What do a French Floral Damask stencil, Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan and an old raw silk loveseat have in common? Well not much individually, but together they can create an all new look in a day! Look what I created with the French Floral Damask Stencil, half a quart of Paris Grey Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan and a sample pot of Old White! It’s a Chalk Paint Upholstery Upcycle miracle!! Were you aware that Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan can be used to paint upholstery? Did you know that you can also use it to stencil? If you’ve been reading up on this exciting news, terrific. If you are shaking your head in disbelief, stay tuned and I will share all.
First things first before I divulge all of the details so you can try this.
Chalk Paint® upholstery painting is a very satisfying project, and something that anyone can do easily. Re-painting the sofa with Chalk Paint here was a breeze, but stenciling it WAS a bit tricky, especially because it was over a padded and piped cushion. Also because tape doesn’t stick well on rough fabric…. So that said, if you love this idea, I recommend you start out with a partner or a small item and go for it! If you have never stenciled before, I would check out some of the simple but simply gorgeous stencil project how-to’s here on Paint+Pattern first!
Now that we’ve dispensed with introductions, here are the instructions-
How to: Chalk Paint Upholstery
- Your choice of Chalk Paint® colors, one for the loveseat and another for stenciling. I used Chalk Paint® in Paris Grey for the loveseat and Old White to stencil the pattern.
- A wonderful overall pattern stencil like mine – the Small French Floral Damask from Royal Design Studio.
- Large Stencil Brushes (also from Royal Design Studio)
- Miscellaneous: Good quality paper towels like Bounty, clean towels, a small clean container, a pencil, a squirt bottle of water and a measuring tool.
- When your project is complete, use a product like Motsenbachers Lift-Off 5 to easily clean your stencil.
FIRST, choose your piece to paint. It could be a chair or a partially upholstered item. Clean it, dust it, vacuum it, sand it, repair it, whatever it may need. Then turn it upside down and paint the underside and legs first. Lastly, paint the top/
TOP LEFT: This is what I started with – a cute little loveseat I brought home from work that I had already previously painted with two coats of Emile Chalk Paint® but decided I was ready for a color change. TOP RIGHT: Assuming your piece has not been painted, pour some paint into a clean container and add about 20% water to help the paint absorb into the material instead of sitting on top of it. I also used the water bottle to mist more water on the piece as I worked to help it sink in. BOTTOM LEFT: For this project, the Chalk Paint® covered so well, I only did one coat. For yours, count on two at least depending upon the fabric and the color you chose. BOTTOM RIGHT: I removed the large cushion so I could work on the kitchen counter. I measured where I wanted my design to fall, keeping into consideration the front of the loveseat and how the pattern would look there. Since tape was not sticking (it may stick on your piece) I drew some of the design right onto the piece to be sure I did not slip when holding it in place to stencil.
TOP LEFT: I used a heavy piece of pottery to help hold the stencil – it is big! TOP RIGHT: I stenciled the entire design, including the funny little partial designs here and there on the outside edges. The best stenciling method is to dip your brush straight down into the paint to pick up just a small amount of paint on the bristles. Immediately swirl the brush on the paper towels until it is almost dry to avoid pushing paint underneath the stencil. Then, swirl the brush in a circular motion on the stencil design. BOTTOM LEFT: These are “registration” marks. They are actually part of the pattern so you can pick up the stencil and move it up and down or sideways and find where the design matches up. If this is your first time with an allover stencil, no worries, it may take a bit to locate the repeats in the pattern, but you will quickly get the hang of it! BOTTOM RIGHT: Keep stenciling until all of the piece is done.
TOP LEFT: I put the cushion on the loveseat, and placed the stencil in position on the pattern beginning in the middle, allowing it to drop down at the front of the sofa. TOP RIGHT: Holding in position with one hand, I stenciled with the other hand until the front was complete. BOTTOM LEFT & RIGHT: Yes, the sloped back was tricky since I was working alone. So, I tipped the whole thing over on top of the coffee table, found the center of the piece and the design, and continue on.
I had planned to stencil the entire piece but when it came time to do the scalloped back, I dropped in the cushion to see how it was coming along and – Ta-Dah! It looked awesome as is with just a fluffy white Mongolian pillow in a corner. Plus, stenciling into all those nooks and crannies wasn’t something i was looking forward to!
So, what was my biggest challenge for this Chalk Paint upholstery project? Other than working by myself, it was keeping my four curious kitties out of the process. Afterwards, they all stopped by to try out their new bed.
AN ADDED NOTE:
Depending upon the fabric of your piece, you may choose to add a coat of Annie Sloan Clear Soft Wax. I chose not to do it because I was happy with my results. But wiping on a coat of the wax – particularly on leather or “pleather” and possible chintz might add a desirable patina to the look. With a clean soft cloth, wipe on a small amount of the wax, working in small areas. Pretend you are putting on hand lotion spreading it until it is all gone with no residue on the surface. Turn your cloth often while removing all excess wax. Let the piece sit for 15 minutes or so, then buff to your desired sheen.
Painting fabric is a fun way to transform a piece, but it does tend to stiffen the fabric somewhat. Before you begin, you may want to try this process on some scraps first to be sure you get the look you like.
If you have completed a similar project, do a happy dance at this point. Congrats! It was a challenge and the results are amazing!! We would love to see photos of your work.