Paint Your Couch.




About: Mops from sticks and rags. Cheap!

Painting furniture is an easy way to update your look. Don't let fabric slow you down - paint your cloth couch to freshen it up.

You'll need an old couch that's getting a bit ratty (or a nice one that you absolutely can't stand).

And you'll need some wall paint (I used cheapo Walmart interior paint for this one).

My applicator of choice is a small roller.

Step 1: Almost Done

Drying time.

You don't want too thick of a coat since that will make the fabric feel too thick and starchy (It's going to feel a bit stiff anyway). A roller will put a nice coating on the fabric without getting a heavy layer on. I use small rollers since they will get into the folds and nooks of the fabric more easily.

But I'm getting a bit ahead of myself - first things first. Test the fabric on a patch that won't show. Some material isn't suitable for painting -- some couches are just foam with a thin cover. One friend painted a foam couch and it soaked up a gallon of paint before she figured out that it was never going to dry. I used less than half a gallon of latex wall paint on this couch.

Step 2: Ready for Life in the Basement

The pattern on this couch has quite a bit of definition and the light coat of paint lets the pattern show through for a bit for interesting look. And the color is an exact match for my walls, lol.

I've had good luck painting other cloth furniture. For smoother fabrics, you can take other colors and add to the scheme. I like to dip a big roller in paint and just make criss-cross marks over a more neutral or solid background by pressing the paint on the fabric, but not rolling it in.



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    6 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I do not suggest doing this without adding the fabric additive (at a craft store) to the paint that makes the paint dry a bit softer. Paint on fabric is stiff and very scratchy and it is not a great idea. But have you ever been able to wash old dry paint out of clothes you get paint on? Paint is totally permanent so if you want a scratchy stiff uncomfortable couch it does not rub off.

    2 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Interesting, I'll have to try that the next time I get the urge to paint something around here. I have experienced different levels of scratchiness, depending upon the underlying fabric. Heavier upholstery fabric tends to be stiffer when painted. Lighter cloth fabric, like that you'd find on an IKEA Poäng chair, is less stiff when painted.

    The advantage of testing painting furniture on a Poäng chair is that you can just buy an new slipcover if it doesn't work out. Thanks for the suggestion!


    Reply 1 year ago

    Another follow-up - haven't painted any couches lately but my wife did paint some pants. She used acrylic paint and applied a fabric additive first. It worked well, no stiffness, and supposedly the additive will help the paint tolerate washing better.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Your couch really looks nice. Thanks for sharing.


    9 years ago on Step 2

    I thought about doing this to an old couch I have in my basement. But does the paint rub off on clothes when you sit on it?

    1 reply

    Reply 9 years ago on Step 2

    The paint has never rubbed off on my clothes in my experience. Best to test a section that's not visible if you have any doubts about the fabric or paint being color safe.