A few months ago a very nice coworker found out we had literally no furniture except a bed, table, and dresser. He gave us two chairs, a coffee table, and a TV stand that he and his wife weren’t using anymore. The white chairs had been used by their adorable dogs, so naturally they were looking a little worn. I was just grateful to have something to put in our living room so I threw blankets over them and made loose plans to reupholster them.
After reading about how to reupholster a chair, I knew I could do it but I also knew it could be expensive, especially if I made any mistakes. The blankets stayed and I kept the idea in the back of my mind for a day when we had more cash to spare.
And then a wonderful thing happened. I was on Pinterest for work (promise, look at my services page, it’s a thing) and I found a DIY for painted upholstery. Later, on my own time, I found lots of confusing and scary and unclear and mildly helpful blog posts. I decided to take a few things from each one and just do it.
Good news: it worked! More good news: I love these chairs!
2 8oz bottles of Martha Stewart Crafts Vintage Decor Paint in Matte Chalk Finish (per chair)
1 spray bottle
2-3 sizes of sponge brushes
2-3 hours plus 24 hours before they are sit-able again
(Don’t worry! You will not be painting the whole 2-3 hours. This includes drying time between coats.)
Warning: this is very easy. You might want to paint all of your furniture after this.
- Mix water in with the paint. It should be about a 1/1 ratio but it’s not a huge deal as long as you’re consistent each time you mix the two.
- Squirt the chair with water. Thoroughly. Don’t soak it but make sure it’s damp before you paint it.
- Paint. Paint your heart out. My husband read that you should paint in circles, and I admit his work looked better than mine. So paint in circles.
- Let the first coat dry for 30 minutes.
- Paint again. Make sure you’re still squirting the chair as you paint.
- Let it dry for 30 minutes.
- Paint again if it needs another coat. If not, wait an hour.
- Sand it down. This is what makes the fabric feel like indoor fabric again.
- Wait 24 hours.
- Admire your hard work. Tell all of your friends. Bask in the glory as they tell you how cool you are. Invite them over and notice you missed a spot.