Painting Upholstery with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint ®

“Oh happy day!” is the name of this tune, my friends! Here’s little DIY Chair Makeover so you can sing along with me.

Painting Upholstery with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint ® 

painting upholstery with annie sloan

I know, I know! I was slow to jump on the Annie band wagon.  Now that I have…

Watch out! because I’m totally obsessed with the stuff!

Do you hear that playing in the background?!

“Oh happy day! What can we paint next?” I really can’t get it out of my head!

Alright now that you know I am in L-O-V-E, officially a self-proclaimed Annie Sloan Chalk Paint ® groupie, let me tell you WHY.

If you know me, you get that I’m a DIYer and I’m serious about the whole, Do-It-Yourself thing. I’m not the type to run out and buy something when I can DIY it. That even goes for paint.

I was perfectly content to make my own Paris paint. Heck, I even shared my not-so-secret paint recipe with y’all long ago.

But, at a Christmas get together when a client friend asked me if I would give this cool chair she had picked up at an estate sale one of my fresh furniture makeovers, of course, I said yes.


There was no way I was going to tackle reupholstering a giant chair.  Besides being very dirty, the fabric was in mint condition.

estate sale chair before

“Hmm, maybe now might be the perfect time to test out that Annie Sloan Chalk Paint ® I’m always hearing about.”

I went into this project thinking how good could said paint really be. Please?!

One afternoon I went with my sister to visit the only place locally that sells AS, Robyn Story Designs.

Robyn Story Designs

What an Ah-mazing place, Robyn Story Designs! I can’t wait to go back!

I had the pleasure of meeting Robyn, her husband, and the lovely Lori who shared some of her painting secrets with me on how to work with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint ® on fabric.

Keeping the bedroom in mind where the chair end up I went with a beautiful blue, Provence  and a Gilder’s Paste in German Silver to complete the makeover.

What a true delight to visit Robyn’s store and my, oh my what an awesome price on the paint too! You should check it out!

Back to the project

I simply gave the chair a good cleaning with some of my favorite natural cleanser, I made into a paste and brushed into the fabric. I let dry and  then made sure to vacuumed it all up really well.

Next, I painted on two coats of the AS in Provence (this pic shows you after 1 coat on the right side) and let it all dry over night.

painting upholstery spray water to move paint

Notice the spray bottle of water above on the lower right corner.

I lightly sprayed my brush with water each time, I  went back for paint. The water really helped me worked it into the heavy nap of the fabric. I decided to apply two coats of paint to make sure I had full coverage everywhere. Last but not least, I applied some lovely Gilder’s Paste with my finger to the buttons, arms and taped off legs.

annie sloan provence chair with gold accents

After one coat of  Annie Sloan Clear Wax everywhere, I buffed it by hand with an old soft cotton t-shirt to finish it off. And, boom!

This DIY Chair makeover really does makes me sing, “Oh happy day!”

painting upholstery before and after

So, does painting upholstery with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint ® really work?!

Oh, yes my friend! Yes, it does and it even feels like a soft leather when you’re all done!

Quite amazing.

I have to say I was impressed.

Of course, there are countless wonderful things I could tell you about my 1st experience painting upholstery with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint ®! But all you really need to know is…

it will make you sing a happy tune, you won’t soon forget!


So, have any ever painted upholstery or fabric of any kind? or would you like to?  I’d love to hear.


Get to know FIS better. Check out these furniture makeovers and follow along on Instagram for fresh, fun behind the scenes stuff you’re sure to love.

Linking up with Inspiration Monday 

irock dots 600 x 57

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  1. says

    I so much want to try this technique! My cousin has a winged back chair that she is willing for me to experiment with. Can you say spring break project?? I adore what you did with this chair. It looks fabulous and like a totally different piece of furniture.

  2. says

    Wow, I love the end result of the chair! Great job! I’ve been using Annie Sloan paint ever since it was available in my area, before that, like you, I made my own. And what a difference! I have a chair to do the fabric on, but haven’t made it that far yet. But, I did paint a pair of suede shoes that had seen better days..and I love them!
    I saw you sharing at Project Inspire{d}
    Debbie :)

  3. says

    Wow, what a transformation! I’m a huge AS fan but have never tried painting fabric. I have two slipper chairs that I’ve been thinking about painting and I think I’m going to give it a try. Hope they turn out half as good as this project!

