Painting an upholstered chair with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

before and after

 

You may have seen this picture on Facebook or Instagram over the weekend of my first ever go painting fabric with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I had read about it and seen some amazing results and decided to have a go with one of the two little bedroom chairs I found on the side of the road recently. I love the shape of these but was not keen on the skirt, and while I love old fashioned patterns in fabrics, was not overly keen on the overall feel of the chair. So in I went with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Napoleonic Blue – one of my absolute favourites.

Here is what I did.

First I sprayed the chair down with some water as one of the tips from Annie Sloan is to make sure the fabric is a little damp and use some water on the brush with the paint each time as well. You are trying to work the paint into the fabric, not just paint on the surface.

Then I grabbed a tub of water and the paint so I could keep the paint quite wet. I also use an Annie Sloan brush as they are quality and can hold lots of paint and have a lovely finish. I also used a small paintbrush later to touch up small areas, the buttons and the trim.

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DSC_0770I started with quite thin paint but as I worked I added more paint and less water as I wanted to cover the patterns – not the texture, which I love, but the colours. I had read some people have had trouble covering patterned fabrics and that is one reason I chose the dark colour, other than the fact I love this colour!

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With the buttons I dabbed and swirled the brush to get right into the depth of the buttons and it seemed to work well. You could also use a smaller brush like a stencil brush on buttons or other deep areas.

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I cut off the skirt and trimmed it as much as possible but left a frayed feeling as I liked the Industrial sort of feel it gives to the chair. I also ripped off the old carpet underlay someone had put on the feet to protect a floor, as now they were visible. Later I used copper spray paint on the bottom edge and the feet and then sanded them back a little to give a distressed look with some blue showing through.

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I just love how the embossed pattern and the buttons are highlighted with the paint. It took really only one overall coat but more like one and a half to two coats, as I went over some areas. You really have to go with it on the day as to what finish you want.

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I used a stippling or dabbing brush stroke to get into the nails on the back and around the seams.

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This was the first go with the trimming of the skirt – later I cut all of this off.

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Spray painting the legs and trim – later I used a small paintbrush to tidy up around the trim and distressed the legs.

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And the feel of the chair?

At the moment it feels a little like a canvas chair – actually quite comfortable and no paint coming off. I had to go away the day after I did it, so when I am back I will have a review and may try waxing a small area to see what sort of finish that gives too. At the moment I am very happy but the test will be durability and comfort. I will report back!

Definitely loving the look

What do you think? Would you be game enough to give it a try?

Helen

xx

Here is a tutorial with Annie Sloan which you might also find useful.

 

114 Comments

  1. Kay Roberts on December 27, 2016 at 9:23 am

    I, myself, am not crazy about this…I don’t know how it would feel, as I don’t love the feel of even painted furniture with the chalk paints.

    • Helen Edwards on January 1, 2017 at 3:21 pm

      that is fair enough. We all like different things – it is surprising how soft it actually feels, and in particular on materials such as vinyl. This chair is still going strong a few years later!

  2. Recycled Interiors & The Sustainable Home Hub on July 6, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    You need to sand and wax it like timber and can do maintenance waxing. I have found it a little harder than original, like a canvas chair, but still quite soft with the wax πŸ™‚

  3. Jacqueline Ellis on July 6, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    Does the material remain soft and does it wear off

  4. Nanette Donlon on July 5, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    I can never decide whether I like the before or after better… U0001f602

  5. cat on June 1, 2016 at 11:34 am

    @Denee Β  How was your project going?>

  6. cat on June 1, 2016 at 11:33 am

    I was so excited to try this so first started our with my arm chair covers. Β I have done 2 coats and its so blotchy I am so disappointed. I tried diluting the annie sloan chalk paint (cocoa) and then also tried spraying and keeping upholstery wet. Β anyone else have this problem. Β AND how many coats does one have to do? I need some insight.thanks

    • Helen Edwards on June 6, 2016 at 8:53 am

      Hmm one of the keys is to water the paint down but also to really push the paint into the fabric and let it sink in rather than paint it on the top – do you have a picture you could send me? And what type of fabric is it?

