

    1. Sarah at Starlight Radiance says:

      I'd love to know too! Definitely looking into this for an old wingback chair we got for free that no slipcovers seem to fit on!

  2. Allison Miller says:

    I'll have to keep this in mind the next time I decide to redecorate!