How to Paint Upholstery with Chalk/Mineral Paint and a Sprayer
AFFORDABLE DO IT YOURSELF HOME PROJECT | CHALK/MINERAL PAINT DIY PROJECTS | PAINTED FABRIC | CHALK/MINERAL PAINT IN SPRAYER
You know that ugly chair that has "good bones" but is too embarrassingly homely to keep anywhere that others can see it? You may have handed it down to your newly married kids who can’t afford new furniture. Or, you may have donated it to your neighbors. It looks something like this:
Tell them you’re sorry for pawning it off on them, and to make amends, you’d like to take it off their hands.
If your situation is like mine, your “giftee” will be unwilling to relinquish what has become their favorite ugly chair, so there may be some begging and bribery involved.
You may find that under the horrifying slipcover, another, slightly less hideous fabric awaits…
I’m about to BLOW YOUR SOCKS OFF with the most awesome (not to mention super quick and super easy) way to transform your chair, so kiss that awful upholstery goodbye…
…and cue the goosebumps, because in the time it takes to make dinner, you’re going to have this:
If you don’t already have a Homeright Spray Shelter, I'm telling you you'll want one! It pops up fast, easily fits you and your project, and saves a TON of time since you won't have to cover a single thing in plastic.
For this project, I used my all-time favorite Homeright Finishmax sprayer. I have used other sprayers in the past, and they just don’t compare when it comes to a nice, even spray consistency, price, ease of use, and cleaning. You don’t need a separate compressor, which is nice because compressors are loud and a pain to lug around.
I used BB Frösch Paint Transformer mixed with flat Behr paint in a gorgeous grey to make my own rich and creamy chalk/mineral paint. I love how affordable BB Frösch is over premixed chalk or mineral paint, and I REALLY love being able to pick any color I want. I used just over half a quart of paint. Click here for easy to follow instructions on mixing your own chalk/mineral paint.
Depending on the size of your project, you may need a little more or a little less paint. The nice thing about BB Frösch is, you can mix up only as much as you need, so there is really no waste.
When using chalk/mineral paint in a sprayer, you will need to thin it slightly with water. I used about 2 1/2 tablespoons of water for 1/2 quart of mixed chalk paint. Because paint brands vary, you may need to play with thinning a little bit.
I also recommend straining your paint with cheesecloth, a paint straining bag, or a paper paint straining funnel, like the one below, just to ensure your paint will flow smoothly through the sprayer.
It doesn’t get any easier than this, friends!
Another reason I prefer the Finishmax sprayer over a gravity-fed one...
There were times I found myself tipping the sprayer, and the paint did NOT spill out the top like with a gravity-fed sprayer! YAY!
Once the chair was fully dry, it was time to wax.
DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!
Your chair will be gorgeous, and you will want to sit in it and begin to enjoy it, but you MUST wax it first! This will protect your fabric, making spills a breeze to clean up. Plus, the wax makes it feel like soft leather—especially over time.
I always use BB Frösch Premium Finishing Wax because it goes on like butter, and it dries and cures in minutes!
Spread a thin layer of clear wax to the end of your wax brush, and apply in circular motion. A thin layer of wax should cover about a square foot area. It may be difficult to see what areas have wax, and what areas don’t, so use the touch test as you go to make sure you get full coverage.
After applying wax to each section, use a lint free wax cloth to remove any excess wax. You will know when excess wax has been removed because the area will feel nice and smooth, not tacky.
You can apply a second coat of wax if you want extra protection, but I rarely do. I find one coat is enough.
You can also buff your wax with a lint free wax cloth to add a little shine and give it a little more of a leather look.
This project went so fast, I was able to get the whole chair painted, waxed and in place in time to snap a few pictures before the sun went down!
I am thrilled with the look and texture! It looks much like a soft embossed suede or leather, and it feels fantastic!
I KNOW YOU ARE DYING TO KNOW…
How does it feel?
How does it hold up?
Does it crack?
When done correctly (i.e. thin, non-saturating coats of chalk/mineral paint followed up with WAX to protect), it will NOT crack, it will clean nicely with a damp cloth, and it will feel like soft leather!