Using Chalk Paint® to Paint Your Couch or Wing Back Chair

Not in love with your furniture any more?

Instead of tossing it and buying new right away- consider painting it using Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan, like my customer’s Karen and Roxanne have (and many others!)
The Purple Painted Lady Painting a couch chalk Paint fabric BEFORE After 1

It does NOT matter if the furniture is:
fabric…velvet, brocade, leather or vinyl. Chalk Paint® will transform it…resurrect it…..and make you re-love it!

Keep in mind however, painting fabric will change the feel of it. Since you are not dyeing the fabric- it will have a stiffer, firmer feel. So, although many, many people have done this. Do a test spot in an inconspicuous spot and feel it before painting the whole thing!

Chalk Paint® is absolutely amazing in all it can do and when it comes to painting furniture- which when it is fabric furniture, it is similar to dying it. The Purple Painted Lady has done this herself and has had so many customers do this also. In fact, one customer of ours, Teresa at Lou’s Back Door Consignment in Fairport, NY had an old style couch. You know the kind with the ruffle pleat that goes all the way around the whole base. She painted it- and cannot stop raving about it!!! (Check out her Facebook page by clicking on the business name above and consider giving it a LIKE)

Sarah Cornett The Purple Painted Lady Painted Chalk Paint Fabric Couch rustic chic interiors 2

Keep in mind that if the fabric on your furniture has a heavy textured pattern, Chalk Paint® will change the color of the fabric, but it won’t hide the pattern.

Check out this beautiful transformation by Erin at The French Marketplace. In order to get the stripes nice and crisp, she used “Frog Tape.” She finds that it works really well to achieve a nice, crisp line with no bleed through. Also, she made sure to burnish the tape really well to ensure good adhesion. When she came to the cording, she was careful to make sure that the tape was tucked completely around the cording securely. And that was it!

The Purple Painted Lady Before and After painted chairs Chalk Paint annie sloan


Nice Before & After, huh?  

Here is another by Lizzie White Vintage Chic!  If you stop by their Facebook page- tell them The Purple Painted Lady sent you.  : )

The Purple Painted Lady Michael Herrmann Chalk Paint Annie Sloan Chairs with fabric Graphite Lizzie White Vintage Chic


When calculating paint needs- keep in mind that painting fabric is very different than painting a hard surface. Fabric will absorb the paint more. You will use more paint covering fabric that will absorb and suck up the paint, compared to painting a wood dresser. You will most likely need to apply two full coats – even a possible- third in specific areas pending the color you chose.


Yes! Use 300 grit sandpaper after you have applied a couple coats and lightly polish the paint. It will soften it dramatically- but NOTE it will create dust. So, wipe that off with a towel before applying your clear wax. Also- stay away from edges or corners since it is an angle- you could break through the paint and show the real fabric beneath.

Picmonkey painted fabric Patricia The Purple Painted Lady2


When painting velvet that has a heavy texture, make sure to lay the knap in the direction you want it to be once dry with your paint brush in your final, finishing stroke. Meaning, when initially painting, you may approach the fabric surface from different directions with your brush….but before moving on to a new area to paint…with your paint brush…stroke the surface so the knap lays consistently and smoothly in the same direction.


Make sure to read this post HERE after this one!

Perfectly imperfect/Hollywood Regency Glam? My customer, Maria Antonieta wanted to change a dark – traditional leather & wood chair into “Hollywood Regency Glam.” She used Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan in Pure White and Silver French Gilding Wax. Maria wrote me, “A lot of work, the leather cracked a little (not perfect as all the blogs I read online) no matter the paint, technique,etc)
The purple Painted Lady Chalk Paint painting Leather Maria Antonieta H

Maria wrote, “The chalk paint is a good paint but not as perfect finished as expected. (on leather) Good enough. But the gilding was the magic. LOVE IT….Love the effect !”

Why am I sharing this?

Because this is Maria’s true outcome. Often Chalk Paint® works perfectly and beautifully. And although Maria had a little crazing- this chair was transformed to blend with her style versus having to buy a new one. What do you think?



