I'm about to rock your world, people.
I bet you didn't know you can paint your upholstered furniture pieces! Yep. It's true. And it's not too difficult or expensive.
Recently my friend Trisha asked me to keep an eye out for a cherry red chair for story-time in her little girl's room. She said she had found the perfect chair at Goodwill, size-wise, at least. It was only $35 but was an ugly green plaid. I told her about textile paint and she 'bout knocked me down running to her car to go back to Goodwill to get that chair!
It also remains fairly soft, as soft as a fabric paint can be, after it dries. Bear in mind this is not a dye that penetrates fabric. It is a latex product with binders that makes it easy to cover fabrics with any kind of finish and pattern.
Just for the record, you can dye your furniture, too, but it's much more complicated and expensive and requires removing the fabric from the furniture. If you are going to do that, you might as well re-upholster.
Textile paint is a much easier option. I will say, however, that as badly as my sofa needs re-upholstering, I am not choosing textile paint as an option for that piece.
The back of my sofa is tufted, which means lots of pleats and buttons, and it is the main piece we use every evening for television time. My experience with textile paint lets me know that while the paint dries fairly soft, I don't think it would be soft enough for a piece as big as my particular sofa, plus it would take a lot of product to cover such a big piece. Again, I could probably buy at least half the fabric I'd need for what I'd spend on the textile paint.
It might work for your sofa, however, especially if it is a style that is boxy or has a straight upholstered back such as a camel back.
A few years ago I was helping my friend with her salon. She had, a few years earlier, purchased several of these chairs from Ikea. The off-white muslin started to look bad after every day wear and tear of her customers waiting their turn in these chairs. She had paid less than $50 each for them, but other than the fabric looking grimy, they were still in great shape and comfortable.
She had asked me about re-upholstering them, but the cost of that, plus the fabric, would have been three or four times the expense of the chair itself. So I recommended textile paint.
I have lots of experience with dyes and paints of all kinds and knew that one of my suppliers offered this product, but I had not used it. We tried one quart of it on one chair, and were so impressed that we proceeded with all of the chairs in a lovely chocolate brown.
It comes in lots of colors but you can bring out your inner artist and paint patterns or designs with more than just a solid color. This product is the consistency of pudding, and can easily be brushed on, stenciled, screenprinted, or detailed with a squeeze bottle.
The salon chairs did take two coats, and it took a while for it to dry, so we painted the chairs on-site for her after hours the day before Christmas Eve, as she planned to be closed until after New Years, so the chairs had plenty of time to dry. I spent a total of $150 on the paint, and maybe another $15 on brushes and supplies. Not bad for making 6 chairs look brand new!
It's been about five years since we did that and when I had my hair trimmed a couple of weeks ago I noticed that these chairs still looked perfect. She added fun throw pillows and they are side by side on one of the salon walls with a groovy faux finish.
I recently found a bargain on a little side chair I planned to use in my guest room. Pretty curves and dark wood caught my eye, but a big stain on the ivory seat is what had landed the chair in the back room bargains! I got it for $15, brought it home, and within 30 minutes had it looking like a brand new chair!
If you are someone who doesn't consider yourself to be "creative" or you simply don't have time to take on a project like this, consider bartering or paying someone to do it. Paying an artist friend who will likely have the other necessary supplies will likely be much less expensive than upholstery, and bartering is always a good route! In fact, I bartered with Sharon in the salon and got several haircuts, highlights, and some product in exchange for my effort!
Here's the best part, to me: if you choose this route in updating your upholstered furniture, you are choosing to REUSE and RECYCLE!
Ponder the possibilities and let your creative juices flow!
Do you have questions about textile paint? Have you used it before?