Can’t Reupholster? Paint Your Fabric!

Recently, Lorna found herself with a broken left hand and a chair she’d planned to reupholster. Refusing to postpone the makeover, she decided to try her one good hand at fabric painting.

Having heard about others’ success using American Paint Company Clay/Chalk/Mineral Paint to convert fabric, she now had a great reason to test it herself.



Step 1:

She painted with APC’s Dollar Bill using two coats.


Step 2:

After the paint was fully dry, she lightly sanded the painted fabric.

Some areas didn’t have full coverage, but the look appealed to her, adding to the naturally worn appearance she loves.


Dry Brush Detail – Navajo White


Step 3:

Next came refinishing the chair frame.

First step was to tape off and protect her newly painted fabric which still required wax.  (The waxing step she saved until last so the entire chair could be waxed at once and any boo-boos could be easily remedied prior to waxing.)

To achieve the worn look she desired, Lorna started by painting the frame with APC’s Wild Horses for a dark wood look.  Once that layer dried, she dry-brushed two to three coats of APC’s Navajo White. The dry-brushing created texture with nice highs and lows that contribute to the aged look. A light sanding smoothed and revealed more of the underlying “wood” adding even more to the aged look.


Waxing fabric!


Step 4:

Last step–waxing.

Using a chip brush, Lorna worked APC’s Clear Wax into the fabric using two coats, followed by a final finish of the frame with wax.

Painted Dragonfly 2

With a quick buffing after the wax was set and dry to the touch, the fabric now looks and feels like worn leather.

So what started as a dated piece, “pickled” finish and all…








…with a little effort, has resulted in a classically beautiful French style side chair that may be used in any room!

An easy and quick fix that you can accomplish, too!



  1. I live in Saratoga Springs N Y and would love to find a painting class
    Can you help ?

    • mm American Paint Company says

      Please check for retailers near you in the “find a retailer” section of our website. Many American Paint Company retailers offer classes and workshops.

  2. yvette houssin says

    je suis présidente d’une association de loisirs créatif ,aimerai connaitre et utiliser vos produits pour relooker petit meuble fauteuil en tissu etc… et comment faire une commende et condition de réglement
    Merci de me répondre.

    tel: 02 31 20 62 77 France

    • mm American Paint Company says


      Si vous êtes désireux d’acheter les peintures et les finitions de nous ici aux Etats-Unis?

      Merci encore.


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