Tuesday, February 22, 2011

paint that ugly sofa

Let's say you have a sofa or chair, and it has really great bones.... but it's upholstered in something really ugly...and you're on a budget and re-upholstery is either too expensive or just too tedious. Well, you can paint it! Depending on what kind of fabric you have, there are a couple of different ways to go about this, which we will discuss in a bit. First I want to inspire you with some of these great finds.


Mackenzie Childs

This chair is a combo of paint and fresh upholstery, but still so fun! via tuffetlady.com


I am CRAZY a bout the idea of just letting the kids go crazy with paint pens! And I love how this totally casual and funky sofa is in an otherwise formal room.
(You would need to paint the fabric first, directions will follow )

Most likely your great boned piece of furniture has some kind of nubby upholstery. If this is the case, you can use a specific spray paint for fabric to create this look. The underlying texture or pattern will still show through, but that could turn out to be an asset, like these chairs below. This homeowner sprayed plum fabric spray paint over a crewel fabric. Personally I think the before is great, but the colors weren't working for their decor and the chairs were FREE so, what the heck!
via diyhomedecoratingideas.com

Jen, at Little Green Notebook , spray painted these X stools, hiding the former Granny/Santa Fe style upholsterly. They look totally chic and fresh now.

If you have a flat fabric, like chintz or cotton duck, you can actually paint the fabric with regular latex, interior paint. I have done this myself, and I have a friend who has done it as well, so trust me, it works. Use semi gloss paint and a 3 inch whizz roller. It will take multiple coats, but what you end up with is a great leathery kind of look. Over time, the paint will crack a little, but that will just add to the leather look.


  1. Fabric spray paint is fantastic and don't forget all those people who were staining their old leather furniture with FE Stain & Seal!

  2. Really???? I would love to see a photo of that...do you have one?

  3. OMG! I just saw a little fade on the side of my leather sofa and literally thought: "Stain & Seal might do the trick..."! :)