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Painted Upholstery: A Guide For 2020


Editor’s Note: the method of painting mentioned in this article represents our own opinion, we are not responsible for the result, if you decided to paint your upholstered chair, you are responsible for the results, whether these results are positive or negative.

Upholstered chairs are attractive and comfortable additions to any house, when neglected, however, upholstery can turn fast into next years yard sales featured item.

Therefore its important to keep the upholstered chair in your house last for years and years, by getting to know the ABCs of upholstery corrective care, preventative and painting.

Upholstery Chair Protection

Some people want to paint their upholstery chairs not beacause they want to change the color or style but because they want to do some damage control and fix the damaged upholstered chair, so it’s crucial to know the things that can be done to prevent the damage.

Keep the upholstery chair away from sunlight, ink, polishes, paints and fabric dyes.

keep the upholstered chair away from the window, sunlight can fade upholstery.

to avoid ink damage to your upholstered chair, put your newspaper on a side table or coffee table.

Other things that can cause serious damage include dark-colored blankets and sheets, for when wet or damp, the dark dyes on these fabrics can ruin and rub off your upholstery.

polishes and paints, should never be used on upholstery, make sure to cover your upholstered chair when painting your house or room.

The Method Of Painting An Upholstered Chair


A Spray bottle full of water
One Quart of latex satin paint and feel free to choose the color you like
Half inch or smaller paint brush
Acrylic craft paint in the same color of the Latex paint.
Fabric medium and it should be equal to the amount of paint
Sand paper in around a 180 grit


1. Remove any dust and debris from the chair.

2. Mix 1:1 parts of latex paint and fabric medium (you can use a product by Valspar).

image source:

For fabric medium, we recommend “Delta Ceramcoat Fabric Medium”

image source:

Fabric medium keeps the fabric from getting too hard.
Some fabric mediums require that you place an iron briefly on the fabric or a hair dryer after the paint dries.

Try not to use too much paint, one eighth of the quart is good.

3. Water things down by adding half the amount of water as paint.

4. Remove all seat cushions that are not attached from the chair or other furniture item.

5. Fabric should be wet, so Spritz the part of the chair you will start with first with water.


Note: the images used in this section belong to the founder of

1. Brush on the paint slowly while blending the best you can, work the paint into the fabric and always make your last stroke with the grain so the fabric lays in the right direction as it dries.

The watered down coats should give you light coverage, almost like a stain. It will also act as a primer.

2. Do two coats this way, each should be very thin, water it down even more if you have to, let the first one dry fully before beginning the second.

3. Sand any particularly rough parts, sand lightly with a fine grit sandpaper, in the direction of the grain, if possible.

4. Once the chair was dry, you can spray painted the legs in any color you want.


After the legs were painted:

5. Now, it’s time for a final coat using the acrylic paint, Mix it 1:1 with the fabric medium, but this time, be more generous. you can do a full cup this size (see below.).

Add just a few thimbles of water to dilute it a little.

Spray the fabric with water again, just like you did on the other two coats.

Paint this layer much more generously, this will be the layer that will cover the chair more completely, and it should provide full coverage unlike the base coats.

6. The Final Result (some nailhead trims were added on the arms)



Final Note

Protect and paint your upholstered chairs using these guidelines and tips, with a little attention, the upholstered chair in your house can look fantastic for a long time.

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