Painted Upholstered Chair Makeover {Chalk Paint}

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Guess what?

I painted another upholstered chair…..with Chalk Paint ®.
Why not?

You can change the look so completely…so easily.
(If you follow me on Instagram you’ve already seen little snippets of this chair awhile back as I was painting it :) )

Chalk Painted Upholstered Chair Makeover - After Makeover - artsychicksrule.com #paintedupholstery #chalkpaint #diy (5)

It was a ‘throwaway’ at the Habitat Re-store. They had a bunch so I took one home with me.

It looked like this when I brought it home….

Chalk Painted Upholstered Chair Makeover - Before - artsychicksrule.com #paintedupholstery #chalkpaint #diy

A little colonial for my decor but in very good shape.
The last chair I painted white and used Minwax PolyShades on the legs and wood trim.

You can see that chair —> here.
It’s a favorite of mine!

This time I decided to paint the wood along with the fabric.

Chalk Painted Upholstered Chair Makeover - White Legs - artsychicksrule.com #paintedupholstery #chalkpaint #diy

I wanted to keep it bright and cheery. It’s going into my study/office/craft room.

It will be the chair I sit in and blog from. :)
I can’t show you it there just yet since I’m working on creating that space.
But you get an idea of where I’m going with the room from the chair anyway.

It took about 2 coats of paint with a touch here and there. I used a blend of Pure White and Duck Egg Blue Chalk Paint.
Heavy on the Pure White. I mixed a little water in it so it would soak into the fabric better.
I also misted the dry fabric before painting.

I’m not going to go through all the steps since I’ve done that on another post—he chair I linked above.
You can see more details there.

But here it is with the second coat going on….

Chalk Painted Upholstered Chair Makeover - second coat - artsychicksrule.com #paintedupholstery #chalkpaint #diy (2)

…just to get an idea of coverage.
Kinda cool, huh?

I decided to go back and paint all the cording/trim white to give it some “pop”.

Chalk Painted Upholstered Chair Makeover - Painting Trim with White - artsychicksrule.com #paintedupholstery #chalkpaint #diy (4)

Chalk Painted Upholstered Chair Makeover - Painting Trim - artsychicksrule.com #paintedupholstery #chalkpaint #diy (3)

And as you can see in the first picture I posted….I added a stencil. (Gabrielle Damask Stencil)
It’s the same stencil I used on these night stands –>here.

Chalk Painted Upholstered Chair Makeover - Stenciled Design - artsychicksrule.com #paintedupholstery #chalkpaint #diy

I used some very fine sandpaper and slightly distressed it. (actually, I went over the entire chair very lightly with the sandpaper to soften it a bit) I sealed the chair, wood and all, with Annie Sloan Clear wax.
One coat and then buffed. (once it dried)

A few close ups for ya….

Chalk Painted Upholstered Chair Makeover - Detail Up Close - artsychicksrule.com #paintedupholstery #chalkpaint #diy

Chalk Painted Upholstered Chair Makeover - Finished Detail Up Close - artsychicksrule.com #paintedupholstery #chalkpaint #diy

The back ….

Chalk Painted Upholstered Chair Makeover - Back View - artsychicksrule.com #paintedupholstery #chalkpaint #diy

The side…

Chalk Painted Upholstered Chair Makeover - Side View - artsychicksrule.com #paintedupholstery #chalkpaint #diy

I love how feminine, soft and sweet it looks with the pale blue, white and stencil.
Perfect for the direction I’m going in my office!

Can’t wait to finish in there.

Chalk Painted Upholstered Chair Makeover - After Styled - artsychicksrule.com #paintedupholstery #chalkpaint #diy

So what do you think? –> that I’m crazy for painting an upholstered chair? hah maybe!

But it works. And it’s a great (inexpensive) way to completely transform your furniture…upholstered or not.

I love a good transformation…and I’d say this is a pretty good one.
I think so anyway. ;)

Chalk Painted Upholstered Chair Makeover - Before and After - artsychicksrule.com #paintedupholstery #chalkpaint #diy

So there it is. Another Chalk Painted upholstered chair makeover.

Have you tried painting any fabric with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint before?
A pillow, chair, curtain panel…anything?
If you have, I’d love to hear about it and how it went for you!

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Lovely comments so far...

  1. Amazing transformation! I was thinking of a chair like this for my master bedroom. Thanks so much for the inspiration!!

  2. Hi, nice chair. I tried the same method with a brown leather sofa. Followed all the steps. Three months later, it is a shambles. Wax and paint has peeled off, looks very patchy. Had to right-off the furniture. I think this method of using chalk paint is suitable for a piece of furniture not used much. Day to pieces just don’t stand up to wear and tear.

