Easy DIY How to Paint a Fabric Chair

January 30, 2020

Hi! I'm Nicole

Fearless DIY. Sharing building project tutorials and interior design tips. Let’s build something beautiful together. For more projects, design tips and behind the scenes, follow me @designtobuild.nicole

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Have you ever attempted to paint a fabric chair…on purpose? A couple months ago, I gave my kitchen nook a bit of a makeover. After adding a couple sliding barn doors, shiplap and fresh paint, this chair was in need of a new look too….

kitchen nook sitting area.

I had two options: a.) donate it to Goodwill or b.) try my hand at painting it. I figured let’s go for b! After all, what did I have to lose? And I’m so happy I did! There’s truly something therapeutic about painting fabric. This was such a simple and fun project…


Materials Needed:

Rustoleum Chalk Paint (Aged Gray) 

Paint Brush  (My favorite paint brush!)

Frog Tape        


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Step One: Clean thoroughly

Using hot soapy water, clean the entire fabric surface thoroughly.

Step Two: Paint chair

Paint the entire surface of your chair the color you have chosen for the base color. I chose Rustoleum Aged Gray.

fabric chair with one coat of chalk paint halfway finished

fabric chair painted with chalk paint

Step Three: Tape & Paint

If you are wanting to add any lines to your chair, now is the time to measure those out. After the fabric has completely dried, tape off the base color that you want to keep…

frog tape to make straight lines on furniture piece

Paint your accent color onto the exposed fabric. I ended up moving my tape around a little bit to get a thicker middle black line…

black and white chalk paint stripes used on upholstery

Once you get started on the lines, a pattern starts to form and it just gets easier…

upholstery with gray chalk paint and black stripes

Step Four: Remove tape

I found it easiest to remove the tape when it was still slightly wet.

Step Five: Touch up

Touch up any spots where the lines are not straight.

Step Six: Dry and Spray

Allow it to dry and spray thoroughly with a couple coats of Scotchgard (allowing it to dry between each coat).

paint a fabric chair with chalk paint gray with black stripes

fabric chair with gray chalk paint and black stripes

And that’s it! So simple. Do you have a chair that you’re contemplating throwing out? Give this a shot! What do you have to lose? And maybe it will end up being your favorite chair in the house too. One that you can say, “I did this!”

paint a fabric chair with black and white stripes using chalk paint

modern sliding barn door in kitchen nook sitting area

And as you can see, this area definitely needed to be vacuumed (not my favorite thing to do 🙁  ). Let’s just not zoom in on these pics above. 🙂


upholstery painted with chalk paint

Until next time,

Happy Building, Friend!!

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Other kitchen makeover posts:

Easy How to Build a Modern Sliding Barn Door

How to Shiplap Using Underlayment-The Easy Way

Easy How-To and Hardware for Hanging a Sliding Barn Door

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  1. Hilary

    Did this alter the texture of the upholstery?

    • Nicole Nigg

      Yes it did. It’s a rougher texture now.

  2. Bec

    If you do the first coat of paint over the paint strips as the original white color and then paint the green, when you get paint bleed, that bleed will be from the first coat of white and not the green


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