Have you ever walked into a thrift store or browsed online through Facebook Marketplace, Craiglist, or Letgo and found what you’re looking for, but the color is wrong?
Today, I’m showing you how to give life to ugly upholstered furniture with chalk paint.
A perfect project for beginners.
To illustrate this, I will share 6 pieces of furniture & antique fireplace mantle that I transformed with the stroke of my paintbrush.
You can create your masterpiece by following the steps in the links below.
So, the next time you’re shopping for cheap furniture, open your eyes to the possibilities and give this a try!
You will love it!
Now onto how to give life to ugly upholstered furniture.
#1 – Change the color of the wood to mahogany.
I found these two chairs on Letgo for $25 each.
I almost passed them up because they weren’t even close to what I was looking for.
But the bones of the chairs had the elegant vintage look that I love.
Now, how to transform them into my dream chairs, I needed some ingenuity.
One of the ways was to transform the light-colored wood into mahogany dark wood like my Victorian sofa. See the photo below.
I never knew this was possible until recently.
The idea came from the owner of the “Home Inspirations” shop in Snohomish, Washington, where I purchased the paint and wax.
She mentioned that waxing the wood with black would give it the look of mahogany.
I wasn’t sure how that would work and did a small area to see how it looked.
And she was right! It was exactly the right combination to get the dark wood color I wanted.
I painted the wood base with Annie Sloan paint in Primer Red.
Then I took Annie Sloan’s black wax and rubbed it over the primer red using a microfiber cloth.
Then I used a small little brush to get inside the grooves.
What a lot of work!
But it was so worth it, don’t you think?
Here’s a video taking you through the Home Inspirations shop. I share all the Annie Sloan paint colors. Check it out!
#2 – Give your furniture a chipped old-world look with sandpaper.
This antique sofa took on a whole new look when I painted the wood white.
I took some sandpaper and sanded the edges down to expose the wood underneath.
I sealed the painted wood and fabric with Annie Sloan clear wax.
It gave a wonderful chippy Victorian Farmhouse look I love so much!
A little back story about this sofa.
This sofa was found on Facebook Marketplace for $100.00
Once I had it in the garage and looked it over, I almost quivered for a moment.
The previous owners told me their family story of how this had traveled in a buggy, then was placed in storage and never used.
By painting the worn places of this beauty, I gave it new life.
Did I feel guilty painting it? Yes, but only for a moment.
Cause now that it is done, it is a stunning piece!
It is tucked in a perfect spot in our home; it has become a cozy little nook to read a book or hang out and watch a movie.
Here is a YouTube video sharing step-by-step how I transformed this sofa.
# 3 – You can paint over flamboyant & busy patterns.
This wingback chair exemplifies how you can paint over busy and flamboyant patterns.
Here is the chair before.
It doesn’t matter what kind of pattern is on the fabric.
What matters the most is that there are no holes, cat scratches, or tears.
The owner told me the fabric was in excellent condition.
So I bought it for $20!
When I first looked at it in person, I gulped.
The pattern was wild. I didn’t think the paint would cover it up.
But it did!
And this is an example of how crazy a pattern can be.
It doesn’t matter.
If you love the furniture style, but the color is wrong, you can change it!
#4 – Painting tufted upholstered furniture.
Like this Goodwill chair that I found for $5.99.
I painted it in Aubusson blue.
It’s challenging to paint the tufts with all the tucks, buttons, and gathered fabric.
The technique to do this is simply pulling back the fabric and making sure to apply paint inside to give it a completed look.
#5 – Paint with dark colors.
I painted the fabric of this antique settee with the Annie Sloan paint in the color Graphite Grey.
The legs I painted in the Old White.
Painting with dark-colored chalk paint is a great way to cover up stains or unsightly marks on fabric or wood.
Using dark colors can also be a nice contrast against a white wall.
Here is a blog post sharing the power of color when decorating. Link to the blog post.
Here is a video sharing my recent home tour with all the furniture pieces I’ve mentioned today.
#6 – Paint the cushions, too.
It was empowering to realize I could paint the cushions, too!
This chair and ottoman set was my first chalk paint project.
I paid $75.00 for both at a thrift store.
One of the questions you may ask is, does the paint last a long time?
Well, the answer is yes.
With daily use, this chair and ottoman have held up beautifully for the last two years.
There are spots now that could use a touch-up.
But what a deal?
How often can you touch up furniture?
This whole painting upholstery thing has been a life changer.
I have been liberated to find more choices when shopping for inexpensive pieces to transform them into something magnificent.
And you now know a secret or two about how to give life to ugly upholstered furniture.
Paint wood furniture.
This is a bonus!
It’s not an upholstered piece of furniture.
But I thought I’d share this because the transformation is endless.
You can paint pretty much anything that has good bones.
Like this antique fireplace mantle that I turned into a chalkboard.
I have loved putting this around my home with inspirational sayings and scriptures.
Even my family has written out things on the board that they enjoy.
I hope this gave you some ideas on how to give life to ugly upholstered furniture.
For more DIY inspirations, go here.
To get ideas for home decorating, go here.
Thanks for coming by Victorian Lane Farms.