To paint or not to paint…that should be the question before painting our upholstered furniture. But sometimes we just dive into a project with our eyes wide shut. After all, won’t our gusto and faith in all things beautiful produce a DIY miracle? Probably not, then we’ll have to compromise our vision, or live in denial. Well, don’t do that when it comes to painting your furniture…I mean, your guests and family have to sit on your furniture, and they certainly won’t suffer any delusions regarding our DIY’s. *grin*
Things to Consider Before Breaking Out the Paint
- Texture: While most fabric will absorb paint, the factor that makes the difference is whether the material can be brushed, rubbed, or if necessary sanded without damaging. Being able to brush the material keeps it feeling soft and normal without turning it into a hardened or plastic-like surface (unless that is what you’re going for). Upholstery that has a “fuzzy” quality rather than woven is ideal. (Not to say you can’t paint other textures, but you will have to vary your paint type and approach)
- Color: Look for colors that you can lighten a shade, or darken a shade rather than seeking a drastic makeover. This allows you to use minimal paint for maximum results…which means a soft finished product that no one will know has been painted.
- Print: No print or pattern is preferable, however a print that doesn’t have too much contrast can still be covered without too much paint.
- Tufting, buttons, etc: Know that any part that has tufting, a lot of folding, or tucking will be more difficult to soften up, and any paint in those nooks and crannies should be well moistened after paint has dried, if you choose to proceed.
After evaluating, if your piece is less than ideal for painting, first consider reupholstering it, or slipcovers. Then if that is not an option, don’t worry! All hope isn’t lost! Try a specially formulated fabric paint in spray form for less than ideal textures. Try a dry brushing technique for velvety tufted chairs… after all, if you are just going to throw it out or donate it, it can’t hurt to try first! 😉
I have two amazing (and oh-so-comfy) midcentury modern chairs I found online for just $30 a piece.
They are soft to the touch, firm to the tush, and easy on the eyes…well, except for that particular hue of ugly on the cushions. What’s wrong with a light minty color you ask? For one it’s not quite the color I’m going for in this particular room (or anywhere, ever), and for another it is more of a dingy mint color where some yellowy stains interfere with the color. Yep, these are the perfect pair of chair cushions to paint.