  7. Recycled_Interiors on May 25, 2016 at 7:53 am

    It is actually quite comfy to sit on!

  8. Recycled_Interiors on May 25, 2016 at 7:53 am

    @Denee I have used a soft damp cloth and worked fine, and then another wax πŸ™‚

  9. Recycled_Interiors on May 25, 2016 at 7:53 am

    mine too!

  10. Helene Wild on May 21, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    Oh my favourite blue!

  11. Denee on April 16, 2016 at 11:21 am

    How do you clean it?!?! I’m in the process of painting one and my husband asked that question. I just told him I hadn’t gotten that far yet. πŸ˜‰

    • Helen Edwards on April 25, 2016 at 3:21 pm

      I just use a soft cloth and a little bit of water if needed, and then a bit more of a wax

  12. Norm Shaz Kemp on January 20, 2016 at 8:19 am

    How awesome…. Not sure about it being an everyday sit on chair but willing to give it a go…

  13. Jane Bown on January 20, 2016 at 6:38 am

    Norm Shaz Julia check out this chalk paint chair!

  14. Melanie Nolan on January 19, 2016 at 10:54 am

    Aaron Geary we should do this to your hideous man chair!

  15. Manz Riddiford on January 19, 2016 at 8:38 am

    Preferred the before photo

  16. Katie Maher on January 19, 2016 at 8:25 am

    Wendy Cole – trendy before your time!!

  17. Recycled Interiors on January 19, 2016 at 5:44 am

    if you wax and sand it is reasonably soft. Slight canvas feel but mine has softened and held well over time. The sand and wax is important U0001f60a

  18. Recycled Interiors on January 19, 2016 at 5:43 am

    i know yeah! but it’s a thing

  19. Fatema Fou Fou on January 18, 2016 at 11:11 pm

    What a great idea! From what I heard it ends up feeling like outdoor furniture fabric?

  20. Emma Ihms Shobbrook on January 18, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    Jennifer- try this for me!!!

  21. Ingrid Howell on January 18, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    Still cant get my head around it U0001f615

  22. Emma Joy Beitz on January 18, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    Liz Strutt. This would be another option rather than reupholstering

  23. Kass Mickel on January 18, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    Ok awesome! Thanks! ☺️

  24. Recycled Interiors on January 18, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    if you wax and sand like a timber project it feels like a canvas chair but not crunchy. Mine has held for over 18 months and feels nice U0001f60a

  25. Kass Mickel on January 18, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    Does it make the fabric go quite firm? Or keep it soft? Always find painting the fabric makes it go really firm and crunchy

  26. Sue Mary VanderBoon Madigan on January 18, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    Ann Podobnik Sutherland…haven’t read the article

  27. Riley Sinclair Moran on January 18, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    Yes each to their own πŸ™‚

  28. Helene Wild on January 18, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    so cool. πŸ™‚

  29. Maureen Garratt on January 18, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    I’m loving this idea, cheaper than upholsteringU0001f380

  30. Recycled Interiors on January 18, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    fair enough each to their own πŸ™‚

  31. Lyndal Beer on January 18, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    I just painted a couple of $5 KMart cushions with copper paint. πŸ™‚

  32. Riley Sinclair Moran on January 18, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    Killed the chair U0001f615 it was lovely the way it was.

  33. Jessika Ahlgren on December 10, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    You can paint fabric.!!!
    Wow!!
    That paint is the best

  34. Shari Ivers on December 10, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    I know how fantastic is this !!!!

  35. Gianna Morelli on December 10, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    Could be! U0001f44d

  36. Melissa Morelli on December 10, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Gianna Morelli- could be an option??

  37. Recycled Interiors on December 10, 2015 at 10:01 am

    go for it, be sure to use plenty of water and push the paint into the fabric and remember to sand and wax as usual πŸ™‚

  38. Kimberley Wilkins on December 10, 2015 at 7:45 am

    Going to try thisU0001f60a

  39. Recycled_Interiors on September 21, 2015 at 8:57 am

    @jayne hmmm did you use lots of water and push the paint into the fabric? and then wax and sand?

