How to Paint Upholstery With Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

It’s been just about two months since we moved into our new (old) house and little by little, it’s starting to feel like home. I have most of the big furniture done and now am moving onto the smaller details.

One spot in our house that left me a little perplexed was the landing at the top of our stairs. It has this giant picture window that I love, but I wasn’t sure how to utilize the space. I decided after doing some Pinterest sleuthing that it would make a nice, bright little reading nook.

The thing is, I did not want to spend a bunch of money on a chair for this spot, since it likely will not get used all that much. I had heard that you could paint fabric through this Facebook Annie Sloan Chalk Paint project group I joined. “At first I thought – painted fabric?? Won’t that be super crunchy and crack?”

But after seeing some great before and after photos, I decided to give it a whirl. Keep in mind this was my FIRST ASCP project ever. I convinced Luke to go to Goodwill with me to pick out a cheapo chair. We snapped this red one up for $15!

Painting fabric How to paint a fabric chair

That combined with about $60 in painting supplies I picked up from Pottsies and I was ready to go.

Now before we go any further and you immerse yourself in learning this process, keep in mind the results are amazing. Here’s my before and after…

painted upholstery with annie sloan chalk paint

Pretty crazy, right? Okay now that you’re visually convinced, here’s the process.

Supplies You’ll Need

Here’s what I used to do the job:

– an old moving blanket to protect the basement floor
– painters tape
– 220 grit sand paper
– Paint jug to mix the paint
– 1 liter pot of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Duck Egg Blue (I used 80% of the can)
– 1 small tester container of ASCP in Pure White
– ASCP clear wax
– 1 paint brush from Lila’s painting kit (no joke)
– Spray bottle filled with water
– and old t-shirt for the waxing part

How to Paint Fabric with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

I started off by cleaning the chair with a spray disinfectant and a good vacuuming. Then I mixed some of the duck egg blue paint with about 20% water. This helps the fabric soak up the paint. Before I started painting, I sprayed down the whole chair with water until it was wet but not dripping. This again helps the fabric soak up the paint.

Then I just started painting! I really wish I had taken pictures throughout the process, but I was in my zen mode and completely forgot. It really is relaxing to paint.

While painting, I didn’t really follow any direction. I just made sure the coverage was even and I used my brush to work it into the stitching, crevices and piping. I didn’t even tape off the legs either. ASCP wipes off easily while wet and otherwise you can just paint over it, like I did with the pure white.

After the first coat, I let it dry 24 hours, then ran the sand paper over it lightly to soften up any rough spots. Then I wiped it off with a rag and repeated the whole process from the day before. Spray the chair, water the paint down 20% and paint a second coat.

If you’re painting a light colored chair something darker, two coats may be all you need. Since I was going from red to light blue, I needed a third coat and then some touch ups to get complete coverage.

Once you are satisfied with your coverage and the chair is completely dry (24 hours), you apply the wax. I just used an old t-shirt to dab on some wax, rub it in and then wipe away any excess. This is the part in the process I wish I had not rushed because there are some spots where the wax is definitely thicker than others now that it’s dry.

So lesson is to take your time waxing and make sure the coverage is even. After the wax dries 24 hours, you can buff it if you want a slight sheen to the fabric.

After the fabric portion of my chair was done, I flipped it over and painted the legs with Pure White. The great thing about ASCP is that you don’t need to prime wood at all. Just start painting. I was done with the legs and distressed them lightly with sand paper in about 20 minutes.

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 3.17.22 PM

How Does it Feel / Hold Up / Not Rub Off?

The first question you probably have is how does the chair fabric feel now that it’s painted? To me it feels like a soft pleather. Cool to the touch and smooth. Not crunchy or hard at all!

Painted fabric with chalk paint

Then you might wonder how it holds up over time? Well the jury is still out for me as my chair is only two weeks old. I will say, a painted chair probably is best served for a low-traffic spot. I’m not sure I would want to have it be my “comfy” daily use chair. That’s why I put mine at the top of our landing.

Finally, does the paint rub off? No siree! The wax acts like a seal on the fabric keeping the paint intact. It also serves as a waterproof base to make clean up easy. I think of it as almost like scotch guard. I have done several “butt tests” in my black leggings and nothing has ever come off on my pants (if you consider leggings pants like I do :).

I’m happy to say my painted chair has found itself quite at home on our landing. I paired it with a rug from Wayfair and an antique trunk I got at our local antique store The Vault for $25. I just have to dress it up with a cute pillow and decor, then it will be complete.

Painted upholstery with chalk paint How to paint fabric with chalk paint Annie sloan chalk paint on upholstery

I have been so thrilled with how easy this whole process was. Again this was my FIRST project with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint ever. I have already begun scouting other things in our house I can paint. This little step stool from IKEA was my latest project done in the span of one nap time.

ikea Bekam step stool painted

If you have any questions about how I painted this chair with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, leave a comment and I’ll answer.

Happy painting!

 

7 thoughts on “How to Paint Upholstery With Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

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  2. I am on my third coat of paint water mix over a burgundy chair with textured upholstery and it just keeps sucking it up. I’m using French linen and I’m thinking at this point I may have to go with a darker color. Thoughts?

  3. Just amazed at your pointed explanation of how to…could call you a Pinterest Professor…my question is have you ever used hemp oil with chalk paint??? If so how do you think it would work on material?

  4. Pingback: Housewarming Party | A Batty Life

  5. Wow! I am so impressed! I would never have thought that could be done – and the find at Goodwill was in pretty good shape! Well done!

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