diy, one room challenge

Painting Fabric, The Easy Way – ORC Week 3

Painting Fabric, the Easy Way - DIY Tutorial |

It’s the third week of the One Room Challenge and I’m working hard to complete our master bedroom makeover. If you missed week one or week two, check them out to see my design plans, DIY dresser hack, and all about the One Room Challenge.


Whew, what a week! I had an amazing time this weekend just outside of Las Vegas at my best friends wedding. I shared part of the drive on my Instagram stories and it was just what I needed to clear my head, relax, and prepare for all the exciting things coming our way!


With my weekend full, I didn’t get many chances to work on our master bedroom makeover so this week was kind of a hodge podge of half completed projects. However, one major project that I’ve almost completed is painting our bench.

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Painting Fabric, the Easy Way - DIY Tutorial |


Yup, I painted it. I wanted a more neutral colored bench just like the one in my design plan. Instead of trying to reupholster or diy new fabric, I looked for an easier solution. I’ve seen many tutorials and projects on Pinterest for painting old fabric chairs or sofas from thrift stores or antique shops, and I decided to give it a try. I bought this bench at Marshalls last summer and I’ve seen many since then, so I figured if I mess it up – I could always purchase another. Luckily, that didn’t happen and I’m so happy with how this project turned out!




Painting Fabric, the Easy Way - DIY Tutorial |


As I mentioned, there are many tutorials on how to do this. I combined some methods and created my own for what I thought worked best for the fabric I was using. Do what works for you. The fabric on our bench has a rough texture already, almost more like canvas than linen.


Painting Fabric, the Easy Way - DIY Tutorial |


First, I mixed the craft paint and fabric medium according to instructions on the bottle. It’s a 2:1 mixture, with 2 parts paint and 1 part fabric medium. To make it easy, I poured 2 bottles of paint and 1 bottle of fabric medium into an old plastic container and mixed them together with my sponge brush. The 2 bottles of paint and 1 bottle of fabric medium were enough for one coat.


Painting Fabric, the Easy Way - DIY Tutorial |


I sprayed the fabric with water and applied the first coat of paint. I tested a small area first, because as I mentioned I was still hesitant that this would actually work. To my surprise – it did!


Painting Fabric, the Easy Way - DIY Tutorial |


Painting Fabric, the Easy Way - DIY Tutorial |


I decided to skip spraying the fabric first (it was a little too watery) and just started painting. I was glad to see that the paint was able to cover up the pattern on the fabric (it seemed to be an issue in other tutorials) even after it dried. I kept applying the paint with my sponge brush and used the painters brush to get around the buttons and smaller areas.


I let the first coat dry and then used a fine grit sanding block and sanded the fabric. This sounds crazy, but it worked. The fabric became smoother and it evened out some of the spots where the fabric had loosened up and gathered.


Painting Fabric, the Easy Way - DIY Tutorial |


Just like with any painting project – the second coat was better than the fist. For the second coat, I did spray the fabric with water first for a more even coat. And once it was a dry, sanded it down again.


Painting Fabric, the Easy Way - DIY Tutorial |


Some areas of the fabric (like around the tufted buttons) were not even, so I sprayed it all down again and applied a thin third coat of paint. If you are keeping track, I used 4 bottles of paint and 2 bottles of fabric medium so far. On the second and third coats, using the water helped the paint go a long way.


Painting Fabric, the Easy Way - DIY Tutorial |


Once the third layer dried, I sanded it all down one last time and applied a clear coat of wax. This step helped seal in the paint and smooth out the finish. The final photos will be in the room reveal in just a few weeks!


Painting Fabric, the Easy Way - DIY Tutorial |


This process was so easy and as I mentioned, I can’t believe it actually worked. Next up, I’m painting my headboard 🙂 – I already tested a little spot and its going to be great. Then I will have a matching headboard and end of the bed bench in my very own custom color.


I’m so glad I decided to join the One Room Challenge! Don’t forget to check out how everyone else’s rooms are coming along!




Painting Fabric, the Easy Way - DIY Tutorial |

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13 Comment

  1. Reply
    Cassie Bustamante
    October 20, 2016 at 6:02 am

    wow! what a difference! it looks beautiful!

    1. Reply
      October 20, 2016 at 11:07 am

      Thank you, Cassie!

  2. Reply
    Jeannee | ShepherdsandChardonnay
    October 20, 2016 at 8:41 am

    I have not painted fabric yet. That looks great! Was it waxy or stiff when finished?

    1. Reply
      October 20, 2016 at 11:08 am

      This was my first time too! It was a little stiff, so thats why I applied the wax 🙂

  3. Reply
    Jaclyn | One Thousand Oaks
    October 20, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    Your bench turned out great! I have a chair on my To Do list that I want to paint. It is orange now and I am hoping to paint it a lighter color. Pinning to save for later when I get around to doing my chair!


    1. Reply
      October 22, 2016 at 3:39 pm

      You can do it! Its so easy, I don’t know why I waited so long to do this!

  4. Reply
    Jen @ Noting Grace
    October 20, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    [* Shield plugin marked this comment as “trash”. Reason: Failed GASP Bot Filter Test (comment token failure) *]
    WOW! I am amazed. That bench turned out beautifully!! Awesome work, my friend!

  5. Reply
    October 22, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    Wow! That looks great!

    1. Reply
      October 22, 2016 at 3:39 pm

      Thanks Rachel!

  6. Reply
    Kristin @ Postbox Designs
    October 24, 2016 at 6:52 am

    I’ve always wanted to try painting furniture but have never tried it…you made it look easy and GREAT! Love how it turned out! We are halfway through-best of luck with the last few weeks, looking forward to seeing your finished room 🙂

    1. Reply
      October 24, 2016 at 9:24 am

      Thank you so much! I’m not sure why I wasn’t painting sooner, its so easy!

  7. Reply
    October 25, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    You did a great job! Your bench is beautiful. I’ll have to try this on at least one chair. Our dog has (almost) destroyed four chairs. The seat cushions look terrible. One really is shot. Painting the upholstery would be a lot less expensive then getting them reupholstered!

    1. Reply
      October 26, 2016 at 7:24 am

      Yes! Its so much cheaper!

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