Wednesday, March 3, 2010

How to Paint a Sofa...Fabric and All...

So....there were a lot of comments on my painted furniture that prompted me to do a bit of a how-to and to give a bit of experienced advice here.
I just used regular old latex paint in a satin or a semi-gloss sheen...that way it is a bit wipe-able...since I have kids...washable is a big deal...
I use a bristle brush for the first coat. This helps me get into the cracks and folds and the little nooks and crannies of the fabric.
Speaking of fabric....
~~~~TIP~~~~
your fabric must be of the smooth variety...textures and velvets will not paint as nicely...velvets will clump and become matted and gross...textures will not be as 'leather-ish' in the end...
I also have concluded that the BEST fabric to paint is a cotton blend. It will stay softer than the poly blends that many pieces are upholstered in. The poly blends become a bit stiffer and do not feel as comfortable as the cotton blends. My chair is absolutely soft and feels like soft leather...where as the loveseat is a bit stiffer feeling...I have concluded that it is because of the fabric blend. I don't care right now...I like my loveseat...at least until I find a cotton blend one...hahaha.
Okay...back to the tutorial
Here's me painting the first coat on a cushion. Keep in mind now that I cannot take my own photos...especially if I am painting...so I had to enlist the help of my lovely "assistant" who ....~dazzles~ me daily with her helpfulness and skills...Today...she was ripping around the garage on a scooter...taking action shots and photos of the stupidest things...including the inside of her mouth, a VERY close up of my bum...her brother's nostrils...yea...you get the idea...so...needless to say...the "quality" of the photos may not be what you are expecting...
Yep...an action shot...make sure you get the paint into the seams and all of the exposed areas...

Talk on your cell phone while you paint...did I mention that she was supposed to take photos of the project??? NOT ME!!! (and yes... I am just stunning today...aren't I? haha)
After the first coat of paint has dried...about an hour or so...do not be upset if you can see through it. The paint will have soaked into the fabric a bit. I like to use a microfiber roller for the rest of the coats. It is small and made for doing trim and corners, but it doesn't leave bubbles in the coat...and it is flexible. Foam rollers will leave those little air bubbles...and you will have a lot of sanding between coats.
Between coats it is a good idea to give the project a light sanding with a fine grit sandpaper...wipe lightly and remove all sanding grit...then re-coat. Repeat this process as many times as you need to to give the piece a nice even appearance...and feel.
This is after 3 or 4 coats.
So...you go ahead and give it a final sanding...then, just before you apply the final coat...you decide you HATE that color...and turn around and add a few more coats of a fabulous color of your choice...wait for it to dry...several hours...
Then....you apply a finishing wax to the piece...I didn't like the finishing paste that I found in the hardware store...so I used car wax instead...my small buffer...and....
Ta-DA!!!
Overall...this project took me two days...I had to allow drying time. It cost me no more than a can of paint a thrift store loveseat and some frustration...I am happy with the outcome.
If you have any questions that I did not answer...please...feel free to ask.
I planned to share another fantastic piece...that I have acquired recently, but I could not get the blogger uploader to work...so you will have to wait...

See you back here...for Fertilizer Friday...I have been a busy Tootsie this week...so stay tuned!

37 comments:

adsgram said...

Have you had good luck with the paint staying on the upholstery? It seems like it would crack, but I am willing o give it a go if it is durable enough. Your loveseat looks terrific!

Lynne
dlynne172@yahoo.com

Tootsie said...

so far so good!!!! my kids have been hopping all over it all the time and it is not cracking...or rubbing off...I love it...but make sure you stick to the cotton blend...it will be much softer in the end!!!

Mary said...

It's fantastic! And I am still amazed that you painted this and it looks like that!!!

Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

2 thumbs up, it looks great. I know it will stay for a long time. I still wear sweatshirts that I painted the whole front of, 20 yrs ago and after wear and tear and almost daily washing they are still soft and wearable.
Thanks for the ideas
Molly

trash talk said...

I've been wanting to do this to a set of chairs and now I am armed with knowledge and ready to tackle 'em! Thank you and I'll send you photos of the final result!
Debbie

Screaming Meme said...

Miss Tootsie~You are amazing...I love it! :) Thanks for sharing! Meme

Andrea said...

I am sooooo impressed.
Hugs,
andrea

artis1111 said...

Girl you are getting so skinny!!!No fair!!!hehe This looks wonderful. This is a great idea for everyone who wants a new look and has a few days to spare. The cost of new sofas is not doabole for some, and this idea is the perfect way to get a new look. It is so good to be home.LOL Kathy

Sandra said...

Tootsie! Tootsie! Tootsie! Girl, you are amazing! I never would have guessed to paint sofas. I love how it looks now.! You are just too talented, ms thang. :)
Have a nice day.
