Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. It’s stuff so incredible that it has a cult following all over the world. I came across the name too many times to count while I researched how to makeover this wingback chair I got on Craigslist for $40.
I love the shape of the chair, but that dark green color was so drab I just couldn’t leave it be. At first I was going to reupholster this bad boy but fabric (good, quality fabric) is pretty pricey and I also don’t know how to sew. So I found some tutorials claiming you could paint the fabric and it would still be comfortable.
Every tutorial I read recommended chalk paint for its porous nature, and almost every tutorial also said Annie Sloan was the queen of all chalk paints. I was sold.
Annie Sloan is only sold in boutique stores so it could be quite difficult to find a stocker near you. Go to the Annie Sloan website and you’ll be able to find the one nearest you.
I went to my closest stocker and decided on the Barcelona Orange color. I’m OBSESSED with this color it is absolutely fabulous. I started with one quart of paint, a large tin of wax, and the special Annie Sloan brush. This came to a shocking total of over $100! The paint will run you about $40 a quart (crazy!), the wax about $25, and the brush was about $40 as well.
Now I would absolutely recommend the paint and wax, however, I would pass on the brush. A standard synthetic bristle brush did a better job on my chair than the fancy Annie Sloan one did.
Also a note, depending on how big your chair is, you will most likely need more than 1 can of paint. My chair took an entire can for each coat, and 4 coats. That’s 4 quarts of paint! A bit pricey but I was also going from a dark color to a bright color so it needed the extra coats to get to the saturation I wanted.
Supplies you’ll need:
- Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (or any chalk paint)
- Large Paint Brush
- Spray Bottle full of Water
- Mixing Bowl
- Fine Grit Sandpaper
- Lay your tarp down and prep your chair. Trust me this will get messy.
- Start by giving your chair a good vacuum and clean any stains. Allow to dry if needed.
- Dilute your paint in your mixing bowl in a 3-1 ratio of paint to water. You want to thin it out but not so much to the point that it is super watery. I found especially for my type of fabric with a higher pile, the thicker the paint the better.
- Spray your chair down with water so that it is really damp. This will help the paint soak in to the fabric.
- Start to paint the chair going with the grain to start with then side-to-side to really work the paint into the fabric.
- Let the chair dry for at least 24 hours.
- Once dry sand down your chair with the sandpaper. This will restore the softness to the fabric. It will also lighten the color slightly.
- Now you can do a second coat using the same method.
- Do as many coats as you need to get the color desired making sure to sand between each coat and after the final coat. Mine took 4 but most projects will only take 1 or 2.
- Once you’ve reached your desired color, it’s time to wax!
- Take a clean brush and wipe the wax on going with the grain of the fabric. Then wipe the excess off and work the wax into the fabric with a clean cloth. Be generous with the amount of wax you use, this is what will seal in the color and protect it from transferring color to other fabrics, like the backside of your jeans.
- Allow your chair to cure for a couple of days before normal use.
I’m not going to lie this project did take quite a bit of time. With at least an hour of painting for each coat and the full 24 hours of dry time between coats, this took me about a week to complete working on it everyday. But the payoff is so worth it!
This is so much easier than reupholstering would have been and the fabric really is soft to the touch! Almost like a soft leather.
Let me know what you think in the comments below! Xoxo