How to Paint Upholstery

You may be wondering how to paint upholstery. The truth is, it’s not too hard, and the benefits of having a beautiful new upholstered couch are worth the effort. The best part is, you can make a completely new design, and people won’t even know where you got it from (If you want to keep it a secret that you made it!). It won’t take long for you to learn how to paint your furniture so that it looks new again. All you need is a little bit of space, some old newspapers or drop cloths to protect your floor and all the painting supplies. The materials vary depending on the project that you want to complete. But most of all, you will need paint (of course), primer, a brush or roller, and a sealant.

If you’re feeling ambitious, you can even strip the old fabric off the furniture before you begin painting. That will give your finished product a much more polished look. However, if you’re not quite sure about your skills (or you don’t want to deal with the hassle), you can always leave the fabric on and paint over it. In this case, you will need to make sure that the couch fabric is paint compatible so that it doesn’t peel or chip off over time.

Once you have all your supplies, it’s time to get started! 

Assess the State of Your Couch

If your upholstery is in good condition, you might be able to get away with simple cleaning and then painting right over the existing fabric. If it’s looking a little worse for wear, you might want to consider stripping the couch fabric off before you start painting. It’s up to you and how much work you want to put in.

Type of Fabrics

There are types of fabrics that can be painted on, and there are those which can’t. 

If you want to paint on natural fabrics like cotton, linen, and wool, you’ll need to use a fabric medium for the paint to adhere properly. You can find these at most craft stores.

On the other hand, if you’re working with polyester, acrylic, or nylon, you won’t need a fabric medium because the paint will adhere to the fabric just fine on its own.

Choosing Paints

When you’re choosing paints, there are a few things that you’ll need to consider. The first is the sheen of the paint. If you want your finished product to have a shiny finish, then you’ll need to use gloss paint. However, if you want something with a more muted look, you can use eggshell or satin paint.

The second thing to consider is the type of paint. You’ll need to decide if you want to use oil-based or water-based paint. Oil-based paints will give your furniture a more durable finish, but they can be challenging to work with; however, water-based paints are easier to use, but they might not be as durable in the long run. Once you’ve decided on the type of paint you want to use, it’s time to get started!

Also See: How to Choose Exterior Paint Colors for House

Do a Test Run

Before you paint the entire furniture, it’s best to first paint a small furniture area to see how it looks. This way, many things would come to clarity, like if the paint looks good on the upholstery, is the fabric surface too prominent, etc., before you ruin the original look of the furniture.

Pros and Cons of Painting Upholstery

Pros of Painting Upholstery:

• You can completely change the look of a piece of furniture by painting it

• It’s a relatively easy process and doesn’t require a lot of skill

• It’s usually a more affordable option than buying new furniture

Cons of Painting Upholstery:

• The paint might not be as durable as the original fabric (depending on the paint)

• It might be difficult to match the paint to the rest of your decor

• You’ll need to take extra care when cleaning painted upholstery to avoid damaging the paint job.

See Also: How to Decorate Using the 60-30-10 Color Rule?

Preparation

Before you start painting, make sure you have everything you need close by. This will help avoid any unnecessary trips to the paint store or hardware store. 

If you’re stripping the fabric off your furniture, make sure you have a container to put the old cloth in and some chemicals to help with the process (like paint stripper). You’ll also want a wire brush or sandpaper to help remove any old paint or finishes. If you’re painting over the existing fabric, make sure you have a lint roller and some tape to help keep the material in place while you’re working. You’ll also want a drop cloth or newspapers to protect your floor from any paint drips.

Painting Process

The best way to paint upholstery is by using a brush or roller. If you’re using a brush, make sure to load it with enough paint to get good coverage. Start in one corner and work your way across the fabric, making sure to overlap your strokes.

If you’re using a roller, use a short nap roller and load it with paint. Start in one corner and roll the paint on in a W-shape, making sure to overlap the paint as you go. Once you’ve finished painting, let the paint dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Sand the first coat of paint

Once the first coat of paint is dry, you’ll need to sand it down. This will help smooth out any imperfections and give the second coat of paint something to grip onto.

Use fine-grit sandpaper and lightly sand over the entire surface. If you’re working with a large piece of furniture, you might want to use an electric sander to make the job go faster. Once you’ve finished sanding, remove any dust with a damp cloth or vacuum.

You may also read our article on What’s the Average Paint Dry Time?

Apply a second coat of paint

After sanding down the first coat of paint, it’s time to apply the second coat. Once again, start in one corner and work your way across the fabric, overlapping your strokes.

Let the second coat of paint dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Sealing the paint

Once the second coat of paint is dry, you’ll need to apply a sealer. This will help to protect the paint and make it more durable. Depending on your preference, you can use a clear sealer or a colored sealer.

To apply the sealer, start in one corner and work your way across the fabric. Once you’ve applied the sealer to the entire surface, let it dry completely before using the furniture. 

Helpful tips

Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind when painting upholstery:

  • Make sure you test the paint on a small area of the fabric before you commit to painting the entire piece. This will help you see how the paint will look and how it will wear over time.
  • When choosing a paint color, keep in mind that the paint might not be as durable as the original fabric. Choose a color that you love and that you’re willing to live with for a while.
  • Take your time when painting upholstery. It’s a slow process, but the results are worth it.
  • Be careful when cleaning painted upholstery. Avoid using any harsh chemicals or scrubbing the fabric too hard.
  • If you’re not happy with the results, you can always paint over the paint job and start again. Painting upholstery is a lot of trial and error, so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t turn out the way you want it to.

Conclusion

Painting upholstery can be a daunting task, but with these helpful tips, you’ll be able to complete the job in no time. Make sure to test the paint on a small area of fabric before painting the entire piece, and take your time while working. Be careful when cleaning painted upholstery, and don’t be discouraged if the results aren’t perfect. With a little bit of patience and practice, you’ll be able to create a beautiful piece of furniture that you can enjoy for years to come. With a little bit of patience and practice, you’ll be able to create a beautiful piece of furniture that you can enjoy for years to come.

FAQ

Can I paint any fabric?

Not all fabrics are suitable for painting, so it’s important to test the paint on a small area of the fabric before you commit to painting the entire piece. Some fabrics are more likely to peel or fade over time, so consider this when choosing a paint color.

What type of paint should I use?

Acrylic paint is the best type of paint to use on upholstery. It’s durable and easy to work with, and it comes in various colors.

How do I choose a paint color?

When choosing a paint color, keep in mind that the paint might not be as durable as the original fabric. Choose a color that you love and that you’re willing to live with for a while.

Can I use an electric sander?

An electric sander can make the job go faster, but it’s unnecessary. You can use a hand sander if you prefer.

What type of sealer should I use?

Depending on your preference, you can use a clear sealer or a colored sealer. Clear sealers will allow the paint color to show through, while colored sealers will change the appearance of the fabric.

How do I apply the sealer?

To apply the sealer, start in one corner and work your way across the fabric. Once you’ve applied the sealer to the entire surface, let it dry completely before using the furniture.

What if I’m not happy with the results?

If you’re not happy with the results, you can always paint over the paint job and start again. Painting upholstery is a lot of trial and error, so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t turn out the way you want it to. 

Also Read: How Do You Know If Your House has Lead Paint? | How Much Paint Do I Need?