Have you painted fabric before?

Neither had we… till we heard of chalk paint!

A while back, pre-pandemic, we ruined a perfectly fine sofa in our guest room by trying to steam clean it. (Lesson learned.)

The sofa before it was painted.
Before photo of the sofa

Long story short: the few water stains it had multiplied by the time we were done. It was such an eyesore, we covered it with sheets and pillows waiting for the day we could drag it out and take it to the dump.

Water stains on the sofa from trying to steam clean it
Close up of water stains from steam cleaning

Fast-forward to one recent pandemic day, we came across videos of chalk paint being used to paint anything and everything – including fabric! (Just go to YouTube and search for “chalk paint fabric” and you’ll see what we’re talking about.)

There began our quest to restore the sofa.

Research Time…

We read and watched anything we could find on chalk paint and which was the best on fabric. Everyone had their own stories and suggestions for paint, but most recommended Annie Sloan brand paint.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Finding the Paint…

Of course, this brand is not sold in paint stores or big box hardware warehouses, no. You have to find a stockist who… stocks it. Fortunately, there is one in Old Town Alexandria: Boxwood

Getting Started…

Eddie decided that diluting the paint with water was the way to go. After all, that was some of the advice online. Eddie was wrong. After two coats (of diluted paint), the sofa looked only a shade darker than when he started the process. The paint can was empty.

The sofa with a first coat of blue paint

Trying Again…

Eddie went back to the Boxwood for another liter of paint, and searched for better online guidance. The painting resumed. One more coat. This time with undiluted paint. Then…

The sofa with another coat of blue paint


After the paint dried, it got a light sanding and waxing, and in a few days it was this fabulous blue comfort zone!

The sofa painted blue.
The sofa painted in Napoleonic Blue. The wall is painted in Barecelona Orange and Graphite. The pottery is painted in Pure White.

To complete the makeover, we painted the wall behind the sofa in Barcelona Orange and Graphite to contrast the Napoleonic Blue. 


Why stop now? So we painted some pottery and the trunk-table, for good measure!

The sofa painted blue.


We’re happy to share more about our process and experience. Feel free to direct message us if you’re interested.

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