If you did not thin your paint at all – or enough, you may end up with a crackled look. This may help you.  Try sanding the paint softly with some 300 or 400 grit sandpaper. In this step- make sure to be careful not to sand the edges or corners since you may break through to the actual leather.  Again- stay away from the edges so you do not accidentally get a distressed look by wearing thru the paint.

And lastly, if interested in purchasing product on-line- check out our on-line store HERE after reading this post. We offer awesome customer service and the lowest flat rate shipping and…(drum roll please!) …… we ship the same day you place your order! (small print disclaimer – we ship same day as long as your order is placed before our UPS guy has come) But if you visit our FACEBOOK PAGE and look at our customer reviews- I think you will get the hint that we are super fast in turning your order around and we really care about our customers!

Now..after stirring up all of this excitement I need to share…..that Chalk Paint® is amazing- but it is not a miracle…so always do a test in an inconspicuous location if you are hesitant. What do I mean by this? I certainly do not want to burst the bubble, but I often share with my customers that some people “use” their furniture and then,..there are some who “abuse” their furniture. If you have four 120 pound Great Danes who like to play and jump on the furniture coming straight in from outside with muddy paws…this painting technique will work, but I would not guarantee it for years of use. Ok? For the majority of us who sit on our furniture and watch TV, take naps, read stories to our kids and yes, have pets- …you will love this as an alternative option.
PicMonkey Collage The Purple Painted Lady Chalk Paint Fabric Chair Roxanne

To paint your furniture- follow these steps:

1. If painting a chair or couch, you will need:

* Drop cloth
* Chalk Paint® decorative paint in the color of your choice! Depending on your project- you may need more than a sample pot- but you will NOT use a whole quart.
* A natural bristle paint brush …either one of these will work PURDY or Annie’s SMALL Brush But Annie’s brush is the absolute best for this application.
* Annie’s Clear Wax

2. Make sure to have a plastic drop cloth beneath your furniture.

3. It is important that immediately prior to painting the fabric- that you get a spritz bottle (like an old Windex bottle.) Fill it with water and lightly mist your fabric. You want the fabric to be moisten and definitely damp- but not dripping wet.

4. I strongly recommend using Annie’s SMALL paint brush when painting fabric! It will make your project so much easier, versus using a traditional flat/straight cut brush.

Annies Brushes

5. Thin your Chalk Paint® with water. So, whatever color Chalk Paint® you are using…you can either:

A. Pour some in a separate container and thin it slightly with water. I would consider adding about 20% water to whatever amount you have. If you do not thin your Chalk Paint®- due to it being a thicker paint- it may crackle a little. This does NOT jeopardize the adhesion ability of the paint and actually gives the look of leather or crocodile skin. Many of my customers love a chair that I did in my shop over two years ago like this!


B. Have a plastic cup filled with about a 1/4 cup of water. Dip your paint brush into your paint, then quickly dip the tips of your brush into the water. Then paint! Make sure to position your paint and water close to your project- so you do not drip any on the floor.

PicMonkey Collage painted couch The Purple Painted Lady before after

Painted Chair seat FABRIC

6. Begin painting your fabric. Apply a uniform thin coat and let it fully dry. Try applying the paint using your brush in a circular motion if painting a tweed. If painting a leather- you have options.



A customer  had bleed through on a painted chair cushion. She ended up using  Kilz Oil Based Stain Blocker in the spray can. She said it worked great!

A. SMOOTH FINISH: Want a smoother finish- paint in traditional linear strokes. And lay your paint in the direction you want it to look before moving on to a new section.
B. Try experimenting on a sample board prior to taking on your big leather couch and try laying Chalk Paint® in random directions. In many of Annie’s awesome videos on YouTube- you will see her painting like this. It is brilliant and creates a very nice finish. You can either be more subtle with this technique- or be bold.

You will most likely want to paint a second coat depending on how it looks. If you need to mix more paint with water- you do not need to thin it quite as much.

