Painting Fabric with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® is truly an amazing paint. It’s incredibly versatile! You can paint metal, glass, wood, concrete, and yes, you can paint fabric! From dyeing fabric to painting cushions on chairs, using Chalk Paint® is an easy way to update dated fabric that’s in good shape.
Here at Suite Pieces, we LOVE to paint fabric. Sometimes the vintage pieces we get in will have an outdated fabric, some light stains or just needs a facelift. Painting the fabric helps breathe new life into a piece. While painting fabric is as simple as painting wood, the process is slightly different. When painting fabric you need the same tools as you would for wood; Annie Sloan brushes (paint & wax brushes), Chalk Paint®, Annie Sloan Clear Wax, spray bottle with water and 220-grit sandpaper. All which can be conveniently purchased at Suite Pieces Huntington, Suite Pieces Massapequa or SuitePieces.com. ; )
First step in painting fabric is the selection of the piece. The best option is a piece that has a more decorative function. We wouldn’t recommend the couch that the kids and dogs use as a trampoline, unless it was a temporary fix (less than 6 months) until a replacement was made. The best types of fabrics to use are fabrics that do not have deep texture. We would shy away from velvet (since velvet has a nap, it can be tricky, although it can also be pretty cool, because sometimes it may crackle or have a faded effect from the original color), tweed or chenille types of fabric. These more textured fabrics are more challenging as they can get a little stiff with painting (again, if it’s a temporary fix, sandpaper can do the trick to help smooth them, but we wouldn’t necessarily recommend this type of fabric for a long term solution). Fabrics we recommend are cotton blends, linens or silks. Another tip with the fabric is if your fabric has a textured pattern you will still see it once it’s painted and the results will be beautiful! If the pattern is more of a printed cotton, the paint will cover it. Think of it as if you closed your eyes and rubbed your hands over the fabric, could you tell there was a pattern on it? That will help visual your results!
Once you selected the lucky piece ; ), you can select your paint color! We also recommend the lighter colors that always give gorgeous results! But feel free to pick a darker color with more pigments bring a pop to any piece. A quick tip is when if you want to use a darker more pigmented color, select a piece that has a tighter cushion, not a loose one for the best results. Now onto the process!
After you tape off you piece so you don’t get any paint on the frame of your chair or couch, you will then spray your fabric down with water. Don’t be scared! Spritz away! Then when you’re about to apply your paint think of this as dyeing your fabric rather than painting it. The paint has to soak into the fabric not lay on the top of it. Once it’s dry you can repeat that process until you achieve the coverage you like best! This means thin coats and as many as you find fit to get the coverage you want!
After the paint is completely dry & covered to your liking, you can take your 220-grit sandpaper and lightly sand the painted fabric. This will soften the fabric to perfection! You don’t have to sand between coats of paint, just on the final step. After sanding, be sure to wipe down the surface with a wet rag to remove the dust. The last step is to wax! Lightly wax your fabric. It is the same method that you would wax a wood piece but just lighter! When waxing, use Annie Sloan Clear Wax only. Pigmented or stained waxes, such as Annie Sloan Dark Wax, Chalk Paint® White Wax or Black Wax, can transfer onto your clothes when you go to relax on your new piece.
Painting fabric furniture is such an effortless way to take your favorite (but outdated) pieces to the next level! And when The Drapery Lady is away and can’t upholster our pieces or it just needs a quick change, we always use Chalk Paint® for our fabric pieces!
Want further help? Watch our video of the whole process HERE and as always we are available via our Facebook page, email or you can call our Huntington location at (631) 560-9759 or Massapequa location at (516) 308-4447. We are always here to help and we can’t wait to meet you!