What Not To Do When Painting Upholstery :

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What Not To Do When Painting Upholstery

Avoid these common mistakes and ensure a successful upholstery painting project that will transform your furniture into a stunning focal point in your home

Stepping into this week like, new chair who dis.

This months Love Your Home Challenge is a paint update project, so I knew I had a perfect excuse to try out painting a chair!

If you are new to this little blog you should know I will try anything & be happy to share all of my failures with you.

Painting upholstery can be a great way to give new life to old furniture or add a pop of color to your space.

However, it’s important to approach this DIY project with caution and avoid certain pitfalls that can lead to unsatisfactory results.

This project definitly had a few fails but in the end I am happy-ish with my brand “new” chair.

Update: See how to paint furniture the right way here!


Upholstery Painting Supplies:

Upholstery painting mistakes

Here is the chair we started with.

I bought it years ago and it has definitely seen better days.

The bones of this chair are still good though so I thought updating it with a little paint would bring it back to life.

Upholstery painting mistakes

1. Proper Preparation for Upholstery Painting

Cue the first upholstery painting mistake I made, not properly cleaning and prepping the chair.

Do not skimp out on the vacuuming, I did, and I didn’t realize the mistake until it was too late…

Some of our dogs hair is now permanently embedded in the chair, luckily for me it was only a small section on the back, but this could have been easily avoided.

I recommend vacuuming, then using a spot cleaning machine like this one to remove any stains and embedded dirt.

Not removing any dirt, stains, or oils could interfere with the paint’s adhesion.

2. Choosing the right fabric paint

Upholstery painting mistakes

One of the key things to avoid is using the wrong type of paint.

Upholstery requires a specific type of paint that is designed to adhere to fabric and withstand regular use.

Using regular wall paint or acrylic paint can result in a stiff and uncomfortable texture, and the paint may crack or peel over time.

It’s crucial to invest in high-quality fabric paint that is specifically formulated for upholstery.

Looking back I would have used this paint instead, but I did at least mix in a textile medium so my results weren’t terrible.

CUpholstery painting mistakes

3.  Rushing the Drying Process

Common upholstery painting errors

Allow ample time for each layer of paint to dry completely before applying the next one.

This will help prevent smudging, streaking, or uneven color distribution.

Not waiting caused me to have a blotchy looking finish even after two coats.

Patience is key when it comes to achieving a professional-looking finish.

Tips for successful upholstery painting

Common upholstery painting errors

This chair is definitely not my favorite DIY but it looks better than it did!

The next time I decide to tackle an upholstery painting project I will be more prepared now that I know what not to do.

That’s the beauty of DIY though, you learn something new with each project and get better with the next one.

Heres what I learned about upholstery painting:

  • Vacuuming and cleaning need to be thorough
  • Drying in-between coats cannot be rushed
  • Using the right paint will avoid “crunchy-ness”
  • You wont always love your DIY projects (but you can learn from them)

Hopefully these mistakes will help you avoid a fabric painting disaster and help you achieve an upholstery makeover you love.

Update: I painted a rocking chair and it turned out amazing!

Check out the complete faux leather upholstery painting technique here

You Might Also Like These Furniture Makeover Projects:

9 Easy Ways to Update Furniture

How To Create a Woodgrain Finish with Paint: Table & Chairs Makeover

Farmhouse Kitchen Island Makeover: How To Sand Indoors

How To Refinish a Cabinet With a Natural Wood Look

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