What do you do when you find an incredible tufted headboard on Craigslist that is bright bad velvet valentine chocolate box red and you want it to be white? Well, you obviously can reupholster it (if you are up for that task) or you can paint the fabric!
The problem with painting fabric is that well, you are painting on fabric. The whole point of having fabric on something is to make it nice and soft, otherwise we would upholster everything with blue tarps. Did you know that you can paint fabric so that it is still soft-ish? Its true! My girls Jilly and Mia are pros at this one.
This is what Kelsey’s headboard looked like on the Craigslist ad:
We had no idea that in real life it looked like this:
(no that picture was not color boosted.)
We scored this baby for $120 from a nice guy named Ingo. He even helped us load it into our car (and somewhat willingly posed for pictures)
So we found our headboard. Now it was time to start on the makeover.
You will need:
Latex paint in the color of your choice
Textile Medium (can be purchased at any craft store)
Spray Bottle with Water
High Quality Brushes
Start by getting your piece ready to paint. We cut the legs off and vacuumed it to remove as much dust and dirt as possible.
Then lay it out flat.
Ok ready for this? Its time to mix your paint. This is where people get nervous.
This is the fabric medium that we used:
For your first layer you want to use 1 part fabric medium to 1 part latex paint. Mix it really well and then add .5 parts water. (For example you would mix 1 cup of paint, 1 cup of Fabric Medium and 1/2 cup of water.)
You want your paint mixture to be fairly thin (thick enough to coat the back of a spoon) (also did you notice I used foodie lingo? I don’t cook so this is HUGE.)
Use your spray bottle to dampen the fabric. For the first layer you want it fairly wet (not wet enough to squish water when you push on it, but wet enough that if you touch it it will leave water on your hand.)
Then start painting. Make sure your brush strokes go with the grain of the fabric (or in the case of our velvet we made sure that it was laying the same way.)
After your first coat is completely dry lightly sand it with 220 grit sand paper. This is VERY important if you are using fabric that has a longer nap like Velvet.
Once your first coat is dry light mist your piece again with your spray bottle (I found it works best if you do it in sections) and paint on your paint mixture (still foodie thin)
Once your second layer is dry lightly sand it. Also you will most likely be needing more paint. Mix 1 part paint, 1 part textile medium, 1/4 part water for the remaining layers.
Spritz your piece again so that its slightly damp and go to town.
This is what our headboard looked like after 3 coats…white over flaming red is a long process choice…
And 5 coats…
And 6 coats…
And 8 coats…
Yes, it took 8 coats of spritzing, painting, drying and sanding to get this puppy painted. It is no where near as stiff as it would be had we just painted it without the whole process. It feels like a heavy duty outdoor canvas fabric and is great for a headboard.
Have you ever painted fabric? What is your favorite tip?
Love Your Guts, Mandi