Chair The Love: Vintage Chairs Gets A French Poppy Makeover

DIY tutorial how to make over an old chair by paint fabric.

I have an AWESOME artist and interior designer friend (SK Sartell) that I met on Hometalk where she and I are fellow bloggers. She has some mad skills and with permission I just HAD to share a brief tutorial on some of her recent work.

Tags: #trash #treasure #furniture #makeover #tutorial #chair #diy #home #decor #upcycled #art 

First, Sartell found a pair of dusty, dirty, velvet covered chairs with amazing bones.

Before pic of old chair made over by painting fabric.

Most people would automatically think "REUPHOLSTER! REUPHOLSTER!." Nope! In the great words of my college dorm dwelling, old man sweater wearing, organic trail mix chomping daughter, that would just be "way too mainstream."

She instead gave the original fabric a good cleaning and then directly painted the fabric.  Yes, I said paint it and I'm sooooo glad that she did because the results are amazing.
Here is a brief run down of the steps she took via her words & pics:
So custom chalk paint it is...
Chalk paint recipes can be found on many, many sites. The best one I found is:
I have tested all Denise's recipes and I agree with her the chalk based recipe gives me the overall coating that I am looking for. I only mix a quart mason jar at a time because I like newly mixed paint when I start a project. make sure to keep your paint and chalk blended smooth throughout your painting.
Calcium Carbonate
2 parts paint
1 part Calcium Carbonate
​The​ calcium I buy is from this online store:

DIY painted fabric chair tutorial.
With flat paint mixed with powdered chalk, I custom make my own chalk paint colors. Keeping the old fabric damp, I use a really old brush to scrub the colors into the fabric. Each coat needs to be lightly sanded between coats. Keeping the fabric damp as I paint each additional coat. This chair took four coats to cover the rusty colored old velvet.
I did not sand the last coat of white. I wanted to use a watercolor technique and the resulting rough coat of white chalk paint gave me the perfect surface.

How to give a chair a makeover by paining fabric.
The backs of each chair are painted with a black chalk paint. I use a painters tape to block off even stripes. I then painted the edges of the tape with black chalk paint this helps seal the tape.
When the black is cured I painted each stripe white. I painted three coats of white.

DIY tutorial how to give a chair a makeover with fabric paint.
With watered down paints, I start to make large splotches of color, knowing these will eventually be the foundations of my flowers and leaves.

DIY tutorial how to paint fabric furniture.
As I finished each flower I added dimension with light and dark accents.
Each chair features a dragonfly by The Graphics Fairy.

DIY Tutorial Poppy Painted Fabric Chair Tutorial
I created a larger stripe on the back of each chair.

How to paint old fabric furniture for makeover
With contrasting paints, the French love note starts on one chair and is completed on the second chair.
The wood arms and legs are painted with Modern Masters Carbon Black and then coated with a high gloss top coat for durability.
They make me smile. Job Done!

 Oui! C'est magnifique!

For full details, hop over to SK Satrell's blog post: SK's Two Dozen French Poppies and happy crafting!

SK Sartell on Elderberry


Vintage Chairs Gets A French Poppy Makeover



  1. Thanks Holly.

    I am incorporating Holly's blog design in my next painted chair adventure.

    Make sure to visit often to see how it's going.

    Thanks much my new friend. sk

  2. Thanks Holly.

    I am incorporating Holly's blog design in my next painted chair adventure.

    Make sure to visit often to see how it's going.

    Thanks much my new friend. sk

  3. My pleasure, friend! Thanks for letting me share. You are AWESOME! So excited to see it!!!

  4. That is the coolest idea. I will be trying this out!

  5. Unbelievable!! If you know how much stuff I threw out recently - you would beat me up! You could have made it cute and purty again! Dang it.


Post a Comment

Your comments and feedback is very much appreciated!