It’s time to talk about painting fabric…again! A few months back, I blogged about my Painted Fabric Chair. The paint on that chair is still doing pretty well. Yippee! Now I want to talk about painting the fabric on this bench. Yes, I painted over this “beautiful” fabric. Please don’t hurt me! I have to say, I’m a little nervous about blogging about this bench. I’m hoping you guys like it and no one yells at me through the computer. When talking about painting over good furniture, people can get opinionated and outspoken. Well, I’m not the type of person who only paints over the ugly furniture. I’ll paint over almost anything. If I’m the one who bought it…I can do whatever I want with it…right?!? But I do have to say, when I see a uniquely beautiful antique piece of furniture…I usually pass on buying it. Mainly because it exceeds my budget, but also because I respect it and hope that someone else will come along and cherish it in all of its glory. I bought this bench off of a Facebook garage sale site for $80. She was asking $125 but I talked her down. Woo hoo!
The fabric was in amazing shape. I wasn’t a fan of the tapestry, but I did respect it. I struggled a loooooong time on whether or not to paint the fabric. At first I thought I would cover it with drop cloth, but I kept getting the urge to paint. Paint. PAINT!!!! I texted some DIY friends and they all told me to do whatever I wanted. I decided to paint the fabric. So here goes nothing….I could always cover it up…right?!?
The How To
For a detailed “How To” on painting fabric click HERE.
Before diving into the fabric, I painted the frame. The color was a custom mix of Annie Sloan, my trusty Pure White and Graphite mix: a 3 to 1 ratio. I always tweak the mixture until it’s “perfect.” I used a small 1″ paint brush for application. You can see the wood through the paint which helps to give it an aged look. Here’s the completed frame until touch up time at the end.
Now comes the intimidating part……painting the fabric!
Below is a picture after the first coat.
The tapestry was showing through the paint and I LOVED IT!! I really liked the way it looked after one coat, but as it dried, it was clear that I needed to apply a second coat.
Before I started the second coat, I lightly sanded with a very fine sand paper (high grit). I used 320 but if I had 400 I would have used it. I used red sand paper and it left red residue on the fabric. In the future, I would use a different color sand paper…like white. I’m not sure white even exists.
I painted the second coat and was happy with the results.
Now it’s time to touch up the frame!Here is the one issue I had with the fabric. This brown spot was probably a little stain on the original fabric. Even after a few coats of paint, it wouldn’t completely disappear. I decided to just say “oh well.” I was kind of done…you know the feeling…I just wanted this project to be over. I moved on to waxing so I could wrap this puppy up!
Once you’ve finished waxing, the painted fabric should feel similar to leather. The more it’s used (sat on) the smoother it will become. Also, if you’re painting it white like I did, dirt will show rather easily so the need for touch-up is inevitable.
As time goes by, you may see small cracks or separations in the paint. If that bothers you, you can always repaint!
The End Result
Here she is in all of her painted glory! Painting fabric really isn’t difficult. I think the hardest part is the commitment. There’s no turning back. But if you have good fabric to work with, you will succeed.
And remember, you did it yourself and it will probably show. Embrace the DIY life.