This is really embarrassing.

More than several of you have called me out on the lack of update on the chair I started painting over a year ago.

Like any project, it starts out with the best of intentions. But if it takes too long, or I get interrupted, or yada yada yada…sometimes things just left behind.

Or worse- I get bored and move on to something completely different. See this post for more insight into my fruit fly mentality. At first, it’s exciting, like OMG I’m PAINTING a FABRIC chair. Like, life changing stuff happening.

painting a textured fabric chair


first brown coat of paint


Using a combination of craft paint and textile medium, I brushed on layers and layers of paint- using some plastic bag dabbing to get that mottled leather look. After each coat I sanded, and slowly a vinyl-like surface emerged.

faux leather painted chair



By the time I started the cushion, I had lost all interest in transforming this $20 chair. I had even mostly redecorated and repainted the room by this point. As the room changed, I began to realize that the chair wasn’t going to work. Even if I could achieve a decent result with paint, it was actually a little too big for the space. So, I officially abandoned the chair. It sat like this for months…

painted chair faux leather


With all of the other changes in the space, the 75% finished chair was becoming more and more of an eyesore. A couple of months ago, I decided to start looking for a replacement. Something a little funky, comfortable, definitely upholstered, and cheap- those were the only requirements.

guess room progress

Finally I hit the jack pot this weekend at one of my favorite estate sale companies. For $42, this little guy came home with me.

vintage gold chair


Yes, it’s gold. It’s velvety. It’s super comfy. And I love it!

gold chair

Squee! The lighting in this room is pretty bad, so it’s hard to capture the color properly. It’s a true gold and in great condition. I love the way it ties into the brass headboard and frame above the bed.

guest room bed


Seriously. So. Stinkin. Cute.

new guest room chair

So, the moral of the story is that 1)I do think you can paint the fabric on chairs but you have to be really committed to it and 2) I think it would work the best on a smooth fabric, not the ribbed velour-ish type I had.

Have you ever tried it painting fabric? I’ve seen some really excellent makeovers (and tutorials!) out there.


{Hyphen Interiors}

Would you ever tackle this type of project??


7 Responses

  1. Jillian Leigh

    yeah, I like the new chair better… also, love the night stand/crate things. we have a bunch of those and are going to do something w ‘em….

    never painted a chair. i’m too skurred ;) hahaha!!!

  2. Rosie

    Glad to get the update and glad you found just the right chair.

    I really really want to paint some upholstered piece BUT in all my searches I haven’t read anything definitive on two things: How well does it hold up? And how does it feel to the touch. I have a brain that totally needs to know.

    • Rachael Evans

      Hi Rosie- I sanded between coats and actually used tung oil on the finished areas and it felt quite smooth to the touch. But, it’s stiff. I would imagine it would hold up well though!

  3. Sandy

    Rachael, I HAVE painted on fabric! I had a denim ottoman, that my hubby did NOT want to get rid of….but it didn’t match anything any longer. Using your post, and others, I decided to paint it a soft khaki color. It took f o r e v e r….but…..the results were amazing!!! From a distance, it looks leather. Up close it looks like a textured vinyl. My perseverance really paid off…hubby is happy, and so am I.
    I’m sorry yours didn’t turn out like you wanted. But there is success out there from your blog! : )

  4. Tonica

    We painted an ottoman and a rocker. We used Annie Sloan Chalk paint. It starts off a little stiff but the more you use it the softer it becomes, it feels a little like leather.


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