Painted Fabric Chair
I’m a Craigslister through and through. It’s just the best. In the future, I’ll be giving my tips and tricks to getting the most out of Craigslist. But for now, I want to talk about this chair. It’s the same old story, time and time again, as soon as I saw this beauty on CL, I contacted them right away. I was shocked that it was still available. I think it was $35! The next day I packed up the crew and we went to pick up the chair. When I got it home, I saw that it was much nicer than I thought. It was sturdy which was very important because we were going to be using this chair daily.
Painting fabric is, for the most part and in my experience, cheaper and easier than reupholstering. CHEAP and EASY is a magical combination. And since the fabric was in such good condition, I knew painting it was the way to go. Since my dining room is almost all gray, I knew I wanted the wood part to be gray and the fabric to be white. There were scratches and marks on the frame but would I dare sand them away..they add character, right?!?!
The How To
What You’ll Need:
Cleaning supplies: e.g., a damp rag, paper towels, vacuum
A chair: 🙂
Paint of choice: I suggest Annie Sloan Chalk Paint because that’s what I use for painting fabric. Great coverage and very forgiving.
A few paint brushes
First, I vacuumed the fabric and made sure to get in the crevices. Next, I wiped down the entire chair with a damp rag. If it’s really yucky…keep cleaning.
Then, I painted the wood frame. I mixed Annie Sloan Pure White and Graphite to get gray. I usually mix 2 parts white with 1 part graphite. It’s not an exact science and this time that turned out to be the truth. It ended up being way too dark but I’ll show you that later. So first I tried the dry brush technique when painting the wood frame. I really wanted the “frenchiness” of the chair to shine through. I ended up doing a fuller coverage paint job at the end.
Then, I painted the fabric Annie Sloan Pure White. I made certain my brush was nice and wet. VERY WET! If you aren’t going to water down your paint then your brush must be wet. I would recommend watering down the paint. (Although I didn’t do that this time!) Paint in a normal painting motion. Not too much and not too little paint on the brush. This will be a little bit of trial and error…it’s the best way to learn.
Below you can see the fabric with one coat of paint. I do a lot of projects at night while the kiddos are sleeping so that’s why my progress pictures may be dark. You understand! Painting the fabric was extremely easy. I had painted fabric before on a different chair and it was very simple and although it is not a chair we use everyday, the fabric has held up nicely. How fabric turns out greatly depends upon the type of fabric you’re painting and this fabric was made for paint! It went on and covered with ease. I didn’t sand in between coats as I have heard you should do. I’m the kind of person that wants to see in how few steps I can accomplish a project. *After doing another painted fabric project, I recommend lightly sanding in between coats* Below, you can see streaks and discoloration…all normal stuff. I applied a second coat once that was dry and my dear husband and I decided it was too white..like blinding white…like my legs in the wintertime white. So, I mixed Old White and Pure White and got a perfect soft white which you will see in the final picture.
Now it’s time for touch up. If you’re a perfectionist…look the other way. I am not a perfectionist. I’m kind of a sloppy painter. I often…well…always have to go back and fix my mistakes.
Next, I took it out back to sand it. Simple sanding here. I started with 400 grit and then worked my way down to 200 grit. Start with the softer grit, it will save you a lot of stress. I’ll post a distressing “how to” soon! At this point, I also waxed the entire chair at this point. Waxing the fabric is just like waxing the wood. I use paper towels to wax (yes, I skip the brushes altogether). I also prefer to let my wax sit in the sunshine for a bit so its nice and pliable. If you haven’t waxed, the best thing do to is to put a quarter size amount on a brush or towel and do small sections at a time.
After I took it inside to take the after photo I realized…….I don’t like it! The frame was way too dark and the painted fabric was way too white. The picture doesn’t really give a good example of what it really looked like.
So it was time to tweak my gray mix. I added more white (either Pure or Old White in Annie Sloan will do) until I got to the color I wanted. And then I added some very light white accents that helped age the chair. Then I mixed some Pure and Old White together to get a nice soft white for the fabric…..repeat all the steps and here you go….
It doesn’t look too different in the picture, but like I said, it was VERY dark at first. But that’s the beauty of painting with chalk paint…mix it until you find your perfect color. Don’t be afraid to layer paint colors either. I’ve never run into a painting mistake I couldn’t fit. I didn’t wax it again but I may down the road.
And that’s it! Here it is. A Craigslist chair painted from top to bottom with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. The painted fabric is soft and feels like leather. I do not know for certain how it will hold up to daily use. Will it stain? Will it get hard? Will it crack? These are all questions I will answer when I do a review of this painted fa chair in a few months.
Have an amazing day!
And remember, you did it yourself and it will probably show. Embrace the DIY life.