Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Upholstered Chair Makeover


Have you ever had a piece of upholstered furniture that you loved the style of but it was the wrong color? I found this chair for $5.00 at a garage sale. It was marked $7.00 but I got it for five. (yep, I’m that type Smile)


I really did like the shape of it and thought I’ll just make a slip cover for it orrrrr…..paint it! It’s hard to really see the ugliness of the color in the picture but believe me, it was a most distasteful color, somewhere between peach, pink or tan. It reminded me of the color of the contents of my slop bucket I store underneath my sink. (for those of you that don’t know what that is…it’s kinda like a garbage disposal but you manually dispose of it then when the bucket is full) Growing up Amish, I always thought a garbage disposal would be the first thing I would have in my house if I had electric. Now, a year and a half with electric and no garbage disposal…

Anyway, back to the chair, before I take anyone’s appetite, incase you’re snacking… I heard from another lady how she had painted her upholstered chair and I always wanted to try it too but wasn’t sure how to go about it. I always thought if I ever get around to doing it, I would just use regular paint because, after all, if you get it on your clothes, it doesn’t come off so it wouldn’t come off on furniture either. Well, it turns out that you can get a fabric medium to add to acrylic paint that is designed to paint fabric. So I thought I would go with that since I had seen the chair that was done that way and it turned out great. It was nice and soft, not stiff. That fabric was a velvety kind and the one above is more a coarse sort so I feel that might make a difference too, what kind of fabric you are working with.


I started out by dutifully following directions from the tutorial on the velvety chair. I mixed twice as much paint as fabric medium. I sprayed the chair with water and applied a coat using a bristle brush.


Here’s where I need to tell you that I don’t know how this turned out because of my impatience and lack of following rules. It’s just who I am…if I am in such a mood, things need to be done now. What happened here was, after applying the first coat, I was out of fabric medium. I desperately called around to the local craft stores and surprisingly no one carried fabric medium. Some  of them never heard of it. I just didn’t want to drive twenty miles or so for a two ounce bottle of this stuff and thought by the time I’m back I could have this chair sitting in my living room all nice and white and possibly even be nestled on it with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate.

So I really colored outside the lines and applied the second coat before the first one was even dry! That’s why I can’t really tell you how the feel of the fabric was after the first coat. I used my faithful paint from Ormes hardware. It was a white satin water based paint. I soon noticed that two coats wouldn’t be enough so I applied another coat, this time using Walmarts cheapest paint since I also ran out of the other. It did really soak in and it took a lot of paint. Since I used some left over paint I can’t tell exactly how much I used but am guessing about two quarts. Needless to say, the chair got a little more expensive!

Now, here it is after three coats of paint…IMG_8323

Do I like it? Would I do it again? Yes and no… I like the look of it with the white color. (though it could almost use another coat) But the feel of it isn’t too great. In fact, I probably should keep a box of band aids close by in case someone brushes it as they walk past. No, really, I may be exaggerating a bit but I think the next time I would follow rules and stock up on fabric medium since that would probably help in promoting softness. But, at least, now I know! This will also give me the opportunity to test my skills in making a slipcover… someday. Until then, this will work!


Note: I got this great tip from Dee At: My Painted Stuff to sand the chair. It totally worked! The feel of the fabric is pretty close to how it was before I painted it! Thanks, Dee!

1 comment:

  1. Mary, that chair looks so much better white. Try sanding it now that it's dry. I read somewhere that if it's rough to sand it & that seems to help. Good luck with it. Dee from My Painted Stuff.