Home » How to Makeover a Victorian Antique Sofa with Chalk Paint.

How to Makeover a Victorian Antique Sofa with Chalk Paint.

How to Makeover a Victorian Antique Sofa with Chalk Paint.

Today I’m sharing a step by step tutorial on how to makeover a Victorian antique sofa with chalk paint.

This antique sofa makeover is one of my best ones yet!

I can’t believe how it turned out. It is gorgeous!

My vision was a rustic Victorian antique sofa that had chippy paint.

Let me tell you, this one does not disappoint. I’m glad to say it turned out better than I imagined.

In the photo below is the Victorian antique sofa before the makeover.

And another up close photo before the makeover.

If you’re a visual learner you can watch my YouTube video how to paint this sofa, here.

What you will need for this DIY project.

Note: You can purchase Annie Sloan paint and brushes in your area. Check to see where there is a store near you.

Here are 12 simple steps that takes you through the process of painting an antique sofa.

Step 1:

First step is to wipe down the sofa of any dirt or dust.

Step 2:

Mix Annie Sloan paint and water. I mixed the paint colors since I wanted my sofa a little lighter. The ratio I used to start was:

  • 2 cups of Paris Grey and 1 cup Old White. I mixed these colors together thoroughly.
  • 1 1/2 cups water. That was 3 cups of paint plus the water.

Mix the paint and water together making sure to combine the thicker paint at the bottom.

You will need a stir stick of some sort to mix the paint as you go to make sure it doesn’t separate. It is a really watery consistency. And that’s ok.

Step 3.

Get your water spray bottle ready, if you haven’t already.

Step 4.

Now, it’s on to painting the sofa. We’re starting with the fabric.

Spraying one section at a time, make sure to douse the area really good with water.

Take your paint brush and fill it with paint. Not too much.

Doing a back and forth, up and down stroke of the brush. Get all the areas on top of the sofa, inside the cushions and the edges. It’s ok to get paint on the wood. You’re going to paint it anyway.

Here’s simple repetition for the whole sofa:

  • Spray the fabric with water.
  • Paint the fabric.

Step 5:

Check to see if you need more paint. If so, make another batch.

Step 6:

Paint a second and third layer onto the fabric. This time you don’t need water. Just go over the sofa with the diluted paint.

If your sofa has a pattern, you will start to see it disappear after the 2nd layer. Repeat this the third time if the pattern is still showing through.

The Victorian antique sofa I painted required a light third layer. It was mostly covered but had some spots that had the pattern showing through. So, I painted over those areas. The photo above is after the 2nd layer of paint.

I actually liked the pattern showing through, so I only covered the back of the sofa with 2 layers of paint.

Step 7:

Paint the wood with Annie Sloan chalk paint in the Old White.

To make this part less work, you can tape the painted fabric with frog tape. This will keep the Old White from getting onto the painted fabric.

I skipped this step.

Step 8:

Once you are done painting the wood, leave it to dry over night.

Step 9:

Sand the fabric. Take a 100 grit sandpaper and very lightly sand the painted fabric.

Rub your hands across the fabric.

The paint is crusty and feels rough. Sanding the fabric brings back the soft feel of the fabric.

Rubbing your hand over top will help you know you’ve sanded it enough. Don’t over sand or you will take off a layer of the dry paint.

Do this to the entire sofa. Front and back.

Step 10:

Sand the wood. To get a shabby chic or rustic look, take a 60 grit sandpaper and go over the edges.

I imagined how it would naturally be worn in areas like the arm rest and the corners. So, I focused the sanding in those areas.

The raised floral design got a good rub that brought out its beauty.

The more I rubbed, the more amazing it started to look.

Make it as rustic as you want.

Step 11:

Vacuum and wipe off the dust. Get your vacuum and go over the entire sofa.

Get a wet cloth and wipe down the fabric and wood really well from all the dust when sanding.

Step 12:

The final step is to wax the wood and fabric.

Open the can of wax.

Take your wax brush and swirl it around inside the can of wax. Getting a good amount.

Starting on one side of the sofa, wax from top to bottom.

You can apply wax to the wood and fabric at the same time.

Do side by side, up and down strokes across the fabric.

You may need to gouge the brush into the cushions and the raised areas of the wood.

For the wood keep the strokes one way. It makes for a nicer smooth look when it dries.

Any clumps of wax. Simply take the brush and go over it.

Let this dry for 2 days.

Once dry, take a damp cloth and wipe the sofa down to get off any dust from the sanding.

You are now done!!

The after photos of my Victorian antique sofa.

I hope you were inspired to paint a sofa.

I have a tutorial for painting a chair, here, using the same technique.

In another post I share more DIY inspirations using Annie Sloan paint. A favorite is painting a Goodwill frame, here.

For the Christmas season, here is a DIY Christmas Wreath made with Dictionary Pages, here.

Let me know down below in the comments if you gave this a try.

I’d love for you to share a photo if you do.

Here’s my YouTube video how I did this project.

Thanks for coming by Victorian Lane Farms.


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  1. October 1, 2021 / 12:20 am

    This looks amazing! Great tutorial, I always wondered about painting fabric, you made it look doable.I might have to give it a try!
    Thanks for sharing…

    • October 1, 2021 / 4:45 am

      Thank you! It definitely surprises me how amazing it turns out when I’m done. Do try it. I’d love to hear how it goes.

  2. October 8, 2021 / 1:19 am

    I haven’t painted upholstery yet but this makes me want to!! Love this Esther! I am sharing it this Saturday in my All Things Vintage round-up!