Upholstery Flagler | fabrics for upholstery for sofas
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fabrics for upholstery for sofas

red upholstery material

fabrics for upholstery for sofas

Earlier than we speak about how one can paint upholstery, let’s first discuss if we should always paint upholstery.

We’ve a big old fabric chair, and this query was on my thoughts for nearly a 12 months. I feared all the possible failures of painting upholstered furniture:

One: our chair could be as uncomfortable as a pile of crusty baguettes.

Two: our chair would look just like the ghostly face of Johnny Depp in a Tim Burton movie…

Three: if I fail, I would not only ruin a nonetheless-first rate chair, but also make a giant mess and waste a ton of time.

In the end, plenty of research plus the lure of a bright and glad white fabric chair helped me overcome all of the fears and just do it! I am so happy with the end result!

No marvel all of us love white slip-lined sofas or white fabric chairs. They are the perfect starting factors for thus many artistic decor kinds! I can’t assist however taking part in with another coloration combo!

On this step-by-step tutorial, I will share all the pieces I’ve discovered about how you can paint upholstery –

which paints and fabrics give good results, and which materials to avoid

secrets and techniques to make your painted upholstery delicate and comfy to take a seat in

the pros and cons of painting upholstery vs other strategies to makeover outdated furniture

Let’s begin with a very powerful step:

Step 1: Decide if your piece is appropriate for painting, and selecting the best materials.

Fabric sorts:

Easy cotton or poly blends are the most suitable sort of fabrics when it comes t painting upholstery.

I extremely recommend training on a bit of fabric very much like or the same as your piece ( perhaps a matching pillow, a swatch, etc) first. This way you get accustomed to the entire course of and the feel of the completed fabric. ( A number of the useful sources are affiliate hyperlinks. Full disclosure here. )

Fabrics with a variety of texture resembling velvet or thick woven fabrics are far more difficult to paint over, see ideas at the tip about what to do with these kind of upholstery!

Selecting paints:

I tested each Martha Steward fabric medium and Folks Art fabric medium mixed with acrylic paints vs acrylic latex paints. I don’t think the fabric medium made the fabric feel any softer. ( I will share the secret to that later!)

In this venture, I used Sherwin Williams Emerald Latex paint in Dover White satin end, which is such a lovely smooth shade of white. I really like this paint because it meets the most stringent VOC laws, and has anti-microbial agents inhibit the expansion of mold and mildew on the paint surface.

Step 2: Put together your piece for the first coat of paint.

Vacuum the nooks and crannies. Wipe off any mud on the floor of the fabric.

Spot clear stains so that they don’t dissolve in the paint and discolor the realm. Just do the very best you possibly can, no must be excellent.

Tape the legs and any parts you want to protect from the paint.

Spray water on your fabric chair or sofa till the fabric is damp. This may help the first coat of paint to soak into the fabric. You should use a spray bottle or a paint sprayer (extra about that in subsequent step).

Step 3: Apply the primary coat of paint.

Whereas the fabric is still damp, apply the first coat of paint.

One of the keys to maintaining the fabric smooth is to use diluted paint, and paint a number of coats.

I diluted the Sherwin Williams acrylic latex paint in the next ratio: 3 cups of paint to 2 cups of water.

I decided on this ratio after performing some tests on scrap fabrics much like the fabric on our chair . If you are utilizing totally different paint, dilute the paint to a consistency much like crepe or pancake batter.

Use a brush or a paint sprayer to use the primary coat of paint whereas the fabric continues to be damp.

I used the HomeRight End Max High quality Finish Sprayer which I received as a gift. ( Thanks Homeright!) I really like this sprayer: it sprays beautifully, is easy to clean, and saves a lot of time!

Essential: in case you are using a sprayer, be sure that to wear a respirator mask and work in a properly ventilated place. Use a spray shelter or draperies to include the high quality mist / paint particles!

Use a paint brush to reach the areas the place the fabric folds. After applying the primary coat of paint, take a bit of rag or sponge and rub the painted floor to assist the paint soak into the fabric. You only have to do that for the first coat.

There will probably be areas the place you can not fully cover with paint, for example: where the seat cushion turns vertically to satisfy the aspect arms. Simply attain down and paint these areas with a paint brush so when nobody is sitting on the chair, you won’t see the unique fabric. Don’t use too much paint or these areas might stick.

Step 4: Sand the first coat of paint.

Let the primary coat dry.

You would possibly think your piece is looking terrible proper now. Don’t panic! It will look considerably higher with every coat of paint!

Take a bit of 320 grit to four hundred grit further nice sand paper, and sand the painted areas.

Sanding between each coat with extra advantageous sand paper is another key to maintaining the fabric delicate to the touch. You’ll notice such a giant difference. The fabric will really feel like synthetic leather instead of dry paint!

Associated post: Find out how to reupholster a fabric chair – step by step tutorial.

The way to reupholster a fabric chair – step by step tutorial.

Step 5: Repeat with the painting and sanding process.

Apply the second coat of paint. Let dry. Sand the painted areas.

Repeat this process with more layers of paint until you might be proud of the end result. I did a complete of 4 coats of paint. It took a couple of days because I had to look forward to the paint to dry between layers.

What a distinction it makes! Now our room feels a lot brighter and airier!

If you love that indigo fabric or pillow, here’s a tutorial on easy methods to make your personal indigo tie dye fabrics and pillow covers.

The right way to make your individual indigo tie dye fabrics and pillow covers.

Helpful ideas:

1. First decide in case your upholstered chair or sofa is suitable for painting. Keep away from fabrics with thick textures. Do some exams on scrap fabrics or smaller items.
Fabrics with a number of texture resembling velvet or thick woven fabrics are far more difficult to paint over, as a result of paint tends to type a thick crust after soaking into the textured fibers. If your piece is made of such fabrics, consider using a liquid dye equivalent to this, as a substitute of paint. The fabric dye is transparent, so this technique works greatest if you are tinting a mild coloured fabric into a darker coloured one. It is not going to work the opposite approach.

  1. Secrets and techniques to conserving the fabric delicate to the contact: use diluted paint, and paint multiple coats. Sand with extra fin sand paper between coats.
  2. Use smaller paint brushes to contact up the laborious to achieve areas. If in case you have a tufted chair or sofa like ours, paint the areas the place fabric is bunched up with a thin coat of paint so that they don’t stick collectively and harden.
  3. Wear gloves! As you can see I realized my lesson after the primary day!

The professionals and cons of painting upholstery vs different methods to makeover outdated upholstered furniture.


  1. Painting upholstery is far faster and easier than reupholstering or making slipcovers.
  2. Painted upholstery is too much simpler to keep clean because paint is waterproof: simply wipe off any soiled areas with a damp cloth.
  3. It is simple to repair any surface scratches: just contact up with paint!


  1. Not all fabrics are suitable for painting. In these cases, reupholstering or making slipcovers are the only options to refresh a chunk. Same applies if the fabric floor is damaged.
  2. Painted upholstery seems like artificial leather. Fabrics are softer. I’m one in all those who at all times desire fabric seats to leather seats. The chair is still very snug, and we add pillows and blankets when we want extra coziness.

Acknowledge the Fiddle Leaf Fig you see in the background? I grew it from a slicing 2 years ago! Here’s a tutorial on find out how to develop and propagate Fiddle Leaf Fig.

Tips on how to grow and propagate Fiddle Leaf Fig.

Completely happy creating! See you next week!