Tag Archives: painting fabric

Painting fabric with Fusion Mineral Paint

Painting fabric with Fusion Mineral Paint
Chair painted with Fusion Mineral Paint

In our shop we frequently get asked Can I paint fabric with Fusion Mineral Paint? Today we are giving a simple tutorial on how to paint fabric with .
Painting fabric shouldn’t be a daunting task. Rather, it is a quick, inexpensive, and easy way to change the overall look of outdated furniture to suit your style. Here are some top tips on how to achieve a perfectly flawless finish that is smooth and feels like leather when painting almost any fabric.

It is important to realise that all fabrics are different and will vary in how they take the paint, therefore it is important to experiment a bit to see if you will like how it will turn out. Painting a seating cushion? Start by painting the bottom side with all the steps below to see how it turns out before tackling your entire sofa or chair!

The most successful types of fabric to paint are Cotton, Polyester, Burlap, Vinyl and Leather.
You may find it a problem to paint velour or velvet as they tend to not result in a perfect finish, however it possible with patience and pratice.

How do you know when to paint fabric, and when not to?
When deciding whether or not to paint fabric, you need to decide the value of your piece: would you be absolutely devastated if the finish didn’t work out to your liking? Is it an heirloom that has been in your family forever? If it is, then perhaps painting it isn’t such a good idea. Instead seek out a professional re-upholsterer. Second hand finds are great for this type of treatment. No attachment, Nothing gained – nothing lost. Look for items that are of solid construction, no smells or obvious stains.

Before and after painting fabric process
Before and after painting fabric

The Process
Before starting make sure you clean the fabric. If there are stained areas that change the texture of the fabric and cannot be cleaned you may want to upholster instead.

1. Apply your first coat made up of 1 part paint to 1 part water.This helps to absorb the paint into the fabric more, and almost dye the fabric, versus a coat of paint sitting on the fabric. ( Skip adding water if painting on Vinyl or Leather)

2. Sand with a fine grit paper to soften. This will take down any roughness of the fabric. Sometimes when you paint fabric, little fibers tend to raise up, so you knock those back with a sanding pad or fine sand paper. This takes very little effort.

3. Apply another coat of paint but this time use less water and more paint. 1 part water to 2 parts paint. ( Again skip adding water if painting vinyl or leather)
This will again help it to soak in really easily. If you think you only need 2 coats of paint and you’re getting really good coverage, you can skip watering down your second coat, and go straight to a full strength paint coat for your final layer.
Next apply a 3rd layer, if necessary, of pure paint. Be sure to sand between each coat of paint for a super smooth finish.

4. Apply wax as a top coat. This isn’t strictly necessary as Fusion has a built in top coat. However it will soften the fabric and make it feel like leather. Always apply thin coats of wax and buff as necessary. We recommend using either Fusion beeswax finish or MMS Furniture Wax.

Once fully cured (approximately 30 days depending on weather conditions) the painted fabric is washable. We would recommend washing by hand with cold water. Do not wash with any other items! Leave to air dry.

What if I get paint on my clothes?
Not all of us are tidy painters and accidents do happen. If you get paint on your clothes our advice is to wash it as soon as possible. Scrub the affected area with Fusion Brush Soap and water. Then machine wash ASAP.

Painting Fabric

painted chair
before and after painted chair

French Armchair before painting.

French Armchair before painting.

The first thing to do was to remove the seat cushion. In this case it was relatively simple. Just a case of undoing five screws underneath the chair.

chair ready for painting
chair ready for painting

Before painting it is worth noting that all materials are different. Some will absorb more of the paint than others. Man made materials may not absorb it at all. So before painting the whole thing always try a test patch somewhere inconspicuous first. Make sure you are happy with the results before proceeding any further.
The idea is to soak the paint into the fabric. Therefore the paint needs to be very thin. Simply add water until you get your desired consistency. I mixed mine in a paint tray and used an Annie Sloan n°8 round brush to apply it. This type of brush can hold a lot of paint and definitely makes life a lot easier.
First up was the cushion.

By the way that is not me in the photo. For this particular project I was assisted by Astrid from Annie Sloan France. Below is a picture of the seat drying in the sun.

seat drying in the sun
seat drying in the sun

The next step was the chair itself. Bear in mind that if there is a pattern on the material it may show through. If you not happy with that it is possible to add more coats of paint. This chair had three coats but I think I could have possibly got away with two!

painting fabric with chalk paint™
painting fabric with chalk paint™

After having applied a couple of coats of Annie Sloan Provence Chalk Paint™ to the fabric the frame was painted in French Linen. After this the whole thing was waxed including the fabric with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint clear wax. Before waxing the fabric it may be necessary to lightly sand the fabric if has dried hard or crispy.This will loosen the fabric and let it have a bit of give. By apply the wax it will protect and seal the paint. It will also give the fabric a leather feel.
Here’s the final finish.
chair painted in Provence and French Linen
chair painted in Provence and French Linen

Next time we will look at painting a headboard.
To buy Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in France click here.