Sandra

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Good Morning my sweet Girl...Now that Busy was indeed a busy girl taking all those great photos of you ha ha!!
Girl you made this look so easy and the end rusults are just awesome WOW!! I just love the looks of it..its so english cottage looking now...Now you need to show people how you made those shelfs from books I think those are so cool looking...I hope you have a GREAT day my sweet friend and GAIN some weight you are now thinner than me ha ha!! Love ya, glad to see you got the bugs out of blogger...Love,Gl♥ria

Darla said...

I am so glad to hear that Bilbo is finally coming to visit you...he is going to keep you busier than Busy does!!

santamaker said...

WOW......my jaw is hitting the floor.... I can't believe how great this looks! You are so brave and talented!

The Japanese Redneck said...

Amazing! Yes, it is a fabulous color.

Life on the Edge said...

Sorry that its been forever since I've come for a visit! I just do not hardly ever get into blogger any more...enough to leave a post, but I haven't visited hardly anyone.

Thank goodness I saw this though. Wow! It just blows me away! I currently have a thrift store couch that I was wanting to junk, but I can't afford something else. I think I will try this! It would be like having a whole new sofa. I currently cover it with a slipcover, but it keeps falling off. Your results were just amazing!

Kady

Maureen said...

I'm still speechless. As I read terms like 'sand' and 'wax', I had to keep reminding myself that you are talking about a sofa. It looks fabulous!

RainGardener said...

I can't believe this either. Had someone told me it could be done I would have said bull . . . ony.
They look great Tootsie - where did you hear about doing this?
I hear you have a visitor coming to stay with you for a while. LOL

cherry said...

I have heard of painting fabric before but never would have thought it could turn out so pretty..

I have a chair that I was going to have recovered but I'm going to try this first ..

AMAZING simply AMAZING that's what you are Miss Tootsie !!
hugs, Cherry

Nutty Gnome said...

A good job well done Tootsie ...oh my goodness, I sound SO English in that!!! (ah well, can't be helped!)

It looks great - how long do you reckon it'll last with childrens wear and tear capabilities?!

leavesnbloom said...

Tootsie - with nails like that I'd be wearing gloves while painting.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

You're always doing something new I've never seen before. I was trying to imagine how it would look finished, it does look like leather!

Evelyn Howard said...

Fantastic post.

Gail said...

Stunning!

9405018--Pat said...

This looks awesome...thanks for sharing...Pat H

Bren said...

You do a fabulous job! I think you need your own SHOW... SERIOUSLY!
YOU ROCK - SUPER HUGS MY friend up North!

Justine said...

I really believe only you would be daring enough to even try this! And all that sanding in between coats? Egads, gives me the heebie jeebies just thinking about it. But, the final outcome is just amazing. It truly DOES look like leather!!! But car wax? Are you serious? Have you slid off the love seat yet? If you do, please make sure Busy has the camera ready.

Justine :o )

mishebe said...

WOW, i am speechless.. i did not know this was possible and you did an Awesome job.. Even talking on the cell too..lol.. mishelle

Lori E said...

Seeing is believing except I still can't believe it. I would worry about the cracking and flaking too but you addressed that above. Hmmm, who knew?

Stacey said...

That is truly amazing! How does it feel? It's gorgeous. Looks like leather.

Betty said...

You are awesome Tootsie! Thanks for the step by steps of this project. Maybe I will try something small and see if I can get your results. It sure does look good.

Teresa~ Gardening with Soule said...

Wow! I am still amazed that you can paint couches. who'd of thought? it looks great!

Angel said...

Glenda, I am speechless .... I have never seen anything like it!,nor ever in my wildest dream have thought... something like that up! You Go Girl!!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh my word, what a great idea. I absolutely love the look of the piece. It really does look just like leather. Now that is just unreal. Hugs, Marty

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

That is unbelievable...Amazing...
thanks for sharing....Love your blog.. Hope you will stop by...I just added some extra giveaways...
So glad to have a few hours to blog hop.

Teresa

Sassy said...

I have missed all of your smart ideas...I am doing this for sure I hate my furniture.......you are too too cute.....love your sofa....

siteseer said...

That is amazing!! I never would have even thought of painting furniture.... and it totally looks like leather! And no cracking or flaking? AMAZING!!! What will you think of next?

rachel said...

Just painted my sofa and love seat following this tutorial. They look amazing, and are holding up fabulously! Thanks so much for making it look so easy ~ that gave me the confidence to do it!
Rachel Van Buren
Charlotte, NC

Heather Davis said...

So you didn't add any fabric medium or whatever and mix the paint? You just painted with semi-gloss paint? ('Cause that's what I'm wanting to do--skip that step.) How's it holding up?