    • says

      Oh you’ll love it on fabric. Just make sure to clean it really well and then work in smaller sections with your water spray bottle handy. It’s simple and fun. Can’t wait to hear how they turn out.

  4. says

    I LOVE this! I have an older game table with 4 upholstered chairs and would love to try this method on the chairs. Does the paint cover on dark colored fabric? I’d love any advice you could share!

    • says

      Thanks so much Donya! Yes the paint has amazing coverage even with just one or two coats. For a darker fabric you’re painting over with a really light color you may want to consider an additional coat or two but I’m sure it would work fabulously. I’d love to see your chairs when they’re done!

  5. says

    Beautiful! Love the colors you chose, such a transformation! So, two coats of paint and then wax…what does it feel like when you sit on it?

    • says

      Thanks Cindy! And yes, I did two coats and one coat of AS clear wax. It’s like a leather feel now which is nice to sit on. Each coat of wax would make it softer and smoother to the touch. Give it a try. You’ll love it!

  6. Melanie says

    Hi, I’m getting ready to paint my 2 wing back chairs. They are navy blue and I’m wanting to paint them a maize yellow. I’m concerned that the blue will bleed through. I’ve read several blogs on painting upholstery but most have said the fabric will be stiff afterwards. Yours was the first blog I’ve read that said it could feel like leather. I’d love to hear your suggestions.Thanks :)

    • says

      Hi Melanie, I say go for it! Annie Sloan’s yellow is gorgeous and my guess is 2-3 coats would cover up the navy just fine. I wouldn’t be worried about bleeding thru at all. And, you can avoid the stiff feel you mentioned by working in small areas with the wax and applying additional coats. The wax make it so nice. Good luck! And please let me know if you need anything else.

  7. colleen says

    Hello. I am thinking of painting a couple of my dining room chairs. I noticed you said that it feels like a soft leather after applying the wax. I have small children. Do you think this would hold up under every day use? I’m worried the wax will start to crack and the chairs will become useless. What do you think?

  8. Jo-Ann says

    I have been anxious to try this but the “test” run is a garage sale loveseat that we bought as an until piece for our cottage.
    My question is do you think it will work on textured snubbed fabric?
    Remember the kind 15 + years ago that looks like the fabric is badly pilled.

    Every post I have read shows a tight woven fabric, this certainly is not that.
    My other concern is will it drink up a gallon of AS paint?

    • says

      Hi Jo-Ann, Yes I think the nubby fabric will work just fine with ASCP. If it was me doing it I would work in small areas and apply several thin coats. You can lightly sand it when you’re all done if some spots have excess piled up. It probably will take more paint than other fabrics would but I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised just how far ASCP goes. It’s awesome.

      • kelly says

        I am currently painting a swivel chair with two cushions that is a completely fabric chair that has raised velvet embossing, I have done three coats of ASCP paint and will do a lite sanding to soften the hard raised embossing and then clear wax the chair! I was debating on doing the clear wax, guess its worth trying. Hoping it works!

  9. says

    Wow, a lovely transformation and great blog post. We’re a stockist of ASCP in the UK and we love to see how others use this amazing paint! We recently painted some drapes for our shop, love painting fabric :)

  10. lisa scronce says

    I have been researching this paint for two years and finally gave up on it ever coming to my town. Found it an hour a half away and its worth every mile I drive to get it! The chair is beautiful!

  11. says

    I haven’t tried chalk paint on fabric because I was afraid it would feel like paint on fabric… Reading the comments, you’ve answered my question – it has a “leather” feel! I might give it a try because your chair looks awesome!

  12. Marianne says

    I first want to say I love the chair. I have been wanting to do this to my outdoor furniture for the last year, but didn’t know how. I am so happy I saw this pin. My question is, do you think it would be ok to use the paint on outdoor furniture, or would the moisture in the air ruin it?

    • says

      I have not personally tried painting with AS on vinyl but I know it works on leather so I’d give it a try if it were me. I’d be very surprised if it didn’t turn out beautifully. This stuff works wonders.

  13. Heather says

    I have a question about the wax. Not sure how to apply and buff it. I’m worried that it will come off on our clothes.

