How To Paint A Fabric Sofa

I transformed my cotton fabric IKEA sofa using Valspar wall paint and I’m sharing my how-to so you can paint a fabric sofa of your own.

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So I decided to take the plunge and paint my cream IKEA fabric sofa! Why you ask?

 

How to Paint a Fabric Sofa Tutorial Before and after Photos

 

Well firstly, I will always choose frugal over anything else when it comes to re-decorating (upholstering is expensive and maybe just a little too time consuming). And secondly, I’ve come to the realization that anything of a light cream colour is a huge no-no when you have a toddler who likes to eat food just about anywhere!

 

How to paint a fabric sofa - gray and white after photo

 

To be honest, I got the inspiration to do this from my Facebook group Grillo Designs Home Decorating and Upcycling group I had seen some great results of painted fabric sofas from the members on there and through asking the right questions, gained a brief outline on how it was done.

 

Close up angled image of a gray and white painted sofa

 

Materials I used:

 

Valspar emulsion tester pot x 2 (DARK GREY)
Valspar emulsion tester pot x 1 (LIGHT GREY)
Paintbrush
Painters tape
Old cleaner spray bottle.
Authentico Clear Wax
Sand Paper
Old dish rag

 

This is how the chair looked before:

 

Before image of a white sofa waiting for paint. The cushion has been removed.

 

How to:

 

1. Spray chair with water to dampen the fabric using the spray bottle.

 

Dampening the fabric before painting

 

2. Apply paint with a good brush lightly over all the dampened fabric. At times you might have to spray more water over areas just to help the paint absorb into the fabric.

 

Fabric sofa with the white paint on

 

3. Once you have completed the first coat of paint, leave it to dry for 24hrs.

 

Letting the first coat of paint dry for 24 hours

 

4. Sand lightly with sandpaper and dust off before applying the second coat of paint.

 

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5. Paint second coat and leave to dry for 24hrs – sand again.

 

Sofa painted with a second coat of white paint.

 

6. Paint third coat and leave for 24hrs – sand again (This third coat is not a must)

 

7. Use the painter’s tape to create your pattern – then paint the areas lightly using the Valspar light grey paint.

 

Use painters tape to mark off your pattern and add your second color of paint

 

Do not remove the tape while the paint is wet. Leave the paint to dry for another 24hrs – and sand again

 

Letting the second color of paint dry for 24 hrs

 

8. Remove tape.

 

Remove the tape from your fabric sofa

 

Apply a coat of wax and leave to dry for 24 hours

 

9. Apply clear wax using a dry cloth and buff. Leave to cure overnight.

 

How to paint a fabric sofa after photo of finished sofa

 

And that’s it! I hope you’ll give this a go. Please ask away if you have any questions!

Julieanne’s Vintage Love Seat

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UPDATE: This tutorial has been featured in GAYA MAGAZINE.

 

To see more Grillo Designs DIY projects, click here. To see projects from our group members, click here. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below! And don’t forget to save images to PINTEREST if you want to give this a go!

 

17 comments

  1. Do you think this would work on a currently pattered chair? I have a paisley blue chair that I would love to try this on.

  2. I love this, it’s gorgeous! Have you ever tried painting fabric that isn’t smooth? Like a non-ribbed corduroy? Your article says the fabric feels like suede when it’s done, but I wonder if it’s because it’s a smooth fabric to begin with?
    Thanks for your input!

    1. Hi karen, I’ve actually never tried but im guessing the same rules would still apply? it might be a good idea to get a scrap piece of fabric and try it out first!

  3. Your chair looks GREAT!!! I just bought 2 bar stools that have a fabric cover and are a little shabby…..number one question is Valspar emulsion a type of paint??? did you paint it on with a brush?? and secondly when did you use the authentico clear wax on the chair…….maybe we don’t have these items in the USA????

    1. Hi Ann-Marie! Thank you so much. Bar stools would be great to try this! Valspar is a paint brand and they do sell it in the US, have a look on Amazon on your local DIY store. I used the clear wax once my final paint coat had dried for a full day. Any clear brand wax should work! Hope that helps.

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