Our first test was on a couple of badly soiled chairs covered with a cotton fabric. We used Duck Egg Blue and just slapped it on quickly. It took about a day to dry. In our photo the fabric is still wet. Once it dried the results where fabulous. Most are blown away with how the fabric absorbed the Chalk Paint™ and is soft to the touch.
Chalk Paint™ being a porous paint allows us to paint fabric without it cracking. Chalk Paint™is also highly pigmented and even watered down gives a nice even coat on the fabric.
Our next project was on a large antique sofa. In its current state at the time of purchase we would have to say it was quite unsightly, but we saw the potential. The wood frame was painted with a high gloss oil paint, thin in some areas and thick with paint drippings in other areas.
The fabric, a soiled toile, was so badly upholstered you could see most of the staples. Upon removing the toile we were left with a faux beige suede, yikes. It really did not suit the style of the sofa but it was clean, in good condition and properly upholstered. The cost to have the piece reupholstered, was not an option for resale in our demographics so we decided to paint the faux suede with Chalk Paint™. Our choice of colours for this project, graphite for the wood frame with a mix of French Linen with soft wax and for the fabric we chose Provence.
Before starting your project it is very important to assess what type of fabric you will be painting. We found with thicker fabric, velvets or cut velvet you would have to water down the Chalk Paint™ to ensure it penetrates and saturates the thick fabric. A ratio of 30% water to 70% Chalk Paint™ allowed the paint to properly penetrate the fabric on our project. The ratios may vary depending on your project. Our very large sofa used 1 1/2 pints (946ml) of Chalk Paint™ and we applied 3 coats to get a nice even finish. This was a labor of love in our atelier. 4 of us actually worked on the project at different stages. Every time there was a moment to spare from serving our customers, one of us would pick up a brush and paint.
At times we get visitors who are addicted to Chalk Paint™ and can't keep their hands away from the stuff! A good friend of mine, Susan stopped by for a visit.
She also contributed to this project. This girl can paint a piece of furniture in record time. You cannot keep a brush out of her hands. She writes a beautiful blog here in Montreal, Simply Vintageous and she also has quite the following for her signature pieces painted with Pure white, old white and Paris Grey.
For the frame we used Graphite but we wanted the carved wood to stand out. To enhance the scroll work and medallions on the frame we used a blended mix of French Linen with Annie Sloan clear soft wax. We first applied a nice thin even coat of clear soft wax. Don't forget your wipe down. Applying 1 coat of clear wax before the coloured blended mix allows you to manipulate and spread the coloured wax. Mixing Chalk Paint™ into the soft wax will change the colour of your base coat once it is applied. You may want to test this out on a sample board before hand. There are many colour combinations you can create with this method. We have a few popular ones in our boutique customers love and keep requesting. The more Chalk Paint™ that is mixed into the wax the more opaque the colour wax will be. In this case we used a blend of 20% Chalk Paint™to 80% clear soft wax. We wanted it to be very subtle, enough to just enhance the scroll work without changing the colour of Graphite too much.
To finish your project you may use clear soft wax on the fabric to protect and coat it. This gives your painted fabric a slight look of leather. We are frequently asked if the wax will come off on your clothing, the answer is No. It will not come off on your clothing if the wax has time to properly cure. A very thin, thin layer of wax will cure in about 30 days. Another option is to spray scotch guard on the fabric to protect it from getting soiled.
Your completed project will not crack or chip and will last a very long time if treated with care just like any other piece of upholstered furniture.
We were unable to get a full shot of the completed sofa due to a lack of space in our boutique. The photos you see have been taken through our boutique window. This piece draws a lot of attention from the street. Customers are truly amazed that you can paint fabric and achieve this look. The fabric absorbs the paint and it looks fabulous.
Happy painting! There is so much more you can do with Chalk Paint™. Stop on by and pick up a copy of Annie Sloan's new book Colour Recipes. In her new book she talks about painting fabric, dyeing fabric with Chalk Paint™and so much more.