In the new house, Christopher gets his own office (and I get my own workshop - yes!). However, as all of the rooms in the house are enormous (a terrible burden, we will try to stand up under it) we needed some new furniture. Problem: We are broke. I am pretty cheap. Fairly broke + pretty cheap = a difficult equation, but one that can be solved when you find free furniture on the side of the road!
I'd already researched 'painting upholstery' online because I'd come to the realisation that I would most likely be purchasing a chair from one of our city thrift stores and that it would probably be hideous. The results online looked impressive and the reviews were pretty positive so I decided to commit. You can find detailed instructions for how to paint furniture here on Kristy Swain's blog 'Hyphen Interiors' and lots of pictures of impressive 'before and afters' here.
As for me, here's what I started with:
It's a nightmare!
It was also a little worse-for-wear which you can't see in the photos. There were obvious signs of feline sabotage (just scratched up, don't worry. I checked) and I did my best to trim off the extra bits and threads. My friend Leah also helped at this point. I'm pretty sure she thought I was crazy. I'm pretty sure she still thinks I'm crazy. Anyway...
I don't have any process pictures - I have to work on that and I promise I will! But I do have a fantastic 'after' photo (complete with cheap IKEA pillow and nearly free lamp I scored for $7.50 at an estate auction). All-in-all, I'd say the chair cost about $30 for the materials (paint, furniture tacks, $3/m fabric). I challenge you to find a wing back chair you like for $30 bucks!
I am also painting this couch! Much better results here in terms of texture of material after painting!
Here's the main section of the couch with final coats of paint. We chose a neutral off-white (because there was a gallon of it in the 'Oops' paint section. I pretty much only buy 'Oops' paint. Because I am cheap). I taped up the wood to protect it as much as I could during the painting.
Painting on upholstery doesn't look that great after the first coat. In fact, it almost looks like you haven't painted much at all (but your arms tell you a different story! My lovely husband, Christopher, helped paint the first coat).
What I most certainly WOULD recommend is sanding the fabric before your third coat. It makes a world of difference! In dark colours the sanding will lighten and distress the painted fabric, but your third coat will take this away and give you saturated colour again. You may want to spot-sand after your third coat and use a thin layer of paint to touch-up where you sanded afterwards. Your fabric will now feel more like vinyl or leather, or perhaps even outdoor furniture. It's not cozy and cuddly, but it's a cheap fix for ugly fabric and can save furniture from the landfill which is always a plus. It's "livable-withable" as my mother used to say, and very durable - apparently it repels animal fur and is [obviously] stain resistant! Just do it (which my mother never said, but Nike did)!!
I will post pictures of the finished couch when I get them - it took FOREVER to paint but I think it looks awesome! A new couch for $75? Yes please!