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Using Chalk Paint® on upholstery and leather

When it comes to painting upholstery, small items which are firmly upholstered (such as a dining chair seat) and made from natural fabric (such as cotton or linen) give the best results. In these cases, Chalk Paint® can be diluted with water and painted on as a 'wash' which will stain the fibres. Fabric that is painted in this way does not require to be waxed afterwards. Take a look at our video tutorial for more on this technique.

There are other ways to paint upholstery, but the success of painting any upholstered piece does depend on factors such as the condition, colour and composition of the fabric, how firmly it is upholstered, and the colour you are using (reds are less colourfast).

In most cases, you will see better results where you are going from light to dark than if you are trying to go from dark to light.

For any project, we would recommend testing in a small area first before you commit to painting the whole piece. As a general rule, we don’t recommend painting very cushioned sofas or suites or items that get very heavy use.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques either – applying the paint more thickly will change the composition of the fabric, making it stiffer. This can then be waxed and buffed to create a leather effect. Annie and famed New Zealand YouTube star and television personality Astar created a video on just this, which you can see here

If you do decide to give this a go, I wouldn't recommend it as a first Chalk Paint® project, so if you've never used our paint before you might like to start with a small piece of furniture so that you can get a feel for the paint. 

You can also use Chalk Paint® on leather and vinyl – build up the coverage in thin coats, and then wax to finish. As the leather creases and cracks with age, so will the paint, so bear this in mind on well-worn or cushioned items.