3 Methods to Painting Fabric or Upholstery

3 Upholstery Painting techniquesOk, this is the best thing I have discovered in a really long time.  You can paint fabric!  Not only fabric, but upholstery.  This is amazing and gives you endless thrifting and recycling furniture possibilities.  When I started on my project, I was torn between which method to use.  So, I will go over each method and you can decide which method you want to use.

1. Spray on Fabric Spray-  Simply Spray makes a fabric and upholstery spray.  It has good reviews and it definitely serves its purpose.  I just felt like I had to use a lot of coats to get the coverage I was going for.  It is a great option for a smaller project, or if you are going for easy, or less mess.  The end result was the same, but I felt like I needed 6 coats to every 3 of other methods.  For fabrics that are tightly woven, I would recommend a different method.  Simply Spray doesn’t soak into those fabrics as easily.

2- Latex Paint- This is a great option as long as you do it right.  The keys to using latex paint for upholstery is to use a fabric medium to dilute the paint, so that it can soak into the upholstery.  You don’t want the paint to dry on top, or it will be stiff.  The point is to let the paint soak into the fabric.  Also, if you use latex paint, be sure to do thin coats, and wet the fabric before you apply the paint, with either a wet towel or a spray bottle.

3. Fabric Paints- SoSoft or acrylic paints-  This can also be a good option.  I have had good luck with SoSoft with the fabric staying softer, but you will need multiple bottles for a large project like a chair or something.  SoSoft is supposed to be the best fabric paint, already having the medium in it to keep the fabric softer.  I think the same result can be accomplished with the latex paint and medium, for less cost.  I think ultimately, it depends on your painting subject.  If I were doing an entire sofa, I would most certainly use the latex paint/medium.

  • Share on Facebook

5 comments for “3 Methods to Painting Fabric or Upholstery

  1. Deborah J.

    What fabric medium are you referring to please? I’ve only seen small bottles of it in craft stores but they would probably be cost prohibative considering their size. Do you now of a brand that comes in bigger containers for such a large project?

  2. at


    I too would like to know the “Medium” you are referring to!

    Many Thanks!

  3. pam collin

    I recently dyed an old sofa. Looks good….just put it on my pinterest board “projects in progress” My question is …how can I seal the dye to prevent it from rubbing off on clothing. Any idea ? What about scotch guard ?

  4. dianeH

    I’m more interested in how the fabric feels after it is painted- is it like sitting on plastic? Do any of the methods change the tautness of the fabric, or make ugly loose spots or wrinkles?

Comments are closed.