Painting Fabric Furniture With Chalk Paint

Painting Furniture with Chalk Paint

Painting fabric furniture with chalk paint is an easy way to turn a drab old chair or lounger into something a bit more glamorous! I was inspired to do this by tons of searches on pinterest for furniture painting ideas.

This project is labor intensive BUT it’s so much cheaper than buying a brand new chair or sofa. Give this a try if you want to see how to paint upholstered furniture and customize a chair that you love.

Painting Fabric Furniture with Chalk paint-the before and after.

This was an experiment for me, but I do think it turned out pretty nice. This chair was originally brought home by my boyfriend. He found it on the sidewalk of his father’s neighborhood and just had to pick it up I guess. Admittedly, when I first laid eyes on it, I didn’t like it! But.. I figured it would look nicer if it was a different color hence this post. Follow along below to see the progress on this chair.

Painting Fabric Furniture

First, I removed the fabric covering the legs of my chair. I didn’t like it personally, so I thought it best to just rip these off. Here’s what it looks like below.


One of the first things you should know is to paint the legs of your chair last. I was so excited I made the mistake of painting them first and I ended up re-painting them due to splatter from the chalk paint. Ugh!

First tip: Always Paint the Legs of Your Chair Last!

The color is Marina Isle.

After removing that fabric I didn’t like I prepared the chalk paint. I sort of just winged this recipe after searching for some basic mixtures. Here’s a good chalk paint recipe I liked but I watered mine down A LOT to paint the fabric as you’ll see below!

I used about 1/2 cup of Plaster of Paris and about 1 & 1/2 cups of water (mix plaster and water thoroughly first) with 1/2 cup of paint added in last after all the lumps were gone.

I swiped some of the paint just to test the color below!

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Wetting the Fabric First

Many people advise to wet your chair which is what I did. I filled a bowl with water and brushed the water onto the entire chair.


Once it was all damp and covered it was ready for the first watered down coat of chalk paint. The first layer was watery and thinned out on purpose to make sure I got a good base coat on this damp chair. Here’s what it looks like below.


Finished with first few layers of light, watery paint!


Looks sort of the same, but there are several layers of watered down chalk paint on there, I promise!

Here it is after about 5+ coats. I think it needs a few more coats and I still need to add the wax. I’ll update soon. One thing to note, are the flaws in the fabric. Ugh. They really came out once this dried. There are parts that look darker on this chair because the fabric was weaker in those spots. So pick your chair wisely! This one was free, so I can’t really complain. Ha! =) Other than this I have a nice chair to add to a bare spot in my bedroom!

painting upholstered furniture


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