Hi there. Join Grillo Designs on Instagram and Pinterest to keep up with our latest posts and ideas. If you’re on Facebook, why not join our Home decorating, Upcycling, and DIY group too – inspiration is guaranteed!


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)
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.




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

How to Turn Kallax Units Into A Stylish Bench

How to Build a Sofa for Your Garden


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!