Do you have an old chair that has seen better days? You may want to change the fabric, but if you don’t want to go to the trouble and expense, you can always paint it with chalk paint! I created this look a few years ago after reading about how to chalk paint fabric chairs, and seeing some amazing results. So I decided to have a go with one of the two little bedroom chairs I found on the side of the road. I loved the shape of these chairs but was not keen on the skirt or the fabric. I do love old fashioned patterns in fabrics, but 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.
How to paint an upholstered chair with Chalk Paint
1.First I sprayed the chair down with some water as one of the tips 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.
2.Then I grabbed a tub of water and the paint so I could keep the paint quite wet. I also used a quality hogs bristle brush as they 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.
3. I started with quite thin paint, with more water in the mix, but as I worked I added more paint and less water to cover the patterns – not the texture. 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!
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. I just love how the embossed pattern and the buttons are highlighted with the paint. It took really only one overall coat – but is 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.
7. I used a stippling or dabbing brush stroke to get into the nails on the back and around the seams.
8. This was the first go with the trimming of the skirt – later I cut all of this off.
9. Spray painting the legs and trim – later I used a small paintbrush to tidy up around the trim and distressed the legs.
10. I waxed and sanded the chair to seal the finish.
And the feel of the chair?
To begin with it felt a little like a canvas chair – actually quite comfortable and no paint coming off. A few years later it has held well and still retains the paint.
Here is a tutorial with Annie Sloan which you might also find useful.