Monday, September 8, 2014

Painting Fabric with Chalk Paint® Decorative Paint by Annie Sloan

annie sloan paint fabric
By now, most of you know about my obsession with Chalk Paint® Decorative Paint by Annie Sloan. You can paint almost anything with this wonder paint, and the best part there is no sanding or stripping involved. For my latest project, I was lucky enough to partner with the folks over at Annie Sloan Unfolded to makeover an amazing antique settee with my favorite paint.

This beauty came my way when Angel from Angel Michelle Photography contacted me to breathe some new life into this piece as she was wanting to use it as a photo prop. The shape and detail of this piece was gorgeous, but the current upholstery choice- not so much. Upholstery work and fabric costs can skyrocket pretty quickly, so I decided to give painting this bad boy a try. I had read about this technique in Annie Sloan's book Color Recipes for Painted Furniture and More. I am pretty impressed with the results.

annie sloan cream

Here are all the fabulous products that Annie Sloan Unfolded was gracious enough to send me for this transformation. I used Chalk Paint® Decorative Paint by Annie Sloan in the color Cream for the upholstery and French Linen for the frame. I finished the frame with both Clear Soft Wax and Dark Soft Wax, and I got to test out my first Annie Sloan brushes, the Annie Sloan Pure Bristle Brush and the Annie Sloan Wax Brush.


I started out by wetting all the fabric down with a spray bottle. You don't need to douse it, but it takes the paint better if you dampen it. You only need to do this on the first coat.

There are two ways to go about painting fabric. You can dip your brush in the paint and then in a cup of water or you can make a water/paint mix with a 1:1 ratio. The paint will be really thin like the consistency of skim milk. I found I liked using the watered-down paint better as the coverage was more consistent for me. 

The idea is to paint on several light layers of really diluted paint. You don't want to glob the paint on because it will be very hard when it dries and could crack your fabric. Think of it more like dying the fabric versus painting it. I did four coats total on my fabric, and I let them dry completely in between coats. The fabric can only take on so much paint when wet, so I waited a full 24 hours between coats. Also, don't worry about getting paint on your frame as long as you plan on painting it like I did. If not, tape it off.
painted fabric

After I was happy with the coverage of my fabric, I moved onto painting the frame which I used the Annie Sloan Pure Bristle Brush. This brush is great for making expressive movement with the paint, and the paint really grabs onto the brush which makes getting the perfect coverage even easier. 
annie sloan cream

Once the frame was painted, I roughed it up a bit with sandpaper then waxed it with Clear Soft Wax and Dark Soft Wax. I was able to try out my first Annie Sloan Wax Brush, and I am obsessed. If you are looking to invest in a good quality wax brush, this is it. The wax went on seamlessly without having to use much elbow grease. Other brushes I have used make the wax ball up and you really have to use some muscle to work it into the paint. Another awesome feature of the brush is its tapered edge that allowed me to get in all the cracks and crevices of the frame with ease. This is a great brush to have if you are working on a piece with a lot of detail and definitely worth the investment in my opinion.

Angel and I were both amazed by the transformation of this piece. I can't wait to see what she comes up with for her client shoots with this gem. I can just see a little newborn perched on it or a family shot in an open field. I am for sure getting a photo session with my family on it soon! 
painted couch


chalk paint fabric

Thanks again to my friends at Annie Sloan Unfolded for making this project possible. If you want to find your local Chalk Paint® Stockist, you can use their Stockist Locator. Anyone out there intrigued to try fabric painting for yourself? 

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31 comments:

  1. Absolutely beautiful transformation, Christina! Thank you so much for sharing this post!

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  2. I love it! Does it dry soft enough to be comfortable?

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  3. are you painting when pregnant?

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    1. Yes, painting while pregnant in a well ventilated area with protective wear as approved by my doctor. :)

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    2. I would speak with my doctor about being around any of this while pg. You would not want to take any chances. My opinion but why not be �� percent positive. Ty for reading my concern.