    • Hi Cassie!
      Sorry that it didn’t work out for you!! Time will tell with my chairs, I suppose. :) This chair will be a true test as I’ll sit in it every day to blog. The other chair I’ve done only gets sat in occasionally. One thing though, the paint actually soaks into fabric fibers, etc whereas it most likely just sat on top of the leather without being able to soak in. I can tell you, the pillows I painted for my screened porch have held up beautifully (http://www.artsychicksrule.com/2013/06/chalk-painted-porch-pillows-annie-sloan.html). I painted them last year and they’ve been outside the whole year. We sit “on” them all the time. Still look as good as the day I did them. I hope my chairs will hold up the same!
      I do think some fabrics grab the paint better than others though!
      Nancy

  3. Mary-Louise says:

    Well, you did it again! I must say … LOVE this chair even more than the last. The stencil added the “perfect touch” … Thank you for the inspiration!

  4. I love the looks of this but wonder how comfortable sitting on a painted chair is. Does it not “stick” to your legs in the summer?

    • Hey Traci!
      It’s actually pretty comfortable. It just feels like leather so yes, it does have that type of feel to it! :)

      Nancy

  5. I love this transformation!
    Great job!! I have still to use chalk paint! Ahhh! I so want to! I have a chair that’s in desperate need of a makeover but the fabric is so nubby I’m not sure it would work ? I guess I can only try and find out!
    xo
    Kaara recently posted…today is the dayMy Profile

    • Thanks Kaara!! :)
      NO way!!!! Really? lol You better get with it! ;) Try the paint in an area it won’t show first. (like behind, underneath the cushion, if you can) Nubby, like large weave? It might even work better. I have found that larger weaves grab the paint better. (like outdoor fabric, etc) The white chair I did had a silky texture and this chair took the paint better than that one.
      Try it and see!
      Nancy

      • Hello There! I love what you did with your chair! I have a very similar chair with chenille fabric on the side panels, bottom panels and back. The inner areas have a floral damask print that is slightly raised. Do you think the varying textures will look awful painted? I would appreciate any suggestions.

        Thank you,
        ~Kena

        • Hi Kena,

          It’s hard to say with out actually seeing the chair. But I can tell you that this chair had a “raised” design as well. You can see it somewhat but I don’t think it takes away from the overall look at all. It really just depends how raised and what color you are painting it.
          Hope that helps…oh and thanks so much! :)
          Nancy

  6. Thank you so much for this inspiration! I have a chair that is in *okay* condition, but the fabric needs an update for sure. And you now have a new follower on instagram ;)
    Jen @ West Street Story recently posted…how I will make it once everyone goes home {surviving infant loss}My Profile

    • Thanks Jen! :) Try it in an inconspicuous place first to see how the fabric takes the paint. I have found that larger weaves (instead of silky, slick fabric) take the paint a bit better.
      Thanks for the follow in IG too! :)
      Nancy

  7. I think your chair is a stunner! So pretty!
    Darrielle Tennenbaum recently posted…Large Ornate MirrorMy Profile

  8. Sheila Moore says:

    This looks great Nancy! I have a couch my MIL gave me that I would love to paint. Do you remove the inserts from the cushions when you paint them or do you just paint them with them inside? I can’t wait until I have the time to do this.

    • Thanks Sheila! :) I have found that it usually doesn’t soak through to the cushion so just paint right on there.
      Good luck! Let me know how it goes!
      Nancy

  9. Mona Thoreson says:

    The Chair looks awesome. What a great idea. Would have never thought you could use chalk paint on furniture. Can’t wait to try it out myself. Thanks Nancy :)

  10. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! I have a very similar chair waiting for me! Have you ever painted with latex and fabric medium? Would you see this technique is better? I’ve seen some comments online that the chalk paint is stiff but if you use the latex with the fabric medium it’s not as stiff? I’ve seen a loveseat in the store where I buy my ASCP and it wasn’t stiff at all? Would you mind sharing your opinion with me? :D Thanks so much!!!!!