  14. Debby Smallwood says

    Was curious I have an old wrought iron rocking chair.if I use the paint on iron do I have to wax it also?? Thanks Debby

  15. Katie says

    I have a big low pile area rug that I’m looking into painting rather than spending money on a new one. Do you think this paint would do well on a rug? Do you think the texture created with the paint would be okay to walk on?

  16. Melanie S says

    I love this! Question though – does the wax ever transfer to your clothes when sitting on the chair or leave an oil residue on your clohes? How long did you wait for the wax to cure before sitting on it? I would love to try this on an ottoman!!

  17. Mary Morrison says

    Help!!! I used my own mixture of chalk paint to paint one of the cushion covers from a dinette and now it’s stiff from the paint. I thought that I was using the correct method with the paint. I sprayed the cushion with water and also dipped my brush in water before I dipped into the paint. Is there any was to rescue the cushion cover?

  18. Pinky says

    I am a very recent AS convert! Painting fabric had never crossed my mind but be sure I’m going to try it! Can you wash the fabric after painting & waxing as the chair I want to paint has removable, washable covers!

    Great work! Thanks for sharing!! X

  19. Beth says

    Would this work on velvet? I have a chair similar to the one pictured above only it’s in a really old red velvet. TIA!

    • says

      I also was wondering about a velvet like fabric. I pair of chairs with a stiff velvet like fabric. So I have the same questions. Any comments or experience with this type of fabric?

  20. Karin says

    I noticed you did this in March and it is now October. Can you tell us how your clients chair has held up? Any cracking of paint or wear? Thanks!

    • says

      My client keeps it in their master bedroom in a reading area and tells me it’s holding up perfectly. The trick to no cracking is thin coats of paint and wax and good long buffing. Hope that helps Karin.

  21. Amanda says

    Hello, great post. I was wondering if you have tried using diy chalk paint to paint fabric. I cannot get AS in my area (other than ordering online – not going to pay for the shipping). So I was just wondering what the difference would be like, if it is worth considering shelling out an extra few bucks to love the furniture rather than just like it, you know what I mean? Thanks.

  22. Kelli says

    Hi! I just love the chair! I have a wing-back that I have been thinking about either DIY reupholstering (groan) or just giving up on and taking to the Goodwill! This seems like way more fun than either of those options! I am planning on heading out to buy some Annie Sloan tomorrow, but I am wondering how much of the chalk paint in “Florence” did you use for a few coats on this chair? Do you think one can of paint and one can of wax will be enough?

  23. SANDI says

    Hi there, I’m thinking of painting my Parson’s dining chairs which are in a mock suede fabric as I am worried about trying to reupholster them. 2 questions, do you think this will work with this type of fabric and will the paint transfer to clothing?

    Hope you can advise?

    Many thank Sandi

  24. christiane says

    Did you see a big difference between the AS and your recipe? I ask because I am currently trying to use up supplies I have before buying new products, but if after trying the AS version you have converted I’d like to know what you believe the extra benefits are to not DIY the paint.
    Thanks for your posts!

  25. Corinne says

    I painted 2 upholstered wingback chairs 9 years ago and they are still great. This was before AS paint; I simply used latex applied with rubber gloves and waxed them well. So, I know that chalk paint doesn’t have to be used. I’m sure it would be easier, though.

    Love the way yours turned out.

  26. Liz says

    Hi!! I’m new to chalk paint and even newer to painting upholstery. Quick question- do you think you could paint it over a dark fabric and it would look okay? I have a couple dark green chairs that could use a light fresh face. Any help you might have would be great! :)

  27. Corrie says

    This looks amazing! I am about to get married and am being gifted a couch and love seat with a 90s floral print (not the cute kind) but it is in great shape… I thought about reupholstering them, but that can be so pricey! A friend told me about chalk paints and I am beyond intrigued….. Do you think fabric painting would work/look good on two large couches? Or is fabric painting better on smaller pieces of furniture like the chair in this post? (which looks amazing by the way) Advice welcome!!!!!!

  28. DIANA says

    Wow, what a transformation! I love it! But, I do have one question….. How much paint to purchase to do a chair like yours? Great idea & great tutorial. It truly is an amazing success story


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