We found this king sized upholstered headboard with good bones, but the fabric was just plain sad! Using chalk type paints to paint fabric is such an easy and cost effective way to bring new life to old ugly fabrics!
For this project we decided to use our new HomeRight Sprayer for two reasons; this is such a large headboard & it is July in Alabama 😛 so limited exertion of energy is a must!
P.S. our HomeRight Sprayer is one of the best things we have ever purchased!
- Kmart carries the one we have for a great price!
For our paint color: We chose Debis Design Diary DIY Chalk/Clay Paint in the color Vintage Linen! This is a beautiful white that isn’t a stark white but also doesn’t have any yellow tones in it!
Everything else you need:
- Clean empty container for mixing paint with water
- Sanding block (fine grit – 220 or higher)
- Clear Wax
- Upholstery Tacks
- Spray bottle full of water
Prepping your fabric!
Side Note! Our headboard had a lovely hole in the fabric right in the middle of the headboard! There is a simple fix for this! We just puddied the hole with Patch & Paint — a light weight spackling that dries fast! Once it dries, sand the edges smooth & you are good to go!
- Just before you start painting spray your fabric down with water until it is wet but not dripping.
When you are painting fabric you are essentially staining the fabric with the paint. You want your painted fabric to stay soft and smooth looking and not crackly and painted.
The key to achieving this is 1. diluting your paint with water and 2. wetting your fabric with water!
Because we were using the sprayer we diluted our paint based on the instructions that came with the sprayer! You want the paint not to be thick, but thin like a wash.
If you don’t have a sprayer and will be painting fabric with a brush, Debis Design Diary has a great video on what to do, here!
You will see in the video that with some fabrics it is best to paint in sections and work the paint into the fabric with a sponge. We did not do that here because our fabric was so slick and had no nap unlike velvet for example.
- Mix your paint into your sprayer — we used 1 Quart of Vintage Linen to complete this project.
- Remember to wet fabric
- Spray on your first coat
- Remember not to try and cover the headboard in one coat by painting thick! Each coat should be a thin layer. It is MUCH better to paint several thin coats of paint!
- Let your coat of paint dry & in-between each coat, lightly sand over the entire piece, brush off the dust and wet again with water.
- Paint another thin layer
- Repeat the steps above until the fabric is completely covered!
- It took us about 5 coats.
Extra Note: Once the headboard completely dried, the paint looked a little streaky. So we did one final coat with a brush. We used the paint that had been diluted with water & an extra large paint brush (like a wall painting brush) then applied one light coat over the entire headboard. This evened everything out completing the painting process!
Here is a quick video showing us spraying the headboard!
- We let the paint dry good for 24 hours before finishing up!
- One final time, lightly sand over the entire painted area to smooth the paint & take that edge off (almost like you are just cleaning it off). You will feel how silky smooth the dried paint begins to feel when this is done.
- Brush off the excess dust from the paint
- Seal with a clear wax! We use Debis Design Diary DIY wax! It is SO amazingly creamy and wonderful! We LOVE it
- Buff the wax after it has dried!
- We let the wax dry 24 hours before coming back to buff with a clean soft old cotton shirt or terry cloth towel (something that is as lint free as possible).
After buffing the fabric the results were beautiful! The fabric now looks like leather making this headboard so chic & sophisticated!
- Apply the Upholstery Tacks!
- We got a handy role of upholstery tack nailhead trim that was so much easier to use than hammering in each individual tack!
- You can get it at any fabric store or Hobby Lobby — a picture below is included for reference.
I hope this post was helpful and if you have any questions, please comment below and ill be happy to help!
Or, come see me at my shop — Vintage Market & Paint Studio in Huntsville, AL!