    • Hi Lilli,

      Thanks!
      No I actually haven’t. I did buy 2 small bottles of fabric medium last year to do it though….but the typically “rubbery” nature of latex has kept me away. Since I haven’t tried the latex/fabric medium I can’t comment on that. (but I’m thinking I need to just to see the difference!) The Chalk Painted furniture is a bit stiff until you wax it. And if you lightly sand it before waxing that helps keep it softer too. (you’ll notice right away that it’s softer once you do that) Now, it will most definitely change the feel of the furniture. It won’t be the same. It will be more like leather…and no, not as soft as the original fabric. All ok with me! I plan to use this chair daily so will definitely have a true test as to how it performs. And as always…will definitely report back here with news on that! :)
      Nancy

      • Perfect! I knew about it changing the texture – but I didn’t know about the sanding! And the wax is fine? You can sit on it once it dries!? That’s great! I have a chair id like to do in paris grey and add a stencil to it – or some wording. But i’ve never worked with stencils or the graphics wording. I have big ideas then they usually come out looking oh so wrong! lol. But I have to try! Thanks again!!!!

        • Yep, once dry it is perfectly fine to sit on! :) Oh…I have had my fair share of things coming out “wrong” (as in, not at all what was pictured in my head!!lol)
          Easily fixed with more paint! ;)
          Nancy

          • OK good to know! I’m going tomorrow to get the paint. I can’t do that gorgeous white color like you did because with my kids and pets i’m pretty sure it would be disgusting after a week. I’m thinking Paris Grey – but I’ll browse while i’m there. If it comes out good I’ll show you a pic ;)

          • Thank you ! :) I’m sure it will be great and I would love to see a photo of it!!

            Nancy

          • So totally disregard that last message! I’ve had a long day and am in a brain fog! You did the beautiful blue! And I already told you about paris grey :o Forgive me! I’ll still show you a pic if its presentable!

          • No worries! ;) I also painted one in white (maybe that is the one you are thinking of)
            Nancy

  11. LOVE it!!! I actually thought about painting the cording on my chair the contrasting color, but chickened out!! Yours looks beautiful!!!!!

    -andi

  12. Debbie H. says:

    A M A Z I N G !! This looks truly FABULOUS – The white trim and the stencil put it over-the-top and I just ADORE the color!!

    • Aw thank you Debbie! It’s so nice to hear that others like what we create! :) I sometimes waver as I’m going through the creative process…..sometimes it’s a hit but sometimes not so much!! ;) But with paint..it’s usually easily fixed!
      Thanks again!!
      Nancy

  13. You do such amazing things to these old worn out chairs Nancy! Amazing job!
    Shanna Gilbert recently posted…Vintage Chic Wedding ShowerMy Profile

  14. Karen H says:

    Nancy, I just love what you did with that chair! It looks amazing! I can’t wait to see your new office!

    I have a question…. when you paint the second coat (and third, if necessary) there’s no need to add any extra spritzes of water to the chair first, right? Just the first coat, so it kinda sinks into the fabric?

    Good job! xo

    • Thanks Karen! :)
      No, I don’t really wet it again on the second coat. It’s usually not fully dry before I apply the second coat anyway plus there is added water in the paint so it is pretty wet.
      Hope you are having a great week!!
      xo
      Nancy

  15. Your chair looks amazing! I love how you painted the trim on the chair white and added the stencil. I can’t wait to try this technique out for myself.
    Paula@SweetPea recently posted…#ad Positive Reinforcement Dog Training with NudgesMy Profile

  16. LOVE This!!! You did a great job. and I love the soft blue and white combo. I have an “arm chair” that was in my parents bedroom forever. No one EVER sat it in. Now it’s in my living room and it gets occasional use, but it’s going to get a MAKEOVER really soon. Just as soon as I get my hands on some annie sloan chalk paint. I’ve used home made paint before, but I really want to try the AS paint. I live at the beach, so it’s gonna be a “beachy” inspired chair. Maybe a big ole crab painted on the seat so when you sit down, your butt sits on the crab claws, hahaha!!! :-) Thanks for the inspiration!

  17. Wow Nancy, what a difference. I love the blue and white color and the stencil on the back is such a pretty touch! I haven’t painted upholstery yet but I was just commissioned to refinish some antique chairs and the upholstery is still in very good condition but ugly so this might be the perfect opportunity for me to try it. Finger’s crossed.

