How to Paint Fabric Furniture

How to paint fabric furniture

Ok, so I’ve known about the idea of painting fabric for quite awhile now, it’s kinda one of those arsenal tricks up the sleeve of a “budget decorator”… But not too long ago I ran across a painted fabric chair that blew it outta the water for me… And honestly, when I first saw it, I thought… “No way that turned out!” Turns out some really creative bloggers decided you could paint upholstery. Cajones’, eh? That’s what I said… Well it seems like when one blogger tries something, it catches on, and soon you have different bloggers doing their different takes on a project. (Which is an amazing thing!) And they turn out beautiful! So now that I am over the shock, and the acceptance of the fact that these are legit solutions to budget decorating problems, we went out searching for project tutorials to help you learn how to paint fabric furniture. Yep, we’re gonna do it, so grab your paint brush and that ugly chair from the basement! Our first project above, is from ‘We Can Make Anything‘. If you have vinyl chairs or furniture, you can paint that too! They have the secret on how to get it right…

This is that first painted upholstered chair that got my attention, from Nancy at ‘Artsy Chicks Rule’… Initially, I loved this amazing blue… what a happy chair! It took me a little bit closer inspection to find out she had painted it with chalk paint! It’s gorgeous! Oh, you gotta check out the before photo…


Kim at ‘The Kim Six Fix’ did a similar chair in an equally pretty blue color for her nursery, but used latex paint instead. Find out her entire process on how to paint upholstery. (Lot’s of good tips you don’t want to miss!)



Ok, so Tamara from ‘Provident Home Design’ took this idea a step farther, and made her own chalk paint to paint her couch! She shares everything she learned in her tutorial… Here is her before and after!




Eliesa from ‘A Pinterest Addict’ used a fabric spray paint for her painted chair makeover… Check out what product she used, what she did like, what didn’t work, and whether she would do it again!



Melissa at ‘The Happier Homemaker’ also has a thing or two to say about spray painting fabric. She used a different product than above, and on a outdoor piece of furniture!

cushion before after


Ready for something different? Sara from ‘Sincerely Sara D’ did this painted fabric headboard for her guest room. This is a complete tutorial with lots of tips and tricks, and the end result was a  gorgeous piece of furniture!

How to Paint Fabric Furniture


At ‘Bella Tucker’, they show us another project using chalk paint on chairs, but this time they use a stencil as well to give it a twist. Love the after! Can you believe what it used to look like?


Lastly, from Heidi at ‘Happiness is Homemade’, proof that even a modern sofa can have brand new charms with a quick makeover! Let her show you how to easily make over a sofa, with paint!


Image Credits: We Can Make Anything, Artsy Chicks Rule, Kim Six Fix, Provident Home Design, Pinterest Addict, Happier Homemaker, Sincerely Sara D, Bella Tucker




  1. Love this roundup! Thanks for including our chair makeover. :)

  2. Catherine says:

    So happy to have come across this! I had the idea of doing this to some furniture I have, but am concerned about how the painted fabric wears when it is sat on by people and pets? Does it flake off and scratch easily? Does it feel stiff?

  3. Vicki McGorray says:

    I painted apart if button tufted peach chairs deep teal blue with regular matte pray paint. After paining they were somewhat stiff, but used the upholstery brush & my vacuum cleaner. Rubbing briskly, but gently, this restored the fabric to its original feel. Haven’t had any problems with color rubbing off on clothing, but I’m still going to use scotchgard fabric protector on them this spring!

  4. I painted some diningroom chairs but they went whoosh every time they were sat on because the paint sealed the fabric and the air was squishing out. So a little leary to do a couch, Any experience?

    • Kathy Woodard says:

      Any of our readers had this happen?

      • Gloria Gauntt says:

        I too painted two dining room chairs that were of the old-style stiff hi-lo weave synthetic material ($5 each at a yard sale) in yellow-white-brown colors (not nearly as attractive as that might sound!). I used acrylic because I was told that latex was being phased out (wish I had checked on that a little more), but I did note in the many articles I read on upholstery painting that acrylic, latex and chalk paints were all used.

        The chairs are a beautiful green (Green Agate by Behr), and they are somewhat stiff, but the only place really bothersome is the welting at the bottom front of the chair where the back of your legs rests. I fixed this by just scooting forward the extra cushion I use in the seat so that it extends over the seat edge. These has been finished a couple of months and are wearing well. I think the painting would have been more successful over smoothly woven cotton or similar material because I have a friend who painted a sofa and it was smooth and felt like silk. But I love the color and they serve the purpose well. Would I do a sofa? Not until I tested painting different types of fabric with other kinds of paint.

  5. Jacqueline says:

    This is absolutely gorgeous, I have an old chair set that I had no idea what to do with it. Thank you Kathy, I will paint it.

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