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  4. Painting fabric is still something I need to try; you make it look so easy! This turned out beautifully :)

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  5. Hi Christina, The sofa looks so beautiful! I use Annie Sloan paint all the time and like you, I am in love with this product! I am not sold on the idea of painting fabric with it just yet. I painted a lamp shade a while back and really didn't like how it turned out. A few things I didn't do are waxing the lamp shade and diluting the water. I will have to try this as I really want to try this technique on many pieces. Yours turned out so amazing! I am in the Phoenix area and do many projects like you, my whole philosophy is re-purposing too. Please come visit my blog:) Do you have any pointers for me as the best way to clean the wax brushes? Thanks Sandi@theVintage http://letsgo2thevintagecupboard.blogspot.com

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    1. I use Murphy's Oil Soap to clean my wax brushes. I know my stockist recommends using lye soap.

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    2. My stocklist told me I need not clean the wax brush ever, just keep it wrapped in saran wrap, just like you do for a paint brush bet. coats. When you go to use it again, press it into your palm & rub it around - this will reactivate & soften the wax. This method has worked for me every time.

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  6. What about faux leather? It's peeling and looks terrible.

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    1. If it is peeling, I don't think the paint will stop that.

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  7. Incredible transformation! I am blown away. I haven't had the guts to paint fabric yet, but I will definitely have to use your method when I do. Cheers to painting while pregnant! It is the best therapy when your mind is always racing about the new adventures ahead. :) Angel's clients are going to be some lucky ducks to end up with this gorgeous piece in their photos.

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  8. Hi, I have been researching painting fabric, and my question is can I paint velvet or will it become crunchy? How does the regular upholstery fabric feel to touch after being painted? And lastly, does the paint separate on the fibers with use? Thank you!

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    1. The fabric definitely gets rougher to the touch when you paint it. I haven't worked with velvet so I can't answer exactly how it will affect that. I wouldn't recommend this technique for something that will see a lot of use. I think it best suits fancy chairs in a sitting room or dining room that are mostly for show.

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  9. Thanks for sharing some painting ideas.

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  10. Can you re-upload all iamge. i can't see it!!

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  11. Superb transformation, love the way it all turned up.

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  12. Hi - is there any reason that I couldn't paint a car seat with ASCP? My grandson is using his big sister's and I thought maybe I could transform it to something other than pink. Do you think there are any toxicity issues I should be concerned about? He's two, so it's not like he'd lick it or chew on it or anything... Thank you for any input you may have.
    Sue Schneider

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  13. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I'm doing some research on painting, too. I need to paint some old things in my house. But I have no idea.

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  14. Did you also wax the fabric? That settee is beautiful, and the colors are perfect!

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  15. Hi, luvlee thanx wondering why you show Annie Sloan brushes but you are using a different brush in the photo applying the fabric paint? Do you rec a flat brush for that and if so synthetic or chip brush or what? thanx for the expert presentation.

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    1. Good question. I used two different brushes because I was painting multiple pieces. One was an Annie Sloan brush and the other was my Purdy natural all white bristle sash brush. Either work well, so it would be up to you what you wanted to use.

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  16. Paint has always been an interior design improvement wonder. I love painting. I really like your writing style and how you express your ideas. Thank you.

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  17. Great! You make it look so easy.

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  18. No sanding or stripping involved. Very well, I've found what i want here.

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  19. I really congratulate for the creating such an impressive wood wall project. Thank you for your valuable idea on this post.

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  20. Wow, this turned out really lovely - better than the original one. I haven't been brave enough to paint fabric so I think that's something I hope to accomplish in the future.

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  21. All of your pieces are really beautiful. I've learned a lot from reading and watching you. Did you use wax on the fabric and if so how and what? If I missed that in your blog or answers forgive me. I'm going to try Annie Sloan burgundy on 2 Queen Anne Velvet wing back chairs. Wish me luck. Danielle

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