  18. Nancy, this is gorgeous! Love how it came out. I tried painting a chair with more tweed like fabric and the seat cushion just kept soaking up the paint. I had wet the chair cushion with a spray bottle and did three coats of French Linen and it kept sucking it up… I LOVE how this came out! x

    • Thank you Danielle! :) Yes, I have found that some fabrics work better (and some not as much) with the CP!
      Thanks!! xo
      Nancy

  19. Okay, I think you are convincing me to try this, this just looks so fabulous and fresh! I have some cushions for our patio furniture that are in good shape, but I’m tired of the fabric. I’ve been thinking about making new covers for the past couple years but that seems like SO much work. You may have just convinced me to try painting them. I’ve got some ASCP paint that I could use up. Hmmm!!!
    Sharon B. recently posted…DIY Tropical Pineapple PillowMy Profile

    • Thank you Sharon! ;) Why not! (keep in mind…if they are in the sun, you might not want to apply the wax to them though!)
      My porch pillows (not in direct sun) have held up beautifully…over a year ago painted.
      xo
      Nancy

  20. Wow! You have me so inspired to paint a chair…paint something…fabric! Love your choice of colors and it must be a treat to sit in something so pretty to work :)
    Wendi @ H2OBungalow recently posted…DIY Shell Ceiling Fan PullMy Profile

  21. A-freaking-mazing!! Wow…I want this chair!! I have never tried painting fabric and you make me want to try it! You painted the piping perfectly too. Very well done, girl! XO

    • Haha! Thank you Christy! :) I just painted another pillow this past weekend…it’s all a little addicting!
      Nancy

  22. qgirl65 says:

    can you just elaborate. Did you use the wax on the fabric too?

    • Yes, I used the wax on the fabric and the wood finish. It seals the paint. I have another chair that I did linked in that post that goes into more detail about the process. :)
      Nancy

  23. Amazing! I know you haven’t had it long but I wonder how comfortable it is over time. What’s it feel like now?

    • Thank you Amanda! :) It’s actually pretty comfortable. The fabric stays pretty pliable..like leather. It just does change in texture…but it’s not hard at all. :)
      Time will tell how it holds up!
      Nancy

  24. JaneEllen says:

    I so love your chair. Think it looks incredible. The color with white piping is so soft and feminine looking. Can barely see the pattern from other old upholstery, looks like it’s embossed. Hope it’s as comfy as it looks. I can remember a couple episodes of “Trading Spaces” when it was on, one of designers painted furniture. Yours looks a whole lot better.
    There are just some posts I read all the comments, very educational. It’s amazing what I can learn by reading about others tries and fails and great successes. I have a club chair I bought at Habitat few years ago now. It’s a very good sturdy chair, but, it has really ugly plaid upholstery that does not go with rest of room. It had skirting on it which we removed, what a difference just that made. We painted l/r recently, made new art, new curtains, other improvements. Since I’ve got a shabbychic/beachy/cottage thing going I put vintage faded tablecloths on chair to cover the plaid. Tucked and stapled table cloths down and it looks quite fetching I think compared to what it was before. I had a slipcover but it doesn’t go with new changes at all. Maybe when I get tired of the tablecloths I’ll try to paint chair.
    We got a really nice “new to us” couch at Habitat last week but with a very shedding black dog I’ve used a tablecloth for the seat cushions down to floor also and a lacy white shower top curtain for back cushions. Then when they get dirty I can pop them in washer lots easier than cleaning the white with lines pattern couch. New couch made such a difference from old couch which made l/r look like there was a big dark hole in it. Love my new couch and the price, $125 – 25% off coupon = $100.92 with tax. Would like to have waited til next day to get 15% off senior discount also but was concerned it wouldn’t be there if I did. Worth every penny for the happiness it’s given me. The old couch was very ugly and I hated it the whole time we had it. I’m broke now for rest of month but still worth it. Enjoy and learn so much from your blog. Happy days

    • Thanks so much! :) You are right, the pattern hardly shows up at all and it does look like embossing.
      Oh yes, I bet it does look so much better with the skirt off! Great idea. I am with you, I love a bargain! ;)
      Sounds like you are the same!
      Hope you have a great week!
      xo
      Nancy

  25. I love your chair!. I have a similar one I’m going to try painting. Not sure how it will be in time. Will it crack? I guess only time will tell.
    Love your blog!

    • Hi Lynne,
      Thank you so much!:) About cracking, I have not had an issue with that. I think the key is applying thin (a bit watered down) coats so it can actually soak into the fabric (instead of just thickly sitting on top) AND misting the fabric beforehand helps it to absorb better too. The wax really helps make it “flexible” and softens it up a bit.
      Hope that helps!:)
      Nancy

  26. I love the ethereal quality of the colors — perfect for a woman’s space. I have tried this too, both with the real thing and the homemade. The real chalk paint holds up better. I also painted some chairs with Design Master Spray paint made for florals and fabrics, and that has held up very very well. I took a little soft brush and just brushed it a bit after it was good and dry. Since it was a heavily textured fabric, I did not wax the fabric, only the wood. The fabric is actually quite soft now. I have also painted a leather chair with chalk paint.
    Scribbler Unfocused recently posted…WHAT’S WRONG, BLOGGER — ARE YOU SICK?My Profile