The Purple Painted Lady Painted Chalk Paint Fabric Couch Rhonda Banton Vaughn English Yellow picmonkey

7. Once everything is totally dry- and you are happy with the coverage- apply a thin coat of clear wax using a rag. This helps in keeping the fabric soft and subtle and protects it. Some people do not add the wax- but I think it is nice and again, it seals the fabric almost like a Scotch Guard protector. Again- I personally recommend waxing, but you may want to watch THIS funny video of a gentleman named Perry doing the “wiggle test” on a chair painted using Chalk Paint® that has not been waxed. If you watch the video, leave a note that The Purple Painted Lady sent you.
PicMonkey Collage the purple painted Lady Reclaimed and lovely furniture fabric chair chalk paint

Sill unsure of about painting your furniture, check out Annie Sloan herself painting a chair on national television HERE.

I have customers who have painted their furniture who also have dogs that get on their furniture and teenagers! They have been extremely satisfied in the longevity and how the paint can withstand the use. With that said, I think it is important to say- it is important that your pets nails be clipped and not be daggers. I also would not guarantee the outcome if you have little ones who use your couch as a trampoline. I always share that Chalk Paint® is incredible, but it is not a miracle. : )
The Purple Painted Lady Painting a couch chalk Paint fabric before after 2

If you have painted your furniture- please feel free to share your photos on my Facebook page! OR- email them to me at takuntz AT (AT – @)

And remember~if interested in purchasing Annie Sloan products, please visit our website if interested in ordering Chalk Paint®. We have Chalk Paint® available for $34.95 per quart every day, we offer low/flat rate shipping and it always ships same day (as long as Joe, our UPS guy has not come already!)

In fact- there are many reasons we think buying through us is the best. Read THIS little post about what sets The Purple Painted Lady apart from the rest.

To visit our on-line store- click HERE.

Lastly, we share a lot more information to help you get the most functionality out of your Chalk Paint® on our Facebook page. Consider checking it out by clicking HERE. While there- kindly consider LIKING us.

If you are interested in staying touch with The Purple Painted Lady- visit our Facebook page HERE – we would LOVE to hear from you and see your before & after photos!


As for buying any of the products we mentioned earlier in this post- I hope that you select The Purple Painted Lady™ to be your one stop resource!  We have four locations in western NY.  Check out our Information tab and come and meet us!  Otherwise- if you are not located near me- the following information may apply to you.  This information is directed to those who do NOT have a local stockist.  Because if you do – go and meet them, shop from them and build a relationship with them.  The guidance, information and knowledge they share with you – will be invaluable.  But, if you are in a location where there is no one selling paint products- and you must buy on-line- consider us.  With that said, visit to find a stockist near you.
We are here to help you, our customers!  We want you to be successful!  And, just so you know, when you place an order with The Purple Painted Lady:
*  We sell Chalk Paint® for $34.95
*  If you order before 3 pm EASTERN TIME any day Monday thru Friday – we will ship out your package that SAME day.
*  We ship orders out every since week day all over the US.
*  We offer the lowest flat rate UPS shipping cost so if you are one town away or 10 states away- the shipping cost is the same.
*  We have awesome follow up customer service, too!
And- it is my paint sales that keep me in business and allow me to be here to help you.  (my shameless but honest plug)    Here is a link to our on-line shop=>
: )  And I will be here to help you as you progress through your future project!  And if I do say so myself- we offer the BEST customer service that you will ever experience!Lastly- if I was helpful to you- ….please consider leaving a positive review on my Facebook business page sharing your positive experience or thoughts about The Purple Painted Lady.  Here is a link to my Facebook page=>    This really helps me!  (wink, wink!)

The Purple Painted Lady™ ~ the serial no. is 86/641,416 with the US Trademark Office

VISIT our locations too!

our MAIN STORE at 77 West Main Street in Macedon, NY 14502

77 Main street with phone number


STARTING JULY, 2016 ~ Village Gate on Goodman Street in Rochester, NY 14620

Village Gate The Purple Painted Lady Goodman Ave OUTSIDE May 9


3200 West Ridge Road in Rochester, NY 14626 (The Shops On West Ridge)


Our Syracuse, NY location at 1 West Genesee Street in Baldwinsville, NY 13027

The Purple Painted Lady west genesee Baldwinsville Chalk Paint FRONT Savvy Chick



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