  40. jayne on September 8, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    i tried this and followed all your instruction but the paint cracked and flaked, what am i doing wrong?

  41. Vicky Baker on August 7, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    Shane Whalley look out i be painting fabric now lol

  42. Vicky Baker on August 7, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    Really wow

  43. Recycled Interiors on August 7, 2015 at 10:44 am

    you are welcome πŸ™‚

  44. Sarah Kassis Alkhal on August 7, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Jacky Kassis Turano

  45. Elise Paulger on August 7, 2015 at 5:45 am

    Very clever

  46. Recycled Interiors on August 6, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    Thanks Patricia

  47. Recycled Interiors on August 6, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    Definitely Kass Mickel

  48. Patricia Miller on August 6, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    Annie Sloan paint available from Reluisant in Queenscliffe

  49. Kass Mickel on August 6, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    Yeah i did with my last project… I think its just trial and error too with projects U0001f60a

  50. Vilma Hing on August 6, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    Thank you very much for sharing your wonderful idea!

  51. Recycled Interiors on August 6, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    no Susan Petrovski πŸ™‚

  52. Recycled Interiors on August 6, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    apparently Vilma Hing but i have not used it on all fabrics, but it is worth a try!

  53. Recycled Interiors on August 6, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    πŸ™‚

  54. Recycled Interiors on August 6, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    Trish Farrell you can get it from your local Annie Sloan stockist, look on their website πŸ™‚

  55. Recycled Interiors on August 6, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    thanks!!

  56. Recycled Interiors on August 6, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    hmmm Maybe it is just a different type of fabric Kass Mickel Kymbalee Johnsen but did you use plenty of water when painting, like water the chalk paint right down?

  57. Recycled Interiors on August 6, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    Debbie Purdey you can get a few different chalk paints, the Annie Sloan is about $70 for a tin, you only need a cup or two for something like this πŸ™‚ where are you based?

  58. Debbie Purdey on August 6, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    Looks great and so different how much paint would it take and what would it cost please

  59. Trish Farrell on August 6, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    Wow that’s amazing,where do you get the chalk paint from Bunnings ?

  60. Vilma Hing on August 6, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    Does it work on any fabrics?

  61. Sue Woodgate on August 6, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    Elise

  62. Tracy Norris on August 6, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    Destiny Mark

  63. Destiny Field on August 6, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    Jess Wren

  64. Catherine Beard on August 6, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Nothing in particular. Just thought it was a cool idea.

  65. Decorative metal panels from Heritage Ceilings on August 6, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    Wow! Impressive.

  66. Tina Stanley on August 6, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    What are you thinking of trying it on?

  67. Kass Mickel on August 6, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Yeah i have tried every product and softening agent and even googled other crazy remedies to help but nothing keeps the chair fabric soft?

  68. Catherine Beard on August 6, 2015 at 11:47 am

    Tina Stanley Jessica Lee Burnetthow cool is this!

  69. Susan Petrovski on August 6, 2015 at 11:43 am

    Does it come off on your bum Joanne Petrovski?

  70. Kym Clarke on August 6, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Prue Clarke

  71. Kymbalee Johnsen on August 6, 2015 at 11:16 am

    I’m the same. I don’t find the chair comfortable to sit on after. I did sandpaper the fabric a lot so it’s lovely and smooth but when you sit on it it’s hard.

  72. Joanne Petrovski on August 6, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Maybe i should try this to your red lounge chair Susan Petrovski ?

  73. Sheralee Rae on August 6, 2015 at 10:48 am

    Amy Louise Grovenor ☺

  74. Bubble Interiors on August 6, 2015 at 10:27 am

    wow that’s unreal Recycled Interiors πŸ™‚

  75. Jess Macdonald on August 6, 2015 at 10:00 am

    Erin! U0001f603 From expensive material costs and 2 full days of cutting and sewing and tacking and sweating and consuming gallons of lemon drink, down to A FEW HOURS!