    • Thank you! That is interesting (and good to know) about the fabric getting softer. I might have to try that! :)
      Nancy

  27. Hi Nancy!
    I work with Annie Sloan products in Sweden & I just love this post. You describe the process in such a clear (and witty) way and your photos are fantastic. I shared a link to this post in our Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/405727266118857/) and recommended that others come and have a look at such a super project. I hope this is ok with you…if not, please let me know and I will remove it straight away.
    Thank you for writing such a great blog.
    Best regards from Sarah in Sweden

    • Hi Sarah!!
      Absolutely you may share it on your FB page like that. Thank you for doing so! :) And thanks so much for your sweet and thoughtful words too!!
      Hope you have a great week!!
      xo
      Nancy

  28. I love what you did to that chair. It’s just beautiful and amaseing that it is possible to do it like that with the paint. You are realy talented.
    Lena

    • Hi Lena,
      Aw thanks so very much!! I know what you mean, it amazes me how different it looks once done too! I love paint! :)
      Nancy

  29. Whoa!! Nice job!! But I have a question… doesn’t the paint get removed with the use? Cause I want to try it, but I’am a bit scared about that hahahaha. Thanks in advance Nancy :)

    • Thanks Lara!! :)
      No, I haven’t had that problem! I think the key is to apply thinly (letting it absorb well into the fabric instead of sitting on top)
      Try it!! ;)
      Nancy

  30. Rachel S says:

    About how much paint did you need for this project? I haven’t used chalk paint yet either, but I do love to re-vitalize furniture and I’ve got a chair/love seat that I’ve been dreading recovering. I only spent $20 on the chair so if I botch the whole project I’m not in too much trouble. But I’d love to give this a try.
    Also, what stores carry this paint? We are in a small town and I know Lowe’s doesn’t carry it here.

    • Hi Rachel,
      It was a lot. Since I mixed the paint and then mixed with water it’s hard to say exacts. BUT you will have more than enough with one can of paint. None of the Lowe’s or other chain retailers carry it. It’s a boutique product. You can check online at anniesloanunfolded . com and see a list of stockists. Maybe someone close by you does! If not, you can always order if from one of them online! :)
      Nancy

  31. Nancy! I’m still painting the chair cushion on my wingback chair!!!! The one side of the cushion is as hard as a plaster! AND I waxed it…. :( …. Now I turned it over, and did one light coat – about 20% water – and the second coat with more paint. I played, I swished the brush in there, I did everything but stand on my head and paint it with my hair! It covered, but now the colors of the the pattern are bleeding thru. Im scared if I throw a 3rd coat on it’ll be like plaster. My chair is very similar to yours (texture wise). I wonder if a flat fabric would work better? What do you think about the 3rd coat? just spot paint it? Make it thinner or with more paint? Im painting this chair darn it!

    Thanks as always!

    Lilli

    • Hey Lilli!!
      OH no!! Hmm…I’m thinking the paint was too thick and is wanting to “lay on top” instead of soaking in. You will get cracking and hardness with that. I don’t remember how much water I added but it was pretty sloshy. (my technical term! ;) ) I really wanted it to be able to soak in, and it needs to. Go ahead and hit those areas that are bleeding through again..if you don’t need a full coat all over, don’t. Just hit the areas that need it. Then, after it is dry, very very lightly sand over it (with very fine grit sandpaper 400s) to ‘soften’ it a bit. But not enough that will remove the paint. Then wax it.
      So yes, make your paint thinner I am thinking. Try all that and let me know how it goes! :)
      Nancy

  32. Lone Kjærgaard says:

    I would like to see the actual process of painting it. How many layers are needed? Can you prime it first, so that you do not need so many layers of paint?

    • Hi

      I have the process in photos above. :) Two is usually sufficient. I wouldn’t prime because that is a different type of paint and wouldn’t work well with this process.
      Hope that helps!
      Nancy

Trackbacks

  1. […] Arsty Chicks Rule […]

  2. […] blogging buddy, Nancy is always throwing colors together and I loved this chair she painted recently (it’s fabric and yes, she painted it…go see!), so I was inspired to […]

  3. […] like to introduce you to Nancy, the awesome DIYer behind the blog Artsy Chicks Rule. She’s constantly dreaming up new DIY projects.  Recently, while she was shopping at the […]

  4. […] is a tutorial from Artsy Chicks Rule to upcycle an old chair by painting it with chalk paint. Looks […]

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