Have you ever wondered how to paint fabric? I have a few times. I painted curtains here – the curtains were pretty crunchy from the paint but they were for my guest bedroom and no one touched them so I didn’t care. I also have painted a cheap pleather pouf I bought at a garage sale here – and have painted many poufs since. But how to paint a fabric chair? I have never been brave enough until Heirloom Traditions debuted one of their new products, FAB – a fabric primer and sealer in one.
Update: After this video went viral on Facebook with over 1million views I uploaded it to YouTube. Thankfully I was wearing a bra but I probably would have chose something other than yoga pants to wear.
Heirloom Traditions sent me some FAB for me to take for a test drive. One of the best parts of my job is getting to try out new products! I immediately starting hunting for a piece to paint. I found a few vintage settees but someone backed out of selling me one on a private Facebook selling group (So rude. Don’t be that person.) and the others I found had torn fabric and really needed to be reupholstered.
I settled on this chair I scored at Goodwill for $7.99. I loved the shape of it and the legs. Out of curiosity I sent a photo of it to my upholstery guy and he quoted me $130.00 to have it redone. Plus 7 yards of fabric. Even if you can find a budget fabric at $10.00 a yard and an awesomely affordable upholsterer ( Am I the only one who gravitates to the most expensive, $125.00/yard fabric? It means I have good taste. I can’t help it!) you will still have to invest almost $180.00 to make this chair over. Not that bad but still a decent amount of money.
On the day I bought this chair at Goodwill, and I wasn’t able to fit in my small SUV because I already had a dresser I was hauling home, so I made arrangements to pick the chair up the next day. The next day turned into four days later. I finally brought it home and when our friends came over for dinner that night Jessica said “Did you get that chair at the Goodwill on Britton & May? I thought of you when I saw it, but it was marked sold, but I just knew you could make if fabulous!” Ha. She knows me.
Here is the supply list if you want to tackle this project on your own.
1 16z Jar of Clear FAB Fabric Primer & Sealer
1 16oz Pint of Heirloom Traditions Paint. I used the color Verdigris Green from my custom color line with Heirloom Traditions. You can use any paint you have on hand. I have heard even latex paint works fine but I have not personally tried it myself.
You can also get 10% off of your order PLUS a free shipping and Large Best Chalk Brush (a $38.95 value!) for free when you use the coupon code REFUNKMYJUNK at checkout at Heirloom Traditions Paint’s Website.
The first step is to paint one coat of FAB onto all of the piece’s fabric. I will dry clear so don’t worry about perfection. If your piece of furniture has a lot of buttons or tufting really work that FAB into all of those cracks and crevices.
I allowed the FAB to dry completely, waiting for 2 hours. Once it was dry the fabric felt soft to the touch. It’s hard to describe, but it feels like coated fabric. The reason for applying the priming layer of FAB is: 1.) If you have ever tried painting fabric you know it soaks up a TON Of paint. FAB creates a paintable layer over the fabric so very little paint is needed. I painted this chair with an 8 oz sample size of my signature color, Verdigris Green. It also only took one coat.
Another reason it is helpful to prime your fabric with FAB is painted fabric tends to feel crunchayyyy – like if you plopped down on it to curl up with a book you might just crack the fabric in half. FAB helps the fabric to feel soft to the touch after it’s painted.
I painted the legs in French Vanilla but I got a little crazy with the Verdigris Green so I just wiped off my mistakes with a scrubby sponge and touched it up. I then painted on a final coat of FAB to seal it.
The final coat of FAB seals the paint.
Think about sitting on unsealed fabric with white pants.
You can also apply furniture wax on top of the paint and then seal it with FAB.
Now, think about sitting on a chair with Dark Umber Soft Wax and white pants.
Not a good look.
I had a paint workshop at my studio that night and everyone in the class oohed and ahhed over it, feeling it with their fingers, and they even enjoyed sitting on it just to give it a test drive.
ALSO, check out these FAB video tutorials from Heirloom Traditions Paint.