I’ve seen it many times on Pinterest- painting upholstery to give your furniture an affordable and simple makeover. I decided to give it a try when our friend Becky purchased these tufted wingback chairs from Valley Mission Thrift for $10 each. What a steal! I thought they were a great find.
I read a lot of reviews online about fabric/upholstery paint and the Simply Spray upholstery paint seemed to have the best reviews and looked to have the best results by the pictures I saw. We decided to give it a shot and she purchased the Simply Spray Charcoal Gray.
The directions did say to test an area of the fabric to see if it absorbed water, which it did. But I decided to take it a step further and reach out to the company because I wanted to ask about the textured fabric to see if it would take the paint. Unfortunately, I didn’t receive a response, which was disappointing.
Did you notice the lady sitting in the chairs on the spray paint label? She probably looks like that because she can’t believe the amount of money she just spent to spray paint her chair. I’m being sarcastic, but serious. That’s exactly why this review is a mixed review, because while the end result looks good, it cost more money than I expected. A three-pack of spray paint was $33.00 on Amazon and it wasn’t a Prime product, so add another $10 or so for shipping. Whoa. I was hoping it wouldn’t take a whole lot to get the chairs covered, but it did.
It seemed to give good coverage with the first coat, but the fabric just soaked it up.
I figured it would take more than one coat but I also had two cushions to spray on each side. The cost of the paint just kept adding up. She purchased 6 at first and I thought I could get away with one or two more after that, but needed all three of them…and that still wasn’t enough. Becky purchased a total of 9 cans and I bought three more after that to give it full coverage, because some of the tan was still showing through. That was a total of 12 cans and with the cost of a 3-pack listed above, you can do the math. I thought it was a lot, especially for thrift store chairs. Sure, it’s not as expensive to have them reupholstered, but it did feel like it was defeating the purpose of buying thrift store furniture.
The cost and the stiff fabric after painting are the reason the review isn’t great, but the good news is the chairs look nice with this fresh paint color and up-to-date look. I have heard that the stiffness does soften up over time with use, but that remains to be seen over time. I will update that information as soon as I know how it turns out.
You can see how the paint gave these chairs a nice, updated look…
I’m happy with the way they look and I hope Becky will be. I had fun photographing them because I included this semi-circle side table my Grandaddy built in shop class when he was in high school. It was perfect with the chairs!
One thing left to finish before the chairs go home are the touch-ups I have to do on the legs of the chairs with stain markers. It looks like the Dark Walnut stain marker is going to work.
Have you painted upholstery before? What worked best for you? I have heard that chalk paint works well and I have also heard that a regular latex paint with fabric medium works. If you have any experience with painting upholstery, I’d love to hear about it! I might try spray upholstery paint again, but it will be with a smooth fabric and not textured.