Friday, January 6, 2012

Painting Fabric on Furniture?

With the new year upon me I have felt the overwhelming urge to make sure I'm up on the trends for this year. I consider myself pretty current on fashion and home decor but I've been seeing a repeating trend in home decor that I just can't seem to wrap my brain around... Painting Fabric on Furniture. I'm assuming if I'm this confused most of our readers probably are to so I've set myself on a mission to not only understand how to do it but to feel confident enough that I would. Here's what I've found:

Things You'll Need
• Drop cloth
• Transparent paint
• Opaque paint
• 2-inch wide nylon paint brush
• 3-inch wide nylon paint brush
• Scrub brush
• Soap
• Water
• Hand-held shampooer
• Bleach
• Sponge
• Heat gun

•1 Choose your color. If you have a light-colored fabric, stick with a transparent paint as your main color. If you have a darker piece of furniture, use an opaque paint that's a couple of shades darker than the original color, but in the same color family. The same goes for furniture with patterns. Rather than trying to hide the patterns, which will result in thicker coats of paint that will be uncomfortable and could possibly result in cracking later, stick to muting the pattern as opposed to hiding it.

•2 Prepare your furniture. You can't paint over dirty furniture. Clean your furniture thoroughly with either a scrub brush, soap and water, or a shampooer with hand-held attachments. Don't use spray-on upholstery cleaner since it leaves behind residue. Make sure you rinse the fabric well. Gently blot stubborn stains with bleach, using a light touch. Allow the furniture to dry as much as possible before you begin painting.

•3 Mix and apply the first coat of your main color. Mix your paint as follows: 1/2 paint and 1/2 water. Start with short, even strokes on the front of your furniture with a 3-inch wide soft-bristled brush. After you have finished painting the entire piece of furniture with the first coat, if you're not satisfied with the coverage, mix your paint again. This time with only 1/4 water to 3/4 paint and apply a second coat.

•4 Add your accent color. Mix your accent color with only 1/4 water to 3/4 paint. Using a sponge, dab the accent color over your furniture fabric. Don't press too hard or it will overtake your main color.

•5 Prepare your furniture--again. Air dry for 2 days. Then, using a heat gun, dry thoroughly to set the paint. After you've completed this process, repeat it to really set the color. Allow the furniture to sit for another 2 days. Shampoo, rinse and dry your furniture with the heat gun. This is absolutely necessary to prevent paint from adhering to clothing, etc. Once you have completed this process, it will be ready for use.

Although I still don't feel like an expert on the subject, I would feel confident enough to at least try this method on a CraigsList pick up or garage sale bargain. I've seen the results and with most fabrics you can't even tell it's been painted. Think of the money that you could be saving by painting on new fabric rather than having to re-upholster. Now don't get me wrong, some fabrics NEED TO LEAVE but if it's just a matter of not liking the color on a chair or sofa, why not just paint it?

Instructions provided by
Picture provided by Apartment Therapy

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