Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Painting furniture. It can be done!

This was one of my first furniture projects that I have attempted. It wasn't a complete success but definitely a learning experience and the chairs are much better than how they started. My sister-in-law found these great chairs for her new office but they needed a little TLC. I had seen numerous "how-tos" on painting furniture, so I decided to try. I mean, how hard can it be?

Tools needed:
1. Fabric/upholstery spray paint. I used Dupli-Color in matte black. I found it at the local auto shop (AutoZone, O'Reilly's). Be prepared to buy a lot!! Because of the darker color choice, I used about 10 cans per chair.

2. spray paint sprayer/adapter. Trust me... this is worth every penny spent! About $5.00 at Lowe's or Home Depot.

3. gloves (I just used latex medical gloves. Something to keep the paint on the chair and off of you).
4. well ventilated area (I found it best to work outside under the carport)
5. sand paper (I used 220 grit just to smooth wood. You may need less grit if the wood needs more work).
6. pliers
7. nail head trim. This is so easy to work with! There is a "real" nail every 5th space. The rest of the "nail heads" are faux but no one would ever be able to tell! I got my nail head trim in "nickel" from Hancock Fabric, but it is also sold at JoAnn's and possibly Hobby Lobby.
8. rubber mallet
9. paint brush
10. vacuum
11. Rust-oleum's Stainless Steel paint (from Michael's)
**Extras if needed: drop cloth, wire snips to cut nailhead trim, small craft paint brushes

 The before:
(minus the seat cushion)

I found the green chair MUCH easier to work with...hence the many photos of this chair vs the cream velvet. I have seen people paint velvet, but I am not a fan. The green chair has a flat/smooth fabric, so the paint went on without a problem. The texture of the fabric did not change. The paint makes the fabric stiffer, so the velvet became very difficult to work with and felt like a washcloth soaked in starch on steroids!!

1. I removed the nail head trim from the green chair. It's super easy to come off as there are much fewer nails used with nail head trim. I also used a flat head screwdriver to pry up the hard-to-reach areas. Use your pliers to pull the nails out. I didn't try to save mine because I was changing the trim color.

2. Next, I used the vacuum to remove any loose debris. Be sure to get into all of the crevices.

3. Tape off any areas that you do not want to paint. I painted my wood, so I didn't take any steps to prevent overspray.

4. Attach your sprayer to the spray can. This is the greatest invention EVER! Not only does it keep your hand from cramping, but it also helps to make smooth/less streaky spray passes.

5. Start spraying. *Hint: to avoid spray globs at your start and finish, start spraying before your fabric and spray past the end of your fabric. Don't start/stop spraying while you are over the fabric.* Spray in long strokes and hold the can at least 1'-2' away from the fabric. It's best to spray on a calm (not windy) day.
If the fabric is smooth/flat like this one pictured, it's ok to "massage" the paint into the fabric. If the fabric stands up, like velvet, do NOT even touch the fabric until it is dry. I tried "massaging" the paint into the velvet and it caused a nasty mess. It gave the fabric a weird glued down appearance...not appealing!

This fabric has a lot of folds, so be sure to separate them to get paint into all of the cracks and crevices. I also put a piece of cardboard in the seat to protect the seat as much as possible.

6. paint seat cushion
7. sand wood enough for paint to adhere
8. paint wood but be careful not to get paint on your newly painted fabric. It's good to have a selection of craft paint brushes on hand too.You can use smaller brushes for those tight spaces.

9. Time to add jewelry to this beauty!! You can use wire snips to cut the nailhead trim. Cut trim to fit. Use small rubber mallet to tap nails into the chair.

You're done!!
velvet cream chair

green patterned chair

This was a great first project for beginners...if you have the correct tools and subject to work with. I learned my lesson with this project. Such as, work with a smooth/flat fabric. You will like the end result MUCH better. The flat fabric is comfortable to sit in but the painted velvet feels like you are sitting in starched washcloths. So far they are holding up nicely. Good luck!

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