Painting Fabric With Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (Part 1)

Painting Fabric With Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

When I was first introduced to Annie Sloan Chalk Paint a few years ago, I was told it was a miracle in a can. Needless to say I was skeptical. The idea of painting furniture without sanding or priming went against everything I believed in. Sure enough, over the years I have painted a variety of pieces with minimal prep. Some I haven’t even bothered to clean (ALWAYS clean you pieces before painting). To this day they still look great. It might not be a miracle in a can but it is pretty amazing.

In April I found myself with a little time on my hands. While the thought of closing the shop and having no income for a while was stressful, it did provide an opportunity to get some projects done around the house. I’ve always wanted to paint the fabric cushions on the dining room chairs but I could never find the time. Shelter In Place meant to excuses.

Can you really paint fabric with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint? I was about to find out! I never loved the beige upholstery on the chair seats. It didn’t match the rest of the room and over the years started to look a little dingy. To compliment the rug and mahogany toned wood I chose Louis Blue – a cool toned shade with a hint of grey.

Now, before you get started with your own project here is a list of materials you will need for Part 1. Paint (duh), a small mixing container, a mixing stick, water, a paint brush (either the Annie Sloan Brush or one of our iBrushes works well), a spritz bottle with water, and painter’s tape. In Part 2 I will talk about using Annie Sloan Soft Wax to protect and seal the fabric but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

The goal is to have the paint soak into the fabric instead of sitting on top of it. If you cannot remove the cushion (or if you are painting a large piece like a loveseat or sofa) start by taping off any areas you do not want paint on.

Then lightly mist the fabric with water. You want the surface to be damp – not wet. In a small container, thin the paint out to help it penetrate the fibers. I usually use about 4 parts paint and 1 part water but play around with the ratio to see what works for you.

Apply a thin coat in alternating directions until the entire surface is evenly covered. This will keep the paint flexible and prevent cracking as the material flexes.

If you are making a big colour change, remember that you may have to apply a few coats. Because the fabric is damp and the paint is thin, drying will take longer. Don’t rush it. I usually apply a coat per day and leave a fan or air conditioner on in the room to help with drying. If you put on too many coats too quickly or the fabric is too wet you will end up with a soggy piece of furniture that will take a very long time to dry.

Super easy right? Stay tuned for the Part 2 when I show you how to seal your freshly painted fabric with Soft Wax.

If you have any questions leave a comment below or send me an email to orders@rowespurlingpaint.com. You can find all these products and more in our online shop by clicking here.

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