Did you know you can paint velvet fabric? Yes, paint it. Check out the blue side of this chair which is PAINT! Looks like a totally new piece of furniture, doesn’t it??? And the best part is….. IT STAYS SOFT!!!!! It still FEELS soft like velvet instead of feeling a little harder like patio furniture.
Basically you are “dying” the fabric on this technique so instead of the paint sitting ON TOP of the fabric (and drying down hard and stiff), you work the paint INTO the fabric to essentially “dye” it. So much better!
UPDATE: Heirloom Traditions discontinued its FAB products, instead it developed a new product called Finish-All that paints EVERYTHING with no priming or sealing INCLUDING FABRIC. When I wrote this post, Finish-All was not available, but now you can find it in 8 colors on Amazon here. Although I didn’t use Finish-All in this makeover, it is the same painting process with less steps, but also less color options.
This post contains affiliate links for products I use and LOVE. I will make a small commission off of these Amazon links at no charge to you. Thank you!
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I was looking for chair that I could take with me to the Greater Kansas City Home and Garden Show. Of course, when you are LOOKING for an ugly chair to take to a Home Show, you can find nothing but cute velvet chair. And when you are looking for a cute velvet chair, you only find ugly ones. Lol. Isn’t that the way it works?
So we bought this chair for cheap on Craigslist. And I wanted to paint it a bold color that would show a complete difference in color and stand out on stage. So I went with this one:
It’s called “Graceland Blue”, the signature color from the incredibly talented Lori Preece of Thee Velvet Glove. Unfortunately this color has been discontinued. You can get the color pretty close by mixing 50/50 Danube & Naval.
This is where I first saw the Graceland Blue color….. on end tables. Seriously, is that color not amazinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnng?
Of course you paint velvet using any color of any chalk type paint you want. And here is your complete supply list to paint velvet:
- FAB clear (fabric paint)
- Chalk type paint
- Sanding block (fine or medium grit)
- Chip brush
- Gloves for your hands
In an old coffee container or bucket of some kind, mix the following:
1 part FAB clear (fabric paint) + 1 part chalk type paint (the blue) + 5 parts water
This is a very thin, very runny mixture like the consistency of milk. You will not need much at all to paint velvet. We used less than a quart total of this mixture on this 1/2 chair.
Brush the first layer on. Try to work it into the tufting and all the seams. If the cushion CAN come off, take it off. Otherwise, just work your brush into the cracks. And if it’s easier to work the color into the fabric with your glove and hand, do that.
Let it dry. And this layer may look scary when it’s done. But DON’T PANIC YET!!!!!
We decided to just go right over the nailheads with our paint. We could have put Vaseline on them (because Vaseline can’t be painted over), but since this technique is done with a chalk type paint and that sands off easily, it just came right off with the sanding block when we were done!
After the paint is dry, next comes the most important part: SAND THE PAINTED FABRIC WITH A SANDING BLOCK. This will make the fabric go back to feeling soft!!!!
Then do another layer of painting and sanding and another coat of paint and sanding until the color is as deep as you want it! We did 3 coats on this chair to get it all to look even and to get the intensity of color that I wanted.
And there it is… with gold painted legs to match the nailheads and all!
(Photo compliments of the very talented Melissa Rieke Photography)
It was a total hit at the Home Show.
And speaking of “hit”….. it was great getting to see Chip and Joanna again! I will do an entire blog post on them and our fun interview soon!
Until then, if you have an old velvet sofa or chair or ottoman or whatever….. dyeing the fabric vs. painting it like I taught you in THIS POST is the best way to keep crushed velvet soft!
A few questions I get asked often are:
- Will it crack? Absolutely not.
- Will it come off on your clothes? No, I sat on it multiple times to test it.
- Will it need redone eventually? Well, it will wear like any fabric does. Which means eventually everything shows wear after years and years of use.
Heirloom Traditions is the only company that carries this fabric paint. Yes, I have tried the “other stuff” and mixed it with fabric softener and water and oh my goodness…. it was a stiff mess. And please pick up one of my favorite chalk-type paint brushes while you’re shopping. These oval brushes are worth the investment and the best at working with chalk-type paints!
As long as you sand after, this velvet will remain soft! Go ahead and paint velvet!
Did you know you can also paint leather? Check out my blog post where I make this leather chair new again . I also have a fabulous pink stool I painted using this same FAB product that I used to paint velvet!
If you’re feeling paint happy, check out my FREE video of 10 Easy Updates you can do to your Home BEFORE DINNER! Many of these easy DIY project involve a little paint and a BIG IMPACT!
Thank you Jen. You are a wealth of information and I love that you share what you know. Thank you so much, my friend.
Thanks for the love, darling Jen!!!! XOXOXO
Will this also work on other types of fabc?
I love your “everything!” ideas! Can you paint over a floral print – NOT velvet?
Do you have to seal it to protect? Can you use scotch guard on it to protect from stains?
That is incredible!!! I would love to do this for a few DIY home projects around the house!
I have a cordiroid couch…will this work on it as well, since it is very textured? Will it stay soft?
I am wanting to use the Vintiques Paint in Timepiece that was on the Heirloom Traditions website. Do you expect that this paint will work in the same way as the brand you used? I need that deep grey color! Thank you so much for sharing!!
I am wanting to do a three piece fabric lounge not velvet. It seems impossible to buy fabric paint other than small craft tubes here in Queensland Australia, Is there a method I can use to paint the fabric, or am I waisting my time. I upholster my family’s and my furniture all the time,only I can’t pick up the fabric here, and as I have seen it on line in the States, it was going to cost way out of my pockets reach too get it, so my next thought was painting,have you any magic suggestions.SO HOPING FOR A SOLUTION
Can you tell me why FAB is necessary in this process?
I am in the process of painting my velvet chair and it keeps soaking up the paint/color. I have put 3 coats on the chair and it hasn’t gotten close to the color I am painting it. Can you give me some advise? I have put chalk paint and water. And used the spray bottle…but I have not tried FAB.
This is amazing! Can’t wait to try it out! I have a matching pair of wingback chairs. How much paint do you recommend to purchase for refinishing both these chairs?
Haha good idea, this half of the other half
I think the FAB is the fabric medium that makes the paint dye the fabric instead of tinting it n soaking into the chair insides.
Love your idea very much! We can still save up money and have a new chair! I have a feeling that this chair will light up the living room very much! I make sure to make it!
Can you get any of these items in the standard stores like Canadian tire or Color Your world stores or must these be ordered through a sight through you. lam very on edge to do this. Thank you for your time. sincerely Bonnie.
Hi, i went on the website for the FAB and it says it is not suitable for velour or velvet. Can you explain?
I was wondering the same thing! I wanted to tint my background fabric but leave the print untouched or at least mostly unchanged in color. The only way I can think to do this is dilute the color more maybe 1:1:6 or apply some type of protectant to the floral pattern(mine is huge and open luckily) OR the worst…. keep ratios the same and hand paint the background with smaller brush usin even vertical strokes, might even reduce the ratio to 1:1:4, use the small brush and one of those sponge pads to wipe/blend as I go?
Any advice would be cherished! Thanks
I am from South Africa and can only get fabric paint in small bottles. Can you maybe recommend a certain brand? even better, do you not have a recipe for fabric paint?
Question: I just picked up an incredible velvet couch for $10 but it is dark brown velvet. Do you think I can still paint it fushia/pink?
Is it necessary to clean the fabric on the chair before psi ting it…therw appears to be so.e dirt Mel’s in the chair..its Desi ately tired and dated fabric
yes, you will just have to put on several layers, (six to sevenish)