Greetings Friends! On Friday, I shared my latest find--a worn, dated sofa I reclaimed from a yard sale. I've been very busy giving it new life and today I am excited to reveal it...
Here's my yard sale sofa in its rejected state--you can see I had my work cut out for me...
...and here it is rescued and refreshed!
Before beginning, I had already determined that I wanted to paint the main sofa, then cover the seat cushions with fabric. I had never painted upholstery before and while I know I'm not the first to paint a sofa, it was a first for me. I found the challenge a little daunting, so I did what I usually do when navigating a new experience. Research, research and research some more! Basically, when it comes to painting upholstery, there are the chalk people and the latex people. Both seem equally enthusiastic about their technique. Both emphasize the importance of misting the fabric with water and also mixing the paint with water, before applying. The latex peeps also add fabric medium so the paint will adhere to the fabric. The theory of the chalk peeps is that the chalk paint actually dyes the fabric which made sense to me, so I was already leaning toward chalk paint when I went to look for fabric for the cushions. I was thrilled to find a nice weight gray cotton and chalk paint in the same shade, both by Waverly and then further inspired to find this fabulous pillow--the tools to create the vision in my head :)
When I first started, I have to confess it was with more trepidation than when I painted my oven! For the first coat, I mixed two parts water to one part chalk paint. I used a spray bottle of water to mist the fabric in sections, as I applied the paint. This helps the fabric absorb the paint. Warning: it is messy! I wore gloves and moved a garbage bag with me under each section as I painted. Fortunately, I'd already learned it would not look
Pretty much everything I read stressed the importance of allowing the paint to dry 24 hours and sanding with 220 grit sandpaper in between coats. I know it sounds weird to sand upholstery, but it works! If your fabric does not have a pattern or is closer to the paint color you choose, you may only need two coats. Of course, I chose a light shade to cover a dark pattern so I needed three! After the first coat, the paint and water mixture is half and half and I also found I did not need to mist the fabric first.
I wanted to show a close up after the third coat. It doesn't appear to be painted--it just looks like fabric and is also not hard or stiff to the touch! I have read other tutorials where it mentioned painted fabric feeling "crunchy." Mine really doesn't! The chintz like fabric may be part of the reason but I also attribute the desired texture to adequate thinning with water, drying and sanding. This shade Mineral, by Waverly looked much lighter before it dried and almost caused a panic(!) but the dried color was perfect.
For the wood trim, I used Waverly White and lightly distressed it.
Did you notice I chose not to use the back cushions? I wanted a similar look to my other vintage sofa, Rosie. Also, I made one long seat cover rather than sewing three separate ones for the same reason. No more throwback from the eighties! She just needs a name--any suggestions?
If you've been contemplating painting upholstery, I say go for it! My experience was certainly rewarding and I can't help but think of all the times I've passed on a good piece because of the wrong pattern or color--the possibilities are endless and oh-so-thrifty! Total cost including $10 for yard sale sofa, fabric and paint: $51.60! Happy dance!
MY HEARTFELT THANKS TO THE FOLLOWING FOR FEATURING THIS POST: