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My Little House Design: Ottoman Makeover: Part 2

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Ottoman Makeover: Part 2

My painted fabric ottoman is finished!

For a refresher, I bought the ottoman here for $25 and then in Part 1 of this makeover I re-attached the lining and re-stained the legs here. For part 2, I opted to paint the fabric.

It's hard to capture the difference, but in person this ottoman went from a dingy and faded blue to a super-saturated bold blue (it isn't as purple as it looks above). 

When I first saw this ottoman hiding in a dingy corner of a thrift shop I knew it had major potential but I sat on it for a few weeks because I was unsure of how to make it over. I considered re-upholstering it but then a friend suggested I paint it. Which reminded me that a year ago I pinned a fabric painting tutorial (here), but I hadn't thought much about it since. Then I saw that it was time for the Spring Pinterest Challenge and I knew it was the perfect time to just go for it!

via YHL

Here are the materials and the steps I took to paint my fabric ottoman:

1 Quart Latex Satin Paint
1 Spray Bottle for Water
2"-3" Paint Brush
Fabric Medium (I used 4 - 2 oz bottles)

1) Prepare the paint mixture. I found different 'recipes' online but the one I chose to use was:

1 part fabric medium + 1 part latex paint + 1 part water

I found that two 2 oz bottles of fabric medium are exactly a 1/2 cup so I went with that as my starting point and then added 1/2 cup latex paint and a 1/2 cup of water. It doesn't look like a lot of paint (it's only 1 & 1/2 cups of liquid) so I wasn't sure it would be enough but I went with it and figured I could mix up more if I needed to.

To show you how 'soupy' it is here is a visual aid: 

The top is the mixture of water+fabric medium+latex paint and the bottom is just latex paint. I'm showing you this to explain that painting fabric like this doesn't cover up major flaws or stains in the fabric. So if you are trying to decide if you want to paint that chair with the huge stain on the seat, this won't cover it up. If anything, I found that this process was more like tinting the fabric not painting it. Thankfully I was just going from dingy light blue to a more saturated dark blue so it worked for me. The point is this: You need to start with a fabric that is lighter and that doesn't have major blemishes. 

2) Wet the fabric.

I used this large industrial sprayer that I have and it worked great. The wetter the fabric the better the paint goes on so don't be shy with the amount of water you spray on. See how I have newspaper down? That was a very bad idea, don't use newspaper! I didn't realize how much water I would be using and the newspaper just got soggy, for the second coat I used a garbage bag and it worked much better.

I wet the ottoman in sections (about a foot in diameter). And then brushed on a small amount of the paint mixture. 

It was pretty simple and it went super fast. I wasn't sure I would have enough paint to cover the whole thing but the 1 & 1/2 cups of liquid did a whole coat on this ottoman (it's about 2'x4'x1' for reference).

I was nervous about how hard it would be to paint all those tufts, but it was really pretty easy. I just jammed my brush into all the crevices (there's a dirty joke in there) and I tried not to let too much paint and water/paint gather in the holes and folds.

Though it's slightly blurry, you can see from left to right it's dry, wet, and painted.

After the first coat:

It only took me 45 minutes to do the first coat! I thought it would be a much longer project. I let it dry overnight and then repeated the whole process. The second coat didn't use nearly as much paint so I actually ended up doing a third coat right after the second just because I had the paint already mixed. 

After two coats: 

Cost Breakdown:

Ottoman: $25
Latex Paint: $14 (I only used 1 cup of this so there are lots more projects left in this quart)
Fabric Medium: $10 ( 4 - 2oz bottles at $1.99 each)
Sanding blocks, foam paint brush, regular paint brush, spray bottle, stain: $0 (I had all these times already)

Total: $49 

Considering that similar ottomans sell for well over $250, I am completely satisfied with this price. And amazingly, I sold my old glass coffee table on craigslist for $50 so I basically broke even!

I highly recommend painting fabric, it was easy, quick, and it looks great! My only caution is that you pick the right piece to paint. You want a piece that is fairly light in color (or at least a simliar color to what you want to paint it) with no major stains or blemishes on the fabric.

I'm crazy in love with this ottoman! 

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At May 8, 2013 at 11:12 AM , Anonymous Katja @ Shift Ctrl Art said...

What a wonderful project. I love your tutorial as well. This looks like such a great option for solid fabrics that you want to change the color on. Love it!! The blue looks really good with your Union Jack dresser

At May 8, 2013 at 11:14 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks Katja! I'm very happy with how the project turned out!

At May 8, 2013 at 2:28 PM , Anonymous Ashley said...

I've been wanting to paint a chair I have for awhile! Your ottoman looks great! Guess it's time for me to get one with painting my chair... :)

At May 8, 2013 at 2:49 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

I highly recommend giving it a try!

At May 8, 2013 at 2:55 PM , Anonymous Ashley@BiggerthantheThreeofUs said...

Wow, it looks fantastic! I'm going to be on the hunt for something similar now. =) coming over from YHL.

At May 8, 2013 at 2:56 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks for visiting! Gotta love a good thrift shop find :) Good luck finding something similar!

At May 8, 2013 at 4:35 PM , Anonymous Stacey @ Likes to Smile said...

Found you from the YHL link up! I had NO idea you could paint fabric?!! So cool! Meanwhile...your styling of the entire room is stunning!

At May 8, 2013 at 4:49 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you so much! It was actually really simple - I highly recommend it! Thanks for visiting :)

At May 8, 2013 at 8:53 PM , Anonymous Kimberly @ Turning It Home said...

It looks great and fits so well in the room!

At May 9, 2013 at 2:00 AM , Blogger Kim said...

Turned out great!

At May 9, 2013 at 2:00 AM , Blogger Kim said...

Turned out great!

At May 9, 2013 at 8:55 AM , Blogger Unknown said...


At May 9, 2013 at 8:55 AM , Blogger Unknown said...


At May 14, 2013 at 8:58 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Wow it looks great! I've been wanting to paint an old sofa. I was just wondering if the material stays stiff after it is painted!

Mary @ Orphans With MakeUp

At May 14, 2013 at 9:52 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks! Yes, it is a little stiff. It feels more like a stiff burlap or like a canvas drop cloth... If the piece you want to paint isn't too padded I think it will be fine, Since I'm using this piece like a coffee table the stiffness doesn't bother me, but for a piece you want to sit on it may be annoying to some. Hope that helps!

At May 15, 2013 at 1:53 AM , Blogger Leena Milligan Lanteigne said...

I love the shape and style of this ottoman and the painting seems so easy! I need to find something dingy to paint now! Thanks for the instructions! Hugs, Leena

At May 15, 2013 at 9:20 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks so much for visiting!

At June 12, 2013 at 3:09 PM , Anonymous Dria @ Dio said...

Wow that is amazing I have wanted to paint a chair I have for a while but I've been afraid to do it! Yours came out incredible!


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