  76. Stacie O'Neill on August 6, 2015 at 9:30 am

    Yes Ervina I did, but I haven’t been brave enough to try it U0001f633

  77. Kass Mickel on August 6, 2015 at 9:23 am

    I just found some fabric paints to dry very hard and the fabric looses its softness.

  78. Sonia Jreij on August 6, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Thats made!!!

  79. Recycled Interiors on August 6, 2015 at 9:17 am

    πŸ™‚

  80. Recycled Interiors on August 6, 2015 at 9:16 am

    thanks Kathryn Kock

  81. Recycled Interiors on August 6, 2015 at 9:16 am

    Kass Mickel you need to sandpaper it and wax it just like timber. I find it like a canvas chair but not overly hard πŸ™‚

  82. Carmen Dias Jreij on August 6, 2015 at 9:08 am

    Sonia Jreij this is cool

  83. Ervina Ng on August 6, 2015 at 8:42 am

    Stacie O’Neill Did u know this?

  84. Kass Mickel on August 6, 2015 at 8:41 am

    Did you find the paint quite firm on the fabric? I cant seem to find a chalk paint that doesnt go really firm? Anyone else tried it?

  85. Dani Ellem on August 6, 2015 at 8:36 am

    Caroline Jansen

  86. Nanette Donlon on August 6, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Oh wow!

  87. Liv Morgan on August 6, 2015 at 8:24 am

    JUlie Morgan

  88. Kathryn Kock on August 6, 2015 at 8:13 am

    Looks great Helen! Another chalk paint project for us Cara Gomez πŸ™‚

  89. Jason Skinner on January 31, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    WOW

  90. Michelle Coley on January 31, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    Jason Skinner

  91. Recycled Interiors on January 31, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    thank you Lee Bartlett!

  92. Recycled Interiors on January 31, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    we will be sharing more soon on these kinds of projects Kylie Collyer πŸ™‚

  93. Laura Stewart Schuetz on January 31, 2015 at 6:31 am

    Looks great!

  94. Joanna Schuetz on January 31, 2015 at 6:19 am

    Thanks Laura. I have nearly finished my ottoman.

  95. Laura Stewart Schuetz on January 31, 2015 at 6:16 am

    Joanna Schuetz

  96. Kylie Collyer on January 30, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    wow I love the chair, I had no idea!

  97. Denise Bullen on January 30, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    Kylie Collyer, have you seen this use for chalk paint

  98. Lee Bartlett on January 30, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    Wow very nice

  99. Jackie Walz on January 30, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    Yep, go for it!!

  100. Nina Sampson on January 30, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    Jackie Walz maybe I can paint that arm chair??

  101. Recycled Interiors on September 12, 2014 at 7:19 am

    brilliant! please share Megan McLean

  102. Megan McLean on September 12, 2014 at 7:12 am

    I am definitely doing this…thinking on it around 2.30 am this morning!

  103. Recycled Interiors on September 11, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    oh yes! MarnΓ© Roesch very much so – you can get it from Brocante in the Barossa here in Adelaide :0

  104. Ann Verbakel on September 11, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Keeping this one!

  105. Tracey Hutchison Verbakel on September 11, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    Ann Verbakel!

  106. Kirsty Williams on September 11, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Nicole Isles another option

  107. Recycled Interiors on September 11, 2014 at 11:22 am

    a while ago Natasha Andrews but doing another one shortly!

  108. NatashaAndrews on September 11, 2014 at 9:59 am

    How did the fabric feel after you came back and did you try waxing? I have a few chairs I want to try but I am concerned with the feel once I paint it!

  109. Natasha Andrews on September 11, 2014 at 9:53 am

    ohh I didn’t know you had done a chair – off to check it out – I really want to try one πŸ™‚

  110. MarnΓ© Roesch on September 11, 2014 at 9:35 am

    No I have not used it, didn’t know its available in Aus?

  111. Recycled Interiors on September 11, 2014 at 6:50 am

    Annie Sloan Unfolded

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