How to Paint Fabric with Chalk Paint
This is my guide for how to paint fabric with chalk paint – in this instance an armchair. If you can’t see the video please click here.
If it doesn’t move paint it
It has become a joke in my family that I simply cannot leave things alone. They think I would paint my pet Dexter if he were to sit still for long enough. Note to any overly sensitive animal lovers: this is a joke and I have no intention of painting the cat.
I think the latest project came as a surprise though.
My nanna (glamorous lady on the right) is not your hoarding type and every so often has a good old clear out. The latest item to get the chop was this attractively shaped bedroom chair.
Now I was rather pleased as I’ve wanted one for a while, but of course it’s not grey enough for my house.
The first and most obvious solution was to have it re-upholstered. I dutifully looked around, but unless I was prepared to actually sell my nanna to pay for it, this wasn’t a viable option.
I feel really guilty saying this because I always like to support the skills of yesteryear. Quotes for this support were upwards of £700 though. I’m not even sure the chair even cost that originally!
Now I’m well aware that I will not be the first person to have painted fabric. It is something I have avoided as I just couldn’t get my head around it.
Don’t knock it till you’ve watched it
So if you are thinking this is a strange idea, do watch the video to see the outcome.
It’s worth pointing out that a part from a bit of staining the chair was in pretty good condition. If any repairs are needed I’m not sure how well it would have come out.
This is not a job for a lazy Sunday afternoon as you should wait about 24 hours in between coats.
I decided to use Winter Grey Rustoleum chalk paint. My choice was partly due to knowing it would go with my bedroom. I also happened to have a tin of it in the cupboard!
Water it down
You might want to water down the chalk paint so it spreads easily.
This was the advice I was given and to spray the fabric with water first which I started off doing. What I found actually was that if I dipped the brush in water and then into the neat paint it spread easily. It also didn’t take as long to dry.
It’s worth using the large Annie Sloan pure bristle brush as it works so well with chalk paint. It also gets round any curves and detail easily.
Remember to get into any creases. When you sit on it these are likely to pull apart and show the original colour. In the end I found using a stubby stencil brush to get into these worked best.
Just to prove how easy it is to paint fabric with chalk paint I involved my young apprentice…
After each coat leave for around 24 hours. Remember it’s not just the paint but the fabric that also needs to dry before you do the next coat.
It’s best to make it very obvious that whilst the chair is waiting to dry it is not to be sat upon. Especially to cats…
After the first coat I could still see the pattern underneath – particularly in areas where I’d watered down the paint too much.
I actually found that two coats was enough, but this will be very much dependent on the fabric and colour used.
Before waxing sand with a very light, flexible sanding pad and brush any dust away. Don’t judge me for the state of my nails by the way – it’s been a tough week!
Wax on, wax off…hopefully not on your clothes…
I plumped for my favourite Ronseal White Ash Interior Wax to finish it off and protect from grubby fingers. I love this stuff because it’s easy to apply as it’s liquid so you just use a brush. It also gives more of a matt finish than other waxes.
Now remember I wasn’t convinced myself before I did this, but I loved the shape of the chair and had nothing to lose really. I can honestly say though that I am thrilled with the result and would urge you to do the same with anything that needs some TLC or when you’re just bored of the colour or fabric.
For those of you who were convinced it would crack or come off on clothes, my toddler Bonnie and I have tested it out!
It’s also worth pointing out though that there’s no going back afterwards and if the seat cushion is removable it might be worth doing a trial patch first!
If you want to start off on a smaller scale, why not experiment with painting some of the mirrors in your house – click here for some ideas to get you going.
paint fabric with chalk paint
paint fabric with chalk paint